Language Loop Succeeds With Help From SCORE Mentor
Teaching language has always come easy to Johanna Torres. With her advanced degree in communications, the one-time senior manager for one of the nation’s foremost language schools knew she had the expertise and teaching skills to start Language Loop, a business focused on helping others build their language skills. She contacted Chicago SCORE and began working with volunteer mentors Michael Koen and Roger Loeffler in both face-to-face and online mentoring sessions. SCORE helped by providing information on all the business basics, from preparing a business plan to finding the perfect location.
Working with Michael and Roger helped position Johanna to approach businesses, schools and organizations for group instruction and to intensify marketing efforts for individual instruction.
Today, Johanna serves a wide range of clients with tutoring services in 14 languages— Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Polish, Dutch, Arabic, Farsi and Turkish. Language Loop also provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to newcomers to America.
“We don’t want Language Loop to be the biggest language school,” she says, “just the best.”
Over several months, Michael and Roger walked Johanna through the mechanics of getting her business started—selecting a business structure, finding an office location in the West Loop neighborhood, hiring and compensating independent contractors, marketing and how the Internet could become a part of Language Loop.
“Michael and Roger provided an incredible range of expertise,” Johanna says. “Between them, they helped prepare me for a July 2006 opening. By October, I reached 25 percent of classroom capacity, which was far beyond by expectations for the first quarter of operation.”
To help realize Language Loop’s seemingly unlimited potential, Johanna plans to keep coming back to SCORE.