Scott Woodley runs a company called Tutora, they are on a mission to help learners to find a great tutor (with over 7,500 tutors available!) in a really user friendly way. I chatted with Scott about how he started his business, crowd funding, his ambitions and much more.
Thanks for your time today Scott. Could you give us a one minute overview of Tutora?
Sure, Tutora is a website which helps learners to find the right tutor for them. We cover every subject and every age, across the whole of the UK. There are no up-front costs and we only work with the best tutors, so students and families can quickly and confidently find someone to help.
Where did the concept come from, and what did you do as a job before launching Tutora?
I was working as a primary school teacher in Sheffield and many of the parents sought additional help for their children. They would often ask me if I could recommend a tutor but didn’t know where to look. I took on a couple of students myself and ended up leaving teaching to become a full-time tutor. That experience opened the door to Tutora.
So many parents contacted me with requests for tuition I saw that more could be done. Our aim is to bring trust and transparency to finding a tutor.
What was the biggest challenge in getting the business up and running?
As a start-up, there are challenges every week, but I think the most difficult thing is tailoring the initial offering.
I was really fortunate in setting the business up with my Co-Founder and long-term friend, Mark, who was working as a Technology Analyst for a large investment firm. By combining his knowledge of tech and my industry expertise, we were able to create a nice initial site, but the amount of work it has taken to edit that over time to better suit the needs of tutors and students has been huge.
It’s an enjoyable challenge though!
Your company has benefited from Crowd Funding, could you tell us a bit about that and what your experiences have been?
Yes, certainly. We’ve now raised two rounds of funding through crowdfunding – both on Crowdcube.
It has been a fantastic experience which has both allowed us to secure the funding we’ve needed to continue growing the business, whilst also introducing us to supportive investors who have brought a wealth of experience.
With the money we’ve raised in our recent round, we’re excited about the prospect of delivering an online tuition platform, as well as broadening our offering of tutors.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting a business but being unsure of taking that big first step?
People often seem to suggest that going into business is ‘brave’ or a ‘big step’ but that was never how it felt. It happened quite naturally as I pursued an interest I’d had through my career and saw that people weren’t already being served as they should be. My advice would, therefore, be to avoid looking for a business opportunity to pursue, and instead look at the problems you encounter in your own life – if those seem to be shared by enough people and there’s something you can do to solve them then that seems like a pretty good place to start!
Is there anything that you would do differently looking back?
Yes! Tonnes! There are always mistakes you make along the line but, whilst life would have been easier if we’d not made them, I wouldn’t remove them as we’ve reached a great place with the business. Similarly, those mistakes have led to more rapid improvements later on and built our skills as founders.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
Spare time?! We run a start up! I’m joking – it’s definitely important to have a good balance. I love exercising and sport – running, cycling and golf are my main hobbies. I also love spending time with my friends and family.
What is your dream/end goal when it comes to Tutora?
I’d like Tutora to become the place to go to learn anything outside of school.
Thanks so much for your time Scott, and all the best to everyone at Tutora!
You can find out more about the great services that Tutora help with by clicking here.