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How score mentorship helped me start my business

SCORE Mentorship helps Barracuda B2B form its business plan and financials
SCORE Mentorship helps Barracuda B2B form its business plan and financials

Check out the interview I did with SCORE about my experience working with a no-cost mentor/coach. Game changer!

What do you do?

Barracuda B2B Marketing is a marketing consulting firm that believes in servant leadership to empower B2B companies through realistic and proven foundational and growth marketing strategies and incisive, data-driven support to elevate their brand, maintain a strong digital presence, and generate quality leads for the sales team.

I’m a marketing maven, a lover of manufacturing, a college English teacher, a writer, a poet, a nerd, a networker and people person, a yogi, a reader, a book collector, a perfume collector, a mixed media art and junk journaler, a cat mom, a horsewoman, a thrift store junkie, a realist, a giver, and a volunteer in my local community for an employment ministry, a refugee ministry, a horse therapy barn, and a nonprofit that raises money for scholarships for women.

What inspired you to start your business?

I  worked with a manufacturing client who needed marketing support and consulting combined with manufacturing expertise. The president was handling everything on his own. I provided him with an authentic, personalized, committed, and organized approach. As a result, we built a strong relationship, and he even lovingly gave me the nickname that became the name of my business because he said that I moved the project forward with kindness and kept on it to drive it to the finish line and that it would never have made progress without me and my organizational skills.

Then fast forward a year. My consulting position was eliminated at the firm. A former boss asked me to join his manufacturing company as director of marketing & business development. He was transparent in that he brought me on board to quintuple revenue in 3-5 years then sell the company. So, he wanted me to start by business and build it to be self-supporting when that happens. He gives me the freedom to do what I need to do because he knows my work ethic. So, here I am.

What’s special about your business?

  • Worked for the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Holds a Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belt
  • Six Sigma Black Belt in 2024
  • Completed 7 Six Sigma continuous improvement projects and applies the methodology to our marketing process
  • Welding certified
  • Managed machining, welding & construction trade magazines
  • 30+ years in-house B2B marketing experience for manufacturing, trade, industrial, and distribution companies
  • 25 different markets & manufacturers
  • 66 LinkedIn recommendations from past clients, bosses, coworkers, colleagues and subcontractors

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I was not having success with the SBDC. I talked to someone at SBA who recommended SCORE to me.

How SCORE helped.

Took away the fear. Helped me with things I didn’t know how to do (business plan, financials, accounting, contracts). Gave me resources. Made me feel confident. The templates were a huge help. But I couldn’t have completed them without my mentor. I was also a good student.

What’s great about my mentor?

He is so very smart, knowledgeable, helpful, and available/flexible. He has this calmness that makes you feel like he has your back. A true mentor.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

There are free resources out there from people who care about you with no profit motive. We have SBDC, SBA, Jumpstart, SCORE, and more. I look forward to being in business one year so that I can apply for my WBE status.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

In September, I filed my LLC and EIN, opened a business checking account and business credit card, picked my brand colors, designed a logo, ordered business cards, built a website, bought professional liability insurance, hired an attorney to review contracts, signed my first client in October, and have proposals out with two other clients now. Don’t even think about it. Do it. I have become an evangelist and tell every single entrepreneur and startup in my network about it and posted about it on LinkedIn and tagged Tom.*

*in memory and tribute to Tom Maiolo who died unexpectedly at the age of 69 on April 10, 2024