If being your own boss or owning your own business is your goal, the Grand Forks SCORE chapter has thirty mentors ready to assist you. Over the last 50 years, an enthusiastic, business savvy group of volunteers has helped numerous successful area businesses get started and thrive.

    Clients typically meet in-person with two mentors for one hour sessions on an as needed basis, as often as every week to exchange ideas, explore opportunities and assess progress the client has made on their business plan, cash flow projections, and other critical pre-planning steps. Counselling sessions don’t have to stop when the new business is launched – mentors continue their availability long after the business starts.

    Client confidentiality is a key tenet of SCORE’s Code of Ethics so you can be assured that no one will steal your idea or beat you to the marketplace due to information sharing with SCORE. Mentors are certified by the national SCORE organization following completion of several initial, ongoing, and annual training sessions. Since all members of SCORE are volunteers, clients are never charged any consulting fees regardless of the number of counseling sessions that are scheduled.

    Existing business owners have used SCORE to help solve a difficult situation that they have faced. Others have used SCORE to help them value their business for sale, find a buyer, or find a business to purchase. No problem is too large or too small. SCORE makes it possible to get expert advice to move you closer to your company’s goals.

    Mentors have high-level experience in various disciplines from manufacturing to retail general management, from sales and marketing to mergers and acquisitions, from inventions to entrepreneurships, and everything in between. In addition to their personal business knowledge and experience, SCORE mentors have a myriad of resources available to them through the national organization. They can also suggest local experts that may have relevant industry experience and knowledge.

    The national SCORE website – www.score.org -- has a multitude of workshops and resources available at no charge to interested entrepreneurs and business owners anxious to learn more and improve their bottom line. SCORE is a not-for-profit organization with 360 chapters nationwide and more than 13,000 mostly retired business professionals that mentor and counsel entrepreneurs and business owners.

    Dozens of local businesses have received assistance from the Grand Forks Chapter. Here are just a few – all of which have allowed us to disclose that they have been SCORE clients – McFarlane’s Mechanical Contractors, Networking Specialists, Paolo’s Pastries, Rhombus Guys, Toasted Frog, and Unique Auto Body.

    To get started and learn how SCORE can be of assistance to you, contact the local office to set up an appointment by calling 701-746-5851 or via email at score@gra.midco.net. Additional local chapter information can be found at https://grandforks.score.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/GrandForksSCORE/ . Mentoring is done every Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm at ND Job Service, 1501 28th Ave South, Grand Forks, ND.

We look forward to meeting with you soon!