“I would recommend that anyone who has started a business is about to start a business, is in a business, and is starting to run into some problems, that they reach out and contact a SCORE counselor right away. SCORE contributed greatly in the beginning stages of our company, especially when we were growing really rapidly. I would recommend that any new business reach out to SCORE. SCORE is a great place to grow up into your business. What do you need? What should we be learning? What should we be thinking about? What should we be cautious about? Be alert about?” –Jan Erickson, Owner and CEO of Janska

How SCORE Helped: 

 “The greatest experience happened when I walked into the SCORE office and stood across from Mike and I said, “I heard that if we ran out of cash, we could hit a brick wall and have to close our doors. Is that true?” He said, “Yes.  I can help.” We started with how to do a cash flow statement. This is very, very early on in our business. Mike said, “You must prepare a cash flow statement so that you understand what you’re going to need over the next year.”

“That was a real big education. What does it look like to present something to the bank? They encouraged us to interview more than one bank. They looked at our paperwork and our kit so that we could make a good impression with the bank. Kinds of things I think a lot of entrepreneurs wouldn’t even know that they would need.”

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

“JR had a lot of experience in lean manufacturing. John, my partner, had really been interested in trying to understand lean and apply lean principles at Janska, both in our manufacturing but, also across our company. JR was a huge help in supporting our lean endeavors.”

“Gerald had some experience in payroll and manufacturing and was also a CFO from his days past and helped us tremendously. Gerald was a mentor to John. He would give him assignments to go and figure some things out. Then, John would send it back to him and he would go over it to make sure that it was right. Or if it wasn’t right, why it wasn’t right. He was a real teacher.”

“These are very gracious, generous professionals who have been in business and are willing to help mentor because they want to help other people. Maybe they got a hand up at one time in their business and they’re ready to offer a hand up. They don’t do it for the money, the reimbursement. I think I will reach out to SCORE next week to just check in with them about an area that we need help with.”