When Kevin O’Brien, founder of Agape Construction Company, a residential design and build company that O’Brien started in his basement in 1985, turned 60, he began to explore the possibility of transitioning out of his business. After he and his wife, Amy O’Brien, contemplated different solutions, they came to realize making themselves less essential in the business they owned for 30 years was easier said than done. The O’Briens decided the best solution was to transition management of the company to three key employees while they stayed on working under the managers. With the help of SCORE, the O’Briens have worked on the transition of their business and the challenges that came along with it over the past 15 months. Read on to find out how SCORE and their mentor have led the O’Briens in their ownership journey.

1. Why did you seek mentoring from SCORE?

We were having trouble figuring out how to transition complete oversight of our company operations to our management team.

2. Did you seek a mentor to address a specific problem? If so, which mentors have you worked with, on which problems?

Our mentor is Gary Deeken. He has been working with us for the past 15 months on the transition of our company from an owner operated company to a key manager operated business. Gary helped us through challenges arising from this and to keep everything in perspective. Sometimes we don’t do a good job of knowing what to ask. He always reminds us and has incredibly relevant insight that helps us with exactly where we are in business.

 3. How often did you/do you meet with your mentor?

At first we met every couple weeks, then every month and now we meet every six weeks.

Next Steps:

1. What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Get with someone who has been there before. It’s not good enough to be good at your trade. You need to understand the financials, the marketing, etc. You need to have an outside perspective on the larger picture.

2. What would you tell a business owner who’s thinking of meeting a SCORE mentor for the first time?  

It’s a golden opportunity and one you shouldn’t pass up. Come with your list of questions prepared and know what’s relevant to you. - See more at: http://www.sbmon.com/Articles/Article/985/SCORE-Helps-31-Year-Old-Constr...

How SCORE Helped: 

With the help of SCORE, the O’Briens have worked on the transition of their business and the challenges that came along