Startup Story: Just What the Tutor Doctor Ordered

Tutor Doctor logo
Tutor Doctor is a small business offering custom tutoring services to K-12 students.
Tutor Doctor is a small business offering custom tutoring services to K-12 students.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

But if you need help mastering a new subject or skill, Malcolm Mayo and his wife, Rickela, want to give you access to a Tutor Doctor whenever you need one.

The Mayos officially established Foodie Enterprises, Inc. in September 2014. The current focus of Foodie Enterprises is a startup international franchise company called Tutor Doctor. It offers tutoring services for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade, but it’s open to anyone interested in honing their skills.

“Tutor Doctor is primarily designed to help parents invest in their kids’ futures,” Malcolm Mayo explains. “We can provide one-on-one tutoring for kids across all grades. We look at this as offering a coach who can help students either improve their academic standing or maintain a high level. Basically, if someone is an ‘A’ student, we can help them maintain that. If we get a ‘C’ student, we can help them become an ‘A’ student.”

The small business takes a very specific approach when offering tutoring services. If someone needs a tutor for a certain class like algebra, trigonometry, or calculus, the company can offer a subject-matter expert rather than a general math tutor for such a case.

He says there were several reasons that drove he and his wife into starting a business of their own to achieve the much-desired American dream of entrepreneurship.

“I always wanted to potentially own my own business and become an entrepreneur,” he explains. “Tutor Doctor is a franchise, so I wanted to get involved in a brand that was young, could grow, and one that had solid leadership at the top. I also wanted to control my own destiny. My wife and I told ourselves that if we could succeed in the corporate world working for others, we could be successful small business owners.”

They both  felt that their skill sets complemented each other well, which is why they decided to put both of their names on the paperwork for the company.

“She has an HR background and has a higher education, so she handles more of the frontend aspects of the business,” he says. “I work on the financial and operations aspects.”

How to Make Your Small Business Succeed

In Mayo’s words, any successful small business must satisfy its customers. In his case, the success of the students his startup company helps will determine the ultimate success of the small business.

“We have to be very engaged in the community and help those in it who need assistance,” he says. “The success of our enterprise comes from the success of our students. We can sit down with parents to set goals for their kids to ensure everyone is aligned with what we are trying to achieve.”

Tutor Doctor can either send a tutor to a student’s home, or there are local libraries where parents can bring their kids for the academic sessions. While its main demographic is students in school, the small business offers tutoring and training to anyone, such as seniors who want to learn how to use a computer or an iPad.

Small Business Competition

The Mayos separate their startup from other competing tutoring services by offering a more customized approach for each student they assist.

“We call it the ‘Tutor Doctor advantage,’” he explains. “If you go to a learning center, you can probably get general help. But with us, we are curriculum-based. We focus on what is covered in a student’s actual classes. We track a student’s progress from beginning to end. We use weekly progress reports so that students, teachers, and parents are all on the same page. We also have different packages for different needs. Ultimately, we always provide a high level of customer service.”

Advertising Methods for a Small Business

The marketing plan for Tutor Doctor is multifaceted. The startup has a website at www.tutordoctorcentral.com. The Mayos are also working with their local chamber of commerce and attend relevant events to help get the word out.

Overcoming Challenges in Business Ownership

Like fellow entrepreneurs, the Mayos have faced several challenges in getting their business off the ground.

“Our biggest challenge has been trying to understand the tutoring industry and the needs of the students. Building relationships with key stakeholders who can provide the service you need is big. When we go to a school, we have to find the right person to talk to who can help put us in touch with the right students. It’s definitely not as easy as it sounds.”

He offers some tips for entrepreneurs who want to become small business owners themselves some day.

“Be patient and do your homework,” he suggests. “It is a long process, but be patient. If you’re starting a franchise, we highly recommend using a franchise consultant to guide you through the process. They will be your best friend.”

Experience with 1-800Accountant

Mayo says he and his wife are satisfied clients of 1-800Accountant.

“Now that we have personal and business filings to do, 1-800Accountant is a valuable player in this process,” he says.
Photo credit: The photographs included in this blog post were provided by Foodie Enterprises, LLC and are used with permission.

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