Dr. Nancy Bell, a licensed and certified school psychologist, was a director of a local office of a nonprofit organization offering educational services when the nonprofit decided to close that office. “As the director of this office for the previous 10 years, its as a natural fit to start Education and Testing Solutions since there was already an established presence with a reputation for quality service to its customers,” Bell recalls. The departing nonprofit even donated most of the equipment and supplies in the office to help her get started.
Education and Testing Solutions provides services including parent consultations, educational testing, and individual tutoring to students from pre-kindergarten through graduate school.
Bell had basic business knowledge due to her nonprofit management experience, but she realized she needed additional support to ensure her new business venture would succeed. She had no idea SCORE offered free business mentoring until she attended a workshop on website design and CEO led by Charleston SCORE mentor Fern White. Bell was delighted to be matched with White for one-on-one mentoring.
White assisted Bell with her initial website design, and reviewed her redesign during ETS’s third year. “She is always just an email away and I have sought her advice multiple times over the past few years,” Bell says.
ETS experienced steady growth in its first two years, in part due to the reputation built by Bell and her staff who carried over from the previous organization.
In spring 2017, the same nonprofit Bell had worked for decided to close its offices in Mount Pleasant and Charleston. “Another unique opportunity presented itself, and I decided to reopen the Mount Pleasant office as my second ETS location,” Bell says.