In the world of franchising, there are two predominant types of investors. There are the career entrepreneurs who amass multi-unit, multi-brand portfolios and leave the day-to-day management to area directors and regional managers, and there are investors who simply want to escape the corporate world and own their own business, content to work for themselves in just a single unit or maybe two that they manage themselves. Given the nature of the service, supplemental-education franchises are most often associated with the latter group. Education is more often talked about with words like “passion” and “dedication” than “bottom line” and “growth potential.” But savvy investors will note an exception to that thinking: Tutor Doctor, a supplemental-education franchise whose low-cost, high-return model offers a number of unique benefits to growth-oriented entrepreneurs.
“People often think of us as an amazing lifestyle business, but that’s not the whole story,” said Dennis Campbell, Tutor Doctor’s franchise development director. “The lifestyle benefits are really just a byproduct of an extremely lucrative business model.”
Because Tutor Doctor is a home-based business, it boasts a low initial investment, virtually no infrastructural requirements and minimal ongoing overhead. Those features have made the franchise a top pick for small-time investors, but they are equally valuable to larger investors looking to quickly expand and diversify their portfolios.
“We’ve found that a lot of multi-brand franchisees find Tutor Doctor very refreshing,” Campbell said. “It checks off a lot of boxes that aren’t being checked by foodservice brands or retail, and they don’t need to spend 18 months opening. You can open up a Tutor Doctor and bring it to market within 60 days.”
Tutor Doctor also offers the opportunity to operate this business while keeping a job or existing business. Campbell calls it “a full-time effort with part-time personal involvement.” This allows an owner the option to transition into a more traditional full-time role or executive operational model after the business has established itself.
“Every Tutor Doctor is a busy, full-time business, but so much of the daily administrative work is done through our Home Office,” Campbell said. “We have a fully staffed call center that handles inbound and outbound calls, we assist in setting up consultations and onboarding customers, we even have people helping with tutor recruitment. So if you don’t have the time to do those things as a traditional owner-operator, you can leverage those systems and still run your Tutor Doctor as a fully operational business.”
As for volume, Campbell says Tutor Doctor is well positioned in a marketplace that sees persistent consumer demand.
“Students require out-of-classroom support in some capacity for the majority of their education, and it’s no longer a good-to-have, it’s become a have-to-have for many families,” he said. “Families budget education as a fixed expense, so even when times are tough, they are looking elsewhere to cut costs.”
Tutor Doctor is able to capture every corner of that consumer base by offering multiple revenue streams aimed at servicing different needs.
“The fact that we are not limited to a single revenue stream has put us head and shoulders above the competition,” Campbell said. “We don’t just offer in-home tutoring, we also do online tutoring, so we can reach the entire community of customers. That means both reactive customers, who seek out services when they need it for a discrete problem, and proactive customers, who are looking for ongoing support. And because our service is so strong and so flexible, we typically convert many of those reactive customers into traditional long-term customers. And that’s how you grow a strong business.”
Those benefits have made Tutor Doctor an increasingly talked-about property among experienced, multi-brand investors, and Campbell says the franchise is looking to build on that buzz as it continues to expand into new markets throughout the country.
“One of the beautiful things about our model is that we can provide the best-available education services without requiring experts in the field to run it,” he said. “Our tutors do the teaching, and our owners run the business. More and more, some of the biggest franchisees are taking notice of our opportunity, and we’re excited to work with them.