Have you ever wished you could talk with another business owner about your challenges and get their advice? Or perhaps you've dreamed or considered paying someone to assist you with taking a larger project, such as creating a marketing plan, and breaking it into smaller actionable tasks. Then, you might be interested in having a small business consultant or mentor. Both are available for free in Arapahoe County and the surrounding area.
Mentor or Consultant - What's the Difference?
"Mentorship is a mutually beneficial professional relationship in which an experienced individual (the mentor) imparts knowledge, expertise and wisdom to a less experienced person (the mentee) while simultaneously honing their mentoring skills" from a Business Weekly Daily article, opens a new window by Matt D'Angelo
I love the quote above as it provides a succinct definition of mentoring and how it is beneficial for both parties, and the article I took it from is quite excellent, as well. It provides a lot of great tips for finding and working with a mentor.
A consultant (or advisor) will meet with you to understand the current state of your business and help you develop an action plan. Depending on the situation, it may be a one-time meeting or an ongoing relationship. The consultant likely has a combination of education and experience.
Where to Find a Free Consultant or Mentor
Each of these organizations offer free consulting or mentoring for small business owners or entrepreneurs.
Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
https://www.aurora-southmetrosbdc.com, opens a new window | General Phone #: 303-326-8686
- The SBDC offers consulting in English and Spanish on a wide range of topics related to starting, growing or sustaining a small business.
- To see what they are able to assist with and how to request your first free consultation, visit the Consulting Services, opens a new window page on their website.
Mi Casa Resource Center
https://micasaresourcecenter.org, opens a new window | General Phone #: 303-573-1302
- Mi Casa offers consulting in English and Spanish for every stage of the business cycle: Plan, Launch, Manage and Grow.
- To learn more about their offerings and apply to receive coaching, visit the Business Pathways page, opens a new window on their website.
United for Business
https://unitedwaydenver.org/united-for-business, opens a new window | Phone #: 720-501-3920
- Offers business consulting, including in-depth consulting for businesses in their target cities or neighborhoods: Aurora, Globeville and Elyria-Swansea.
- In-depth consulting also includes free advice from specialized volunteers, such as accountants or marketing experts.
- To read about their offerings and request a consulting session, visit their Small Business Support, opens a new window webpage.
Pacific Community Ventures
https://www.pacificcommunityventures.org/, opens a new window | Phone #: 415-442-4300
- Offer English language mentoring for businesses which have been open for one year, have annual revenue of $100,000 or more and are located in the United States.
- To learn more about their offerings and how to apply, visit their Small Business Advising, opens a new window webpage.
https://denver.score.org/, opens a new window | Phone #: 303-927-3480
- Offer English language mentoring for entrepreneurs looking to start a business and owners of an existing business.
- To learn more and submit a request visiting their Find a Mentor, opens a new window webpage.
Classes, Workshops and More
Several of these organizations also offer low cost classes and workshops on a diverse range of topics from understanding business financials to social media marketing. Check out their webpages to learn more about everything they have to offer.
You can also ask me by commenting on this post or submitting an Ask a Librarian request. I'm the Business Librarian for Arapahoe Libraries and have several years of experience helping businesses in Colorado, so I have a good sense of the free, cheap and awesome small business services. Plus, if I don't know the answer, I love to do research and find out!