NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners who need mentoring or advice, whether it’s about day-to-day aspects of running a business, long-term strategies or unique situations, have many options. A look at five of them:
Chambers of commerce and industry and professional associations. One of the advantages of belonging to a group of owners in your area, industry or field is having an instant community of people who understand your company’s mission and issues.
_ Networking groups. These groups of owners often have monthly or even more frequent gatherings. Many owners use them to build friendships and find mentors who can give them general business advice.
_ SCORE. The organization that gives free advice to small businesses offers mentoring to owners of all types of companies. Owners can meet in person with SCORE counselors in their area or communicate online or speak by phone to counselors in other parts of the country. You can learn more and find a counselor at www.score.org .
_ SBDCs. Small Business Development Centers are located across the country, many at colleges and universities, and offer free advice and instruction to small business owners. You can find an SBDC at the website for the Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov .
_ The right certified public accountant. CPAs who have significant experience working with small businesses can be great resources. They can look beyond taxes and help an owner focus on the broader issues of their companies.