With a successful career in industry behind him, Rob Kerrison is reaching new heights with his Tutor Doctor franchise in Cambridge.
After doing a business degree Rob entered Unilever’s prestigious management trainee scheme. He stayed with the company for a number of years in a sales and marketing role before moving to a senior sales role at Campbells Foods. He was then head hunted by telecoms giant Orange where he was responsible for devising marketing propositions and latterly working on the senior team of Orange’s Retail operation as Head of Marketing. . However, following a change of office location Rob decided that he had done enough commuting for a lifetime! He and his wife started to look at opportunities, which would offer the option of working for themselves.
“We started to look at franchising as a possible route to self-employment so we went to a franchise broker who did a detailed analysis of our objectives, skills and lifestyle. Six possible franchises were presented but Tutor Doctor rose to the top. Within our previous roles my wife and I were good at getting things done and finding a way to deliver programmes by managing people and achieving the right outcome so the idea of arranging and organising tutors appealed to us,” explained Rob.
“The franchise has not disappointed us. The initial training in North America was very comprehensive and the company actively encourages feedback, both positive and negative. Both sides need to get value for money out of the business and I believe we are achieving this. We have helped over 1,000 children over four years and there is immense personal satisfaction in helping students be the best they can be. In terms of personal lifestyle I no longer have a 2.5 hours commute and I have the flexibility to be able to take my children to school, but we certainly work hard, you have to if you want to deliver a good service.”
He added: “We get such a large amount of business through personal recommendation from existing clients and this is a great measure that we are making a difference. Our aim is to be the number one private tuition company in the Cambridge area. Whilst we’re all separate businesses, there’s a real sense of team spirit across the UK franchisees and we meet regularly to seek opportunities that will benefit us all such as ways we can recruit the best tutors, how we can increase and share our combined stock of resources and past papers and more mundane issues like optimising how we can insure our businesses.”
The financial performance has remained very strong : “Our revenues are up 40% year on year. We already employ three part-time staff who fulfil a range of administrative, customer service and recruitment tasks and we have three Education Consultants who have been recruited and trained up to carry out the initial in-home consultations. We are also doing more and more work with local schools. They like our professionalism and the way we work. We are certainly not in competition with schools, but of course we can properly tailor the learning and outside of the classroom the students inevitably interact very differently.
“Tutor Doctor is a fantastic franchise if you are prepared to work hard. The framework is there and market demand is there. You need to be good at time management and being able to match the right tutor with the student is crucial. Your customers will choose you and tell their friends about you if you can deliver on what you promise and are both friendly and professional in your approach. I would advise anyone considering a Tutor Doctor franchise that in addition to having the desire to deliver great service, they have sound business skills, understand their local market and have a good grasp of their numbers. If you can do this you are on the road to a profitable and satisfying business.”