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- Our Clients
Counseling and Mentoring are probably the most important services that OzSBI offers. These are "similar but different" activities at OzSBI.
- Counselors are those you check in with to obtain specific advice. For example, you may need guidance on developing a business plan, or information on how to obtain a patent or trademark, or you just need help getting past a particular business obstacle.
- Mentors are those who are assigned to you and check in with you on a regular basis to see how you are doing. Mentors are experienced businesspeople who volunteer their time to help others in business.
While all OzSBI Clients are assigned a business mentor, you do not need to be a client to ask for the services of a counselor.
We have three primary types of counselors and mentors. There is some overlap as many fall into two categories:
You will find expert OzSBI Advisors giving workshops at OzSBI. Many are also SCORE volunteers. Any of them can be approached for personal advice. If you are an OzSBI Client, you can ask that any OzSBI Advisor be assigned as your mentor.
All OzSBI business advisors sign a confidentiality agreement that guarantees your discussions will remain confidential within the OzSBI family of counselors mentioned on this page and will go no further.
SBTDC Business Counselor
Business Counseling is provided primarily by the Coordinator of the SBTDC (Small Business and Technology Development Center of Missouri State University - West Plains). Darrell Hampsten is a "business generalist" who can help you with just about any aspect of business. He is expert in working with clients to develop business plans. He's also very good at providing reality checks and recommendations for next steps in your business development. He works just as well with inexperienced first-time business owners as with seasoned business executives. Because he has resources that extend into the entire SBTDC network, there is little that he cannot advise on. Almost all of his services are free.
The SBTDC Coordinator may not serve as an OzSBI Mentor.
Business Mentoring is provided primarily by SCORE volunteers. SCORE is a national organization of business volunteers funded by the SBA. As OzSBI started up, we formed a branch chapter of the Springfield chapter of SCORE. Our volunteer mentors are SCORE trained and adhere to the SCORE guidelines for confidentiality and professionalism. An OzSBI client may request that any SCORE volunteer be assigned as his/her mentor.
SCORE assistance is free to all businesses, not just to OzSBI clients, and can be obtained by applying on the SCORE website.