St. Louis Bi-State Region
HOW SCORE CONNECTIONS FUELED JACKIE’S BUSINESS IDEA IN ZEROTIME “There were some key events that happened to me.” That’s how Jackie Richardson, founder and owner of Zero Time Systems, describes the pieces coming together to set her business idea in motion. Jackie, who has 20 years of experience as a hair designer and stylist, wondered for years why a larger, better color brush didn’t exist.After telling a client, Eva Murphy, about her idea to develop such a product, Eva gave her some simple advice:“Do it.” From there, Jackie set out to make the idea a reality. She reached out to her local Small Business Administration to talk about getting a loan, and though she didn’t qualify, they had a suggestion. “Out of the blue, they suggested SCORE,” Jackie says.“I had no idea what SCORE was at all.” Jackie looked us up, applied, and from there, was connected to a mentor. “I met with David Baker, whom I adore, at the very beginning stages of trying to get a patent for my product,” Jackie describes.“David was very patient. He helped me brainstorm and did a couple things that were huge: He brought in a former lawyer and SCORE mentor, and through him, I connected with his nephew, Brett Spencer, who manufactured and bought products from China.That’s how I found my China connection [for manufacturing] that I never would have found without SCORE.”
— she’s gone through a lot of painstaking processes on her own.”
When David eventually moved on from SCORE, Jackie was paired with another amazing mentor, Craig Goldford.“He’s a great sounding board. He’s dependable, kind, smart, and always has great advice,” Jackie says of Craig.“I was lucky when I found another great mentor. Craig is perfect for me.” Of her mentors and sounding boards at SCORE, Jackie says,“All of them were awesome. It would have taken me so much longer without them.” She adds,“SCORE has been priceless for me. I can’t say enough good things.” From Craig’s vantage point, he’s only been a small part of Jackie’s success. “She’s done this 90% on her own, all while continuing her work as an in-demand stylist,” Craig says. “You go through the mentoring process, and there are those who are very passionate and those who are just dipping their toes. If we have a scale of 1–10 for the level of passion, 10 being ‘I can’t wait for this to become a home run,’ Jackie is a 12. If you consider what she has taken on and the discipline she had to have
Joining us with a wealth of business knowledge, Craig found his way to SCORE after selling his own business and retiring, and he has been an integral part of the organization ever since.As Craig sums up his role,“Our job as mentors isn’t to run the business the way we would. Our job is to give them the information to run their own business.” After going through the process and working with SCORE, Jackie’s advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is spot on: “Really, really pay attention. Ask a lot of questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask.This is the time to let your pride go,” she says. It seems to be working very well for Jackie and for the future of Zero Time Systems. With SCORE, you’re never alone! Schedule an appointment to meet with a mentor today. Call 1-866-726-7340 or visit StLSCORE.org right now!
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