Tutor Doctor provides one-to-one in-home supplementary education for all ages, subjects and abilities, including: primary, SATs, 11+, common entrance, GCSE, AS/A2 Level, degree subjects, learning difficulties and languages.
Most importantly, our DBS-checked tutors are matched by skill-set, personality and aptitude to the student they are tutoring, based on information gathered during our free consultation service.
Whether it’s for exams and revision techniques, building confidence or helping students that are falling behind, individual private tutoring is the answer.
Tutor Doctor was founded in 2000 and started franchising in 2003. We are currently listed as Franchise #157, Top 30 Fastest-Growing and #1 in one-to-one education category in the Franchise 500 rankings.
We operate in 15 countries with over 450 franchised territories in the hands of about 237 franchisees. In the UK, we have over 130 franchised territories.
– 6 weeks Road to Toronto Series
– 7 consecutive and intensive days of training in Toronto, Canada
– Weekly global franchisee call
– Annual Tutor Doctor conference
– Field training – UK field-based support
– Advance training on business ownership
– Ongoing operations and technical support
– Business development support
– Regional UK meetings
A day starts at 8-9am at a home-based office, following up on emails and organising the agenda. Before noon is when parents start calling about tutoring. From around noon to 2pm is when matching of tutors and students is done, plus one or two tutor interviews. From 3-7pm is when home consultations are done. This consultation evaluates the requirements of the student so we can assign the right tutor.
Rob & Lynne Kerrison have been running their Tutor Doctor franchise since August 2010 and in their first year their tutor network was already working with 170 students.
Neither Rob nor Lynne come from a teaching or education-based background; this is quite common in the Tutor Doctor network as the franchise is all about managing a network of qualified tutors, not doing the tutoring yourself.
Rob embarked on a very successful career in sales & marketing after completing his business degree. He worked for a number of blue-chip organisations in senior roles, starting with Unilever on their graduate management scheme and progressing to Campbell’s Grocery Products. He then switched industries to work for Orange, heading up new customer marketing for pay monthly mobile phones. Rob’s career changed again when he moved across to the retail side of the business to head up product, operations and marketing on the Orange retail leadership team.
When Rob left Orange he took up a couple of short-term roles but decided he wanted to run his own business in summer 2010; he feels that it is the best thing he’s ever done.
Rob’s wife, Lynne, also had a corporate career prior to joining Tutor Doctor with Rob; she joined Tesco’s graduate management scheme straight from university within HR and held a number of increasingly senior roles within retail operations, ultimately being the HR lead for Tesco Extra in the UK. Lynne left Tesco in order to start a family and then cared for their two boys who are now at primary school.
So why did this highly successful couple decide to join Tutor Doctor? Rob explains: “At Tutor Doctor what we do is help children to be as good as they can be. Why would anyone not want to do this?
“Also it was a franchise opportunity that was very much aligned to our own agenda and skill set. It also tied in perfectly to the local market in Cambridge where education is valued by the families and qualified tutors are in high demand.
“We’ve always worked very hard at everything we do and with Tutor Doctor we found a way to channel our energies and skills into something we really believed in.”
The couple feel 100% positive and proud of what they do now. Rob adds: “It is probably for the first time in my career I have felt this way. Not to sound too ‘twee’, but we make a difference every day.
“Whilst we’re working incredibly hard, we brutally challenge ourselves to ensure that what we do is adding value to our customers and the success of our business. This focus also reflects that we are no longer wasting our time and motivation in corporate bureaucracy and politics or being stuck in soulless hotels a long way from home. It really is the best thing we’ve ever done”
Joyce Batten is a woman on a mission. Not content with one Tutor Doctor franchise she has taken on another three territories under the company’s ‘Empire Builder’ programme.
However the task does not daunt Joyce. Prior to buying her first franchise in September 2011 in Bromley, Kent she held senior management positions in the social housing sector as chief executive of a housing association and non-executive director of a housing charity; as well as being involved with the Chartered Institute of Housing.
240“It was during my time at the housing association that I realised how important education is to personal wellbeing and how a lack of education is linked to unemployment,” explained Joyce.
“I was thinking about where my next career move should be and I attended a franchise exhibition in February 2011. I didn’t see anything which immediately appealed, but I met with a franchise matchmaking service who gave me information on Tutor Doctor. I found the idea of being involved in education exciting and believed I could make a difference for children and their families. I subsequently attended a franchise seminar held by one of the major banks and they had a checklist of criteria for choosing a franchise. Tutor Doctor seemed to tick most of the boxes.
“My initial faith in Tutor Doctor has been justified. The support we get from head office and the UK field resource is great. They are very proactive and always looking at ways to improve the offering and encourage the sharing of best practice.”
Joyce says she gets a lot of personal satisfaction from running the business. “It is great to receive positive feedback from students and seeing them succeed. Tutor Doctor carry out independent client satisfaction surveys every three months and this gives us a good indication of how we are doing. I have an excellent group of 100 tutors and we consistently get 9 out of 10 ratings.
“The future looks very bright. I am expanding under the company’s ‘Empire Builder’ programme by taking on another three territories. I have two part-time ladies who help me with admin plus another part-time education consultant who carries out initial student assessments.
“I would definitely recommend the franchise to others but I think it is important to have some previous management or commercial experience as it is a business and requires a fair degree of organisational ability. However, besides making a good income you have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping students achieve their true potential.”
Joyce has received the Tutor Doctor President’s Award (2012), was a finalist for the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2014 and also a finalist in the Bromley Business Awards 2014.
Huda Gay has been running her Tutor Doctor franchise since February 2013.
Huda was a successful interim programme manager for over 10 years managing a number of very varied projects and programmes across a number of household names. All the roles were exciting and resulted in dealing with people in many ways. Prior to being a programme manager, Huda worked in the defence research industry, working with a team developing and accessing aircrew protective clothing design.
Being very well educated with BEng, MSc and MBA qualifications, Huda loves taking on new challenges and experiences. She decided it was time for a new challenge in February 2012 and started to research the franchising market visiting franchise shows, various discovery days and holding numerous discussions with her top 5 choices.
Huda says: “I entered franchising with an open mind, but with a clear documented goal and selection criteria. Every visit had to meet the criteria.
“I wanted to try something different. I had not really been in an employment career for a long while and even when I did think about it for a short while, that I may have liked to, I quickly changed my mind. I preferred the freedom of running my own show and wanted a change of direction.”
With the criteria Huda had put in place she found Tutor Doctor had ticked all the right boxes and in October 2012 made the final decision to become a Tutor Doctor franchisee!
She admits it is still early days but the training and support she has received so far has been very positive; especially as business is going so well already. “I launched at a peak period and did not envisage that my initial few weeks would peak. It has definitely kept me busy and helps learn the processes very fast,” she adds.
Future plans for Huda are to carry on doing what she is doing with the hope to soon expand and bring in extra staff.
Her advice to anyone considering a franchise is: “Do your research. Trust your instinct, if you feel it’s right, dig underneath until you get all your questions answered. Understand the model and then go for it! Be sure to work out your financials. There are no silver bullets, expect to work hard, be ready for that and you will enjoy the journey. I am at the beginning so I have a long way to go.”
Gordon & Maria Dickens have been running their Tutor Doctor franchise since June 2012.
What did you do before taking on a Tutor Doctor franchise?
I had worked for over 30 years in sales and marketing in the luxury goods sector and for 15 as a voluntary sports coach with youngsters. In 2012 our youngest was due to leave home for university and my wife and I had long cherished the idea of working together. The timing was right for a career change!
What attracted you to a Tutor Doctor?
Over a period of six to 12 months we had researched franchising and discovered Tutor Doctor. At a franchise exhibition we spent some time on their stand and were very impressed with everything we saw and heard. Tutor Doctor appeared to be the best all-round match. The application process took around four months and involved detailed exploration on both sides. We felt that our decision was based on a good understanding of what was involved and were delighted to join the organisation.
What training and support did you receive in the run up to trading?
Prior to the intensive one-week training course in Toronto, we had already completed around 50 hours of prep work to detailed briefs from the training department. Training itself was extremely thorough and addressed every aspect of building a new Tutor Doctor business. We connect with other franchisees on a weekly basis and whenever we need direct contact with the Toronto-based support team, we’ve always received a prompt response.
How’s business so far?
Our marketing strategy focuses on creating local interest in our services and we’ve seen an increased rate of growth over the past three months. We now have a solid base to our business which we expect to double over the next four to six months.
Would you recommend a Tutor Doctors franchise to others?
Ex-primary school teacher Dominic Stone’s frustration with bureaucracy and politics in the education system led him to develop a highly successful business with his Tutor Doctor franchise. Based in Lancashire, Dominic has seen his business grow by up to 60% year-on-year since starting the franchise in June 2010.
“I had been teaching for 10 years but I had a yearning to be my own boss,” he explains. “I was used to setting myself targets and goals so I was looking for a new challenge. During my time as a teacher I had really enjoyed teaching children and dealing with their families but not the increasing bureaucracy in the education system.
“As I had limited commercial experience I decided that the support of a franchise organisation would help me get a head start in business. I went to a franchise-matching agency that came up with a number of options. However, the Tutor Doctor opportunity stood out. I was particularly impressed with their system for carefully matching tutors to the needs and learning style of the student to help them realise their full potential. Moreover, they seemed to have lots of good ideas, a good brand image and solid business model.
“In my first year the business exceeded my initial expectations. I was blown away by the local demand for tuition services. The main satisfaction comes from the feedback I get from students and their families. Whether it is helping someone with reading skills or getting a student the grades they need to enter medical school I feel I am making a real difference in the local community. Over the four years I have worked with in excess of 600 families and I employ 80 part-time tutors.
“Most Tutor Doctor franchisees come from a non-education background but I would say my teaching qualification has been more of a help than a hindrance. By the same token I have learned a lot from other franchisees in areas such as marketing, which is vitally important for growing the business. For the right people a Tutor Doctor franchise can be the ideal business. However, you need to care about helping others achieve their goals and get a kick out of seeing them succeed.”
Alex had been training and performance-coaching adults at IBM for ten years when she thought "If only I could do this for children - how powerful would that be?!" Within 12 months she was the proud owner of a Tutor Doctor franchise in Surrey, centred in Guildford and stretching to the M25 and M3.
In just 2 years and 4 months, she has dealt with well over 500 young students who are now not only better students attaining higher marks at school, they are also happier and more confident in themselves too – a skill for life!
For Alex, Tutor Doctor really is an extended family, as she explains: “I haven’t yet met a colleague I wouldn’t gladly have as a friend; we are all motivated by the same passion to make a difference to others.”
Owning and running her Tutor Doctor franchise has been the biggest change for Alex since leaving corporate life. As an employed person, she was grateful for all the security and protection her role gave to her, but she did not have ownership of the overall role.
Alex explains: “Now my future is down to me, the guaranteed security has gone but it has been replaced by something more wonderful and fulfilling: a genuine opportunity to do something that will positively influence a child’s life, and the feeling of equal business stature with clients, fellow-franchisees and head office alike.
“My future is my own now, but with Tutor Doctor I’m guaranteed great company with truly decent people along the way.”
Although Alex has overall responsibility for the running of her company and keeping the franchise standards high, she says that she couldn’t do this without the help of her husband Hugh who has a real talent and insight as an education consultant, and gets the young students to genuinely look forward to the starting of their tutoring with her team of certified tutors.
It is obvious from Alex’s enthusiasm that she clearly loves what she is doing and is not longing to return to corporate life, as far as she is concerned the only way is UP!