SCORE North Suburban Cook and Lake Counties mentors have enabled Daniellah Salario to build a more durable business
Bob Strauss, (upper left) and Bruce Ronner, co-mentors with SCORE North Suburban Cook and Lake Counties Chapter, mentor with Daniellah Salario owner of Assisting Hands Home Care, Arlington Heights. (Photo courtesy of SCORE North Suburban Cook and Lake Counties)
Daniellah Salario believes the assisting hands of her SCORE North Suburban Cook and Lake Counties mentors has enabled her to build a more durable business. Salario is a franchise owner of Assisting Hands (https://www.assistinghands.com/2/illinois/arlingtonheights/) in Arlington Heights which provides in-home care services for seniors or others with illness or disability.
"SCORE mentors are a witness to your journey," Daniellah explains. "They weather the challenges with you and have a profound appreciation for what it takes to succeed managing a small business."
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs like Daniellah to start or grow a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide SCORE volunteer mentors provide confidential, free face-to-face and email mentoring. SCORE is funded in large part by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Daniellah has mentored with Bob Strauss and Bruce Ronner of SCORE North Suburban Cook and Lake Counties Chapter. "As Daniellah's business has grown, we have grown along with her. We review her financials monthly and make recommendations based upon our experiences," Ronner explained.
"We have been involved in human resources, financial, real estate and marketing issues. The business has progressed excellently, even during the pandemic."
Strauss added, "Our regular SCORE meetings have helped Daniellah prioritize issues, hone business skills, and build confidence. She has embraced analyzing and managing her team, financial data, marketing and growth opportunities."
Daniellah Salario's SCORE Mentoring Experience: In Her Own Words
In a recent interview, Daniellah shared many insights about her entrepreneurial experience and how her SCORE mentors, Bob Strauss and Bruce Ronner, assisted in developing her business.
What motivated you to seek mentoring advice---specific business challenges?
I knew that a good mentor would be important in building the business, particularly since I didn't have a business background. I was having some typical challenges that new businesses face: marketing, making a name for our-selves, overcoming fears, among other challenges new business owners face. I was officially open for business at the end of 2016. I started mentorship a few months after opening.
What were your expectations entering your first mentoring session?
To be honest, I didn't have huge expectations. I was grateful for the ear from an experienced individual and was open to where the relationship would lead.
How did you feel about the experience as you moved forward?
The experience helped move me forward in every way. Bob and Bruce helped me focus on the important things at each stage of my journey thus far. Prioritizing the right things at the right time is so important and I think that someone outside of the picture, able to get a bird's eye view of your business can help to narrow the focus at the right time. At the beginning, Bob and Bruce had me focus on growing the client base. After that, we started looking more carefully at numbers, management issues, etc.
In other words, how did you move forward on addressing your business challenges with your co-mentors?
Each week we had several nuggets to work on. My mentors helped me concentrate on the right things at the right time and held me accountable for those actions. Together they guided me toward getting our healthy financials, operations, expansion, etc. Knowing they believed in me gave me the strength to get through difficult times.
What did you find supportive about the role your mentors fulfilled in supporting your business challenges?
I feel that their passion for the art of building a business makes the entire process fun. It feels like they are riding along this journey with you and truly thrilled and proud of each milestone you reach. Specifically, my mentors supported me by encouraging me when I needed to make tough choices.
In other words, how did the co-mentors help you in terms of advice, guidance, and support?
The mentors supported me in every aspect of the business. Some sessions were more focused on management, others on marketing, recruiting, operations, financials, or specific issues I was facing. Your first year in business sometimes you don't know who to talk to. Family and friends who haven't had a small business may not be able to relate. Having a mentor who had been there helped me to feel calm, and as if everything was going according to plan.
As a franchise owner, what particular advice did you receive that was helpful to you?
The fact that my coach (Bob Strauss) understands franchising helps a lot. He has an idea of what to expect, what is fair, and how to play well with a team. Owning a franchise has a lot of benefits like branding, a build-in support network, etc., and my coach helped me to focus on those positives. This year we expanded to a second territory and my coach was able to guide me through the process.
What advice would you give to others considering SCORE mentoring services?
I really don't know why someone would even take time to CONSIDER. SCORE coaching is a tremendous resource for small business owners. I think the individual should be willing to stay committed to regular sessions and always consider the mentors' ideas with an open mind. It's easy to get on the defense, and say, "I've tried that!," or "I know!" Be willing to follow through with their guidance and build the relationship like you would any other.