A qualified solicitor Jeanine Shittu, spent eight years in criminal defence and prosecution work, before deciding that she wanted a career which would fit in better with bringing up her young family.
The mother of two also had a yearning to work for herself. She found the ideal solution when visiting a franchise exhibition in London with her husband, an IT consultant. “I am passionate about education and children so naturally we gravitated towards franchises in the children’s sector,” explained Jeanine.
“We did a lot of research and looked seriously at around three opportunities. However, something stood out about Tutor Doctor. They were very professional and it seemed like a very sound business model. We must have spent around five months doing our ‘due diligence’ on the company before committing to the franchise.”
Jeanine launched her Tutor Doctor business in July 2014 covering Bexley in Kent and surrounding areas. She has help from her husband and a part-time admin assistant who deals with booking appointments and client liaison. Jeanine is very pleased with the way things are going with around 60 family clients and a network of 20 tutors.
Tutor Doctor franchisees do not do any teaching themselves but are taught to select the right tutor for the student’s needs and learning style.
“Being a lawyer was pretty stressful but running the franchise is a different kind of stress. Education is very important to parents and it is a pretty emotional area, so you need to know how to work well with parents and students to find the right solution,” said Jeanine.
Almost 100% of Jeanine’s clientele are of school age. “Apart from maths and English tuition, a huge part of our business is 11-plus and entrance exam led. We have a number of public schools in the area and there is huge competition to get in. It is fantastic when parents call us to thank us for helping their son or daughter pass an exam or have got into their chosen school with our help.
“Our main challenge is finding tutors. There are plenty of tutors out there but we have very high standards so only the best tutors are recruited,” added Jeanine.
Spending two weeks at Tutor Doctor’s headquarters in Canada was a highlight of the training for Jeannine. “The initial training was exceptional and gave both of us a really good grounding to get the business off the ground.
“Since then we have had regular conference calls and webinars which keeps us on track and given us invaluable tips on marketing methods to attract more clients. We also attend regional meetings and we can call on the dedicated UK field support manager as well as head office for help at any time,” said Jeanine.
Financially the business has performed very well for Jeanine and she already has her eye on securing a second territory nearby in order to grow the business.
What advice would she give to others contemplating buying a franchise? “Thorough research is absolutely essential. First of all research your local market to ensure that there is a market for the services or products on offer. Secondly, do your research into the franchise itself to ensure it stands up to scrutiny.”
About Tutor Doctor Tutor Doctor is the world’s fastest-growing provider of one-to-one home-based tuition. The company was established in North America in 2000 and started its global franchise operation in 2003. It now has over 400 franchised territories in more than 14 countries and a network of 16,000 tutors.
Operations in the UK began in 2009 and since then the company has experienced growth of 50% year-on-year and now has 28 franchise owners in the UK. Out of all the territories globally the UK has shown the fastest growth in like-for-like sales.
Investment in a Tutor Doctor franchise costs from £29,700 and additional working capital will be required in the early stages of the business.
For further information about the Tutor Doctor franchise opportunity, click here.