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Finding New Paths: A Fireside Chat with Kimberly Selchan

Posted on:

March 27, 2023

We have many smart and passionate individuals in our franchise network who love nothing more than sharing their learnings and success stories with their fellow franchisees.


Our Performance Excellence Manager, Karly Arnott sat down to speak with franchisee Kimberly Selchan, the owner of Tutor Doctor Chandler-Gilbert about finding success with her business. Kimberly has a passion for helping the children of her community, and for supporting her fellow franchisees in the network.


Let’s learn more about Kimberly and how she built her business in her fireside chat with Karly!



Sitting Down With Kimberly for a Fireside Chat


Karly: Hello, Kimberly! How are you today?


Kim: Good morning, Karly! I'm doing great. How are you?


Karly: I am great. Thank you so much for taking a few moments here to have a little chat with me. We're looking forward to a few of our new candidates learning from you and your experience in Tutor Doctor so far. I do have a few questions for you, and I'm looking forward to this casual conversation about how Tutor Doctor has supported you towards your growth so far.


So first off, I'll let you introduce yourself for those listening and then we'll get started.


Kim: Thanks for chatting with me about this, I'm happy to share. I am Kimberly Selchan and my territory is in Arizona, in the Gilbert area. I have three territories, which are considered an empire and I myself, am a mother of two kids that are super soccer bound, so I'm a soccer mom as they say.


In my past experience, I used to be in sales leadership. Specifically, I did a lot of sales strategy and with the sales leadership portion, it was a lot of coaching and development, and then working with our finance and marketing partners to ensure that we were hitting the sales goals. So that's what I did in my professional career prior to Tutor Doctor.


On a side note, I'll always share this. I'm a plant-based eater, so I’m a weirdo, but that’s part of who I am.


Karly: I love it. You always teach me about your plant-based space. Coming from that sales-based background, why did you decide to join the Tutor Doctor family?


Kim: Oh my gosh. I thought it fit in so well. When I say it out loud, you know, Tutor Doctor, that's clearly in the education space.


Well, sales isn't really a space at all. Sales is any product or service that we're providing to somebody, there is a sale that helps that occur. 


I actually never, ever thought of myself as a, you know, quote-unquote “salesperson.” It really was the consultative process that I did when I first started in my positions, and then what I coached my teams to do is listen to your client and figure out what is it that they need. What are their pain points? Then do I, or do we as a company, have the service that's going to meet that need and, you know, take away that pain? 


Listening to other franchisees at Tutor Doctor, and in my exploration process, I realized, my gosh, that there is a lot of pain and this can be solved with education.


There are some challenges in the education world, the ratios of teachers to kids in the classroom, and all sorts of things. But at the end of the day, there's a parent that's concerned about their child's progress and they're looking for help.


A lot of times they have to look outside the classroom, and that's okay. We all need coaches for something. So to me, it really resonated. 


The Tutor Doctor model is actually very similar to what we were doing before in a sales space. Again, it's all about listening to the client. So I thought my skill set was very transferrable to what we're doing.


And then, of course, the value proposition. I mean, it's outstanding. We're literally changing entire families' lives.


Karly: Thank you for sharing that. It sounds like it resonated on a few different fronts, both from the skillset and then in addition to the mission of what we do here at Tutor Doctor and literally changing the trajectory of student's lives.


It sounds like a perfect marriage of the two. You're a relatively new franchisee, at least a few years in with us so far. What stood out to you so far with your journey with Tutor Doctor?


Kim: Gosh, a lot of things, I feel like it's more of a sensation really. And I can look at numbers and we can talk about those in this call or any other time, but it's like growing something.


It's not like watching a kid grow up exactly. But I think you have a roadmap to build some sort of Lego construction and you kind of know what it's going to look like. But it's so much different when your hands are in it and you're watching each layer and you're like, “Oh my gosh, this is coming together, this is coming together!”


And it is like that. I can feel growth occurring in the business, and in myself more than anything. It is profound, so you can probably hear a tear in my voice. I'm so excited about all the things that I see growing and developing. beyond just having more and more students year over year.


It's really striking.


Karly: It sounds a bit cheesy, but I did get chills when you said that. Not from what I'm hearing, but from what you're saying. It's not only about growing your business in a way that's really making an impact on your community, but you're also feeling growth in yourself, which is probably really encouraging.


I think that's a great segue into our next question. I've been working with you as your business coach for the last year and a half, if not a little longer. It’s of course a little bit awkward for me asking you this question directly, but I think more for the listeners, what have you got out of working with a business coach, both for yourself and for your business?


Kim: A couple of things. I wanted to share a little bit about who I am and why working with a business coach is so important. I am just wired in such a way that I just go do stuff, to say it in layman's terms. I just get an idea, I formulate it, I create the basic plan, and then I just go attack it.


That's how I'm wired. So having you or having a business coach really helps refocus. Laser focus is a better way to say it, not refocus. I might feel like I have a good idea and I think it's going to be profitable. Then meeting with you in a nice gentle, nudging way forces me to say, well, let's take this idea, and break it into steps that are actionable and choose an outcome that's measurable. 


If I have a goal and I want to go tackle something, one might think, well, of course, it's to increase revenue or reduce expenses, but without having somebody to check what I've done, I would just go off the deep end and maybe not realize, “Hey, I just passed a couple of warning signs that are showing me this project is now getting way too expensive.” 


In any corporate space, which a lot of us that come into this business come from, we've got whole departments that do things like that.


Somebody manages the money and there's a project manager. In this business, we don't have any of those people. We are those people. And I'm not awesome at all of those things. I'm really good at certain things, and you help balance the other things out that I may not put as much focus into.


You help me be laser-focused. That's one huge thing that I get out of this. Honestly, it's just refreshing to speak to you every couple of weeks to look at the business in a short retrospect, like, what did the last two weeks look like? What did the last month look like? Or quarter, because I do get going so fast that I don't take pause to say, “Hey, wow, I actually did hit that goal,” and that's really important.


Before you set a new goal, you have to look back and say, well, did I hit the last goal? Did that work? Was that successful? And then the last part of that is why. Why was that successful? So if you can replicate those things, then you're going to be successful. And I can't really do those things on my own.


So in a way, Karly, I need you. I need you in my business. You're part of my team, so thank you.


Karly: I want to add on to that too, because the coaching relationship and with anyone that I work with, it really is a two-way street. There's an ownership that you take over your business and your action plan and our coaching relationship that makes it fruitful for you and your business.


Without that level of ownership and the effort coming from you and commitment coming from you to our meetings, we wouldn't be able to have that type of progress. So I just want to give a nod again to the ownership that you take because without that, we wouldn't be able to make progress every few weeks.


Kim: You know, I want to say something that's so important. I don't know what anybody's perception is of coaching, but I want to say clearly what you do with me, and I feel pretty strongly that this is what you do with everyone, I remember that very first consultation that we did together to make sure we'd be able to work together and that I would be able to put in the effort so that these meetings would be successful.


You know, you asked me a lot of questions about what my goals were and my answers are going to be different than another franchisee's. And it's not like, maybe we have the same sales numbers. That part doesn't matter, but it's whatever that person's goals are. You help me every time we meet to make sure that my short-term goals align with my big goals, whether it's my personal income, how many tutors I have, how many clients I want to serve, hours delivered, or whatever the goals are.


You make sure to respect what my goals are, and then hold me accountable to hitting them. That is really, really important. I'm glad you brought that up.


Karly: Absolutely. I think that's actually a really great segue into my last question. I think what I'd love for you to elaborate a little bit more about is the power of strengths as a business owner, but also what are you specifically proud of in terms of your accomplishments with Tutor Doctor so far in your few years with us?


Kim: I have to narrow this down. Let's see. I'm proud of a lot of things and I'm really pleased with a lot of things. I think this is probably the best way to tie this all together because I think this business has a lot of different facets. You can do so many different things out there in the community and online with cost, without cost, and you wonder, “my gosh, I'm a new business owner. Which one should I do first? I should do them all because more is better.” I'm really proud of that. I'm still in my third year, but I set my goals just like every new business owner would do.


What's my year-over-year growth going to look like? What's my year-over-year revenue? I'm really proud that I am on track to beat my first three-year goals. I'm really, really, really proud of that, especially following Covid. I was right there in the middle.


I was in my second year of business, and you're like, “wow, should I just throw in the towel? Should I scrap all my goals?” Well, instead, I was forced or inspired to completely pivot my business from doing, you know, sit-down, face-to-face consultations. I met my tutors face-to-face and my clients face-to-face. Everything was face-to-face. 


Then the universe said, “no, no, not anymore.” So I was able to grow the business almost exclusively in an internet-based way through community, social, and marketing, and it's a whole new thing. I discovered it for myself. I've never really been a fan of Facebook and all the digital social platforms, but I learned that that's where my clients were, and I was able to grow my business without ever seeing them. I was just blown away that that was even possible.


That was really wonderful that it worked for my business, but I really wanted to share it because I thought, “wow, this can't be a secret. This can't be unique just to my territory.” Sure enough, I started chatting with a couple of other franchisees and then the Home Office took notice, you and some others, and you supported that and you asked, “how are you getting these numbers?”


You asked me to share and that was amazing, getting to take the leadership role. It’s similar to what I experienced before I came into Tutor Doctor, but it's not a fly-by-night thing. I really wanted to make sure that I had been able to track the numbers and that they could be replicated in other territories.


I'm proud of the growth. I'm proud of coming up with a newer idea to continue growing even in an environment where we can't see our clients and being able to share that with the network. Hopefully, other people have been able to benefit from that, and that makes me really proud. 


This is a strong community of sharing and you don't have to do every single thing that every franchisee is doing, but I leveraged some strengths that I had and some interests, like things that I enjoyed doing and that's just an amazing pivot, and transition over the past couple of years.


Karly: You're quite humble. But not only that, you came out of that winning the Marketing and Innovation Award at our Annual DBA conference this year, and I think that speaks to the power of your tactics, actually making an impact on other business owners, and allowing them to grow and expand their lead generation as well.


Kim: Thank you.


Karly: I think the power of a franchise network is really leaning into tactics and change and growing together as an organization faster just from the collective brain power of those on the ground in the communities. Last and final question for you, Kimberly.


If you were to give one piece of advice to a business owner looking to grow their business this year, what would it be?


Kim: I would have to tie in with what I discovered in myself and in my business' success over the past couple of years. Choosing those things like your inherent skills and passions, bring those to the table first. Lead and leverage your own strengths and your passions. This is your business.


You want to feel it. I mean, it's gotta feel like family, like you're creating it. Maybe it's the Lego construction I referred to earlier. Maybe you're into something else, but you are building something amazing. You're putting yourself into it. So do those things that you enjoy doing and that will obviously be profitable.


Over time as you're looking to grow your business more, then look into the network. Maybe my tactic doesn't work for you, but there are plenty of other franchisees whose will. Call upon them and ask them what they're doing. If you go, “Hey, that's amazing, I want to do that, but I personally do not have the skills to do that,” maybe down the road then you find something or somebody that you can delegate those tasks to.


But absolutely, get out there and do the things that you love doing. Do them well. Do them big and you will feel it in your heart, and you'll probably see it in your revenue growth as well.


Karly: I think that's a perfect place to cap this one off for today. Kimberly, thank you so much for sitting down to chat with me for a few minutes, and best of luck as you close out 2021 and crush your goals.


Kim: Thank you!


Continuing on the Path to Success

Thank you Kimberly for sitting down with Karly to talk about the successes and challenges that you’ve had in your business. We appreciate your valuable insight and willingness to share your experiences with the network!


Are you interested in learning more about owning a Tutor Doctor franchise? Reach out to us to get started!

Tags: entrepreneurship, education franchise, business ownership

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