Taking Your Tutoring Business From Good to Great

“Good to Great” is an well-known, business book written by author Jim Collins that looks at the factors that allow some companies to make the transition from average to great while other companies don’t.   As the owner of a tutoring business I’m sure you’re interested in finding out how you can take your tutoring company from good to great and hopefully this article will provide you with some useful insights that you can apply to your tutoring business. In his research Collins identified seven areas that separated the great companies from the ones that remained average. Let’s take a look at each of these areas and see how you can apply them to take your tutoring business to the next level.

1. Level 5 Leadership

Great companies have leaders that are humble, but driven to do what’s best for the company. They keep a low-profile and diligently work to improve their business. As the owner of a tutoring business you should seek to develop the same type of leadership in yourself and in other managers on your team. By focusing your energy and time on managing and growing your tutoring business you will be one step closer to making the transition from good to great.

2. First Who, Then What

Great companies focus first on getting the right people and then on what do. In a tutoring business this translates into making it a priority to find talented tutors before before moving on to the “what” decisions of your business. With the right employees you’ll have more options in terms of what tutoring and other services your company can offer – with the wrong employees your options will be limited and your tutoring business may suffer.

3. Confront the Brutal Facts

Great companies are always willing to “confront the brutal facts” no matter how daunting. Only by having accurate information can your business achieve success – so it’s important to be open to receiving both good and bad news. In a tutoring company, developing a culture of openness where tutors and other employees feel comfortable sharing both good and bad news with management makes it possible to address problems quickly, improve customer satisfaction, find better methods for completing tasks, and building a better tutoring company.

4. Hedgehog Concept

This concept comes from an ancient Greek parable that distinguishes between foxes, which know many small things, and hedgehogs, which know one big thing. A great company has a simple and extremely clear concept of what their businesses is – something Collins calls the “Hedgehog concept”. Great companies focus on an activity they can:

  1. Make money at
  2. Be passionate about, and
  3. Be the best in the world at

By having a narrow focus you can increase the quality of your tutoring services and become a great business. Kumon has used it’s narrow focus on math and reading to become the largest tutoring company in the world. Begin by making your tutoring business the best in your local market and grow from there.

5. Culture of Discipline

Great companies have a culture of discipline that helps them stay aligned with their goals. Discipline isn’t limited to completing certain tasks, but also stopping tasks that no longer fit into the narrowed focus of your business. Having a culture of discipline ties into the hedgehog concept since this requires the discipline to stop tasks that don’t fit the focus of your business so that you can focus on the ones that do.

6. Technology Accelerators

Great companies use technology to accelerate their growth, but they also realize that technology is an accelerator and not an agent of change. Technology can help your business execute better, but it won’t save your business if you have problems in other areas. Tutoring software like Teachworks can help tutoring companies accelerate their growth. Teachworks allows your business to manage more students with less effort and resulting in higher potential revenue and profit.

7. The Flywheel

“The Flywheel” refers to the idea of momentum and that if you keep pushing in one direction you’ll build up a lot of momentum that will help you overcome obstacles. Momentum is built a little bit at a time – it’s not a dramatic, revolutionary change, but constant, diligent work. Continue to improve your tutoring business a little bit each day and over time you’ll build up momentum that will carry your business in the future.

Try applying these principles to your tutoring business so that you can join the companies that have made the transition from “Good to Great”. If you’re interested in reading the full book, you can find it on Amazon: Good to Great

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