Transcript – Episode 09

Dennis Zink:    Welcome to Been There, Done That. A podcast series produced by SCORE. SCORE has 352 chapters and 12,000 counseling mentors across the United States. You can reach SCORE by calling 800-634-0245 or by going to our website at SCORE.org where you can request a mentor. SCORE is a resource partner of the small business administration. Our goal is simply to help your business become more successful. We accomplish this by utilizing the knowledge base and expertise accumulated by our volunteer mentors as they truly have Been There, Done That.

I’m Dennis Zink and I’ll be your host throughout this series, so sit back, relax and learn how to improve your business.

Episode number nine. Mentoring.

Fred Dunayer joins me today in our studio as co-host, SCORE mentor and our audio engineer. Good morning Fred.

Fred Dunayer: Good morning Dennis.

Dennis Zink:    Our guests today are Dick Radt and Charlie Sax with SCORE. Welcome to Been There, Done That.

Dick Radt:       Thank you, it’s nice to be here.

Charlie Sax:     Thank you, it is nice.

Dennis Zink:    Dick Radt is a native of Chicago. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Illinois after serving three years in the military during the Korean War. Dick has over 50 years experience in the paper manufacturing industry during which he was CEO and President of five different paper companies including the one billion dollar Wausau Paper Corporation.

Dick has also served as a bank director for over 20 years and chairman of the board of a 300 bed hospital in Wisconsin. He has been a SCORE mentor for almost eight years, serving over 200 clients.

Charlie Sax was President and Chief Executive Officer of ADCO Technologies Inc from 1985 to 1996. Charlie joined ADCO in 1985 from Nalco Chemical Company following its acquisition of ADCO and spent a combined 40 years with Nalco and ADCO. Charlie holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Presently Charlie serves as a board member of Professional Plumbing Group Inc. He has also served on the board of three industrial companies. He is presently a consultant and has been a SCORE mentor for nine years.

Dick and Charlie are SCORE mentors and have been for many years and we’re going to ask them … We’re going to start out with what is a mentor?

Dick Radt:       That’s kind of a two part question, at least in my mind and I always ask people, “Who was Mentor?” and hardly anybody knows. Mentor comes from Greek mythology. If you remember reading the Odyssey in high school, you’ll remember that Odysseus went on a great odyssey … and are you ready for it? He said to his friend Mentor, “I want you to bring up my son and teach him all the things he needs to know.” That’s the classical Greek definition.

If you look in the dictionary for the other one, a mentor is somebody who counsels people that are usually new in a business or an industry or a company.

Dennis Zink:    What would be some of the reasons to have a mentor?

Charlie Sax:     Well not only if they’re new, but if they’re doing a … if they’ve been operating before and have certain questions and needs, if you call a mentor in, he can look at the whole situation and see how he might help you improve your business.

Dennis Zink:    What does it cost to have a mentor?

Dick Radt:       Okay, you remember the old real estate adage, “The most important thing is neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood (location, location, location)?” The biggest advantage in cost with a SCORE mentor is it’s free, it’s free, it’s free.

Dennis Zink:    What exactly does a mentor do?

Charlie Sax:     A mentor works with you to find out all he can about your business and to find out how much you know about the specialties of your business. Once he has gathered a lot of information, he will make recommendations to help you improve your business or even to start your business.

Dennis Zink:    How does someone request a mentor to work with?

Dick Radt:       Well typically it’s done online and here’s the magic entry, www.SCORE.org. There’s another way and I’ve been fortunate enough to have some people call on a word of mouth referral. If you know somebody who has had good success with a counselor, why don’t you see if you can connect with them and get a name of somebody to work with?

Charlie Sax:     When you get online, your information will go to a case assigner which is an experienced professional with SCORE. He will see what type of information might most benefit you and he will assign this to one of our experienced mentors.

Dennis Zink:    How do clients generally work with mentors?

Dick Radt:       Well there’s several ways. One, by going to one of our workshops, you can meet a mentor or a coach and you could work with them during the workshop. Two, you could do it online, but the preferred way is face to face meetings and those are usually arranged by a quick telephone call to find out when it’s convenient for you to get together with your counselor.

Dennis Zink:    At what point in business development should someone seek a mentor.

Charlie Sax:     It can be if you’re just starting a business because you’ll have to have a business plan and if you don’t have one or you don’t know how to develop one, you want to get together with your mentor. If you have a business and it’s operating and it has some problems, you might think of getting together and developing some ideas to improve.

Dennis Zink:    What are some of the advantages of working with SCORE mentors?

Charlie Sax:     SCORE mentors are experienced. SCORE mentors know business. We have such a wide variety of SCORE members that their experience can help almost everyone.

Dennis Zink:    What type of training does SCORE mentors go through?

Dick Radt:       Well typically somebody decides they’d like to be a mentor, and then the first obstacle they have is going through Charlie and me. They then get indoctrination, education, observation and eventually they co-counsel with somebody and then they’re ready to start swimming. I like to use an analogy of doctors. When doctors train it’s kind of weird, they have the adage, “See one, do one, teach one.” That’s a good analogy.

Fred Dunayer: There is a SCORE certification process for mentors, is there not?

Dick Radt:       Yes indeed and it’s generally done online.

Charlie Sax:     That’s correct yes, and it’s been recently developed to make sure that all members know the same type of basic information even though they have plenty of experience in their own area.

Dennis Zink:    What about confidentiality, should that be a concern for a client?

Dick Radt:       Well I tell my clients that it’s like the TV ads for Las Vegas, “What you say here stays here.” We keep that in strict confidence, we have a code of ethics that we follow diligently to keep confidentiality in line.

Dennis Zink:    What is one-on-one counseling? How can that benefit the client?

Dick Radt:       Well it’s literally what it says it is. You as a client will work with one counselor who’s either assigned to you or whom you gravitate to because they have experience in your business and over time you develop a good relationship and trust, keeping in mind the confidentiality aspect of that and you get to know each other pretty well. I have clients now that I’ve been working with for over three years.

Dennis Zink:    Please explain what co-counseling is all about and how that works.

Charlie Sax:     Co-counseling is a way to make sure that the client gets everything he needs. For instance, as CEO of a company, I knew a lot about the business but I had specialists working for me in finance and in IT, and whenever special concerns and questions came up I would work with them and then I still work in that area. When a client needs to go for financing, I bring in one of our bankers to have a special co-counseling session and show the client what he needs to do.

Dennis Zink:    Can a SCORE mentor help me get funding or help a client get funding?

Dick Radt:       Well the answer’s yes we can, and have prepared clients to get ready for going through the lending process with our business plan and financial sessions and literally walking up to the door of the bank.

Charlie Sax:     We also show or indicate various other methods of getting funding. For instance, we have the 3F method. Friends, family and fools and that’s in addition to banking and that’s a joke.

Dennis Zink:    Can you explain what RMA is and how that ties in with a client in getting funding?

Dick Radt:       Sure. RMA is an acronym for Risk Management Association which consists of hundreds of member banks who gather information from clients to whom they’ve lent money and assimilated in a form that’s useful to SCORE people and to clients as well.

For example it might say, if you’re running an ice cream parlor, they’ll compare maybe a hundred other ice cream parlors and see what kind of return on assets, what sort of return on sales et cetera that you have and then you can compare your client with that number because you know darn well that the bank is going to look at it and make that comparison in the future.

Dennis Zink:    What is the best way to work with a mentor?

Dick Radt:       I’m going to try that one because I do it a little differently that most folks and I try and tell clients why they might want to work with me. You were nice enough in the bio introduction to say I’d run a billion dollar company and I’d been a Bank director and a hospital board chairman. When I tell people that they’re kind of, “Oh wow, that’s pretty important.” I say, “Well why don’t you look at me like your uncle Dick, who’s had a lot of success in those arenas and you should want to listen to me, but you don’t have to do what I say.”

Dennis Zink:    Can a client work with a mentor through email as an option?

Charlie Sax:     Yes that’s an option, but we don’t prefer it. If the client is local, we’d much prefer setting up an appointment and getting together face to face. Basic information can be gathered by email and SCORE works quite a bit with its members exchanging email information and requesting advice from others. It is available online and of the 12,000 members we have, you could contact somebody who is in the piano tuning business in Oregon, but we know it’s really the last object at this point. We would prefer to do it locally and in person.

Dennis Zink:    What if the mentor doesn’t know my type of business?

Dick Radt:       Well, if that’s the case, he or she will see if some other counselor in our organization and we have almost 50 here locally, is knowledgeable in that field and they will be asked to co-counsel. They will come in and either take over or co-counsel on a continuing basis, so we’ve got you covered.

Dennis Zink:    Then if … as you’re going down the pike with the client, if they need information in some totally different area?

Dick Radt:       Sure, we have experts in various areas. For example Finance we have CPAs, we have lawyers, we have people who are really hot on the internet and networking and so on.

Dennis Zink:    Do you ever have more than two SCORE mentors at a meeting, has that ever happened?

Dick Radt:       Not in my case, but I’m sure it has. It does, it does happen, but it’s pretty rare.

Dennis Zink:    Is there access to the 12,000 SCORE mentors throughout the United States for a client?

Charlie Sax:     Yes and that’s normally done through email and if necessary by telephone, but generally it’s done by email and the client can work directly by email with whatever specialist he comes up with.

SCORE has something called the Forum which enables all of our members locally to contact all of our members and if we have a question we can send it out on the forum and ask for a response.

Dennis Zink:    What are some success stories that you could relate to us today?

Dick Radt:       Okay. I had a real success story with a company that did architectural millwork. What’s that you ask? Well look at the door where we are and see the border around it, that’s architectural millwork. Three years ago the housing industry was in great decline and these people were in financial trouble and so they asked for SCORE help. Charlie and I both worked on this one and we were able to put them in new directions for example, if you made a door frame, instead of three inches you made it three quarters of an inch, what could it be? The answer was, well it could be a picture frame and they’d never thought of that. These are the kind of things, cleverness and different applications.

I like the phrase … and I’d read a book whose title is, “What else could it be,” and that’s one of the things that I think our SCORE counselors do very well. To put that in context, that book was written by a doctor and say to yourself, “Gee I just went in to the doctor’s office and I’ve got a bad cough.” The doctor hears your cough and he says well it’s probably bronchitis, there’s a lot going around like that. If you said to the doctor, “What else could it be?” He’ll stop and say, Oh my goodness, well it could be TB,” or it could be cancer, or it could be something else. The point is, whatever you’re looking at, it could be something else and that’s where we excel.

Charlie Sax:     I’ve had a number of successes but the one I’m most proud of is a young woman who wanted to start a dance academy. Now I don’t know why the case assigner sent the case to me, maybe having five daughters made some sense to him, but she came in to see … She was a ballet dancer, beautiful girl from Norway, had six sisters and she really had a desire to teach young people how to dance. After understanding what she was after and what she would love to do, I worked with her on a business plan and I gave her a template and showed her how it was important to cover business planning and what kind of a business plan she should work on.

As we normally do, we make a recommendation and then send the client away and … with homework and then they come back when they’ve finished the homework. Well, in two weeks she came back. Now many times our clients don’t return because they find out it’s a lot of work and of course starting a business is a lot of work. Nevertheless she came back and she was all fired up to start this dance academy and she had done a wonderful job on her business plan. The only thing wrong with it, it was far too long but we worked on that and edited it down and then we worked with her on the other aspects of starting a business.

For instance we thought she ought to go work with a dance academy to teach, to see what problems they had and she did. She went out and she did it and she was really good. In fact she had worked, she had worked with the Norway Ballet as a very young girl, but any event she went back, she did all those things and now it was time to get money, get financing. I called in Joe May who is our expert banker. He has run a number of banks and was President of the Bankers Association Worldwide and he told her exactly what to do and what to look for and what to say when she went to borrow money from the bank. She did and they loaned her money. They loaned her a substantial amount of money but she needed more because in addition to ballet dancing, she wanted to sell dance wear, tutu’s and pointy shoes and whatever.

She worked with a family member, her mother-in-law who was also very supportive of the girl. They started the business and they started with 40 clients and within two years they were up to 200 clients and they expanded their business to teaching various other musical activities, piano and then theatre. Then to add to their success they would put on recitals every year but they weren’t really recitals they were shows. She put on dance academies at the Oprah House in our town and got as many as 700 people to attend. Part of them were family of course, but it was a money making proposition, so after five years and three children that she bore, she decided that she would have to … She would rather raise her children and see them grow than be this sole proprietor of a dance academy.

Her mother-in-law went on and had started an online … internet supply for clothing and tutu’s, which she had started in the business and made it grow. Now she’s running the business, but they no longer teach. My beautiful girl retired and is raising those three beautiful children.

Dick Radt:       I’m going to tell another story which does I hope two things. One, it’s an interesting story, but two, it answers an earlier question about what if my mentor doesn’t know about my business?

Well, here I was and I get a new client and it’s a ladies hair salon. You can imagine how much an 80 year old guy knows about ladies hair salons, not much, but I met with a client and they had a nice location with three chairs and the usual product such and such hair conditioners and all that sort of stuff. Their problem was they were not being profitable, their rent was very high. They needed to find additional sources of revenue and I thought, well I wonder if anybody else knows about ladies hair salon.

I contacted all of our local clients and sure enough, one guy says, “I have bought and sold five of them.” Who knew? I asked him to co-counsel with me, then together with the client several times. The story about the client that’s of interest, again I didn’t know any of this but my co-counselor did. There are two ways of selling services in a hair salon. One is you rent out a chair to a man or a woman who does shampoos and haircuts and dyeing and all that sort of stuff and you rent the chair usually by the week. In this instance the price for that was about $350.

The other way you can do it is to say to the hair stylist, I will take for example 50% of your revenue every week and in this case they were renting out the chairs and by looking at the place we said, “Well you have enough room if we move the product from one part of the salon to another to put in an additional chair which you can rent out for another $350 a week.” Bada Bing! They were profitable. The message is, co-counseling, somebody knows more about it than I do. I’m not an expert on hair salons now, but I know a lot more than I used to.

Dennis Zink:    If you’re looking for a SCORE mentor, you can go to score.org and fill out a brief form online requesting a mentor. Now we’re going to go to the second part of our show, which is why consider being a SCORE mentor if you have the expertise? We’re going to take a quick break and be right back.

Dennis Zink:    Why should someone consider being a SCORE mentor? You guys interview people all the time. What’s the reason that they’re saying that they’re interested in doing this.

Charlie Sax:     The most common reason is they want to give back. Because all these people are experienced in one way or another and although all of our members are not retired, those who we consider as mentors have some experience which we perceive as something that could be sold or something that could help people and let them satisfy their demands as helping the community or the people. That’s the first thing that they tell us when they come in.

Dick Radt:       I confirm that. I even felt that myself, eight years ago when I got interviewed. I said I’d like to give back. Eight years later, I find that I get some great rewards and satisfaction out of being a mentor and working with the clients. You get to know a lot of different people. You get to know a lot about different kinds of businesses, but the payback, if you will, for me happened one day when a client … we’d finished our assignment, we’d worked out our problems, we’d gotten everything under control when he looked at me and he said with kind of a interesting tone he said, “Dick, I don’t know what I would have done without you.” That’s my payback.

Dennis Zink:    What percentage would say that you get of people that want to start a business versus that have an existing business? Do the SCORE mentors enjoy both equally?

Charlie Sax:     As a matter of fact we keep track of all mentors and their activities and everybody writes a report on every call that he makes. Using this data, for instance, Gallup gathered data for us in 2012 and found that about 60% of the clients in our district were in business at one degree or another. There were about 30 … about 50% of the clients were female and about 25% of the clients were minorities. We get a wide range of people, however some mentors would prefer to work with people in business. They can usually help them more because of their background and specialties, but many of the people who want to start a business, the first thing they need is a business plan and almost all of our SCORE members can come up with a business plan because we have very detailed information on how to … templates on how to do a business plan.

Dennis Zink:    We don’t do the business … The SCORE mentors don’t do the business plan, they guide the clients. Correct?

Charlie Sax:     That’s correct and that’s why we have templates and that’s the difference between us and consultants. We don’t charge for anything, we do everything except for certain workshops.

Dennis Zink:    Charlie, even the workshops, you’re really … just really covering the costs of the materials and the binder. We’re not really charging any fees other than a diminutive fee.

Charlie Sax:     There’re a lot of people in the consulting business and they charge considerable. Actually in most cases we can supply the same type of information or maybe better because we have a wider range of people working with us than consultants who are in business.

Fred Dunayer: One reason I became a mentor is simply to be exposed to the variety of people and businesses that are out there. Have either of you guys got any experiences you can share where you’ve learned about business? I know Dick you already talked about learning about the hair salon business, but I would imagine you guys having both been in this mentoring role for a long time have come across some very interesting situations that you’d never would have come across otherwise.

Dick Radt:       Yes, sure I can touch on one or two of those. I’m presently working with a company that should be described as a substance abuse provider and though we all know about that and we see the problems that are occurring in our lives, in our communities, maybe even our families. To see how that system works in this case usually from a court appointed counseling session to the actual training and interment. It’s a real eye opener to see the numbers of people and how they’re being counseled and helped throughout their abuse situation, long, long problem.

As an aside, my wife and I went to the Salvation Army on Christmas day and served as waiters and waitresses and greeters and so on and the numbers of people that come through … I’m going to use the phrase, off the street, is just staggering and I came out of there after doing three hours, I was just exhausted but it’s an education.

Dennis Zink:    What percentage would you say of SCORE mentors are retired?

Charlie Sax:     I would say 65% or 70% are retired.

Dennis Zink:    Do a lot of them work fulltime or part time when they’re not retired but they’re still mentoring?

Charlie Sax:     Both ways, but usually if you have a business, you can’t really afford to spend a lot of time with SCORE, so they’ll work more on a specialized basis. You can schedule your own time as a counselor or as a mentor, but if you really get into it or you want to get into the executive parts of SCORE, you have to spend more than 15 or 20 hours a month. If you’re running a business that’s very active it’s difficult to spend much time with SCORE.

Dennis Zink:    Would you say most of the mentors are more entrepreneurial in their backgrounds or more large company CEO type experience kind of like … more like Dick?

Charlie Sax:     I don’t know if I could say which … I think there’s not usually as many that are from large companies like Dick. I had a good company which I took public, but I didn’t … I only sold 65 million a year on that company. We made excellent profits, but I took it public on the NASDAQ and … But smaller companies you get much more involved with some of the details and even though you have specialists working for you, you go to the factory or you work with the factory people or the unions or whatever so you have broader experience.

Dennis Zink:    Do all mentors mentor or do they do something else within the SCORE organization?

Charlie Sax:     They do that. They do the mentoring, but they also help us to run. For instance Dick and I are hiring mentors. In fact we have hired more than 20% increase in mentors in the seven years that we’ve been doing this. Mentors stay, but then they also move on, so we have to continue to fill our ranks. At presently we’re as many as 50 mentors and about 20% of those are doing other things, for instance, workshops. Workshops are an important part of our business because we train people in a series of five workshops.

The first one I call the boot camp and it’s a no charge and people come in and they find out what’s involved in starting and running a business and about half of them decide that they’d … it’s more than they had bargained for, so they don’t go to the second one which is a business plan. This is a group development of a business plan which is very helpful to those starting a business. The third one is marketing and sales and so when they have their business plan, they know that marketing and sales is very important and that they have to be good at marketing and sales because they’re starting from the ground floor.

Then we have two finance sessions. None of these cost anything except the last four are $25 which again counts or pays for the materials involved.

Dick Radt:       I was going just kind of add on to what Charlie’s been talking about, going back to the where do we meet people. He’s been talking about our workshops and that’s one way we get introduced to clients, they come to us. Sometimes they get on the internet and they ask for individual counselors and when that happens, it’s one of two or three different kinds of things. One being, they have an idea about a business. We have an office and we can meet them at the office or if it’s more convenient for them maybe we’ll meet at a Starbucks or some place and have a cup of coffee and just chat about it.

One of the things that I really like to do personally is go to somebody who’s already in business and eyeball their operation and see what’s happening there. Because often times … Well I guess I’m bragging, but I’ve been known as a visionary, so I see things that other people don’t. For example I talked earlier about the hair salon and I just sort of mentioned that they also sold product. Conditioners, shampoos and so on, but if you think about where you’d go, supermarkets for example have done great studies of who buys what, where. They put all the things that they make a lot of margin at, right there at the cash register. You’re going to turn around there’s Hershey bars and this and that magazines, whatever.

In the hair salon instance, moving the product to the front where people checked out or where they came in, put their eyes on the product and they would say, “Oh, I guess I need some conditioner” or whatever. That’s part of doing it … Is looking at a business, I mean we’ve got years and years of experience and you can learn an awful lot by going to somebody’s location, so I enjoy that particularly.

Dennis Zink:    Things are changing so fast especially with the internet and a lot of the SCORE mentors are retired or they’re older. How do they stay in touch and up-to-date with what’s going on with social media and search engine optimization and different internet type things they need to know?

Charlie Sax:     That’s one of the reasons we’re doing a job in hiring people. Because in addition to those who don’t want to be mentors, they may have information and they’re younger people, they might be marketers, they may be people who know about Facebook and we try to modify the way we look at people by using these young people to train us and redirect our business. Things are changing really fast now.

Dick Radt:       I’d add on to that in a little different way, being an older person who didn’t grow up in the computer field. I rely heavily on, one, the local newspaper, two, the Wall Street Journal, three, CNBC and going to our meetings, hearing about what’s going on. We hope we have the brain power to put that together and put it to use for our clients.

Dennis Zink:    I ran across someone recently that was interested in considering being a mentor and they came to a meeting, but they were interested in investing in their clients. Is that something that they’re allowed to do?

Charlie Sax:     No, we have an agreement that we don’t do … we have an ethics agreement that we sign every year that says there’s no conflict with what we’re doing and what the clients are doing. No, we don’t encourage that.

Dennis Zink:    Also I’ve met some people that say I’m tired of playing golf everyday and I’m bored and I might be interested in being a mentor. Tell me more about it. Do you come across that a lot when you interview new people?

Dick Radt:       Yes we do and I at least and Charlie as well try to tell them how much time they might want to schedule in terms of being a mentor. In my own instance, I do about 15 to 20 hours a month of mentoring, counseling and so on. My travel might … Well I know what it is because I was just doing my income tax, it’s about 600 miles a year. That means I go to somebody’s plant and I visit with him and I drive home and Uncle Sam let’s me write off the mileage. That’s the only compensation in a way that we get.

The time is criteria, people who want to be mentors want to know how much time is this going to take. After the indoctrination which takes some measured amount of time, then they get a feel for, well I’ll go to the meetings, I’ll have clients, this is about how much it’s going to cost.

Dennis Zink:    How long will the typical client stay with the mentor? I know it varies but …

Charlie Sax:     The longer the better. We try to first of all have successes with our clients and then when we have success, then we stay with the client and they stay with us. The dance girl, the dance academy girl, we were friends for five years and she … When she had special problems she would call on me and I would bring in … in fact I brought Dick in on one where she had the opportunity to buy out a competitor who was selling dance clothing and we advised her against it and she didn’t do it.

Dennis Zink:    Is it fun being a mentor?

Dick Radt:       Absolutely. I enjoy it immensely, look forward to it and can’t wait to get a new client.

Fred Dunayer: If someone is interested in becoming a mentor, how do they go about getting it started?

Charlie Sax:     They find us somehow and a lot of our information comes online. Somebody sees an ad or sees something SCORE.org and we go from there. Then we get the information from them and then we call … I call them and determine how they might be able to help us and then they submit an application and various personal data and if we approve it … Dick and I do the approvals. We call them in and talk to them and find out if they have what it takes. They have to be able to communicate very well. That’s an important part. They have to know how to listen very well, that’s really important and then we make them an offer to come and join us.

Dennis Zink:    The pay I hear is still terrific.

Dick Radt:       [Laughs]. Yes. I want to go back to what Charlie was talking about earlier and the time one spends with a client and I said, I’d had one that I’d been working with for over three years and parenthetically speaking, I’m now working with some of their family members on another project which is kind of fun. That said, what’s the least amount of time that either Charlie and I or others have spent together and you might say it’s less than 30 minutes. Why do I know that? Because I also counsel with people at the local Chamber of Commerce and that’s kind of like speed dating.

Where people come in and I’ll tell what I hope is a funny story about a young man from Italy who’d married an American girl. He came in and said, “Everybody says I make the best pizzas.” I said, “Do you know how many places you can buy pizza in this town?” He said, “No, I don’t.” We got on the internet and looked and there were 73 different places you can buy pizza and he looked at his wife and said, “I think I’m a not do this.”

Fred Dunayer: Is there anything that we haven’t brought up during the course of this program that you think should be mentioned either from the perspective of being a mentor or using a mentor?

Charlie Sax:     I would say that being exposed to the people here, the people who are mentors is an important part of what I get or got out of it. Dick has become a good friend of mine as a result of our working together and others also. I would say we have a lot in common, because all business is different, but all business is the same.

Dick Radt:       One last thought perhaps on that is that, what are our results and we have mentioned how well we have done in terms of starting new businesses and improving old ones and I think that’s important. We also do surveys of our clients and it’s kind of like how did my mentor do? We have fantastic results on that. I would suppose there’s less than 3% who might not be totally satisfied otherwise we do a really good job and we hope we can help you.

Dennis Zink:    I happen to know that it’s SCORE’s 50th anniversary year and we have … SCORE nationally has been responsible for over 32,000 business starts in 2012 and over 82,000 jobs being created and this past year we spent over a million volunteer hours, which is impressive. One more thing, we’ve just served out 10 millionth client over the past 50 years. If you divide that into itself, you get a new client served every three minutes for a fifty year period. That’s through our 352 offices and our 12,000 mentors nationally. I want to thank you gentleman today for doing a great job and Fred thank you for being our guests on Been There, Done That as you certainly have done that and enlightening us about mentoring.

Fred Dunayer: You’ve been listening to Been There, Done That, a podcast series sponsored by SCORE. The opinions of the hosts and guests are theirs and do not necessarily reflect those of SCORE. If you’d like to hear more podcasts, or would like information about the services we provide, you can call SCORE at 800-634-0245 or visit our website at www.SCORE.org.

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