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Pass It On!
So many storeowners we’ve talked to have benefited from having a mentor, including the free mentoring services at Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), the nonprofit association partnered with the Small Business Administration. But what about being a mentor? For National Volunteer Month this April, SCORE volunteer Jeanne Rossomme, owner of RoadMap Marketing, reflected in a blog post on all she’s gained from being a mentor.

You’re always learning. Even though Rossomme, who worked in corporate marketing before starting her business, was the “expert” in the marketing workshops or one-on-one sessions she gave at SCORE, she says she always learned something from the other small-business owners. As she wrote, “Entrepreneurs told me of new apps and software, and, most importantly, what worked or didn’t, given a rapidly changing marketing landscape. SCORE created an environment where we all ‘passed it on.’”

A great network of fellow business owners, including other SCORE mentors. “I was working with a client recently and needed to understand the dynamics of a new industry. I could reach out to my network and get the wisdom of people who had deep experience and were willing to share those insights to help.”

Vetted vendors. Rossomme noted that whether she needs SEO experts, graphic designers or accountants, she’s able to find them through her SCORE network.

Inspiration and community. Rossomme described the pleasure and honor of being there at the birth when all the pieces came together for someone’s startup, and the connections she made to business owners in diverse communities, “who all shared the same entrepreneurial goals…I feel more connected with different parts of my community,” she wrote.

Turns out that giving back means getting even more yourself. Interested? Go to

What special props have you used in your window displays? This issue, we look at balloons—cheap, versatile and eye-popping, all at the same time. Send us photos of everyday props you’ve turned into noteworthy displays. We love showing off your stores! Deadline: June 15.

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