After graduating from Siena College in upstate New York, Gregory Casey moved to California to begin his career in sales. Twenty years later in 2003 after working in both software and hardware companies, Greg was laid off. Greg began researching opportunities to purchase a company. Having a passion for photography and the dream of running his own company, Greg purchased a franchised photography company in 2004.

How SCORE Helped: 

While taking a class for new business owners at the downtown San Jose SBA office, Greg heard about SCORE and their business counseling services. After setting up a brief introduction meeting, shortly after, Greg requested mentoring. The photographer was paired with Mike O’ Connor, a SCORE mentor with over 25 years of business experience. “SCORE and my mentor Mike O’Connor have played a huge role in helping me to understand the importance of having a disciplined approach to my finances and have given me the support that I needed in order to successfully leverage that discipline into running the finances of my company,” says Greg.

My Successes: 

Greg left the franchise to become independent and named his business gCasey Photography. The company has grown over 300% in sales and it currently employs two full-time managers, 20 part-time workers (photographers, assistants, event managers and customer service support). Greg is planning to grow sales by 50% in 2015 and an additional 30% in 2016 by increasing sales in school and sports as well offering several new services.

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

"I was lucky enough to begin working with SCORE. Mike introduced me to financial control, discipline, sound financial process and thinking including the creation of my chart of accounts, the placement of line items above and below the cost of goods sold area of my income statement and cash flow strategies. Mike participated/contributed to key milestones (such as): growth to gross sale of $500k, transitioning from a franchise, hiring two key managers and purchasing of a competitor. I am grateful to SCORE and my mentor Mike,” says Greg.