Since her college days, Celina Taganas Duffy, ran her painting, graphic design and greeting card business by the seat of her pants. Celina managed to achieve a measure of success thanks to creative talent, hard work and unique line of patented envelope-free greeting cards.
Celina recognized that regardless of her creative skill, her business—Tagline Communications—would be stymied unless she improved and streamlined her business practices. “I had been running my business for awhile, but I knew I could run it more effectively and efficiently,” says Celina.
Now I focus on the important areas,” says Celina. She claims that her revenue has risen by 80 percent with the help of her team of SCORE mentors and is grateful for their help in “completely turning the business around.”
Celina is now making plans to hire a graphic designer and find dedicated studio space, two steps that will allow her to spend more time painting her colorful and vibrant canvases. Celina’s greeting cards feature miniatures of her paintings and she’s also eager to expand Tagline Greetings, the greeting card side of Tagline Communications.
In November 2001, Celina visited the SCORE Santa Ana, CA Chapter and met with Mentor Leanore Saks. As an artist herself, Leanore offered insightful advice on the industry, pricing, portfolio development and general business planning.
When Leanore was going to be out of town for some time, Mentor Betty Otte stepped in to help Celina develop some marketing ideas. While learning more about Tagline Communications, Betty discovered that Celina frequently sent her invoices out late. She asked Mentor Hiro Kranz, a certified management accountant and retired controller, to assist. Soon, Hiro began meeting with Celina to develop a system to invoice accounts properly. Hiro taught Celina how to use QuickBooks and advised her on hiring a bookkeeper.
Betty continues to visit Celina’s office each month for mentoring. Celina says, “Betty keeps me focused and motivated. She gives me monthly project tasks to help me evaluate my business.” The future looks bright and busy for Celina, and she is confident with her SCORE mentors lending a hand, she will continue down the road of success.
“My experience with SCORE has been amazing. I know I have strengths, but I’ve learned that I can’t do everything by myself. Having experts handle various aspects of my business, has freed up a lot of my time.” Says Celina Taganas Duffy.