How to start an education business

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The private tutor industry is booming. Hardworking parents are more willing than ever to invest in their children’s future by paying for additional tuition outside of the classroom. Studies have shown that at least a quarter of UK pupils have received the help of a private tutor at some stage, with a hefty 40 percent of these living in London. According to Superprof, the private tuition industry in the UK is worth £2 billion, which makes us one of the leading nations when it comes to paying for additional educational services.

UK tutoring industry

Preparing for a specific test or exam was the main reason given by 52 percent of students when asked why they had received extra tuition. A close second with 50 percent said tuition was to help with schoolwork in general. Only 13 percent reported that their parents had paid for extra lessons because they are really interested in a particular subject.

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UK education industry

It’s not surprising then that the current value of the UK education industry is over £6 billion a year and is set to grow. With the industry growing by between seven percent to 10 percent a year, the market is set to exceed £80 billion worldwide by 2020. So, it seems now is a great time to consider education franchise opportunities. Here are some of the benefits to starting a business in this growing sector:

Why should you consider a tutoring franchise?

  • There is a strong demand for private tutoring in the UK. As the statistics prove, education franchise opportunities provide a valuable extension to the existing education system. The demands on our schools’ budgets and teachers’ time mean that parents are progressively looking for different ways to supplement their children’s education.
  • The role of a franchisee in the private tutoring sector allows for lots of flexibility. If you’re the one providing the tutoring, you can choose the hours you work to an extent, but they are likely to be evenings and weekends to fit around school hours. This opens the opportunity up to those wishing to own a franchise on a part-time basis, maybe alongside a full-time job, or around other commitments that you may have.
  • Education franchise opportunities are both rewarding and challenging. Being a private tutor combines the difficulties that sometimes occur in the teaching profession with the challenges of being your own boss. Every day is a different, and although it can be hard sometimes, the satisfaction gained from seeing pupils progressing and learning is worth the tough times.
  • Education franchise opportunities also help people take the first step into teaching by offering them a professional framework within which to work. There are many passionate educators who want to set up their own business, but lack the confidence, capital and experience to do so. By owning a franchise business, these franchisees get to teach children safe in the knowledge that they have the support network that comes as part and parcel of operating under an established brand.

How to start an education business

  1. Decide which subjects you want to offer. To keep it simple in the early stages, you might want to only offer tuition in a couple of subjects and to a specific age group. There’s always scope to diversify your offering and expand your customer base further down the line when you are more confident in your role as an education business owner.
  2. Find the perfect location. A lot of tutors keep costs low by working in their own home, but this isn’t suitable all of the time. If you live somewhere far out from a major city or town, you will struggle to appeal to students. Therefore, renting a workspace or travelling to your students’ homes might be a better option.
  3. Choose your prices carefully. Examine the prices of your local competition. You need to find a balance between charging high enough to make a profit but low enough to receive custom.
  4. Market your business. Schools and libraries are a good place to start, but don’t forget you will be predominantly aiming your marketing material at parents, not the children.

Education franchise opportunities

Here are a few franchise opportunities that are available if you’re interested in starting a business in the education industry:


Proof that franchise opportunities under £5,000 are varied and wide-ranging, Kumon offers the chance to buy into the world’s largest after-school education programme. The franchise was founded 50 years ago and uses the Kumon Method to help over four million students worldwide.

To ensure franchisees become successful Kumon franchise owners, they will participate in a six-part training session that is dedicated to honing skills. On top of benefiting from Kumon’s wealth of experience in the sector, franchisees can also make the most of the brand’s promotional campaigns, national advertising and production of materials.

With initial investment from as little as £3,000 plus VAT needed to start the franchise, this business provides the potential return of £30,000 - £50,000 per year, depending on the size of the centre.

Tutor Doctor

This franchise has 640 units in 15 countries, with 35,000 tutors helping 300,000 students. These are impressive statistics from one of the fastest growing educational companies in the history of franchising. And the opportunity to join this expanding company is not restricted to people who have previously worked in the education sector. In fact, only 17 percent of Tutor Doctor franchisees have prior experience in education, while 83 percent come from diverse business backgrounds.

This home-based franchise has low investment costs compared to some other tutoring franchises due to the minimal overhead costs. As a franchisee, you’ll simply generate leads, visit potential clients in their homes and then arrange for an appropriate tutor to provide the teaching.

When you become a Tutor Doctor franchisee, you can look forward to comprehensive training and access to an ongoing network of support. Before you start, you will complete 80 hours of online training. Then, you will get to grips with all aspects of the business model during seven intensive days of training. Even when you’re up, running, and thriving, you will benefit from annual conferences, a field coach, regional meetings and a weekly global franchisee call.

Tutor Doctor clearly appreciates that in order for its franchisees to be successful business owners, they need to be satisfied with their level of support and feel confident in their role.

The franchise encourages entrepreneurs who are highly motivated and a people-person, and who also have access to the total investment of £34,700 to apply.

Choice Home Tutoring

This is yet another exciting franchise opportunity in one of the UK’s fastest growing and most lucrative sectors. Choice Home Tutoring provides private, one-to-one tuition to students in their own homes. Its main customer base are children; however, it does teach students of all ages and abilities, from university graduates to adults.
Franchisees will attend initial training sessions at the head office, to become more familiar with the software and day-to-day operations, as well as refresher training sessions and ongoing support when they are more established.

In order to be accepted as a franchisee, you will need to make a minimum investment of £6,000 +VAT. The maximum investment is £17,500.

Nature Trails

This pre-school franchise is a day-care nursery with a difference. As well as conventional topics, children’s education is enriched with activities such as yoga, sign language, music and movement, petting zoos, football skill and creative arts. Due to the huge success of the initial award-winning nursery, the business model is now being offered to selected franchisees.

The forward-thinking approach that this franchise has taken to education has many benefits for children attending the nursery. Activities such as yoga teaches self-acceptance, focus and encourages healthy habits and lessons in sign language promote acceptance of others and can improve traditional language and vocabulary skills too.

Unfortunately, Nature Trails is not looking to expand its UK franchise network with us at the moment, but keep checking back on our site to see if they re-open the opportunity.


The education sector has undergone substantial growth in the last 10 years. The reason that this industry has grown, where others have suffered, is due to parents being willing to sacrifice other expenses to invest in their children’s education. Alongside the industry expansion, the education franchise sector has developed too, which makes this a great place to start your own business.

If you have a passion for working with children and helping to shape the minds of our future generation, an education franchise may be for you. The industry is full of different types of businesses that, although varied in their nature, have a common goal to help children to learn and develop. With increasingly more children seeking help with their studies, education franchise opportunities offer the chance to own and operate a lucrative business.

>> Read more articles on the Education sector

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