My Tutor and Me, LLC Succeeds By Using Advice From SCORE Mentor
Shannon and Fred Converse came from different business experiences to start a successful new company. Shannon has an education background and continues to teach students with multiple and severe disabilities at the Therapeutic Learning Center at Ox Ridge Elementary in Darien, CT. Fred, meanwhile, boasts business expertise from working for Viacom for many years, then later for a Denver-based media dot-com.
The couple decided that instead of only answering to others, they would become entrepreneurs. They shared a passion for children and education, so it seemed a natural fit.
Neither had owned a business before, so Fred first began looking into franchise opportunities. When they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted, they decided to start their own business—My Tutor and Me, LLC, which offers private, in-home tutoring for public and private school students, from kindergarten through high school, in Southern Connecticut and Westchester County. State-certified and professional teachers are carefully selected from among the brightest in their fields, including highly qualified reading specialists and special education teachers.
“We’re getting a healthy mix of new customers and repeat clients as children get older,” Fred says. “For instance, they may have previously come to us for a math tutor, and now they need help with SATs.” Fred and Shannon know their SCORE mentor is always there to help.
Five years later, the business is still growing. Last year, My Tutor and Me doubled its profits.
While doing start-up business research, Fred found information about SCORE, and the couple began face-to-face mentoring at the local office in Norwalk. They began meeting monthly with SCORE Mentor Ray Wolfe. “Ray talked about the basics of creating a business plan, and also provided competitive research advice,” Shannon says. “He became sort of a cheerleader for us, encouraging us on our marketing. He also referred us to other counselors for legal and accounting advice.”
“Ray keeps in touch to find out how the business is going,” Shannon says. “It’s not just us calling SCORE. He also stops by our home office for mentoring sessions. It’s been a very personal and rewarding experience.”
Fred adds, “In our first year, we needed to keep our expenses low. It’s great getting all of this advice for free from SCORE.”