Many of the most important decisions will come all at once in the early stages of your business. Risk is part of any business, and no one will have all the answers all of the time. A business mentor can help guide you through not only finding the answers, but also knowing what questions to ask in the first place. Business mentors are men and women just like you, except they’ve seen their own businesses grow, struggle, thrive, and mature. Now they are looking to give back to their community and help others along their path.
Thanks to a number of federal, state and local government-sponsored programs, there are excellent resources in Kentucky that provide access to business mentors in your local community. Beyond the government resources, trade associations, chambers of commerce and business advocacy groups can all be great resources when starting a business.
The most important things to remember in working with your business mentor are to come prepared, bring specific questions, and don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re serious about your business and open to the resources available, you’ll be far ahead of your competition.
Business Mentoring in Kentucky
Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) is a statewide network that provides counseling and training in the areas of small business management and technical assistance. Examples of assistance include business planning, marketing and assistance in obtaining financing.
SCORE provides free and confidential counseling, mentoring and advice to small business owners via its network of retired business executives, leaders and volunteers. SCORE is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and has volunteers who share their expertise through in-person and online counseling.
KyBIZinfo is a website with resources for businesses. There are several local and regional business mentoring organizations in Kentucky. Use the Resource Navigator on the KyBIZinfo website to find organizations in your area.
The Kentucky Innovation Network provides business assistance to entrepreneurs from 13 locations, serving all 120 counties throughout the Commonwealth. Office locations include Ashland, Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Lexington, London, Louisville, Morehead, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah, Pikeville and Richmond. Their focus is on the development of high-growth, innovation-driven companies in Kentucky. Each office possesses the knowledge and connections necessary to assist companies through preliminary business Assessment, Business development and ultimately Capitalization (the ABCs of business development).