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SCORE San Diego’s free counseling program helps local small businesses

Having the right guidance when launching or growing a small business is necessary to evaluate opportunities and avoid common pitfalls.

SCORE San Diego is a hub of critical resources for local small business owners. It offers free, high-quality, one-on-one advising services from its 85 volunteer member-counselors with diverse business experience to small business owners in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Once a small business client begins working with SCORE San Diego, counseling appointments can be arranged almost anywhere, including a client’s business location, by phone and online. There is no limit to the length or number of counseling appointments an individual can schedule.

SCORE San Diego counselors often form teams and work together to advise a small business owner on everything from marketing and accounting, to observing and critiquing product pitches and presentations. By meeting with a team of counselors, the small business owner can work with advisors who have specialized experience on topics such as insurance or legal issues. To prevent business owners from wasting valuable time, counselors suggest workshops for entrepreneurs to attend based on their specific needs.

Counselors at SCORE San Diego are dedicated to the success of San Diego’s small businesses and often develop long-term business relationships with entrepreneurs. They frequently delve into an entrepreneur’s motivations for starting or growing their company, visit client business locations, and set up and attend important meetings with their clients.

Clara Carter, founder of San Diego’s Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network, took advantage of SCORE San Diego’s counseling program and experienced the benefits of developing a long-term business relationship with her counselor. Carter began working with Dr. Jacquelyn Martin, an organizational development professional, when taking steps to determine if she and her business partner at the time were approaching their business with realistic and appropriate goals.

“The talent available within SCORE San Diego has been an asset as I grow my business. Dr. Martin is my mentor, coach, motivator and reality check,” Carter said. “She’s been able to channel all my creative energy and ideas into a systematic, business-building approach.”

Martin is dedicated to helping small business owners obtain the tools necessary for success, and understands that as a volunteer, she is able to give other entrepreneurs the knowledge to build a solid foundation for their businesses.

“Counselors dedicate time, energy and support for clients to succeed," Martin said. "They listen, inspire, motivate and encourage the business life of clients in a few minutes of consultative service. Over time, the positive action extends the likelihood of clients achieving milestones for business survival and success.”

SCORE San Diego’s free one-on-one counseling services are available to all local small business owners and entrepreneurs. For more information about SCORE San Diego’s counseling program and other initiatives please visit score-sandiego.org or call 619-557-7272.

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