Scott RubinSuccessful Business Owner / Consultant
Bio

I worked in finance on wall street for 13 years. I started a math tutoring franchise in 2012 which shortly became one of the largest centers in the country. I have consulted dozens of franchises and small businesses. My expertise is in financial statement analysis, Microsoft Excel modeling, process improvements and business startups.



Recent Answers


Taking on additional debt can be risky but if you have to in order to keep the business afloat then you have to. You could borrow off of credit cards or take a small business loan (really high interest rates!). Another option is to offer equity to family and friends for more cash. You can also offer family and friends a higher interest rate if they lend you more. For instance you could tell them if you give me $1,000 today I will give you $1,200 in a year which is a 20% return (or 2 years or x years). If you put together a business plan it may be easier to get funding. Also, networking by going to different groups like BNI, rotary, chamber of commerce, score, meetup.com, toastmasters, etc. Maybe you can meet someone looking to invest.

Crowdfunding sites:
1) Kickstarter
2) Indiegogo
3) RocketHub
4) GoFundMe
5) Razoo
6) Crowdfunder

Best of luck! It sounds like a very interesting business!

I have owned and operated (for 6.5 years) a successful math tutoring franchise called Mathnasium. My center has ranked in the top 10 (in terms of revenue) for each of the past four years (out of 900 centers). I have has consulted dozens of franchises and small businesses since 2013. Prior to this I worked on wall street for 13 years as a bond trader.


I would take most opinions with a grain of salt. A lot of people try to find faults in an idea to show they are providing value. You can find faults or values in anything.

This is directly from Steve Jobs:
“Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

I think your idea has legs since it's different and something that provides value to others. The only way to really find out is to execute your idea on a small scale. You can execute a lot of ideas with very little to no money. Some people spend a lot of money because they feel they have to but in reality most ideas and products can be proven on a small scale.
You may need to protect your idea so nobody steals it. The important part is proving the idea which can be done and is really the only way to know if your idea is worth doing.

Best of luck with your business! It sounds very interesting!

I have owned and operated (for 6.5 years) a successful math tutoring franchise called Mathnasium. My center has ranked in the top 10 (in terms of revenue) for each of the past four years (out of 900 centers). I have has consulted dozens of franchises and small businesses since 2013. Prior to this I worked on wall street for 13 years as a bond trader.


You can start any business with any amount of money but the less money you have the harder it is. Also, when you are low on cash you tend to not make the best decisions. If you are a shrewd business person you could find ways to do things cheaper. You need to do a lot of the work yourself to save on costs. Finding cheap labor or free labor (family, friends, students) helps. Surprisingly you can do quite a lot these days with little money. As you grow your business you can use the profits (i.e., bootstrapping) to grow, expand or open up other businesses. Some of the biggest companies started with very little money like Microsoft.

Best of luck with your business. It sounds very exciting.

I have owned and operated (for 6.5 years) a successful math tutoring franchise called Mathnasium. My center has ranked in the top 10 (in terms of revenue) for each of the past four years (out of 900 centers). I have has consulted dozens of franchises and small businesses since 2013. Prior to this I worked on wall street for 13 years as a bond trader.


I have owned and operated (for 6.5 years) a successful math tutoring franchise called Mathnasium. My center has ranked in the top 10 (in terms of revenue) for each of the past four years (out of 900 centers).

To increase sales and help with a long term strategy would require significant time, money and dedication. There are several obvious things a business owner should do but may not do.

1: Customer is always #1. Treat all customers like gold and they will tell others about you. People not only buy products they like but mainly from people they like.

2: Treat employees really well. The way the owner acts is the way the employees act. Being nice is contagious. On the flip side being rude is contagious. Treat employees well and they will treat your customers well.

3: Marketing is something I see so many businesses skimp on. They say "I cannot spend $3,000 a month in marketing since my rent is $5,000 a month." Not marketing is like opening a business and not telling anyone you are there. Continue marketing even when you are busy and when marketing seems futile. If you ease off the gas your sales will drop. If your sales drop too much it may be difficult to save the business.

There are about a 100 other things you should do but if you do those three you will be very profitable.

For a long term strategy you need to track your metrics (sales, payroll, etc.) and follow the monthly changes in these metrics. If your payroll as a % of revenue is too high then maybe you are overstaffed or paying employees too much. If your customer complaints are too high then maybe you need to invest in training or process improvements. I use microsoft excel to track my metrics.

You also need to understand how to track your data and what data is useful. You can ask other franchisees, find info online, etc.

Best of luck!

Scott


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