“This post is brought to you by Sam’s Club and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.”

I recently had the privilege to attend a presentation to learn more about the American Small Business Championship program which is hosted by Sam’s Club and SCORE mentors.  The American Small Business Championship was created to address the unique challenges and obstacles faced by small business owners. Small Business owners can apply to be a champion and those who are selected were awarded $1000 Sam’s Club gift card, expenses covered for attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for a year and national publicity for their small business.

American small Business Championship

I was really surprised and excited to learn about the American Small Business Championship as well as how involved and committed Sam’s Club is to helping small business owners obtain training, resources and capital so they can grow their business.  As a Sam’s Club member, small business owners can get access to financing, credit and even health insurance.  You can learn more about how Sam’s Club is positively impacting small business here. My family has been Sam’s Club members for years but I was totally unaware about all the programs Sam’s Club offers and invests in to help small business owners be able to be more successful.

One of the key benefits that Champions are awarded is a year of mentoring from SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit association that has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs over the past 50 years.  Through SCORE, small business owners can get access to mentoring, workshops and education from over 11,000 business experts who volunteer as mentors in over 320 chapters.  The best part about SCORE is that the mentorship is FREE!

SCORE Mentors helping small business owners succeed

As a small business owner myself, I know what a struggle it can be trying take your dreams and goals from ideas in your head to an actual business plan and thriving business. There are so many things to learn and figure out from how to get started, marketing, product development, finances and creating a sustainable business.

Veronica Jacobsen, Owner of Baby Love, is a recent American Small Business Championship champion & was featured on the presentation. She shared how the resources and mentorship have impacted her business as well as some things she has learned as a small business owner.  Having a mentor has been a huge asset for her business. Her mentor helps her see the big picture, makes suggestions and often points things she would have missed because of how busy and focused she can be on the day-to-day things.  She has been able to expand her business twice and see her ideas turn into reality because of the resources, training and support she has received.

We also heard from another champion, Tabitha Birdsong, Co-Owner of Miss Birdsong’s Sweet Tooth. Tabitha began her business with a college friend in Memphis, TN. Now her products are being shipped all over the US and they are being sold in select Sam’s Clubs & Walmart’s. She credits the resources & connections she has made from being an American Small Business Champion and having the support of her mentor in SCORE for helping her business grow so quickly.

Carrie Foster Moore, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Sam’s Club, Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE, Veronica and Tabitha all shared some wonderful insight that all small business owners can apply to help them be more successful. Here are a few of my key takeaways from what they shared.

1. Having a mentor that can help you develop your strengths, overcome weaknesses and provide you with support, ideas and connections is essential. (Veronica Jacobsen)

2. It’s the connections that really count. Networking with other successful small business owners, with prospective clients, customers, vendors and others in your industry and making those vital connections can quickly propel your business. (Tabitha Birdsong)

3. Overcome procrastination, own up to when you are wasting time instead of making excuses and commit to being productive, implementing systems and working smarter, not harder to see more growth and balance in your business (and life). (Carrie Moore)

4. Figure out what your own goals are and what success means to you & then create a plan to get there. Don’t compare your goals, your dreams, your business, your journey to anyone else’s.  “Knowing what success means for you, and then laying the plan to get there with a mentor will help make it easier, as opposed to diving in without a plan.” (Bridget Pollack)

5.  Don’t be afraid of things to come. Be determined about where you want to go and be consistent about working to reach those goals. Set clear goals and visualize where you want to go.  “If you can visualize it, the success will come.” (Tabitha Birdsong)

I encourage you to learn more about the American Small Business Championship program and check out their upcoming regional training events.  Also go ahead and take advantage of the free training and mentorship offered by SCORE.  With Sam’s Club is a big box retailer, I am very impressed with how focused they are on helping small business owners, especially women, minorities and veterans be able to be more successful. I look forward to what all I will be learning from these resources myself!

Once you have checked out all these resources I would love if you would leave a comment and also share this post so we can help connect more small business owners with additional training & support. (Thank you in advance for your comments & social sharing!)

About the author 

Misty Kearns

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