In 1958 Nolt’s Adding Machines & Typewriters got its start. By the 1970’s it had become Nolt’s Office Furniture offering desks, office chairs, filing cabinets and a variety of office furnishings to the public. They were ahead of the curve when they added high-quality, budget-friendly refurbished furniture to their selection. In 2010 Lancaster native Dell Sauder purchased Nolt’s. Dell continues to offer the same high level of customer service to clients from an impressive two-floor showroom within the Ephrata Business Center in historic downtown Ephrata.
Early in the summer of 2017 Dell reached out to SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon in search of some “long term ‘grey hair’ wisdom oversight” which is a uniquely Lancaster way of requesting a mentor. He was paired with SCORE volunteer mentor Eric Parker who had fond memories of working with Nolt’s going back twenty-five years when he started purchasing furniture from them for his company.
“Dell wanted help to develop a plan to grow Nolt’s beyond its traditional geographic trading area and to capitalize on the new lines of stand-up desks and ergo dynamic offices. In actuality, Dell had the plan, what he really needed was an outsider to ask tough questions, challenge his plan or reaffirm his strategy. We looked at Dell's internal administrative and sales organizations to ensure that they could grow in sync. Nolt’s reviewed and launched new marketing programs to help Dell and the Nolt’s team continue to grow the business by expanding geographically with exciting new products for the office of tomorrow. “
- Eric Parker, volunteer SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentor
Dell Sauder wears many hats as the owner of Nolt’s Office Furniture with goals and visions pushed aside and often forgotten during a busy week of managing employees and taking care of customer needs. The SCORE mentor provides homework and adds a degree of accountability to his client-mentor relationship that Dell finds a useful addition despite his hectic schedule and pressing demands.
“Meeting with Eric Parker from SCORE helps keep the goals in the forefront. If I lose focus, I know a few days before our next meeting, I’ll be getting out my note book and reviewing our notes. That is great, as there is a ‘deadline’ every month to review and get focused again.”
- Dell Sauder, owner of Nolt’s Office Furniture
One of the prime focuses of their work together has been to grow sales and each meeting includes a review of progress with an eye on goals set for the business. But mentoring sessions can also be about the relationship, with results that are not quantifiable on a flowchart, or spreadsheet.
“I appreciate the second set of eyes on my work and value when Eric sees something different than I do in a plan. It just really feels good to have an experienced business veteran looking over my shoulder. Most of all I appreciate the encouragement. Being a solo entrepreneur can be an isolating experience. Having a SCORE mentor energizes me to press forward. I recall the letter George Bush Sr. left on the desk for Bill Clinton. In it he said, ‘it can be a lonely job, but I’m rooting for you.’ That’s how I feel about my entire team of SCORE mentors. They are always rooting for me.”
- Dale Sauder, owner of Nolt’s Office Furniture