The proposal is for a tutoring company based in the East London area in the
UK. This is going to be a partnership that will be forged among 3 partners: Shirin Akhter, Meer Hossain and Faisal Ifitkhar. The business will be financed by the partners themselves, with the profits distributed proportionately after costs are considered.
The Private tutoring industry in the UK is now experiencing a steady growth, with people paying a considerable amount of money per hour to secure the services of an academically qualified tutor. However, this company is focused more on creating a market for people that cannot afford to pay £70 to £100 for a private tutor. All 3 of the partners had some experience in being both students to private tutors and private tutors themselves, and therefore have collaborated to utilise the combined skills to enter the market of Private Tutoring.
The first step of this venture is to come up with a business plan. The plan will act a document that will assist in the development of the partnership. As there is very minimal cost consideration involved in this project, the partners are not seeking any financing from any other investors.
Based on various news reports, personal research conducted on parents residing in the East London area and considering the experience and capability of the partners (who will be the tutors as well), the company has found out the ideal target market. The target market has 3 separate segments: Students preparing for the Entrance Exam, 13+ and GCSE students. The initial base of students will comprise of children of various parents the tutors have a personal connection with. The cultural similarity (the tutors and potential parents are of Bangladeshi ethnicity) is therefore the pivotal factor in this regard. However, the company wishes to become one of the largest tutoring agencies in East London. Therefore it plans to tutor children from other cultural backgrounds gradually.
The services provided to the target will comprise of one to one tutoring,
group tutoring, GCSE exam preparation and online services (social media). The company would ideally promote groups sessions as it is cost effective for both tutors and the students. Although private sessions can be deemed as being focused and intensive, group session make room for healthy debate and discussion, thus enhancing the learning procedure. The process of teaching would be based on personal skills coupled with feedback from other partners and feedback from the students. The focus of the services is not of immediate satisfaction of queries, but of better understanding of the concepts related to tutoring.
The subjects in which the company offers private tutoring include Business Studies, Accounting, Physics, Chemistry, Science and Mathematics, and verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning.
Promotion and advertising
The initial base of students that have been proposed here are not at par with the rich families, therefore the USP of the proposed company is that it will provide tutoring service to students for a reasonable price. It has been noticed that the average price range for tutors in East London is £15 to £20 per hour, therefore the company will provide the sessions 1 and half hour long for the same money. It can therefore establish itself as a company that is affordable.
The partnership wishes to use the most effective advertising for the minimal cost as well. Therefore it would use Word of Mouth as its main promotional tool. Satisfied students and their parents are therefore the most important component in their promotional mix. The company will also make use of Social Media for promoting the company, as well as to use the online platform for feedback from the students and to assist the students online when needed. The company would also have some sales promotion in the form of introductory price offer, such as getting 5 sessions for the price of 4. However, the details of such sessions are yet to be discussed.
The management of the company would comprise of all 3 partners, however, as per the legal requirement of UK, Meer Hossain will act as the nominated / general partner for the company. However the need for the partners to act as managers will only arise after it has grown considerably. The managers are therefore the employees of the company.
All 3 partners are Graduate and professionals who also had experience as private tutors. The partners also have experience in working as supervisors / managers in their own professional area. They have become more and more culturally tolerant and astute, as they have been working in a multicultural country for more than a few years.
The management will act as trainers when the company is going to start employing other tutors for the company.
The company plans to extend it services to include Undergraduate students as their customers. The company also has plans to set up a website, as well as start the option of video conferencing in the future.
1. Description of the Business
The company would approach teaching in an innovative and unique way with the idea of helping creating a bridge between students and the subject they need to have a good grasp on. The customised and focused process of teaching would equip the students with the necessary tools needed for improving their understanding and thus achieving success in their studies. The company is valued by the mental satisfaction and the observable outcomes of the students. The success of the company rests on the success of the students.
1.2. The key factors
1. Creating effective and innovative methods of approaching individual subjects and the sections within them for the easiest possible understanding of the challenging subject matters.
2. Increasing market presence via word of mouth promotion achieved through the excellence in service and knowledge distribution.
3. Creating a constant feedback process whereby the needs of the individuals are assessed and the processes tailored as a result.
1. To be the market leader in tutoring service in East London, specifically in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets by the end of year 4.
2. To double the revenue of the company by the end of Year 2.
3. To extend the tutoring service to Undergraduate students by the end of Year 2.
4. To establish a strong online presence via interactive web learning process by the end of year 2.
1.4. Scope of the business
According to Smith (2012), a micro-business is defined by the involvement of 1 to 4 people, and a small business has 5 to 20 people in the enterprise [Smith, H. (2012): Learn Small Business Startup in 7 Days, Wiley, Milton, QLD, AUS, p 2]. The proposed Tuition agency can be therefore defined as a micro-business as the number of people in the core business would be 3, at least at the outset. As far as the goals and objectives are concerned, the business aims to be slightly bigger that a small business as far as the aforementioned definition is concerned.
1.5. The company
The proposed company would provide tutoring services in few selected subjects for students ranging from 11+ to the GCSE qualification, focusing mainly in the East End of London, UK. The courses the company aims to provide tutoring support includes Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Business Studies and Accounting. The company would also provide tutoring supports for students interested in other subjects, but would act as a contact point would primarily outsource such tasks, acting as an intermediary in the process.
The tutoring sessions would focus on assisting students grasping seemingly difficult concepts in the aforementioned areas of study. The process taught would help them perform better in their respective schools and / or educational institutes. It would also help them create a strategy for any forthcoming exams. The service would also assist them in understanding the effective method of writing various essays relating to the subject(s). The company aspires to prepare student in a manner where they would empowered to solve various problems on their own, rather than approaching individual tasks on a short term basis.
1.6. The owners
The proposed company would be owned by 3 people: Shirin Akhter, Meer Hossain and Faisal Iftikhar. The company would therefore be a partnership. The ownership is expected to remain unchanged, but extenuating circumstances might bring change to the ownership structure.
1.7. Legal and regulatory frame of the company
Based on the classification as stipulated by UK, the owners will form a limited partnership [Limited Partnership – GPO2, http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gpo2.shtml, accessed 10 August 2013]. Therefore the owners or partners of this company will be liable for all debts and obligations, however, the scope of such debts and obligations will not be more than the individual investments towards the company.
As mentioned in the proposal, the company would be registered as a partnership. According to the present definitions set out by the Department of Work and Pensions, the owners (partners) of the company would therefore be classified as self-employed. The company would not itself pay any taxes; rather taxes would only apply on the individual revenues of the partners in the business [Set up a business partnership, https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business-partnership, accessed 10 August 2013].
Some of the terms of the agreement will include the following:
1. The profit of the business will be proportionate to the initial capital invested by the individuals entering into the agreement.
2. Meer Hossain has agreed to be the nominated partner as per the requirement of the the UK government for a partnership at the outset. Therefore the company will treat Meer Hossain as the only limited partner / general partner at the outset. Any amendments would be discussed upon and the changes would be done accordingly.
3. The partners will also act as the employees of the company, and they would receive salary as employees of the company according to the service they provide, based on the rates fixed.
1.7.1. DBS Checks
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has recently replaced the CRB checks in the UK. Although this is not a requirement for private tutors in terms of their business [Fagg, H. (January 19th, 2013): New Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): What it means for private tutors, http://www.thetutorblog.com/tag/crb/, accessed 10 August 2013], because the target market for this business involves working with children, the partners, as employees, would apply for a DBS check on themselves with Disclosure Scotland, a branch of DBS that allows for self employed tutors residing in England, Scotland and Wales to be checked. It is considered to
be an essential part of the company [Guide: Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously CRB checks), https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check, accessed 10 August 2013].
2. Business opportunities
An investigation into a possible business always begins by analysis various opportunities. Therefore all the sources relating to an opportunity should be studied and analysed, and the process should also be done on a systematic and regular basis [Murthy, C.S.V. (2010): Small Scale Industries and Entrepreneurial Development, Global Media, (Mumbai, IND), p 43].
The tutoring service is not something novel in idea; however, the aim of the company is to provide the service at a reasonable cost. According to Lesonsky (2001), it is not necessary (for most start-up companies) to come up with a new and unique idea. A new business can venture into an existing industry, planning on how it can improve on the existing practices and how it can differ from its competition [Lesonsky, R. (2001): Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You’ll Ever Need, Entrepreneur Press, Irvine, CA, USA, p 24]. The partners in this regard have agreed on an opportunity that they feel they can make the most use of by becoming the affordable solution to tutoring needs.
2.1. The driving forces
As Amar Bhide looked into the private ventures in America, he discovered that new ventures in the country were usually problems that the founders of such companies faced themselves and were looking at solving those problems. 71% of these “domain experts” were actually people who approached an existing problem differently in their area of business, whilst 20% used their serendipitous ideas in their new business ventures [Price, R. W. (2004): Roadmap to Entrepreneurial Success: Powerful Strategies for Building a
High-Profit Business, AMACOM Books, Saranac Lake, NY, USA, p 73].
The 3 tutors have all come from Bangladesh, where they already had experience of being taught by a private tutor and being a tutor themselves. They have all felt that for some of the ‘trickier’ subjects, such as higher mathematics (Binominal Equations, Matrices, Calculus, Statics and Dynamics etc.), Physics and Quantum Physics, Organic Chemistry and various other subjects required that the students have a special understanding outside the realms of a classroom environment. However it was not really a business plan until recently, when they realised that there is a growing demand for such personal tutoring in the UK as well.
As mentioned by Pinson and Jinnett (2006), an entrepreneur can look into his or her interests and volunteer experience for an idea of a business. They also added that capability is important in regards of a new business, and any specialised skills that can complement [Pinson, L. and Jinnett, J. (2006): Steps to Small Business Start-Up: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Idea Into a Successful Business, Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company, Chicago, IL, USA, p 2-3]. The partners realised that their experience in being both students and private tutors can come in handy for the new business setup. Therefore they agreed to come up with this new business venture.
2.1.2. A rising market
The market of private tutoring is now experiencing a surprising growth in the UK. According to a recent news report by the BBC [Burns, J. (2 August 2013): Private tutors boost grammar chances, suggests survey, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23547666, accessed 7th of August, 2013], A pilot study found out that many parents in the UK nowadays rely on the service of private tutors to increase the chance of their children of securing a place in a grammar school. As the poll suggests, around 72% of the 212 first year grammar school students surveyed had undergone private tutoring for entrance exams during their final years in primary schools. Of this 72%, 5% received private tutoring as part of a small group, whilst 67%
of the grammar school students subscribed to a one-to-one form of private tutoring. Around 78% of these students believed that private tutoring was helpful for them in the enhancement of their performance in the entrance exam. Prof Judy Ireson mentioned that some of the parents perceive that this process of private tutoring is rational as it can help their children to “perform well in the entrance exams for schools of their choice” [Burns, J. (2 August 2013): Private tutors boost grammar chances, suggests survey, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23547666, accessed 7th of August, 2013].
In a news report in 2009, Guardian stated that 45% of students based in London has had a private tutor. The percentage is now increasing, and according to TES, around 25% of all students between 11-18 years of age have all received some form of private tutoring, specifically in mathematics [Dyer, A. (24 July 2013): Private Tuition Is on the Rise, Should the Industry Be Regulated? HUFFPOST STUDENTS United Kingdom, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alex-dyer/private-tuition-regulation_b_3643876.html, accessed 8th August 2013].
2.1.3. Better return on investment possibility
Private tutoring is pretty common in more affluent households. There are few London based tutoring firms that hire graduates from Oxford and Cambridge, who sometimes charge a hefty amount of £70 – £100 for a one hour session, just for the preparation of entrance exams. There are also reports that suggest that parents on average incomes are also subscribing to the service of private tutors, as mentioned by the private tutoring chain Explore Learning [Aug 17th 2013: Private tuition Premium economy, The Economist (British Edition), http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21583707-private-education-becoming-more-egalitarian-premium-economy, accessed 20th of August, 2013].
2.2. Potential Customer
The tutors for the company are all qualified as graduates. However, given the scenario as depicted in the news reports above, the tutors have decided not
to teach, as of now, any higher than GCSE level. The target market in this regard can be broadly classified into 3 segments:
Pre-Entrance students: Students who want to prepare for entrance for a grammar school of their choice fall into this category. The subjects that would be taught in this regard include Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal reasoning. English has been excluded due to the non-native status of the tutors.
13+ students: Students in this target student can receive tutoring in Science, Mathematics and Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning.
GCSE students: for the GCSE students, the subjects that will be covered will include Business Studies and Accounting, Science, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.
Tutors are generally people who have specific expertise and little extra time. A significant amount of competitors are mainly one-to-one private tutors that advertise on various online websites, such as Gumtree [http://www.gumtree.com/other-tuition-lesson-services/london/private+tutor, accessed 09 August, 2013].
With the growing number of tutoring agencies with a physical establishment and a strong online presence, the competition in the private tutoring market is varied and intense. According to a directory website of East London, the average rate per hour as charged ranges from £15 to £20 per hour [http://www.hometutorsdirectory.co.uk/EastLondonTutors.html, accessed 09 August, 2013].
3. Marketing plan and Strategy
The difference between a rapidly growing company and a slowly growing or declining company operating in the same target market is in the effective
marketing of the former. As an example, companies such as Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay and Gillette have all succeeded in their respective market because of the fact that they were able to market better than their competitors. Therefore to grow a business, it is essential to become an effective marketer, promoter and advertiser as well [Henricks, M. (2001): Grow Your Business, Entrepreneur Press, Irvine, CA, USA, p 152].
The marketing plan in this regard includes the construction of a successful strategy for the target. Burk and Lehman (2004) define strategy as a plan of action that has been designed purposely towards a goal or a set of goals. The components of a good strategy should include an assessment of the state of the business at the time of formulating the strategy, identification of the goals to be achieved, and the processes adopted to reach the goal and to consider the problems in the process [Burk, J. and Lehman, R. (2004): Financing Your Small Business, Sphinx Publishing, an Imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, IL, USA, p 21].
3.1. Initial essentials
This is a start-up business; therefore an analysis of present performance of the business cannot be done. There are however a few essentials that has been agreed upon before the business can be started. These essentials include:
3.1.1. DBS checks
The DBS checks of the 3 person involved will be done via Disclosure Scotland, and will cost £25 for each person involved [Disclosure Scotland: Apply online for Basic Disclosure: Cost, http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply-online/#cost, accessed 10 August 2013].
3.1.2. Registration and licensing
The Company name would be registered and would aim for a certified
certificate by filling up an IN01 form and that would cost £20 [http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/infoAndGuide/faq/registerNewComp.shtml, Accessed 19 August, 2013]. The company would also apply for a limited partnership by filling up an LP5 form [LP5 form, LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS ACT 1907: Application for Registration of a Limited Partnership
(In accordance with section 8 of the Limited Partnerships Act 1907), http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/forms/generalForms/LP5_Application_for_Registration_of_a_Limited_Partnership_and_Statement_of_particulars_and_of_the.pdf], and the cost in this regard is also £20.
3.1.3. Company Address
For the time being, the company will be registered against the residential address of Meer Hossain as the nominated / general partner of the firm.
3.2. Objectives of the Business
The goals of the business have already been discussed in the short description of the business. However, in this section, the goals would be further broken down in what is known as SMART objectives.
SMART is an acronym that is commonly used for determining objectives of a business. SMART objectives are objectives that are “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound,” or SMART [Martin, V. (2006): Managing Projects in Human Resources, Training and Development, Kogan Page Ltd., London, GBR, p 11].
Based on the goals of the organisation, the objectives set for the company therefore are as follows:
1. To have an overall average revenue of £5,000 per month at the end of 1st year.
2. To increase the revenue to £10,000 at the end of year 2.
3. To employ at least 2 local (UK academic qualification) graduate students before the end of year 2.
4. To create an interactive website at the end of year 2 for potential and existing customers.
The objectives here specified are mostly related to the expected future performance of the business.
3.3. The Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
It is important for a company to come up with a USP for its products or services to stand out from the competition. USP has been defined by Rosse Reeves (1961) as a proposition that communicates to the customers about a unique benefit that can be acquired from a product or service and the benefit needs to have enough power to account for considerable revenue [Reeves, R. (1961): Reality in Advertising, Knopf, New York, NY, USA]. USP was considered to be advertising imperative for any brand building exercise.
This company will promote tutoring at a reasonable cost. The USP of this company is therefore affordable education for aspiring students. It is evident that although the target customers are students, the USP will be aimed at parents who would pay for the service and therefore would see the benefit in this process
After looking at various figures in the market, the pricing that has been set for various students are as follows:
For Entrance Exam preparation: £15 per session of 1 and half hour.
For 13+ tutoring: £15 per session of 1 and half hour.
For GCSE preparation: £20 per session of 1 and half hour.
The pricing has been agreed upon based on the market in East London, and the quoted price above offers more for the money as spent in the existing market of Private tutoring.
3.5. Promotion and Advertising
The company would be promoted via 2 major media: The internet and word of mouth. The former can also be termed as Social Media Marketing, and will rely mainly on a Facebook page. There would also be Sales promotion, therefore inserting a bit of incentive for the beginners and encouraging bulk purchase for the company.
3.5.1. Word of Mouth
As it has been mentioned before, the partners of the company has each conducted (unstructured) data collection in areas in the Tower Hamlets Borough in an attempt to assess the need of a tutoring service. These surveys were conducted among people that they personally knew. This is where the word of mouth process comes in.
Word of mouth is considered to be the most effective method in making the process of decision easier and also in accelerating the decision process of potential customers [Silverman, G. (2001): Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth, AMACOM Books, New York, NY, USA, p 21]. Word of mouth advertising is done by satisfied customers, friends and normally close relatives, but satisfied customers are the most desired in the mix.
Each of the partners started private tutoring in the process of helping out a friend or a family member, and that would also be the starting point for this company. The partners would start by tutoring children of the parents they have conducted a survey on, and that would ensure that the process of word of mouth gets started. They would ask these parents to refer them to
others, as well as refer any struggling student to them.
3.5.2. Sales Promotion
Sales promotion will also be adopted by the company, whereby the target customers would be given an incentive outside the scope of advertising [Hundekar, S.G., Appannaiah, H.R. and Reddy, P.N. (2010): Principles of Marketing, Global Media, Mumbai, IND, p 103]. In this case, the potential customers will be offered to take advantage of bulk purchases, therefore they can buy 5 sessions for the price of 4. The sales promotion would also inspire customers to create a small group of students at their homes for studying, thus reducing the cost per head in the process..
3.5.3. Social media marketing
In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, LinkedIn and various other social media networks, it has become easier to setup a platform that is virtually free and tremendously interactive.
The act of posting and creating various contents online creates a ‘circle’ of like minded individuals that interact with each other [Agresta, S., Bough, B. B. and Miletsky, J. I. (2010): Perspectives on Social Media Marketing, Course Technology / Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, USA, p 2, p 36]. Social media have now become an important sector on its own right is considered vital for influencing behaviour of consumers [Assenov, I. (2012): Social Media Marketing and the Hospitality Industry: Evidence from Thailand. 6-7 Sept]. The participants in social media interaction becomes part of the cycle of social feedback, as demonstrated in the figure below. The Cycle also illustrates how social media can influence a market [Evans, D (2010): Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement, Sybex, Hoboken, NJ, USA].
Figure 1: Social Feedback Cycle
(Source: Evans. D, 2010)
Amongst the existing set of Social Media Network, Facebook is considered to have the highest reach. As of 2011, Facebook had more than 500 million users worldwide [Weintraub, M. (2011): Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques (2nd Edition), Sybex, Hoboken, NJ, USA, p 2]. The number of Facebook users is ever increasing. Facebook also has the capability to be personal and professional. It can be used to promote a venture as well as to connect with close ones and friends [Adler, L. and Sillars, R. (2010): Linked Photographers’ Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media, Course Technology / Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, USA].
The partners have decided to open up a Facebook page under the name of the company. The page would act not only as a promotional tool, but it would also act as a platform for feedback from existing students, as they will be able to post various of their queries on a session they have already undergone. The page would also include useful links, videos and study materials relating to the sessions.
4. Operations and Processes
4.1. Background of the owners / employees
1. Shirin Akhter: She is currently doing her MBA with a reputed institute in the UK. He is from a Bangladeshi descent, and has been an experienced private tutor for some time in Bangladesh. Her areas of expertise include Business Studies, Mathematics and Chemistry.
2. Meer Hossain: An ex-engineer in the marine industry, Mr. Meer Hossain has in depth academic knowledge of Applied Physics and Electronics. Like his partner, He also was a house tutor in Bangladesh for a considerable period of time before he moved out to Russia, eventually coming to the UK. He works as a trainer in a retail setting, and therefore is also adept in communicating in the most culturally relevant manner. His are of expertise
include Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry.
3. Faisal Iftikhar: Alumni of one of the top business schools in Asia, Faisal Ifitkhar is currently working in the retail industry as a trainer and a customer service assistant. He is adept in creative writing, and recent interests into Physics have increased his understanding of the subject. He has the experience of teaching in a classroom environment as well as a one to one private tutor. His Area of Expertise include Mathematics, Business Studies and Accounting.
All of these individuals have one thing in common: they are all good at assessing the needs of the individual and customise their process of teaching accordingly. The partners have also decided to hold weekly meetings that would discuss the problem areas of their own students and work out the best solutions, so that the individual is catered for in a more effective process.
4.2. Personnel plan
The company plan to improve their capability and try to reach the undergraduate market by the end of Year 2. It also plans to employ more tutors at the beginning of Year 2. However, the requirement of extra tutors depends on the capacity and the willingness of the existing teachers.
There would be a training plan devised for any prospective teacher who is being hired. The training plan would involve the following few processes:
1. Training on the Job: The trainer that has been recruited will be asked to accompany the existing tutors and learn how tutoring is done. This would give them a practical sense of what is involved in the process of teaching.
2. Personal assessment on the skills: Although a tutor will be hired based on a respectable academic record, they would still need to be assessed by the company, and trained if necessary on areas where there is room for improvement.
3. Feedback and group communication: The new tutor will be included in the weekly meetings that discuss specific problems relating to specific students. The discussion would not only assist in learning various ‘tricks of the trade’, but the employee will be able to put in his or her feedback and thus add value to the company.
4.3. Dealing with the start up
Martin and Crisp (1992) have described that the initial few months of a business are usually the most expensive ones, and a successful business must have enough to keep it going for several months [Martin, C. L. And Crisp, M. G. (Editor) (1992): Starting Your New Business: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, Course Technology / Cengage Learning, Menlo Park, CA, USA, p 12]. This has been considered by the partners. They have all decided that would continue to work in their present workplace, but with reduced hours, and therefore any additional cost relating to the company would be reimbursed by the partners of the company. The input in this regard would count as investment, and therefore the profit would be shared accordingly, at the end of they 1st year, in proportionate to individual investment.
4.4. The process of value creation
More and more companies are now becoming socially responsible. It is not enough that a company is profitable, but it is important that a company adds value to the society. Social Entrepreneurs are therefore considered to be the new wave of entrepreneurs.
In terms of creating value, the distinction can be made between those who are social entrepreneurs and those who are commercial entrepreneurs. According to Volkmann, Tokarski and Ernst (2012), Commercial entrepreneurs are more focused on value appropriation, whilst the social entrepreneurs are focused on value creation [Volkmann, C. K., Tokarski, K. O. and Ernst, K. (2012): Social Entrepreneurship and Social Business: An Introduction and Discussion with Case Studies, Springer Gabler, p 106].
The company in this regard can be termed as a mixture of both. The obvious value is that of a commercial nature, the business is going to be involved in a profit oriented service industry. However, due to the nature of the service provided, it can be said that the company will also add value as it becomes part of the educational system in the country.
4.5. Diversity management
The company aims at tutoring students who are based in the East London Area. East London has a lot of Bangladeshi people, which is therefore culturally and linguistically easier for the owners to relate to. Keeping that in mind, the company is to consider that fact that to be the top of all tutoring agencies, it would need to be able to deal with a diverse group of students coming from a diverse group of ethnicity. Therefore a certain level of Cultural Intelligence or CQ is expected from the tutors.
According to Ang & Dyne (2008), CQ or cultural intelligence is the capability of a person to function in various cultural settings [Ang, S. and Van Dyne, L. (Editor) (2008): Handbook of Cultural Intelligence: Theory, Measurement, and Applications, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., Armonk, NY, USA]. The partners, working and living in UK for a considerable period of time, has exhibited CQ towards their co-workers, managers and employees. That learning will be incorporated as the company starts to serve in different cultural settings.
The hiring process as explained would also consider in these facts, and preference would be given to someone from a different cultural background than that of the owners.
4.6. Services offered
The target market has been identified and classified in preceding sections of this proposal. In this section the services are classified and explained in terms of what kind of tutoring services can be provided among the target consumers.
4.6.1. One to one tuition
One to one tuition would obviously be the most common one in this regard. The teacher will travel to the student’s residence and teach him or her on an individual basis.
4.6.2. Group session
Not only is group session more cost effective, it is also more effective in terms of learning. A group session enables the students to interact and communicate with each other and thus creates a better understanding of the subject matter. Group sessions would therefore be especially encouraged for the students.
4.6.3. GCSE revision courses
As the GCSE exams approach the students, this service would enable the students to get help with the following:
• Preparing for the exam
• Learning various exam techniques
• Guidance for coursework
This would also include appraisal services for dissertation and for coursework.
4.6.4. Online services
Based mainly on social media feedback, this service would actually use the online platform for feedback and queries from the students and deal with the queries promptly.
4.7. Future operations
These services will be part of the start up business, and the company has plans to add more services as the company improves. By the end of year2, the company plans to serve Undergraduate students, and has plans to include distance learning, whereby the internet will be used for group session via video conferencing.
5. Technological consideration
There is no denying the impact internet has on the present business scenario. It is considered as one of the “greatest disruptive technology to hit the world since electricity.” GE chairman Jack F. Welch (1999) said that the internet “was the single most important event in the U.S. economy since the Industrial Revolution” [Price, R. W. (2004): Roadmap to Entrepreneurial Success: Powerful Strategies for Building a High-Profit Business, AMACOM Books, Saranac Lake, NY, USA, p 45].
The technological consideration in this regard is mainly the maximum usage of the internet, especially via Facebook. A Facebook Page will be created for the students and the parents. The Facebook page will include the following:
1. Discussion (Generated by the App ‘Forums’): It is important that students discuss various problems they face with specific subject areas.
2. Videos: various useful hints and tips would be uploaded from the tutors, discussing very specific methods and processes of overcoming various problems regarding subjects.
3. Photos: Photos will include the success of various students who have subscribed to the service of the company, as well as various other related photos, and, true to the internet generation, various ‘Meme’s will also be uploaded to maintain a lighter side of studying.
4. Docs: this is more appropriate for a group rather than a page. The docs
section will include various useful hints and tips, shortcuts, and various other methods and processes that are categorised in a coherent order for existing sets of students.
However, a Page on Facebook is more public, whereas the privacy of a group can be controlled. Therefore most of the materials will become part of a Facebook group, enabling fee paying students to get the most out of social media.
5.1 Future online plans
Many renowned Tutor services, as well as companies, have their own websites. Although there is a cost consideration in a website, the flexibility that can be offered on a website would outweigh the comparatively minimal cost. The website would mainly have the option to pay / register online, therefore making it easier on future customers.
5.1.2. Distance learning via video conferencing
There are numerous softwares, apps and programmes that allow for video conferencing for virtually no cost. The only cost consideration in this regard therefore is the initial setup, which would buying a business internet connection for the company, a physical facility to set the computers, and of course, computers that will be used for video conferencing. Video conferencing would thus increase the reach and decrease the cost of travelling.
To ensure cost minimisation, the partners will make use of their existing mobile phones for various forms of communication. However, there are plans to subscribe pay-as-you-go phone services to deal with future communication, if frequency of calls increase, and also if the cost becomes more than the
number of calls the partners can afford. The company expects to include pay-as-you-go phones in the 2nd half of the year.
6. Financial Consideration
There is little start-up cost involved in the business. Investment would come mainly from the partners themselves. However, there are future cost and investment considerations in this business that have been mentioned, however, the estimation is based on the projection of increase in business.
6.1. Estimated initial / fixed costs
The total cost for the start-up is £115 in total. There are also costs of travelling, which comes at £96.80 per month for each tutor (based on a zone 2-4 rate in a travel card). The travelling cost might increase if the target audience lives in zone 1 (which includes Aldgate and Liverpool Street) or is outside zone 4 in East London. These costs will be accounted and paid for from the revenue of the individual tutors. The tutors in this regard might come up with a travel allowance to adjust for the salary of the employee.
Adjusting the total cost of travelling to 3,500 for the year (rounded from £3484.80 annually for the company based on zone 2-4 travelling only), the total cost comes as follows:
Figure 2: Estimated (fixed) Cost for Year 1
|Total Cost for Year 1 |
|Travel cost |3,500 |
|Start up cost |115 |
|Total Cost |3,615 |
6.2. Other Costs
There are other costs that might occur, which can be termed as variable costs, though not in its strictest terms of production cost per unit.
As far as the plans are concerned, if the company needs to buy pay-as-you-go connections, internet connection, a facility and a video conference setup, additional costs will occur.
As an example, if the company is able to rent a space in East London for the aforementioned purposes, the cost would be as follows:
Rent / month: £1,000 – £2,000 (depending on the facility and the area)
Internet payment / month: £16 (BT Business Broadband) [Latest Bt Business Deals: http://www.uswitch.com/broadband/providers/bt_business/?bb=1&gclid=CJ2ZrMW3m7kCFZPItAodcAIAPQ#content, accessed 19 August 2013]
3 pay-as-you-go phones: £20 x 3 = £60 per month (O2 pay and go-go-go service) [O2 Pay and Go Go Go: https://www.o2.co.uk/freesim/, accessed 19 August 2013]
3 laptops (with webcams and microphones): Average market price £320*3 = £960 [http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops-315-c.html, accessed 19 August 2013].
6.3. Expected Revenue
In terms of the projection of the revenue expected in the future, the company has gone for a conservative approach. The demand for tutors only from private contacts is deemed enough to reach a monthly target of £5,000. Therefore it does not account for any new students that will be make use of the service in the future. However, the 2nd year projection can be termed as optimistic, as the assumption is that the business will actually grow and will be able to generate double the revenue.
The revenues, as expected from the operations, are as follows:
Figure: Expected Revenue for Years 1 and 2
| |Average income / month | | |Year 1 |Year 2 | |Entrance students |2500 |3,500 | |13+ |1500 |3,500 | |GCSE |1000 |3,000 |
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Table 1: Expected Revenue, Year 1
|Jan |Feb |Mar |Apr |May |Jun |Jul |Aug |Sep |Oct |Nov |Dec | |Entrance Exam |£1,000 |£1,000 |£1,500 |£2,000 |£2,500 |£5,000 |£6,000 |£6,500 |£4,500 |0 |0 |0 | |13+ |£1,500 |£1,500 |£2,000 |£2,000 |£2,000 |£2,500 |£1,500 |0 |£1,000 |£1,500 |£1,500 |£1,000 | |GCSE |£1,000 |£1,000 |£1,000 |£1,500 |£2,500 |£2,500 |£1,500 |0 |0 |0 |£500 |£500 | |Total Revenue |£3,500 |£3,500 |£4,500 |£5,500 |£7,000 |£10,000 |£9,000 |£6,500 |£5,500 |£1,500 |£2,000 |£1,500 | |
Table 2: Teachers’ Payment, Year 1
|Jan |Feb |Mar |Apr |May |Jun |Jul |Aug |Sep |Oct |Nov |Dec | |Shirin |£800 |£800 |£1200 |£1200 |£2000 |£2400 |£2400 |£1600 |£1440 |£400 |£480 |£400 | |Meer |£1200 |£1200 |£1200 |£1600 |£2000 |£2800 |£2400 |£1600 |£1520 |£400 |£560 |£400 | |Faisal |£800 |£800 |£1200 |£1600 |£1600 |£2800 |£2400 |£2000 |£1440 |£400 |£560 |£400 | |Total Payroll |£2,800 |£2,800 |£3,600 |£4,400 |£5,600 |£8,000 |£7,200 |£5,200 |£4,400 |£1,200 |£1,600 |£1,200 | |
Table 3: Profit and Loss (Before Taxes), Year 1
|Jan |Feb |Mar |Apr |May |Jun |Jul |Aug |Sep |Oct |Nov |Dec |Total | |Revenue |£3,500 |£3,500 |£4,500 |£5,500 |£7,000 |£10,000 |£9,000 |£6,500 |£5,500 |£1,500 |£2,000 |£1,500 |£60,000 | |Fixed Cost |£3615 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |£3,615 | |Variable Costs |£35 |£35 |£45 |£55 |£70 |£100 |£90 |£65 |£55 |£15 |£20 |£15 |£600 | |Teacher’s payment |£2,800 |£2,800 |£3,600 |£4,400 |£5,600 |£8,000 |£7,200 |£5,200 |£4,400 |£1,200 |£1,600 |£1,200 |£48,000 | |Total Cost |£6,450 |2835 |£3,645 |4455 |£5,670 |8100 |£7,290 |5265 |£4,455 |1215 |£1,620 |1215 |£52,215 | |Total Profit |-£2,950 |665 |£855 |1045 |£1,330 |1900 |£1,710 |1235 |£1,045 |285 |£380 |285 |£7,785 | |Note: Variable costs are determined as 1% of the expected revenue; assumption includes additional cost of travelling (Zone 1).