We’re pleased to introduce another one of our small business mentors, John Drexler, from Rogers.
John has 36 years of work experience under his belt including 23 years in self-employed printing as well as 13 years in sales and management. John is now semi-retired but continues to service several Walmart suppliers.
John tells us he enjoys helping people evaluate their business concepts and mentors them on marketing their business with the goal of increased sales in mind. Besides serving as a mentor for two years, John has also developed seminars on Business Etiquette.
John knows how to effectively work with up and coming small business owners.
“Nothing is more gratifying than helping an energetic, level-headed individual who has a workable business concept or model realize that vision and seeing the birth of a new business,” John said.
John has words of wisdom for prospective volunteer mentors.
“You have to do your level best in giving counsel to people from all walks of life and be able to communicate effectively with them, whether they are a young person with an idea for a lawn service business or a seasoned Walmart person who are looking for new challenges and want to start their own business.”
The best way to communicate is to be straightforward, even if it means sharing what John refers to as “hard truths.” “The hardest thing about being a mentor is telling the hard truth about someone’s enthusiastic idea for a business. Just because Aunt Hattie thinks a left-handed skunk polisher is a good idea doesn’t mean you can build a business around it,” he said.
John also explains that patience and understanding are both crucial in imparting knowledge to those being mentored. This can be especially true when working with clients who have an existing business.
“Another aspect of mentoring comes into play in counseling someone who has an existing business and wants to improve it. Patience is involved here because you can’t turn a ship at right angles. And you have to impart that to them early on as most people are looking for a ‘quick fix’ and want results immediately,” John said. “That’s not how it works. Careful evaluation and honest critique of a business’s performance and structure is required before action should be taken on changing anything. In other words, you want to be careful that you don’t help the client ‘fix it ’til it’s broke.’”
NWA SCORE is the premier small business counseling and advice organization in the United States. We are a national nonprofit, charitable organization composed of more 13,000 volunteer business mentors, both working and retired, who counsel businesses from nearly 350 counseling offices throughout the country. NWA SCORE serves all of Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding area.