By: Kevin St. Cyr and Robert Smith, SCORE Mentors
For a community, the greatest wealth is the health and success of its businesses. And for communities that are as beautifully diverse as Lebanon, this also means paying particular attention to supporting our Latino businesses. At SCORE, this is closely woven into the lifeblood of our mission.
Have you heard of SCORE? Maybe you’ve heard it mentioned or have seen the logo. In case that’s the extent of your understanding of SCORE, allow us to introduce ourselves. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon is a group of experienced business professionals who provide guidance to those desiring to start up a new small business or to assist existing small businesses in improving their profitability. SCORE proudly supports local businesses with free mentoring and educational opportunities in the Lancaster-Lebanon area. We match businesses with mentors who can provide personalized, confidential business advice to entrepreneurs working to start new businesses and grow existing businesses.
Now that you know a little bit more about SCORE, the more important question is how can we help you? SCORE exists to help all businesses, and of course, this includes small and diverse organizations. Here’s a closer look at how SCORE is intentional about supporting Latino businesses with resources that are relevant and accessible.
What Spanish or bilingual resources does SCORE provide?
Often the biggest barrier for a business owner, regardless of how experienced or how new, is recognizing when they need help. SCORE is an easy, friendly resource that helps to break down this barrier. For Spanish-speaking and bilingual professionals, this means having a website that is accessible and easy to navigate.
When you visit SCORE’s website, you will find the option to translate the content by using the “translate” button in the top menu bar. Visitors can have the entire website translated instantly into any of the world’s major languages in as little as two clicks! This makes it easy for clients and prospective clients to check out our free resources, including webinars on a variety of business topics, specialized workshops that can be attended in-person or via Zoom, templates, and guides. Webinars include topics such as Precision Pricing to Face Inflation, Should Your Business Have a Podcast, and Why Brand Strategy Matters. And our most popular workshop series is Simple Steps for Starting Your Business.
For business owners who are ready to engage with SCORE further, the next step is to request a mentor. Requesting a mentor is done easily by completing a short form in either English or Spanish.. As always, there is no cost to work with SCORE!
Does SCORE have Spanish-speaking mentors?
We have mentors who speak Spanish! They have grown up in Spanish-speaking households or have even worked in Central or South America. These mentors are a wonderful resource to our Spanish-speaking community and are readily available to help. SCORE also has access to translators who can participate in our mentor sessions via phone or video conference.
What is the biggest challenge business owners face?
The biggest challenge for all business owners, across every culture, is gaining momentum to take the next step, specifically asking for help. This could be having an idea for a business, but not knowing where to start, or dealing with a problem in an existing business. In addition, some people may be intimidated to step out of their comfort zone to reach out to someone that they feel may be unfamiliar with their culture. But clients find SCORE mentors to be approachable and engaging — men and women who genuinely want to help people start, grow, or troubleshoot a small business, by sharing their expertise and experience – at no cost!
What is the best way for a Spanish-speaking/bilingual business to get involved with SCORE?
Visit our website. SCORE’s website can be found by visiting www.lancaster.score.org. This is a robust resource that’s available to everyone, 24/7. And it’s a great starting point to get a feel for how SCORE works and the services we provide. Start by exploring the resources, like articles and webinars, that are readily available. You just might find inspiration and solutions from this action alone! To take the next step, click on the button to request a SCORE mentor. Again, this is a free service.. There truly is no risk or harm in requesting a mentor and learning more. We’ll help you every step of the way!
Engage with us in the community. You can find SCORE on all of your favorite social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube. SCORE is also intentional about being out in the community at events taking place throughout Lebanon and Lancaster. If you see the SCORE logo, we invite you to speak with any of the individuals who are representing our organization. We are always happy to meet new people!
Connect with WEPA Tec Centro. Another fantastic resource soon to be serving business owners in the Lebanon region is WEPA Tec Centro, a SCORE client. Connect with this organization as well, which complements the services provided through SCORE. Learn more at: www.wepaempowercenter.org.
And one more thing…
Owning a business can be one of life’s greatest challenges, but also its greatest rewards. To build something from the ground up, provide goods and services that help others, and create job opportunities that support your community is an incredible contribution. For anyone who has chosen this path, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and what you’re contributing to the world around you. Despite any roadblocks or setbacks, know that there are many resources available to you, like SCORE, that are here to offer guidance and expertise. Be proactive in seeking out these resources and asking for help early and often. You’ll never regret doing so!
Kevin St. Cyr has been a certified mentor for SCORE Lancaster Lebanon since 2016. He served as chapter chair in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and has co-chaired the DE&I committee since 2019. Kevin is presently SVP for Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors, an investment banking firm offering valuation, sell-side, and buy-side advisory services. Prior to joining MMCA, he spent his career in various technical, sales, marketing, and general management positions in the materials and technology industries.
Robert Smith has been a certified mentor for SCORE Lancaster Lebanon since 2017 and serves on both the marketing and DE&I committees. In addition to volunteering with SCORE, Bob consults privately with small and mid-sized organizations to help them acquire and grow customer relationships through insightful strategy and marketing implementation. During his career, Bob has worked in a range of industries, including financial services, catalog, executive education, digital marketing agencies, and nonprofits.