Shannon and Fred Converse brought their diverse experiences together to launch a brilliant business idea. Shannon had an education background, while Fred had worked in the cable television industry for many years. The couple decided that instead of only answering to others, they would become entrepreneurs. As the parents of twin sons, the couple shared a passion for children and education. A home tutoring service was the perfect 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 to serve Southern Connecticut and Westchester County, New York.
My Tutor and Me, LLC offers in-home private tutoring on a variety of subjects, and serves Pre-K through adult learners.
While doing start-up business research, Fred found information about SCORE, and the couple began face-to-face mentoring at their local chapter office in Norwalk, with 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.”
“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.”
My Tutor and Me has seen increasing profits as the company has developed through the years. Fred recalls, “In our first year, we needed to keep our expenses low. It’s great getting all of this advice for free from SCORE.”
“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.”