5 tips to grow your business through mentorship

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Seattle District Office  - Jan. 20, 2022

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5 tips to grow your business through mentorship

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month

Being a business owner can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Whether you're new to business ownership or you're a longtime entrepreneur, you may encounter difficult situations and find yourself wondering what to do next. Luckily, you don't have to have to make all the tough decisions alone. Here are our top 5 tips to grow your business through mentorship: 

  1. Make regular mentoring a priority for 2022
    If you don't already have a business mentor, now is the time to find one. If you have a mentor - but you haven't met recently - make it a priority this year to carve out time to work on your business. 
  2. Take advantage of a mentor's knowledge and experience to create goals
    A mentor can help you chart a path toward any goal you want to reach and provide regular check-in's to help you track your progress.
  3. Share your business ownership journey with your mentor 
    Mentors can be a sounding board for you and will use their experience to provide you with an objective second opinion. Your mentor can be your biggest cheerleader - if you let them. They will celebrate all of your business victories, large and small.
  4. Celebrate National Mentoring Month by thanking your mentor 
    Take a moment to send a card, an email, or text and express your gratitude for their assistance.
  5. Tap into the diverse network of SBA Resource Partners when you need to
    Mentors have specialties, it's not realistic to expect one mentor to have all the answers. It's ok to have a mentor who specializes in finances and another who advises on marketing that's why SBA has multiple partner networks ready to assist you. 

Meet SBA's Resource Partners

SBA's Resource Partner Network is available to help you start and grow your business. Use your zip code to locate a mentor near you. Get to know some of the local mentors and advisors you can meet with:

Chris Armstrong-Goings Sr

Veterans Business Outreach Center

Offers training opportunities, one-on-one coaching, referrals to resource partners, and networking events in our Region, encompassing the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Northern Nevada

Chris Armstrong-Goings Sr, Boots to Business Trainer and Coach

Chris Armstrong-Goings Sr is married with a blended family that includes five children. He served his country honorably for more than 20 years in the United States Army. Besides being a Boots to Business Trainer and Business Coach, he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor with multiple universities. Read more about Chris. 

How long have you been a business mentor? Seven months

What got you started in business mentoring? I believe that we all have a responsibility to make others better. I have gained access to information that has improved my life and my family’s life. I believe it would be irresponsible of me not to share what I have learned. Having a military background, I come into business mentoring with the mindset of “Not Leaving a Fallen Comrade Behind.”

What are the top 3 tips you have for someone starting a business? 1. Spend some time understanding your strengths and weaknesses 2. Utilize all the resources you have at your disposal 3. Find or seek-out someone who has successfully done what you are trying to do.

VBOC Success Story

From Buildings to Barley: Constructing Success Through Brewing Rich Nesheim, a Woodinville, Washington native, was working in Arizona in the construction industry in 2007. He found himself unemployed in 2008 due to the 2008 recession. His brother, Raymond, found himself in the same situation, but in Washington State. Rich packed his life up and moved home, and the two brainstormed a solution to their employment problem: open a brewery. Read more.


Ellie He

Washington Small Business Development Center

The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a network of more than 30 expert business advisors working in communities across the state to help entrepreneurs or small business owners start, grow or buy/sell a business. SBDC advisors provide one-on-one, confidential, no-cost advising on all phases of small business development

Ellie He, Certified Business Advisor and Certified Global Business Professional

Ellie is a Washington SBDC Certified Business Advisor (CBA) and a NASIBTE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). She has a diverse background with experience in both the public and private sectors and with both small businesses and large corporations. Read more about Ellie.

How long have you been a business mentor? Three years at SBDC and seven in the private sector

Why do you do what you do? I love helping people and I enjoy learning. As a business mentor I get to do both! 

What is the most unusual or interesting business you have mentored? One of my clients is a two-time Grammy awardee. It was inspiring to coach someone that has created world-class art yet was so humble and eager to learn. 

SBDC Success Story

Perfumer pivots to distill expansion out of disruption Fragrance is a journey for perfumer Molly Ray – a highly personalized itinerary begun in her grandparents’ home before meandering the world, lingering in hotels and airports and, now, alighting in a prestigious retail space in downtown Seattle’s Pacific Place. Read more.


Joe Heinrich

SCORE

SCORE has the largest network of free volunteer small business mentors in the nation. No matter what stage your business is at SCORE has a mentor for you.

Joe Henrich, Certified SCORE Mentor

Joe Heinrich is retired since March 2011 after having spent 33 years in various finance related positions with global corporations. Read more about Joe. 

How long have you been a business mentor? 11 years

What got you started in business mentoring? I became interested in mentoring early in my career and set a goal for myself to become a SCORE mentor when I retired. As a retiree I have the ability to use the skills and knowledge I've acquired throughout my career to give back to the community in which I live. 

What are the top 3 mistakes you have seen people make when starting a business or running their business? 1. Not doing financial projections before starting their business. 2. Not understanding the business' go-to-market strategy. 3. Not understanding their competition. 

SCORE Success Story

Building Community Through Food Phebe Rossi is always seeking resources to grow herself and her business. She learned about SCORE from a friend, and has used mentoring to grow her gluten-free bakery. Read more.


Nicolle Hansen

Women's Business Center INW

Women's Business Centers (WBC's) are a part a national network of entrepreneurship centers, which seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world. The Seattle District Office has WBC's in Seattle, Lacey, and Spokane.

Nicolle Hansen, WBC Manager

Nicolle Hansen has over 20 years of experience working in credit unions and banks prior to joining SNAP Financial Access in 2015 as a Loan Specialist and Business Development Specialist. In 2018 she became the Manager for the Women’s Business Center where she manages the WBC and provides individual business mentoring where she’s passionate about helping businesses start and grow. Read more about Nicolle.  

How long have you been a business mentor? Supporting small business development started for me in 2009 while working at a local credit union.

What got you started in business mentoring? I have always wanted to give to others and I when I learned about what SNAP does in the Financial Access department I found myself drawn in. Seeing people achieve their goal is addictive. Being able to help them achieve their goals by providing support and guidance is amazing. You experience their highs and lows, it is an emotional journey that can feed your soul. 

What makes a good mentee? A mentor/mentee relationship is something very special. It is a mutually beneficial relationship where you learn from each other. This type of relationship takes a long time to develop because you have to build trust. Both parties need to be objective, open to hearing feedback, and be willing to both hold someone accountable and be held accountable.   

WBC Success Story

A New Spin on Starting a Business Krystal and Jared came to SNAP Financial Access in 2019 to attend Women’s Business Center workshops to grow their entrepreneurial dream. Both entrepreneurs had previously struggled with weight gain from raising children and leading a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Read more.


Upcoming Events

Friday, Jan. 21

9:30 a.m. | Virtual Square One Work For Yourself: Redmond


Saturday, Jan. 22

9 a.m. | Successfully Starting a New Business


Tuesday, Jan. 25

9 a.m. | Virtual Square One Work For Yourself: Auburn

10 a.m. | Growing a Consulting Business


Wednesday, Jan. 26

8 a.m. | When Do I Need a Lawyer?

1 p.m. | Marketing Part 2: Pricing Your Product or Service to Sell & Getting Online


Thursday, Jan. 27

10 a.m. | Creating a Quick Business Plan in Three Hours

11 a.m. | IRS Employee Retention Tax Credit & Filing Season Readiness for Business

11:30 a.m. | Business Expert Session: New Year New Profit: Find $10k in Your Business

2 p.m. | Pay Per Click Advertising - Or How Not to Lose Your Shirt on Google * 


Saturday, Jan. 29

9 a.m. | Buying an Existing Business Step by Step


Tuesday, Feb. 1

9 a.m. | Third Annual Black-Owned Business Excellence Symposium


Wednesday, Feb. 2

8 a.m. | 5 Ways to Improve Profit

9 a.m. | Intro to Business Live Webinar

10 a.m. | Virtual Launch & Grow: Auburn (8-week series)

10:30 a.m. | Virtual Grow & Thrive: Improving Performance and Charting Your Path for Growth (8-week series)


Thursday, Feb. 3

11 a.m. | Are You Ready to Start a Business?


Friday, Feb. 4

2 p.m. | Get Started


* SBA's participation or support is not an endorsement of any product, service, or entity.

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