Why you should avoid purchasing a Home Tutoring Franchise

Buying a home tutoring franchise can be a huge mistake

home tutoring franchise

Are you ready to throw money away into a home tutoring franchise?

You are currently at the franchise expo looking at a franchise to purchase. You try to find a particular franchise that peaks your interests and makes  a profit eventually. You are attracted to a home tutoring franchise that seems like it is inexpensive. Low overhead cost is attracting you.  You soon realise  that your franchise is territory limited.  Here are reasons why you should avoid this bad investment at all costs.

We have been running our tutoring business for 10+ years.  Our agency started when only a few home tutoring agencies existed.  There was very little competition then, so It only made sense to franchise and some tutoring agencies decided to go ahead and do so. Now home tutoring agencies are a “dime a dozen” and they are not territory dependant either.  Many of  these “new” home tutoring agencies fail during their first year or two due to the lack of business management experience, organisation, accounting,  education expertise or all of the above. However,  they new agencies are still out there and there is a new one is popping up every month or so. That means less profits to go around for your franchise especially since you can’t venture out of your small territory!

Just type a simple search like “tutors in Toronto” on google and you will see how many home tutoring agencies are listed on Google adwords alone.  This does not include those agencies that don’t advertise on Google adwords, or those agencies that are not on the first page of google!

It just does not make sense to buy a tutoring franchise at this point.  It would not be a bright move to buy a home tutor franchise for 25k or more.  All you will be doing at this point is investing into something that is going to be very difficult to start making noticeable profits.

Reasons why you should avoid buying a home tutoring franchise.

  • Competition is fierce and there is now less money to go around
  • Buying a specific territory is only going to make your profit margin very slim
  • Your fellow franchisee may overlap you territory or turf without you knowing it

Reasons why you should buy a tutoring centre franchise  instead of a home tutoring franchise

  • Initial investment is more but more profits in return
  • No competition – You are usually the only tutoring centre that operates in the mall, office building, or community centre with no other competition around for at least a block or two.
  • They say build a location and they will come.  This is very true.  Thousands of people per day will pass by your location everyday
  • You tutors are employees not sub-contractors.  This can be very beneficial as you are constantly monitoring and improving the quality of educators in your tutoring centre.
  • Usually less expensive than home tutoring which will attract more customers in the long run

Last Words.

My close friend bought a tutoring franchise about three years ago.  with the initial investment and the cost of advertising he made a very insignificant small profit of $15 000 in his second year after paying royalties, expenses, advertising, and tutors. He felt that he had spent over 20K in advertising a franchise that was not very popular amongst the consumers.   He later found a full time position which is a consistent income on his part.  He took a loss of $40G to only earn 15G.  He was very upset that the franchiser salesperson did not mention to him that the competition is fierce  He kept saying their is a lot of money to be made.  
If he would have done it over again, he would have invested 75K more and bought a popular tutoring centre franchise like Sylvan Learing Centres, Kumon Math and English Centres, or Oxford Learning Centres.  At least with these centres they are proven money makers and you don’t have to compete with anyone in your mall or territory.
His suggestion is to research how many business old and new are in your specific industry or territory.  If you have a lot of competitors than you will have to pay a lot more in advertising and your profit margin would be slim or nominal. 

Comments

Why you should avoid purchasing a Home Tutoring Franchise — 53 Comments

  1. We too have found that there are many competitors. It seems like at every corner a new home tutoring agency is popping up. Not sure if opening up a home tutoring franchise is the best option at this point since you are so limited with your territory you buy into.

  2. I made the mistake of buying into a home tutoring franchise. I wasted my 35K and had to ditch out another 25K in advertising. Luckily my dad wss paying for all of this. I found that after the advertising you spend you only get some profit after you pay the tutors. I decided to cancel my franchisee contract. I purchased a Kumon tutoring centre franchise instead. I found out that when you have a centre the clients can go to they trust you more. I earned more in 2 years there than I would have probably made in 5 years if I stayed with the home tutoring franchise.

  3. There is a huge difference when you are visable to the public. Most people just walk buy and purchase our services. I would assume a home tutoring franchise is more difficult as you have to pay heavily on advertising. Sylvan pays for a lot of the advertising. That means less of a cost for you.

  4. I have owned a Spirit of math tutoring franchise for over 2 years. Very happy with our profits. Stay away from home tutoring franchises. You will just be filling the pockets of your franchisor with a bad investment for you.

    • If you have some time I would like to chat with you. I am looking at some tutoring franchises and am seriously considering a spirit of math franchise.

      Thank you in advance

      Ajith

  5. We have been in the tutoring industry for over five years. I have a masters in education. Some of the home tutoring agencies(franchised or self-owned) that are coming out of the wood work are a joke. Some of these owners are often young university students or recent graduates who are very inexperienced and do not know how to manage a tutoring agency properly let alone manage themselves. They often give us a bad name and as a result clients are turning to tutoring centres like Sylvan, Kumon, or Oxford instead when they call and inexperienced tutoring agency. For those of you thinking of buying a home tutoring franchise or opening up your home tutoring agency. Do your homework first. You need to have some classroom teaching experience, business management experience, ability to problem solve on the spot, accounting skills, sales skills. This is not a walk in the park. I suppose if I had a tutoring centre it would have been a lot easier to make a profit after your overhead costs.

  6. Kumon is the worst franchise to own here in the U.S. I quit a high paying job in Chicago in 2010 to start a Kumon learning center. Initially, everyone was friendly and painted rosy picture about the franchise. I went through the motions and finally got my center up and running after investing close to $120,000 in build-out, lease, furniture, training etc.

    No sooner started my Kumon learning center, I was asked to spend $4000 on advertising. I was told that I could advertise anywhere. So I did, only to get into the cross hairs of another Kumon learning center franchise owner. My signs were taken out, posters ripped etc. The Kumon office intervened and “I” was told not to advertise by the same people who told me to do so in the first place.

    The problem is that Kumon does not have assigned territories. So anytime a center can open anywhere even next door to you. It makes your Kumon center vulnerable to competition.

    The rent I pay is over $4000 per month with CAM extra. In the first 12 months I just had about 60 students, and by the end of 2 years I just had 110. I am deep in the red, and am worse off than I was with a high paying job that I quit. The royalties are about 35% of the tuition. Tuition is $100 per month. I would like to increase it but other Kumon franchisees seriously undercut me on the price that one can do nothing about.

    Older franchisees bad mouth newer franchisees like me claiming more Kumon experience and by putting some fake awards on their walls.

    Management at Kumon is in total disarray. My field support manager provides me with no support. She comes once in a while, looks around, smiles and leaves. The staff are poorly trained to support franchisees. You call up the Chicago branch office and you are sure that your call will never be answered or returned. At the instructor conference this year, I heard that the problem goes right to the top. Recently the President Akira Hamanaka and Executive Vice President Atsushi Nose were fired from Kumon North America. This happened after all franchisees were promised better days to come at the conference by the President and CFO.

    If you are reading this and are planning to open a Kumon learning center, take my advice and DO NOT invest your hard earned money in Kumon.

    – Kumon is an outdated program and has not changed in over 50 years. It does not match the school curriculum and is below school standards in the U.S.

    – Overall Kumon has a bad reputation among students and parents. Parents and students who quit the program usually never come back.

    – If you complain about your student numbers with the Kumon staff, they blame the franchisee saying that “it is your fault that your students are quitting you.”

    – Older Kumon franchisees get a free pass. They can do whatever they want, even run a center from non-retail space.

    – Older Kumon franchisees bad mouth new franchisees like me.

    – There are no clearly assigned territories.

    – There is poor advertising support.

    – Management at Kumon is bad.

    – There is no quality control in other Kumon centers.

    – Royalties are very steep and margins slim to none.

    – Kumon staff are inept, poorly skilled, arrogant and condescending.

    – Worksheets similar to Kumon and of better quality are freely available on the internet.

    – Many parents have switched to online learning on advice from their school teachers.

    – Kumon has a bad reputation among Schools and School Teachers in the U.S.

    – There is no resale value for one’s Kumon center. I have been trying to sell my center but I cannot even recoup 10% of my investment.

    – There are many, many better programs like EyeLevel, Aloha Math etc. which offer lower royalties and assigned territories.

    – Franchisees that I met all hate the management and staff at Kumon.

    – If you fall sick or are unable to run your center, the Kumon management will shut you down.

    My advice is DON’T OPEN a Kumon learning center even if you are sold about it. You will regret it just as badly as m

    • Why are people buying franchises. Do what I did. I worked for Kumon, Sylvan, and Oxford learning centre. Got some tips from all of these and decided to open up my own centre and its doing very well. Although I went to my local church and advertised my opening date there. Word of mouth is by far your best advertising.

      • Hi Susan Chang,
        Hope you are doing good.
        As i am planning to open my own Tutoring centre,whom should i contact to get information to open my own Tutoring centre in Ontario,Canada.I appreciate your help.

        Thanks
        Kumar

  7. It really is a shame that people do not realize that owning a franchise is like being a loyal farmer for the king. The king give you a piece of land and you try to harvest your growing crops and animals. Owning a tutoring franchise is no different. The king gives you a piece of land and you are responsible for slaving for his/her benefit. So at the end of the year you are giving a large portion of your hard work, crops, and animals. In the end you may even be starving the first year. Many people think that owning a franchise makes you fast money. The sad thing is that their are home tutoring franchisers that do not care about you. They give you a small location for 35 grand and they tell you not to worry. If you spend 10 grand a year on google advertising, print advertising the customers will come. My friend did just that and in the end he actually lost money the first two years and made a nominal amount the third year, that social assistance would have been proud of. He decided to quit the whole thing and work anywhere. He was making more money working at home depot than all the work and effort he put into his home tutoring franchise. In the end he did get an office job that paid more money. But he could have done that without the high pressure franchise salesmen telling him that within a few years he will have a nice house and car for the profits he makes. We have been in the home tutoring business for over five years and I just can’t imagine how a home tutoring franchise can be locked in one subdivision of the city when we are city wide and make only pocket change. The other thing is that competition between franchisees is fierce and I can guarantee you if they have a lead for a tutor that is not in their area they will take it hands down. So my advice do not buy into a home tutoring franchise. Start on your own but beware if you do not know anything about education i.e never taught in a school etc.. than chances are you are not going to be successful as parents will ask you many different things that you will not understand. You also have to have to give up a lot of time to just to get some pocket change.

  8. I agree. I have been an English/Essay tutor in Toronto for about 6 years. I recently have been given some inhertence from my grandfather RIP. I looked into Tutor Doctor franchises, Tutor Bright franchises, and Club Z tutoring franchises. I just feel that the whole process for the home tutoring business is tedious, time consuming, and not organized. Each one of these franchises says their the best. Tutor Doctor says they have been around since 2003. Tutor Bright says they have a proven fail proof model but it is a cookie cutter of the Tutor Doctors Model and they have been in the business for less time. Club Z is basically the same thing but they have been around for decades. I did not like the home tutoring business approach.

    I really like the approach of Sylvan, Oxford, and Spirit of Math. I liked Sylvans branding and approach. Everyone has heard of Sylvan or OXford and with my expertise in the areas of literature I can at least monitor the tutors and offer suggestions. With math I would find someone that is very competent to mentor the other tutors. Just bought my first Sylvan Franchise a week ago. Very excited. I know it will make money. They have a great reputation.

    • I was thinking of buying a learning centre too. How is your experience with Sylvan? I hear very mixed reviews from franchisees. Any feedback would be appreciated.

      • My experience with Sylvan has been great. Opened up a location where no tutoring center is around for miles. I am in a mall which also helps. I was basically out there in the mall picking up many registrations in September. So far I am happy with Sylvan and they are very supportive franchiser. Did not make as much as I thought but a profit in the first year is a profit. A sylvan franchise has a name brand that everyone knows. You have to ask yourself when you purchase a franchise is 1. Is it famous like a pizza pizza franchise or 2. Does it offer something out there that does not have competition. Yes Sylvan can be costly to start up but you know that parents have heard of Sylvan at some point or another. This way you already have a brand worth starting.

  9. I read a lot of interesting content here. I always thought that buying a franchise is the last resort you go through when starting a business. Studies have shown that home based franchise business are not successful as you do not have the client base coming into the centre. Home based business work when you have had an office previously and you have clients that trust your business

  10. Education and franchising don’t go well together anyway. It should be about some good teachers offering the service to people with care. Kumon, Oxford, Sylvan, Spirit of Math and all others have to fill their deep pocket by paying peanuts to their tutors. Consequently, they don’t get to pay well and hire good teachers. I have worked for almost all of them and decided to open my own centre and partner with other teachers. We have been doing very well so far.

  11. Franchises can be a worthy investment if they are reasonably priced and do not rob you on royalties. These home tutoring franchises are very expensive for the specific territory you receive and the fact that the business model is nothing special. In that case you should not be spending a load of cash on something that has no secret recipe. If it is reasonably priced with a low royalty margin than a home tutoring franchise is worth buying.

  12. I agree with the articles above. I looked into purchasing a home tutoring franchise only to find out that they have nothing really to offer other than their own experience. There was no secret ingredient or recipe or something that wowed me to believe I am making a good investment. It seemed to me they are selling you the franchise to work your behind off for them. And for about 25 to 35 grand it is just not worth it. One salesman mentioned to me that If I spend at least 10 thousand on advertisement I would see some good profit returns in one or two years. But I simply told him that to pay 25 plus applicable taxes and fees for the town of Kleinberg is just not worth the amount of time I am going to spend on advertising and my own time. It seemed to me that you have to send a lot of time to get customers. This is not a pizza pizza store franchise opening in a busy plaza and people will come!. This is you are totally on your own and nobody knows who you are but if you advertise and spend tens of thousands of dollars you will get leads not sales. I would stay away from home tutoring franchises!

  13. I am very surprised to see some of you bought franchised learning centre only by name but without concerning about the teaching materials.

    Ho Math Chess Learning center really is different from all others because of its teaching methodology and unique workbooks.

  14. I made the mistake of purchasing a home tutoring franchise in 2014. I went to the franchise expo in Toronto and was hooked. For legal reasons I can not mention which tutoring franchise it was because I just received a settlement out of court. The salespeople really hook you with lies of success. After spending about 60 grand on franchise fee,advertisements, and other business expenses. I ONLY MADE 20G before paying tutors,royalties etc.. so after a year I made 8 grand. I called head office and they said you might not be using the right approach when securing the clients. I tried everything. Spent time doing the sales assessment at the clients home. Yes 3 out of five joined. But then you have the headache of hiring tutors. Sometimes the tutor quits on you. Sometimes the client is angry that the tutor is not good. I also found out that that the neighbouring franchisees were taking clients in my territory. I only found this out when searching the internet. I typed in my city and tutoring on google and found they paid adds to be in my territory. So why did they give you a territory if they know that the other franchisees can delve into your territory any-ways. My lawyer told me that is why I had a case against this franchisor. We proved that the territory that we bought was breached and my lawyer proved it in front of them. They settled quickly after that. So in the end I paid 10 grand on legal fees and recovered 30 grand. I AM STILL AT a 40 grand loss. So just be very careful at the franchise expo. These people are trained to serenade you into thinking that their Franchise is the winning ticket to success. Just be careful that’s all. Just be careful. That is all.

    • I Can not comment on if buying a home tutoring franchise is a good choice since I am the founder of Ho Math Chess Tutor Learning Franchise Centre.

      It is because I have seen so many comments like above and also the high start-up cost of owning a education franchise, I decide to run a very different model. Ho Math Chess have a very low start-up cost and the franchisees pay no royalty, no ad fee, no monthly minimum fee. Don’t be fooled by our low fee then you worry about our quality of teaching. We have invented many intellectual technologies including a flat chess set using geometry line and line segment concepts, also the integrated technology of math, chess, and puzzles.

      We have created over 30 workbooks covering students background from pre-school to grade 7 (in North America). The workbooks cover review, school math, and math contest and also problem solving.

  15. Why would anyone want to buy a franchise that seems to me is not territory controlled? You just will never know if someone is stealing clients from your bought territory.

  16. I own a Kumon franchise and while there were ups and downs initially. I disagree with anonymous in that it really is how you work our your business. Buying a franchise does not by any means mean a get rich quick scheme. You have to work out to secure your new clients, and make sure your existing clients are happy so they can refer you to their families and friends. Not to mention you have to get out there and go to those boys or girls soccer games and sponsor a team or two. Make sure you have a booth for the education shows. And lastly you always have to spend money on advertising. Google and mail advertising works for me. I spend about 20 thousand in advertising and make anywhere between 100 to 150 thousand per year. As for the home tutoring business I can’t really say much but if you buy a certain territory the franchisor should be responsible for making sure that other franchisee is not invading your territory. but it would be hard to prove the other franchisee is doing this unless you do some investigation of your own. I have to agree with some people here we get many customers just from them walking by our location. Good luck with everyone decision. I am happy with owning my Kumon franchise.

      • If you have a good location without much competition a Kumon Franchise should do fine. The concern was offering home tutoring franchises without a true geographic border which can cause a lot of crossover of business between franchisees and nobody is there to enforce it properly.

      • When buying a math franchise, you really should find out what kind of teaching philosophy and method behind its name.

        Generally speaking, there are different types of math franchises and I list them as follows:

        1. Mainly just doing computations, if you think math is just working on computation worksheets, they there is nothing wrong to buy a K*** math franchise, so please do not just read their website. Go talk and visit their physical location and talk to the owner and see their teaching materials, what they put on the web is sometimes quite different from what they will show you. Be careful.
        2. Mainly a site offering math contests training. So is is really necessary for children to do math contests? I taught math from 4 years old to grade 12, and I feel only the top of 5% students in regular math class could really do math contests well.
        3. Tests preparation franchise
        Offers SAT, AP classes, SSAT etc.
        4. Abacus math
        Why schools do not offer this method as an effective teaching method? Think about it.
        5. Specialty math learning center such Ho Math Chess which uses chess as a teaching method to spark student’s interest in math.
        6. Regular math learning center
        basically help students with their math homework and school math.

  17. This is, the only place I found on the internet that you can vent your frustrations after buying a home tutoring franchise by mistake. I was at the franchise expo here in Toronto about 2 years ago. There were a few home tutoring options out there. There was Tutor Doctor, Tutor Bright, and Club Z. Tutor Doctor and Club Z were the leading franchisor followed by tutor bright which was a replica of Tutor doctor,minus the fact that tutor bright is tiny in comparison with Tutor Doctor or Club Z. For legal reasons I can not say which one I chose. I can only say that for the amount you purchase you get a small territory. Because it is a small territory I have seen many of my franchisees place flyers in the mail in my territory. Franchisees are hungry because the territory you give us is so small. When I called the franchisor about it, they told me to buy more territories? Regardless I did complain to the franchisor and let them know that my franchise was struggling. There answer was that I was not spending enough on advertising. So I listened and spent thousands on advertising. It helped a little by bringing in more leads but the work load was unbearable. I had to put in 70 plus hours per week to make a small gain. I had to go to the clients home. Hire tutors daily because oh yes they did not tell you that there is a high turnover rate. Some tutors cancelling on me, clients getting angry that some of them are waiting almost three weeks plus for a tutor. This is just unacceptable. I was getting so stressed that people in my family were constantly asking if I was ok. I am going to be honest. They sales pitch you at the expo. Everything looks promising at the expo but the reality it’s not! They even told me that you could do this part time at night and the weekend. There is no way this is a part time endeavour. I wasted two years of my life, my parents money, and my dignity. Be aware. Do not buy any home tutoring franchise. I should have saved my money and bought a brick and mortar franchise like Sylvan, Kumon, or Mathnasium. It is a good thing that around the time that I quit the franchise I found a full time job in my field. People just get a full-time job instead!

    • Really sad to hear you had a bad experience with home tutoring franchise. WHERE can I get more information about Tutor Doctor and bright franchise?

    • When I bought my franchise 15 years ago there was no Tutor Doctor, or Tutor Bright. There was Club Z. But that is all. I own a Sylvan Learning centre in Toronto. Any business to begin with has a learning curve and growing pains. While, the first year I made some profit but it was not substantial. By the second year I made double the amount of profit from my first year. Word of mouth, the name branding, and the actual store have helped me achieve financial wealth. Luckily I do not have a large turnaround with my employees. In addition you can monitor the tutors performance and keep restructuring your tutors so that it would be the best fit for both the tutors and the students. I do not get any territory competition like you mentioned since I am a vis-able learning centre. And as per agreement with our landlord, there is to be no other tutoring business in our plaza. I always knew Sylvan had a good business model and 15 years later I am very pleased. Not sure how a home tutoring business like Tutor Doctor survives with such small territories that are given to their franchisees. Home tutoring is a great alternative but where is the proof in the pudding. With Sylvan you do not need to research us. They must be doing heavy advertising for a home tutoring business to stay afloat. I could see why you are angry. I am now financially wealthy and for the past 5 years have hired a manager that deals with the business for me. It was kind of heartbreaking to hear your story Broken so I did a little cold calling, pretending to want to buy a franchise from Tutor Doctor, Tutor Bright, and Club Z. Club Z was the first and has the most franchises. They are less pricey than Tutor Doctor and Tutor Bright. Tutor Doctor was the next to be established and they are the most pricey. Tutor Bright is very similar to Tutor Doctor based on their model and price which is not too far off from Tutor Doctor. It seems to me that Tutor Bright wanted to be like Tutor Doctors franchise model but did not take off like Tutor Doctor Franchise. So it appears that Tutor Bright wanted to be a Tutor Doctor Wannabe but did not get as big as Tutor Doctor. My concern is this. Why would you franchise if your business is invisible like a home tutoring business. If I owned a tutoring business I would cover all the areas of Toronto since you can because you do not have a location. So what concerns me here is what are they selling since this type of business can be vast and large. As my Grandpa said to his father. Beware of people they will sell you the “hole” of the doughnut if they could. Good luck and if you are looking for a franchise. Choose big names like Sylvan, Kumon, Oxford, and Mathnasium. People know these locations by name.

      • There is really no secret formula for running a successful math learning centre.
        Learning centre is going through a sea changes now, so the old brand names such as kumon or other names mentioned in the previous comments are facing a huge competitions from the new comers such as us Ho Math chess.

        The old formula of just giving out computation worksheets to students will most likely be out of dated very soon, that is perhaps the main reason that kumon in Asia is actually not running as well as North America because in most Asian countries (based on my own observations when compared the number of franchises by asking our parents.).

        Students in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan do get more computation worksheets from their day schools than North America students. In some Asian countries, there is a third “rush hours” around 8 or 9 p.m. when a lot of students finish their work at their private tutoring.

        My brother’s kid complained when she was sent to kumon in Taiwan back 15 years ago because she did not have time to do both school work and kumon worksheets.

        Further, you can download many free computation worksheets from the Internet and compile them together, the compiled worksheets would be very similar to the sheets you would get from kumon. there are some kumon imitators in Vancouver, they just started this way. Some of my parents bought some math workbooks from Cosco and it is the same idea as kumon worksheets. Our workbooks are very different from those workbooks because we go in depth.

        In Taiwan, you see many learning centres set up around a school but hardly any kumon learning centres. Usually there are even 3 or 4 learning centres set up just around an elementary school in walking schools in Taipei. I saw there are 2 learning centres set up right in my nephew’s apartment so I was really surprised. There was no signs outside the apartment.

        The new generation of parents do not want to see their kids just do computations, and they want to see their children learn how to solve word problems and be able to think. I saw this trend coming that is why I created Problem Solving and Math IQ Puzzles workbooks on top of the regular computation workbooks. It takes us over 10 years to create a very unique set of Math Contest problems which combines the ideas coming from China using model problems and also western problem solving strategies. Some model problems such as Chickens and Rabbits were around 2000 years old and was tested orally in ancient China, so how did the candidate do them? This is also mentioned in our math contest book.

        So beware of when buying a math learning centre, do not just look at the North America marker where students do not get as much homework as other countries.

  18. That is sad to hear Broken Franchisee. The problem with these type of home tutoring franchises is that there is no secret formula. There is no overhead costs with a home tutoring franchise. Is that a good thing. In this case no. Let’s just say you bought a Kumon or pizza pizza franchise. These franchises are more expensive but the secret formula for success is there. Unlike what people describe here with a home tutoring franchise. I personally have not heard of Tutor Doctor, Tutor Bright, or Club Z. I, on the other hand have heard of Kumon, Slyvan, and Oxford learning centres. If the general population has heard of the name, chances are that they would trust you more than a no name. Financially you would have to spend more in advertising with the no name business. I do not understand why these home tutoring franchises are franchising? If Joe Smith can open up a home tutoring business without any secret formula, than you need to ask yourself what exactly are they selling? A territory with no secret formula or equipment. It is just not worth it. Understandably, and on the contrary, a pizza pizza franchise you are equipped with machines and a secret formula. Get the picture?

  19. Has anyone looked into the Eye Level franchise? They are growing really fast but then I also found some information that said their royalties are too high and the owners are not able to make a profit.

  20. Has anyone looked into the Eye Level franchise? They are growing really fast in the US. But I also found some information that said their royalties were too high and the owners are not able to make a profit. It appears there are some centers for sale and in general they have a 20% transfer rate.

  21. We bought and ran for over 2 years a home tutoring franchise. Wont give you a name but lets just say things are not so …(hint!!) on the other side of that town.

    The façade of a downtown office etc was made to ensure a huge corporation. Once the dust settled it was a company made of 3 people. Bunch of smooth-talking sales guys with no education/coaching background.

    The work is tedious, you do everything. As everyone above said, tutor churn is very high. Also the expectation of head office is about 8 hours a kid a month … happens with less than 30% of clientèle. 1 hour a week is the norm. Plus people will cancel at the drop of a hat and not expect a charge while you pay your tutors. Along with dealing with tantrums and silly requests , be prepared to answer why the kid is not doing well with” 4 hours of tutoring /month”.

    If you really want to see the transformation in the once happy, fun franchisor… ask them to buy it back. They become monstrously notorious with legal talks, not returning phone calls etc.

    Word of advise: stay away from Home Tutoring companies that offer franchises.

    They are in the business of selling you the business , getting you to do all the work and then pay a portion of the revenue(NOT PROFIT !) to them for maintaining a pretty website. There is nothing,,, i repeat nothing proprietary about any of them. Material , methodology , training … NOTHING.

    If you are really passionate about helping kids, get started yourself. I started on my own after the non-compete expired and was surprised to see how quickly you can build up a roster of clients with honesty and sincerity to help the kids.

  22. I run a math specialty learning centre.
    It is extremely important that you look into what your are buying.
    If you can buy some math materials off the shelf then why you bother to pay someone $30,000 to buy just a name?

    The bottom line is to ask this question do students really improve in their math ability and consistently so? Would other qualified tutors could do the same good job? If not, then the system can not be duplicated.

  23. Its nice to know there is a place to write about my experience with my home tutoring franchise I bought a couple of years ago. I was like everyone else at the franchise expo in Toronto. There were three home tutoring franchise options, actually a fourth but they were tiny and undeveloped. The sales people were friendly and smooth talkers. They were kind of the guys that you would live to spend a Saturday afternoon just to shoot the wind with. But beware of the smooth talking and friendliness. Because that all goes away once you give up your money and sign on the dotted line. I wish I went here to read the comments before I threw my money at them.

    I bought a home tutoring franchise and was so hyped about it I thought I was a millionaire. They make you believe that you are going to make a ton of money. Before you buy their franchise they smooth talk you and give you a piece of mind that they will be there to help you get started so you can be successful. After I bought the franchise I had only 5 hours of training and a manual to get started. After that it was bye bye charlie! I called for question and received them days sometimes weeks later.

    I actually had to cold call pretending to be a client to my fellow franchisees to fish for information as to where they advertise etc.. O.k. so they did tell me to advertise and low and behold I see some franchisees advertise in my area that I bought. I was at a public place in my area and one of my fellow franchisee paid for and advertisement on a billboard in MY AREA!. When I called head office they told me that they were sorry but that franchisee was not aware that I recently brought into that area and was told by them before I bought my franchise that she was given the o.k. to advertise there. And that franchise owner bought the rights to advertise on that billboard for the next two years.

    I knew something was wrong so I called head office and told them I want my money back. They told me to stop worrying about it and do mass mail advertisements and adds on google which I did. So after spending 5k on advertisements I did start getting phone calls. I had a few strong leads a weak but hardly enough to pay me for all the hours I put into it. I was putting in about 40 hours per weak into it and this was my job. Most leads turned out to be just that a lead. With the few strong leads I had I did go to the home and conduct a so called “educational assessment” which was nothing more than what was a sales approach to get me into their door. I did nothing with the assessment afterwards often lying to the parents on the phone call that the assessment tells us which level your child is at and what program they need. In the end I would just file that assessment and never use it again as it was just that useless. I even had a professor of Theology from the University of Toronto and questioned the quality and validity of the assessment and asked me if I took the assessment from the internet. I felt embarrassed and from that point onward I did not mention assessments.

    Now after 6 months of constant hard work, phone calling, interviewing tutors, etc.. I made after profit about 10K. which is about 1500 a month. O.K i know it is rough for first year of business so I continued onwards. I called head office and told them what I made and they asked my how much I advertise? I told them so far about 500 a month. They said double it. So I did. I put in now 1000 a month on advertising. So after a year my profit was 20K which is about 2K per month. Hardly the six figure income they sales pitched back in the franchise expo. That is not taking into account the amount I would have to pay revenue Canada. I was at my boiling point already putting in multiple 40 plus hour weeks and having to deal with tutors cancelling on you and clients demanding their money back etc..

    They don’t even tell you how to screen tutors to see if they are good for the job. I was a postal office worker before this. How am I supposed to know if the tutor is good at what they do or are reliable. Yes I did call references but figuring someone out at an interview is the most important. Which is why I believe the interviewer should be someone who has experience in education like a teacher. They kept telling me that you do not need to be in the education field to run a home tutoring business. But a lot of the questions parents asked related to education I could not answer and probably lost a lot of good leads to my lack of knowledge of the education system.

    Than I had it after about a year and a half I get a call from a client and asked what is the difference between my agency and my fellow franchisee. I was curious to see if my fellow franchisees was invading my territory. So I told the client that the our rates are cheaper and gave her an hourly rate that she could not refuse if she emailed me the flyer she received from the mail from that franchisee. I received it and that was my ticket out of this franchise. So I quickly called head office and said that this particular franchisee is now advertising in my area and I kept my mouth shut about the billboard. But just to make things clear I called the advertiser of the billboard and they said that that owner renewed the billboard advertisement for another year. I finally called a franchise lawyer in Toronto and was able to get some of my money back because they broke my contract.

    It was their duty to make sure that this franchiser does not advertise in my area and they did not enforce it. So after all the franchise fees, advertising, costs, profit, and my court settlement I lost about 25K in costs. Having not realised that my franchisee was advertising in my area and took a good chunk of my business.

    My suggestion is to do a lot of research before you buy into a franchise. I would try to get a franchise that has a location where you can tell the mall or plaza owner that they are not to lease another competitor with the same type of business as yours. Good luck everybody.

  24. People need to do a lot or research before buying into a franchise. While buying into a franchise is a lot easier than starting on your own business, it can be a nightmare to start a franchise that has no proven record or has no branding. Any Joe Shmoe can open up a business and sell a franchise of their business model. When you are buying into a business model type of franchise you are simply borrowing their ideas which may or may not work for you at a costly franchise fee and royalty fees on gross income. Their are Many business that choose to franchise their business only after running their business for a year or two. They franchise in hope they generate more revenue for to fill their own pockets without really caring about the individual franchisee. Looking at the above comments, Why would some once want to open up a franchise that has no real franchise boundaries?. With a tutoring service that can easily be set up yourself why would Anyone go that route of buying into a franchise that sells their business model rather than selling a trademarked product or pizza, or secret sauce. I can understand if you purchased a tim Hortons, or a pizza pizza. With this you Know if you have the Right location people will be at your door. Looks like the home tutoring franchise they are selling a business model with a Geographic territory that by the way people are describing are not protected very well. Think twice and do your research folks and Good Luck.

  25. As a former franchise sales associate for various franchisers my wholehearted suggestion would be to investigate the franchiser very thoroughly. While I sold some great franchises with an excellent reputation and branding, I also sold some franchisees that I personally would never invest in. The franchisees I am talking about are those like the ones you described above that sell a “service” but do not have a brick and mortar location. Like Mario K described above they really sell you a business model and nothing more. Something you can probably get information on by going to your local library and doing some research on how to start a home based business model. I have heard of many franchisees complaining from that type of franchise, the home based business franchise like the home tutoring one described above. I feel bad for them because I enticed them to buy into these type of franchises knowing that its really a one sided deal where one party benefits and the other is left to swim in the middle of the ocean hoping that they will be saved somehow. I was once selling a service franchise which I can’t mention here with a geographic territory that I knew was already being breached by one of the franchisees. But yet I still sold them the franchise knowing this would cause major problems in the future. I would avoid these type of franchises that sell a service but have no solid geographical locations or no branding. Stick with the franchises that have a physical location and a product or service to sell that have some type of popularity. You may have to spend the extra 100k to own it but at least it has a reputation. Do not get hooked into “these franchise fee is very low compared to other franchises”. They are low because there is no overhead they are simply selling you a business model plain and simple.

    • I am so glad that I saw this page. I was about to sign on the dotted line to buy a home tutoring franchise. I was just at the expo and Tutor Doctor, Club Z, Tutor Bright, and some other small one were at the expo. I got kind of hooked with one of them and was about to sign when I read the information above. It is so true that they smooth talk you and I was told by a friend to always asks a million question before investing into something or making a decision. So I did. I asked specifics about What happens if a fellow franchisee advertises is your boundry? There simple answer was we will deal with it when it happens. I was expecting an answer like , that would never happen as we have strict geographical rules in our contract. I also asked is their a specific education program that you created that you give out to the students to help them improve. The answer was simply “no”. Then I said so simply you are selling me a business model which I can easily start on my own? Their answer was … If you franchise with us you do not have to go through the learning curve of mistakes you will make when you start a tutoring business. You get a wealth of experience of how to run the tutoring business. And than I thought , I am paying about 30 to 50 G for the franchise to say that all they are giving me is a way of how to do business? Then I researched more about home tutoring franchise failures and found many of them related on the internet regarding a few of the business that I visited in the expo above. Most of the complaints were that these guys did not get support, territory invasion from other franchisees, and really not doing their homework about the amount of work that is required by the franchisee to find clients and retain them. I am sure there are some successful franchise locations for these home tutoring franchises are successful but for now I am looking into a franchise that I personally know by name and has some type of presence in the local market out there.

  26. When you are doing education tutoring, the only thing finally really works is honesty. If you are buying a online tutoring then how are your going to define the territory if the limitation is not built in the software? If you are buying a education business and the materials could be simply duplicated and bought from a bookstore , then why don’t you just spend some small token money to buy some books from bookstores?

    Look for a math franchise to see if this franchise has a unique teaching materials, a unique teaching method, and the most important an effective results. Parents will send kids to you is solely based on the can see the results, not how well you talk on how great the tutoring is.

  27. @Frank this is separate from online tutoring. What I believe they are discussing on this page is more like a franchise is limited to a specific geographic location that conducts home tutoring services. These home tutoring franchises are limited to clients in their geographic location they have purchased. But you do have a good point about what to do if the franchise sells online tutoring. They probably have a limitation to sell online tutoring. I feel online tutoring is for the students that need a quick answer or edit of their work. For long term use tutoring at home or at a centre is the best method. My concern is that people here are buying into a business model which they can easily find out information by going to seminars or local government sponsored entrepreneur programs that can assist you in getting started if you have an idea. You have more freedom if you run your own business. But If there are proven methods like Frank Ho’s math speciality centre than it may be worth investing in a franchise like Frank Ho, or Kumon, sylvan, or oxford type of franchises. It may cost more to own these franchises but its your best bet as each of those franchises come with a brick and mortar location and some specialised curriculum they create themselves.

  28. I was at the expo Tutor Bright Franchise starts at around 30K and Tutor Doctor starts around 50K. Kumon you are looking at 100k, Sylvan 150K . Just hire a business consultant and start your own home tutoring business lol.

    • As a former franchise sales rep I would say that Its fine to hire a business consultant. But if you do not have a business knack or are creative it can be a futile attempt to start a business. I agree with some people here these home tutoring franchises, or any franchise that sells a service that has no fixed geographical location you are simply buying a business model or in layman terms they are showing you how things for that specific business for a set price.

  29. I own my own tutoring centre near Pacific Mall in Scarborough. It is not easy to start on your own. My suggestion is to work for Kumon, Sylvan, Oxford etc.. and get ideas from them. After that you can create your own custom tutoring centre without having to spend 100k or more for a name. I have to admit I wanted to quit after the first year, but I kept going at it and eventually found enough clientele advertised at my church, and some local paper classifieds, and than I started building up my clientele. My centre focuses on math but we do have English tutoring as well. I do not make a ton of money every year, but enough to say it’s a comfortable working salary without worrying about who your boss is. I am not sure about these home tutoring business but from reading above I would say you are really only buying “business model” of that type of business. So why would you pay that much money for a business model and restrictive location beats me? Like someone said above you are probably better of to talk to a business consultant that does this for a living and pay a small fee than spend 30 to 50k on someone eles’s business model.

    • I agree with Sara on here. While I did own and sell back my Kumon franchise. I have to say the amount of work I put into it and the restrictions you have, the loyalties was not worth my time. The good thing I have to say about Kumon is that they have their own program, that speaks for itself. So its like you have all the support from Kumon including the work material you just have to get the people. Now most people saw our centre visually and just came in which was easy advertising there. But you have to spend on advertising to get a good amount of people joining. I did make money on my Kumon franchise but I felt like I was putting in a huge amount of time getting it going. Felt like I had 2 jobs physically. I have gone to the franchise forums, websites, and expos and found the Club Z, Tutor Doctor, and some very small franchisers like Tutor Bright were also there. these never interested me as I felt like the people above is that you are not paying for a developed curriculum. You are simply paying for a certain way to do business, plus all the restrictions, and loyalties. Good for you Sara, You have the right idea about going on your own rather than be tied down to strings.

  30. I can help anyone who is interested in starting home-based tutoring business with a very minimum cost.
    Do not worry about renting an office, do not worrying about paying rent. I will supply all teaching materials. The only thing is we only teach math, not other subjects.
    Details, see homathchess.com

    I also will teach you how to setup equipment so the teaching is very similar to face to face teaching.

  31. The real asset of a math learning franchise is not the business model, but the teaching materials especially those who are unique and also the teaching method. It is really crazy that you buy an online tutoring business without seeing how it is done at the teacher end and also the student end.
    Did you ask how those franchiser who asked you to pay $30,000 landing fee on how you actually teach online? Do not buy it if you did not get all the details.

    I want to set up a home-based online tutoring business and it is really home-based, so you do not go out to teach while it is snowing outside. The students could actually see how you teach math using pencil and paper, it is not Skype. All the accounting also will automatically handle for you. If you not make money on tutoring then you do not pay me. I only get paid if you made money and you also get all the free training from me through online just like how you will teach your future children. So if you see how I teach you (meaning the student) and feel it will not work then you should not join me.

    The territory is hard to reinforce because it is online but in Canada there is a time-zone for the whole country so it has some limitations naturally in place.
    My idea is not to have the teaching location limited in Canada but open up to the world.

    I will perhaps do the same thing as you do so we can help each other.
    The payment and fee charges will be handles by the system, we only do the teaching and the promotion.

  32. I am in the middle of setting up a real home-based online math tutoring centre, so do not rush out to buy anything until you talk to me.

    The whole idea is also based on if you do not make money then I do not either.

  33. I looked into buying a franchise at the franchise expo and found the same issues that I read here. The franchises like Tutor Doctor, Tutor Bright, Club Z offer you a small territory and what is left in the territories actually scared me. The geographic areas with the largest population are gone! There is nothing but dry desert left and they are trying to sell you these areas saying that they have a proven record for sales and the money will come flying to you. None of these agencies offered any programs or licences educational material or programs. I agree with Mario K here is that these so called home tutoring franchises sell you nothing but a business model that anyone out there can own and create their own business model. Why waste over 30K to 50K on a business model when you can spend that directly on advertising and open up your very own home tutoring franchise. By the way the sales representative were a joke! Trying to sell you a piece of dry desert! Seriously. What made me laugh is that Tutor Doctor was world wide followed by club Z and than the mini Tutor Bright tried their best to say that they are small but have a lot of open locations available. But in the end it came down to all of them simply selling you a business model. I did wind up purchasing a Sylvan Learning Franchise because it is more corporate backed up and everyone has heard of Sylvan Learning. They also have a plethora of licensed educational material unlike these Turkeys trying to sell you a “piece of land with their so called business model”

  34. I simply would investigate the franchise properly. Do your own investigation. Does not matter what the franchise is, go to their location. If there is no location, give one of the franchisees a call to explain their service and if possible pay you a visit. Than you can see for yourself how they operate and at the same time ask the franchisee or owner if possible if it is worth it to run a business like theirs.

    • If you have to spend more than $1000 to buy a home-based tutoring franchise, then you should talk to me because I offer a home-based franchise business which will not cost you over US $1000 US a year for a promotional fee right now, that is right, not over $1000 a year. I also have created electronic version of student and teacher workbooks so it is a turn-key business. Further, I will teach you on how to conduct online teaching once you join me.
      If you are interested, then I can provide a web-based workbooks review for you to have a look before you decide to join me.

      Don’t just join a home-based tutoring business when it does not have a special teaching method or uniqueness — we do, so take some time to investigate us at http://www.homathchess.com and also at http://www.amazon.com and http://www.youtube.com.

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