One question I get asked frequently is how to expand your tutor business beyond just yourself. I honestly never know how to answer this question because I am a one man show in my tutor business and I would like to keep it that way until my children are more grown.
I've been trying to interview bustling tutor businesses for quite some time and recently stumbled upon Diana from Nettleton Educational Services. I thought I would reach out one more time to see if someone would be willing to chat about their growing tutor business. Diana graciously said yes to my interview! I am sure there are other questions that you were hoping I would ask, but here is a good start to a conversation about expanding your tutor business.
If you have a chance, go check out Diana's website to see what her establishment looks like and the high quality services she offers. I love her store front and the logo too. It's simple and eye catching.
What inspired you to start tutoring?
I was a public school teacher for 11 years, 10 of which were in special education. I saw the school system let students down way too much, so when I left I knew that I wanted to teach students, not just jump through the red tape hoops of public education. I absolutely love teaching and my students are my top priority, and they know it!! I have a very supportive family that let me know it was time to start teaching again after I retired from my public teaching job due to chronic MS.
How long have you owned your tutor business?
I have owned my business over 5 years and it continues to grow.
How did you find funds to start up your business?
Personal funds. I had acquired many resources over my teaching tenure. Having no capital from the bank has meant that we grow as the business grows, that is good and bad. The good, is we own nothing and all our money can go back to the business. The bad, we have not been able to open as many offices and hire as many teachers or purchase the latest online program…yet.
When did you realize it was time to expand?
I realized it was time to expand when I out grew my space, and others were asking me too. Our goal is to serve the small communities with affordable services. We are not real impressed with online tutoring, as it lacks the personal face to face learning which is what makes our program so successful!
How did you choose your employees?
Through interviews and personal references. We have been blessed with teachers coming to us, wanting to be part of our movement, our philosophy and our caring environment. Our office is a place where a teacher can teach one-on-one and see the impact right away!
How do you use your website and social media to grow your business?
Advertising. I also use a program to help me and my fellow teachers plan and communicate on a daily basis. Our website has been great, it has allowed us to expand and communicate with our communities/families. We are one Facebook and twitter, but not as active.
What percentage of your business has come from your website?
Right now, very low percentage. Word of mouth has been my biggest form of advertisement.
What marketing/advertising methods have you used?
Print ads, internet ads, car magnets, banners, parades, sponsorship, speaking engagements and word of mouth.
What words of advice do you have for tutors considering expanding their business?
It is a slow process, but it is wonderful to look back and see your growth. The most important thing is to never lose sight of why you entered the tutoring profession, the students. The rewards are numerous and the pride you feel is amazing. If you go into teaching and you love teaching your kids will see it, they will love to learn!
Thanks Diana! I really enjoyed reading her responses. When she talked about her business being mostly word of mouth, I couldn't agree more! However, I am sure that when parents hear about Diana's great staff, they search for her business to find out their phone number and locations. Websites are super important!