Tutora is an online marketplace for students and tutors. SME caught up with co-founder Scott Woodley to find out how the business is adapting to the digital world…
How do you use social media? Does it help you engage with your client base?
Being a web-based business, social media is an important tool for building awareness of our brand, but also to build a community of ambassadors. In truth, this is an area which we need to do far more on. Our growth has been great due to the strength of our product, but this has meant that our time for social media has been sapped by the need to serve our existing customers.
Our aim in 2016 is to build our brand through Facebook and Twitter, but also to use newer social media avenues which we see as having a growing impact. One important aspect of social media for our company is to help let other parents and potential users know that we are a trusted brand. We’ve got great reviews on TrustPilot and on our site, so social media networks are a great way to promote that to future users.
What new technology/apps are you considering using?
Without giving away too many secrets, we already use some pretty cool apps in our site and company, but one product we love is Slack. Slack allows your team to connect remotely - it’s kind of a Facebook for business (so without all of the distracting cat videos), which, if used in the right way, can really speed up communication between your team. It lets you drop and share documents, and make snappy decisions by setting up specialist groups. As we seek to grow the business, this will be a great tool, as not only can you use it with members of your own company, you can also invite freelancers into the fold so you’re readily available to answer their questions and work collaboratively. (p.s. I’m not employed by Slack to say this.) (p.p.s. We’d welcome some free advertising from Slack.)
What technology/apps have you been most impressed with over the past 12 months?
Data is driving the way companies interact with their user base and allows for smart decisions. We’ve got to give a shout out to a Sheffield company - The Floow (http://www.thefloow.com/). About a month after our launch, we attended a TechNorth event and were pretty blown away by the way in which they were collecting data and using it to truly improve their users’ lives. They collect data on people’s driving habbits, which helps insurance companies, but can also map out accident hotspots and potentially save lives. I think people are generally scared about the way our data is collected, collated and, of course, the power it affords. But data collection is here to stay and it’s how we embrace it that counts. Done in the right way, it can pave the way for massive improvements in the way we go about our lives.
What is your vision for the future? Are you looking to expand?
We want to become the place to go to find a trusted, local tutor. We’re currently seeking investment to make that happen and are confident that we can grow the business substantially over the next 12 months. We’re going to be expanding nationally and seeking to offer our customers an ever-improving service and user experience. We don’t want to give away too much, but we’re going to be launching some pretty great new features in the next year to an ever-increasing number of students and tutors. It’s an exciting time.