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Tegrey Coatings, Scores!

Terry Miller, Owner of Tegrey Coatings

In 1997, Tegrey Family of Coatings Inc. was started in Canton, Ohio by the husband and wife team of Terry and Peggy Miller.  The two had met while both were students in college, and after finishing school Terry could see a future in building a small company specializing in fine interior painting and building exterior cleaning.  The couple founded the Tegrey Family of Coatings, Inc., the very same year they were married.  Since the birth of the company, the Millers have invested in much training and education to expand their own and their employee’s skills. Tegrey Family of Coatings is a proud member of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the Better Business Bureau, and local area Chambers of Commerce.

Although Terry and Peggy have run a successful small business for twenty years, they are always improving their operations, efficiency and profitability.  It was natural for them to turn to SCORE with questions.  Through their connections within the Canton small business community they had known about the local Canton SCORE Chapter, and even participated in a few of the seminars run by the non-profit organization.  SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.  As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.  In 2017 Terry approached the group formally, and worked with two mentors on business planning and analysis.  “We got together, and even after 20 years in the business I found out things I didn’t know.  If you go to the right source and you can learn a lot – even if they are the little things, like re-evaluating our insurance and developing a better way to hire employees.  We worked on the basic stuff every businessperson knows yet we all lose track of.” 

John Dilworth and John Peer, both Canton SCORE counselors with long corporate experience in management, human resources, marketing and operations, first answered Terry’s questions and concerns regarding his marketing strategies.  John Peer said, “First we reviewed all expenses from the past regarding marketing and based on that made recommendations to make everything more effective.  For example, we suggested he cut costs by running half page ads in print rather than full page ads, and they do just as well.  In addition, we suggested he improve and update his e-commerce.   He now sends out two monthly e-newsletters.”  At the mentors’ suggestion, Terry has also reinstituted an incentives program for recruiting new customers with the help of existing ones.  John Peer continued, “We pointed out to him that his customers’ feedback and referrals are worth more than anything else.”  Another topic the mentors discussed during their quarterly meetings included succession planning.  John Dilworth added, “Everything we suggested he did.  Terry trusted us and did all and then some.  He’s a great client and a great entrepreneur.” 

The work Terry completed with SCORE helped Tegrey Family of Coatings’ bottom line.  2017 was a record year for the company and sales are still up.  For 2018, things look strong as well; the company is doing a brisk business in interior painting this winter, and is looking ahead to the demands of the spring by investing in new equipment, specifically high-tech pressure-washing equipment. A new pressure washing rig is presently being custom built for their company.

The meetings with Terry have been a two-way street for the mentors.  John Dilworth said, “In my opinion, we learn as much or more from Terry than we have given to him.”  John Peer echoed that thought, “It can be very rare that someone implements our suggestions to the extent he has.”   Terry knows what he wants his business to be, and SCORE has helped him forge his path to that vision.  Canton SCORE has an open door policy with Terry, and he knows that he can go back with concerns, questions, or if he just needs a sounding board at any time.  Terry’s hard work and perseverance combined with the results of SCORE’s assistance has positioned the Tegrey Family of Coatings to thrive in the Canton area for many years to come, to act as a viable employer, and to wisely take on avenues for new growth.

Company Name: 
Tegrey Family of Coatings
Canton, Ohio