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How A Former Educator Opened a Successful Tutoring Business At The Height Of The Pandemic

Posted on:

February 23, 2022

Driven by a passion to help students, Jamie Lee had played many roles in the education space for over 15 years. As a former teacher, opening a Tutor Doctor franchise seemed like the perfect way to achieve her goal of owning her own business while fulfilling her passion as an educator. She shares an entrepreneurial spirit with her husband and business partner, Ralph Lee, who was a successful restaurant owner in Washington. D.C. In 2019, the couple was introduced to a franchise opportunity with Tutor Doctor in South Tampa, FL. Feeling motivated, the couple embraced the opportunity and made the move to Florida to begin their journey as Tutor Doctor franchisees.


When Jamie and Ralph opened their location for business in Q3 of 2020, lockdowns were imminent, and COVID-19 had severely impacted the education industry. Despite the challenges, Jamie was able to pivot and grow a successful Tutor Doctor business in under a year. Her resilience and creativity eventually earned her the title of “Rookie of the Year” at Tutor Doctor’s annual award ceremony in 2021. 


In this fireside chat with Tutor Doctor business coach, Nick Clement, learn more about how Jamie’s dedication helped her overcome adversity during her journey as a Tutor Doctor franchise owner. 


Nick Clement: First things first, we should probably do some introductions! My name is Nick, I'm one of the business coaches at [Tutor Doctor] Home Office. I’ve been working in franchising for about nine years, business coach for four, franchisee for five, and really my main role is to work with our franchise partners one-on-one and make sure we hit some goals.

So not to oversimplify that too much, but Jamie, what about a quick intro for yourself? Just a little background. What brought you over to Tutor Doctor? 


Jamie Lee: I've been in education for the last 16 years. I started out as a classroom teacher. I moved into a role in admissions towards the end of my time in schools. I've been working with Tutor Doctor since last August, so it will be a year next month. My family and I just moved to Tampa, Florida about a year ago from Washington, DC. 


Nick Clement: Awesome! And to dive into some of the questions we often get from franchise candidates, what was one of the things that stood out the most to you when you first joined Tutor Doctor? 


Jamie Lee: For sure the level of support was the thing that stood out the most to me. You know, I love the phrase “You're in business for yourself, but you're not by yourself when you're with a franchise.”, and I really feel that! Everything from our Global Team Calls that we have every single week, to the newsletters that go out, to the biweekly coaching that you and I do, to just being able to connect with other franchisees on the Facebook group. There's so many outlets and ways that I think Tutor Doctor has built this community, and I think I really could not do this business without all of those factors, so I'm very grateful that Tutor Doctor has all of those pieces set in place. 


Nick Clement: Yeah! Just like that, the whole framework and architecture of everything - that it's not just like a bunch of articles on a dashboard (which we have), but it's more human than that, right? Because everyone's business is different, and it deserves that attention, which I think is super fair. That's a perfect answer to that [question]. 

We've been working together for now over 12 months [since] launching in August. With that experience - and I feel a little awkward asking this because I'm your coach - how has coaching impacted your business so far? And just be as honest as possible. 


Jamie Lee: I mean it has so positively impacted my business, I can't even begin to tell you! You have literally given me a crash course in Business 101, and in running my business, and what to look out for.

Our meetings are so rich in how we dissect things, look at the numbers. I have this support, like you are another person looking at it all with me. I'm not in it alone! And when I have questions, you're right there. You also help focus me on, for the next two weeks, what should we be focusing the most attention and energy on, because there's a million things I could be doing. But after every meeting, I feel like I really am laser focused on one or two actions that I can take within the next two weeks that are going to propel me and propel my business. And that's been such a huge gift to me. I love working with you. 


Nick Clement: I appreciate that! I think it's also a two-way street. A coach can do a lot if the person that they're partnered with is very receptive to that and that's all on you. You're hyper open, you're always taking whatever resources we have and putting it to action. It's never a concern after one of the meetings we talk about. It's like, “Okay, here are the next steps..” and you're the first one out there, minutes later doing the actual work of the business. Which is a great segue to a little bit more about your story, and feel free to share as much as you'd like to share.

There's been a lot of accomplishments over the past year. What's probably the most significant accomplishment you think you've been able to hit in the past 12 months? 


Jamie Lee: That's a good question. I think it's certainly been amazing to see myself being recognized as a top rookie in sales or a top rookie for hours delivered. But, I think aside from those accolades and the recognition, just getting this business off the ground and running! And the fact that we've served over 110 students up to this point, and it hasn't even been a full year. That, I think, is the thing I'm the proudest about, because I know that when we're working with those students and those families, we're really making a difference and we're actually changing their lives for the better. And that is why I did come into this business. And why I feel like I could “sell it”, because I really believe in it! 


Nick Clement: Yeah! To piggyback off that, I think the thing that I also see the most accomplishment in is even though a lot of our calls are talking about numbers and the what the goals are in the next couple of weeks, what that all ends up boiling down to is how we're impacting people in your local community. The work we do here is really, really important for those people. If we do this right, we did that. It's a cool thing to think about in full context and it's a crazy world out there. If we can do a little bit of positive damage, then awesome. We win. I think we do a great job with that. 


Are you ready to follow in Jamie’s footsteps and make a difference by owning a tutoring franchise? Reach out to our team to discuss your goals and learn more about this amazing education franchise opportunity.


Check out the full interview between Jamie and Nick below!



Tags: marketing, entrepreneurship, education franchise, tutoring, education

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