The Academy At Home Story
After working in the telecommunications industry as a product manager for almost ten years, I became bored with my job. I was never completely happy working in the corporate environment, constantly taking orders from other people and unable to use my entrepreneurial skills, so in 1995 I quit my job as a product manager and started my own marketing consulting company, which did extremely well for the next seven years..
Always searching for the next big challenge, I began looking at business opportunities in other high-growth industries . That’s when a friend told me about a tutoring franchise he was considering buying into that hired university students and sent them to people’s homes to tutor. I was immediately interested in this, as I had seen new tutoring franchises and academies sprouting up all over for the past decade or so and knew there was huge potential there.
My initial research showed the market for tutoring was huge and growing fast – over ten billion dollars per year in the United States and Canada alone! And even more significantly, most of the big companies were charging high prices and providing a low level of service. Tutoring franchises were charging $40 - $50 per hour and provided only one tutor for every three students. Students were paying $40 per session and only getting twenty minutes of tutoring time! With my background in marketing and customer service, I knew I could offer customers much better service for their money.
I looked into a local at-home tutoring franchise, which offered small territories for $15,000 plus ongoing fees. I immediately dismissed this option. For about the same amount of money, I could start my own at-home tutoring company and sell my services anywhere I wanted, instead of being limited to a small territory.
Although I knew a lot about business and marketing, I didn’t know much about tutoring, so I needed to find someone who did. I contacted one of my old high school teachers, Helen Gibson, who had taught for 40 years in Canada, China, Africa and Australia, as well as running her own tutoring academy for twenty years. Helen was immediately interested, so we became partners in the business venture that would become Academy At Home.
After many months of hard work and planning, we officially launched Academy At Home in September 2003 with one tutor and one student. By the end of our first full year of operation, we had generated more than $80,000 in revenue and were employing over two dozen part-time tutors! In our second year we made over $120,000 with more than three dozen tutors! Clearly our success had exceeded our wildest expectations, and we had hit upon a marketing formula that really worked. And the best part of all is that I was still just working part-time!
We launched our Wealthy Tutor website in December 2004, where we now sell complete systems for entrepreneurs who want to start their own tutoring business – the same system that we used to launch our own successful tutoring company. To date we have sold hundreds of systems throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and Great Britain and everyday I get to relive the same thrill I got when launching my own company by helping people all over the world to do the same!
President - Academy At Home Inc.