“I had worked for a start up previously, and I’d enjoyed that culture, that environment,” said Lin Yue Wang, owner of TalkOrange, adding, “but I also liked the idea of having more control. I knew I wanted to be in charge of what I was doing, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be.”

A suggestion from her mother led Lin to research how many schools in the area offered Mandarin Chinese classes. “Only a couple of schools did,” Lin said, “but none were doing so on a consistent basis. There was a gap in the marketplace, especially among those students who’d begun learning Chinese in elementary school but had no way to keep moving forward once they’d reached the higher grades.”

Open Yourself Up: You Never Know What Will Be Helpful

talkorangelogo“I went to a resume workshop, and there was a seventy-year old woman there,” Lin said. “She turned out to be an absolutely amazing woman. We wound up spending time talking, hours and hours, and I told her about my idea for a business teaching Mandarin. She told me about SCORE.”

“When I came to SCORE, I had absolutely nothing. No company, no clients, just an idea in my mind. At that meeting, I met with Joe and Richard; later I would also meet with Fred. They did so much, saying I had a great idea and then walking me through every step of turning it into a business.”

The SCORE Westchester team suggested and worked closely with Lin as she built her company’s website. The next big accomplishment was incorporating the business, TalkOrange. Determining pricing for her offerings was difficult. “Richard was very helpful. He said if you don’t charge appropriately for your ability, people won’t value it. I wasn’t sure I completely believed him at that point, but I trusted his guidance. In the first couple of months, before we had clients, I was a little nervous, but today, it seems quite clear that he was right.”

A Strategy for Long Term Success

Lin drew on her previous marketing experience to reach out to local schools. Half of her initial group of prospects responded; from this process, Lin became a consultant and then later the only Mandarin teacher at the prestigious New Canaan Country Day School. “This is a time to focus on building our reputation and doing really good work.” TalkOrange uses a very individualized approach to Mandarin instruction, allowing students to reach their instructional goals quickly. “Getting the feedback and five star reviews has really helped build my confidence. This experience is going to open a lot of doors for us.” In less than a year, Lin’s business grew to the point where she needed to hire an additional teacher; she expects to repeat that process as the schedule continues to fill.

Consistency is Key

“You have to be willing to commit to your plan,” Lin said. “If I’d abandoned my business for more immediate income, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” She credits SCORE’s support for helping her pursue her passion. “If you truly do what you want to do, I believe you will be successful if you do it and do it well. Put everything you can into being the best, and the money will follow.”

For more information on Talk Orange contact Lin Yue | (203)-614-9293 | www.talkorange.net

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