SCORE column: Jones is Northern AZ’s Small Business Advocate
Jerry Jones is a dynamo and stalwart advocate for Northern Arizona’s small businesses.
As the recently elected president of the Northern Arizona SCORE chapter, Jerry, with his typical vigor, has worked diligently over the last six months to learn what most benefits area businesses and to begin to drive this SCORE chapter to become the go-to destination for small businesses that want to startup or grow their existing business.
By temperament, Jerry is an inveterate entrepreneur. Raised as a Midwest farm boy, he attended two years of college, then spent two years on active duty for the Army. After leaving the Army, he worked for a large manufacturer of industrial and construction equipment. He began first in the shop department, was promoted to the parts department, and finally to the sales order desk while he completed his degree.
Jerry was promoted to District Manager of Sales and eventually became a Major Accounts manager, all the while moving up the ladder until he subsequently became the sales manager for a construction equipment manufacturer.
Tired of corporate politics, Jerry became a commissioned salesman and branch manager for a mining and construction equipment dealer; then a buy/sell consultant in the same industry. Later, he began and grew his own successful equipment dealership and auction business.
Never one to settle for the status quo, Jerry ultimately changed careers to become a mortgage consultant, utilizing his education and experience in business, accounting and finance.
As a long-time Prescott resident, Jerry stays actively involved in the community, serving on several city committees and boards as well as SCORE.
Jerry recently attended the national SCORE conference and training. He shares some of the many ways in which SCORE excels in helping small business grow and succeed. A few of these are:
• Build an identity via branding;
• Have a quality website;
• Develop a sustainable marketing program that reaches their intended audience (this includes social media);
• Have a detailed business plan; this includes the discipline to carry out the plan process; and,
• It is imperative to have someone with whom to counsel (SCORE provides mentoring in all these areas).
Some other areas where SCORE provides help to startups include:
• Teaching them to believe in their product or service;
• Helping them to identify with WHY they want to start a business;
• Teaching the value of keeping a positive attitude;
• Understanding how and when to listen;
• Teaching leadership and being prepared for the ups and downs of the day-to-day operation; and,
• Setting reasonable goals and detailed plans to follow the process to completion in a timely manner.
SCORE understands the importance of changing with the times! No longer are they a bunch of old, retired, male business executives. SCORE is actively recruiting men AND women volunteers and engaging partners that are currently employed or entrepreneurs that have social media and technology skills in order to meet the needs of today’s small business.
Locally, SCORE is partnering with the colleges and universities to provide their business schools with actual client projects and, in turn, provide SCORE with current information to meet the millennial market. SCORE is including Subject Matter Experts (SME) in workshops and seminars and they are evaluating and training on a regular basis their mentors, co-mentors and workshop presenters.
SCORE intends to be the community leader in providing expert counseling for small business. This will be accomplished by presenting more workshops and seminars and by recruiting talented volunteers, partners and SMEs. A portion of these plans are to sponsor a Prescott-area coworking entrepreneurial center for which SCORE will provide funding via grants. SCORE’s intent is to be here for the LIFE of your small business.
To contact SCORE, call 928-778-7438 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.northernarizona.score.org.
Ginni Trask Comstock is the SCORE Communications Contractor.