Know the SCORE
Perhaps the grandfather of all mentoring organizations is the Service Corps of Retired Executives, better known as SCORE. This nonprofit association, a resource partner with the SBA, offers free counseling and low-cost workshops to people who are considering starting a company as well as those already in business.
Counseling is provided via e-mail or in person at one of SCORE's 389 chapters by retirees from major corporations, and current and former business owners, who agree to keep all disclosed information confidential.
Need counseling yesterday? SCORE's Web site (http://www.score.org) features monthly how-to information on topics such as managing cash flow and increasing your bottom-line in its online Workshop Wisdom program. The site also features a map to help you locate the nearest SCORE chapter office.