Tutora – the story so far

Tutora is an online marketplace for students and tutors. SME caught up with co-founder Scott Woodley to find out how the business got started…

Tell me about your company – where did the idea come from? How did you get started?

I was working as a Primary School Teacher in Sheffield and was constantly being asked by parents to recommend tutors, but didn’t know where to look. I ended up taking on a couple of tutees myself and enjoyed it, so left teaching to become a full-time tutor. I quickly found that there was huge demand for tuition and I had a waiting list for places.

At that point I contacted Mark, who had been a friend since we were 14 and was working as a Technology Analyst for a large investment firm. We looked at the tuition industry and felt that there weren’t any great solutions for parents to find the best tutors near them, so we set up Tutora, an online marketplace for students and tutors.

How would you describe your business’ ideology?

We want to make finding the right tutor a simple, seamless process for all, so we can help people come together to learn. In doing so, we are always seeking to make our service as intuitive as possible, so that our users truly love our site.

Could you tell me a bit about your product/services range?

Tutora is an online marketplace where students and parents can search for, message and book local, private tutors for home tuition for any subject and any age. Every tutor has a clear, informative profile, which sets out their qualifications, experience, the subjects they teach, distance away and cost per hour. Payment is cashless and secure, through our online system. We feel that it’s a simple solution to a common problem.

Tell me about your role – what does a typical day look like for you?

I spend most of my time at the golf club, networking. I wish!

I generally get up at 6:30am, aim to start at 7am and go through to about 7 at night. It’s always good to have a bit of down time at the end of the day but more and more that’s when I try and write articles on tuition to build our online presence. This isn’t a sob story – I enjoy it, and I think it’s something other SME founders will empathise with.

Day-to-day, there are only two of us servicing over a thousand tutors, so we spend most our time processing tutor applications, replying to emails, calling students to help match them to the right tutor, doing the accounts, trying to manage our advertising… the list feels endless. We get through, but that’s why we’re currently looking for investment, which in itself takes an incredible amount of time.

We’re definitely tired, but every day is different… and it’s exciting!