Five questions you need to ask before buying a tuition franchise

Are you considering buying a private tuition franchise? Read five questions you MUST ask yourself before making your decision.

The tuition industry in the UK is booming. According to The Telegraph, “Tuition is a great British growth industry, worth £6.5 billion a year”. Indeed, in 2001, 270,000 tutors taught 1.6 million children – growing to 520,000 tutors teaching 2.8 million pupils in 2015.

A recent Ipsos MORI poll for the Sutton Trust also found that 24% of all young people in the UK have received private tuition at some point. (In London, that figure rises to 40%.)

Given the size and potential of the market, it’s no surprise to discover that there are plenty of private tuition franchises available. But, if you were interested in starting your own, which one should you choose?

Five questions you need to ask before buying a tuition franchise

To help make the right decision, Sarah Marsh from MagiKats reveals the five questions you need to ask yourself when considering buying a private tuition franchise.

1) What do you bring to the table?

Ask yourself if you like dealing with a variety of people from many walks of life. Can you find, interview and train potential staff? Are you able to listen to parents and children with a whole spectrum of requirements? Do you have an interest in education news and the desire to keep up with it and deliver the best experience possible for your customers?

If you feel you need additional support in any of these areas – does your chosen franchise provide comprehensive training and support?

2) Does the brand ethos attract you?

In franchising, you are buying a licence to be one of the businesses in a set system. There’s a formula to every franchise system, and that is what makes a brand successful.

If you buy a private tuition franchise, you’ll be expected to adhere to the set formula – and represent their brand values. So it’s important that you agree with both before making a decision.

When researching possible tuition franchises, take a look at their website. Do you agree with their ethos? Can you picture yourself doing what they do? If not, then they may not be the right fit for you.

3) How will you be supported?

There’s two aspects to this question. First, ask yourself if you have the full backing of your family. Consider how you will manage your hours, and how much time you can invest in your franchise. Can you realistically run a business that requires regular time investment?

Secondly, it’s important to remember that no business is going to be successful without effective marketing.

So find out whether the franchisor will provide marketing materials as part of the package. Will they help you devise a marketing plan that is going to work for you? Are they flexible to your needs or rigid in their approach?

4) Can you afford it?

Do you have financial security to invest in a private tuition franchise? Especially if you are investing your savings?

Examine the cost of the franchise, as well as the potential returns, and determine if now (and in the future), the price of the franchise you are investing in is worth it.

Will your franchisor help you put together a business plan? And finally, make sure you do your own research and ensure that any figures provided by a franchisor are realistic and applicable in your local area.

5) Have you researched what you are getting?

Did you know that most people buy the first franchise they investigate, and do little or no research into the wider industry or competition?

To avoid making the same (potentially expensive) mistake, ensure you have thoroughly researched all your options before parting with your money.

There’s plenty of information online and on company websites, so look at the private tuition market as a whole, and then use this list to narrow down your options.

Also find out whether franchisors are happy to invite you to see a business in action before you commit. And whether they’ll facilitate meetings with existing franchisees so you can ask how they have found the process.

If franchisors aren’t happy to help you make the right decision for you (and ultimately for them) in the beginning, are they really someone you want to invest in and work with in future?

Take your time and make the right choice

It is all too easy to get ‘lost’ when researching a new business opportunity. So it’s important that you take your time, investigate carefully and make the right choice.

If you think that basics are there after an initial search, then speak to the company. See what you think of them, and attend as many meetings as you can. It’s a two way process – they are looking at you as much as you are looking at them.

Once you have narrowed your search down to your preferred choice, and assuming everything appears to stack up, go with your gut feeling. Finally, enjoy embarking on your new adventure!

Sarah Marsh is Director of Operations of MagiKats, a tuition franchise business offering out-of-school tutoring for children and teenagers looking to achieve their full potential.

Interested in a tuition franchise? Learn about becoming a MagiKats franchisee here