Build an ecosystem to give more value

In this final part of the 4-part series of creating uplifting experience in your tutoring business, I will share my thoughts on this:

Who can we partner to deliver the best experience?

Over my 6 years as a maths tutor, quite a few parents asked me whether I have any good Chinese or English or Science tutors to recommend. At first I found it strange that they would ask me, instead of turning to tuition agencies. So I asked them and their answers somewhat surprised me. One reason given was that good tutors should know other good tutors. Another reason given was that I know their children better so I would be able to recommend more suitable tutors.

When I managed to recommend other good tutors, I found that the parents’ trust in me deepened. Now their children were tutored not only by me, but by my associates too. I became a more involved party in their children’s life.

As tutors we can find ourselves in situations when we are asked to recommend other related professionals too. An ex-student of mine was struggling with an abusive relationship and it got to the point that he was threatening suicide. The parents were devastated. The mother called me to ask if I know any psychiatrist who specializes in teenagers, because she thought that maybe I’ve had other students who needed psychological help too. Without boring you with details, I managed to talk to a few friends, and ended up giving her some helpful advice and alternatives.

In this example, I find that having a wide social circle or business network helped me a lot. I could ask for recommendations from people I know, rather than having to google for it and having to read hundreds of reviews to decide whom to call.

For this reason, I highly recommend tutors like us to make an effort to attend events ( and eventbrite are good places to start) where we can get to know people outside of our immediate circle. Many of these events are free or under $30 in Singapore.

We should be selective in whom we network with, though; select not based on people’s looks or social status or how rich they are, but rather based on whether you can form win-win relationships or even partnerships. Look for attitudes and professionalism first, the industry or profession is secondary.

I use these three criterias to help me identify whom I will network with:

1) Does this person have attitudes, professionalism and values that I admire?

2) Do we serve the same group of people? For example, if you teach Maths to primary school children, a primary level Science tutor serves the same group of student.

3) Can this person serve my past, present and future students and their families? Notice that I included my past students because they still keep in touch with me. I included my future students because regardless of how few (or many) students I have now, I will have more in the future who can potentially use this person’s service.

Some examples of such professionals I can think of are these:

Non-competing educators: Enrichment program organizers, Mindset coaches, other subject tutors, other level tutors

Educational services providers: homestay providers, agents who bring in foreign students to study in Singapore, student care service providers, school bus operators

Mental well-being professionals: child psychiatrists, child psychologists, certified hypnotherapists, certified counsellors

Physical well-being professionals: certified nutritionists, chiropractors, certified TCM doctors

For the last two categories, preferably they should specialize in children or have good track record helping young clients.

Another notable aspects is that based on my experience, such professionals running their own practices, rather than working in a larger company, are more open to networking and collaborating. But then again, this observation is purely based on what I saw, and I might be wrong.

I’m pretty sure you can come up with more than this list, once you start thinking about it. The possibility is quite endless. As you grow your network of trusted advisers, you will have an ecosystem that benefits your customers, your network and yourself.

(Part 4 of 4)

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