Tips on Managing Difficult Mentoring Situations

Type of Client Suggested Steps Resources That Can Help
Client does not respond to introductory call/email. Phone client within 2 days. If client does not respond to either send an additional email and place an additional call. If client fails to respond after 14 days, enter a 641 NON-SESSION report stating the history.  
Client wants to start a business but has a poor credit rating. Develop a plan to help them repair their credit rating. Defer business start until they have resolved financial issues. 1. Use SCORE Brief on Credit Score. 2. Co-counsel with Mary Hurlburt, an expert in credit issues. 3. Client to attend the SCORE seminar “Your Credit Score – Using It to Build Your Business”.
Client wants to start a business but has no funds. What are the startup costs? Educate the client on the various sources of funds. Are any of these a possibility? Bootstrapping, family loans, micro loans, crowd funding, etc. 1. Use SCORE Brief on Start Up Costs. 2. Use the SCORE Briefs on Financing Your Business. 3. Client to attend the SCORE seminar “Your Credit Score – Using It to Build Your Business
Client wants to start a business but has no business experience and no experience in the business they wish to start. . Encourage client to obtain a part time or full time job with an established business to learn more about the business. 2. Have client interview business owners in similar businesses in non- competing areas. 1. Client to attend the SCORE seminar – “So You Want to Start Your Own Business”
Client wants to start a business that is in a very competitive market and has no “niche”. Has client completed a feasibility analysis? Has a competitive SWOT analysis of the market been completed Help the client identify possible market niches. Use the Library and internet to conduct a competitive analysis. Use the SCORE Brief on Market Research. Use the SCORE Brief on Business Feasibility.
Client is either in business or wants to start a business, but doesn’t complete assignments. Assess the client’s motivations for meeting with you. Do they simply want someone to talk with? Do they have a time management issue? Are they disorganized? Do they understand how to complete the assignments? Have they set the right priorities? Break the assignment into smaller tasks.  
Client wants to start a business and insists on a mentor with experience in that business. Conduct an initial meeting performing a needs assessment. Develop a task plan to address the client’s needs. Are you able to provide all the help needed? Should you bring in a co-mentor? Is the client satisfied? 1. Use the SCORE Skills Inventory to find a co- mentor. 2. Consider using Group counseling if the client is not satisfied.
Client wants to start a business and has all the answers. This is a very difficult client to mentor as they will reject all your suggestions. 1. Ask them what they are expecting from SCORE 2. Ask mentoring type questions. “How do you think you should handle this?” “What do you think is the best approach?” “How did you come to that conclusion?” While the client claims to have all the answers, he/she has probably not been successful and are seeking your help. Lead them to discover the solutions they need.  
Client wants to start a business but has no business model. Show the client how to develop a business model and test it for feasibility, 1. Use the “business model canvas”. 2. Use the SCORE Brief on Market Research.
Client wants to start a business that has no competition. Help the client determine if a market exists. Have they conducted a competitive market analysis? 1. Use SCORE Brief on Market Research. 2. Search the Library business resources.
Client wants to start a business and you do not have any experience with that type of business. Rather than sending the assignment back to the assignment desk, view it as a learning experience. Obtain a co- mentor. Do some research on that business type. 1. Search the Chapter skills inventory for a co- mentor. 2. Use the internet and Library to do research. 3. Check the business briefs.



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