James Hardy spent thirty years in the military and, when he retired from the Marine Corps, he wanted to start a business that would make more than a profit. He wanted something that would make a difference too. What better way to build your community than to help students to achieve their goals?
James appreciated the structure and organization that the Tutor Doctor Franchise offered. Owning a franchise meant that he could go into business for himself, but not by himself. He could avail himself of all the advantages of a big corporation; large-scale marketing initiatives, an established brand, preferential rates from vendors and proven systems for administration and accounting.
We talk to James about his experience with owning a franchise:
Which franchise did you buy?
I’ve owned the Tutor Doctor in Stafford Virginia / Northern Virginia since January 2016.
Why did you choose franchising over owning your own business?
I wanted to own a business, but I didn’t want to have to start from scratch with creating a name for myself. With a franchise, I am still an independent business owner, but I get all the support of belonging to the Tutor Doctor family.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
After a 30-year career in the Marines, I recently retired. I spent a little over a year working in the financial industry and both of these experiences gave me the discipline I would need to start my own company.
Why did you choose the Tutor Doctor franchise?
My wife and I wanted to do more than just make a profit, we wanted a business where we could contribute to the needs of the community. We are both firm believers in the value of education. We relish the opportunity to help families who are struggling, to build our community and to make a real difference in the lives of our students.
Where did you do most of your research?
I focused on the internet and also researched at the library to find the pros and cons of franchise owning. Once I had decided that it would be better to own a franchise, I worked with a franchise recruiter to find a business that was a good fit.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The challenges of really getting my name out in the surrounding communities, and competing against the other entities that have been in place before I arrived is my biggest challenge to date. I have to put a lot of time into building up a network and a client base and I have to work on this aspect of the business every day.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Be prepared to spend more time in achieving success in your franchise than you probably have ever spent with regular employment.
What sets your franchise apart from other tutoring franchises in your area?
None of the other tutoring franchises in my area offer one-to-one, in-home tutoring. They also don’t have a program that specializes in academic discipline to reinforce academic knowledge. At Tutor Doctor, we don’t just fill in the missing building blocks, we also teach the skills that students will need to be good learners for life.
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