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SCORE San Diego's free team mentoring provides specialized assistance to small businesses

All small business owners, whether they are just starting out or have been in business for many years, face obstacles as they grow their business. SCORE San Diego's free and unlimited team mentoring provides business owners expert advice from volunteers with diverse business backgrounds who have encountered similar obstacles and can provide relevant advice for overcoming challenges.

"Since the SCORE San Diego mentors aren't directly involved with the daily battles our clients face, we can offer some much-needed perspective," said Arnie Bertram, a SCORE San Diego mentor. "We provide free, objective and honest advice, and there is no maximum number of mentoring sessions -- we work with the client as often and for as long as they need us. Some of our mentors have worked alongside business owners for more than 10 years."

Business owners in need of guidance submit a request outlining the assistance they need. The request is reviewed by SCORE San Diego and the business owner is matched with one of SCORE San Diego's more than 80 mentors who can best meet their needs. The mentor then reaches out to the business owner to set up a time and location that is most convenient for the entrepreneur. The mentors will meet at the client's home, place of business or other locations.

Depending on the intricacy of the clients' needs, SCORE San Diego may assemble a small team of mentors, as opposed to just one mentor, to co-counsel and provide assistance on numerous issues. Clients can start with one mentor on a primary topic -- such as applying for a small business loan -- and see other mentors for help with online marketing, insurance, taxes, human resources and more.

"SCORE San Diego is a great resource to entrepreneurs because it provides honest feedback about whether your business venture can be profitable," said Justin Hai, president of Green Fitness Equipment Company and Bertram's mentee. "Since they are current and former business owners, the mentors provide beneficial tips for avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes they have seen others make."

Because of recommendations he received from SCORE San Diego, Hai simplified Green Fitness' messaging and marketing materials for his international award-winning Treadmill Saver product.

"As a brand new company, we were focused on educating consumers, but realized we could be moving more product," said Hai. "Thanks to SCORE San Diego's tough love, we took our company to the next level by creating improved messaging that is more appealing to our target audience."

The team mentoring process is only part of a full range of services SCORE San Diego offers to new and existing small business owners. The services include low-cost workshops on 40 subjects, an extensive online library and networking events.

For more information about SCORE San Diego and its programs, or to set up a free one-on-one meeting with a SCORE San Diego mentor, please visit sandiego.score.org or call 619-557-7272.

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