Louise Pengilley’s Small Business Consultant service helps a tutoring business thrive and grow despite lockdown.
Bettering Youth provides emotional coaching and academic tutoring. They work on a 1:1 basis with children and partner with schools to help bring out the best in children. Run by Sarahlynn Hodder, a former classroom teacher, Bettering Youth aims to build confidence, resilience, improve communication and help children develop coping mechanisms so children can excel in the classroom and beyond.
A range of challenges
While Bettering Youth has been able to grow through word of mouth and referrals for the last three years, Sarahlynn knew that in order to develop and help serve more families, she needed to establish a “business” persona that separated her from the business.
In addition, lockdown presented an opportunity to attract more clients and change the way in which Bettering Youth engaged with their client base.
Focused business growth activities
Louise Pengilley started by carrying out a Business Development Review which provided an objective and external commercial view of the business. This highlighted areas for improvement and opportunities for growing the business. Louise Pengilley’s Small Business Consultant service helped create a plan based around Bettering Youth’s objectives to help deliver against the agreed goals of:
- Increasing revenue & visibility of forecasted income
- Expanding their client base
- Implementing processes & more formal commercial engagements.
Using the Louise Pengilley methodology, Louise helped Betttering Youth gain more insight into their client base by analysing client profiles to identify their ideal and best clients. This exercise also highlighted the characteristics of non-ideal clients so sales and marketing activity focused on attracting the right clients.
A review of the client onboarding process identified several opportunities for incorporating more structure. This involved creating new Terms and Conditions which penalised last-minute cancellations and late payments. These changes resulted in less stress and disruption and allowed Sarahlynn and her team to focus on clients who worked well with these arrangements.
Louise Pengilley also helped Bettering Youth implement a new pricing structure across the business to incentivise clients to commit to a monthly or termly payment instead of a pay as you go format. This in turn gave Bettering Youth a greater visibility of forecasted revenue as well as a stronger income stream.
Scaling the Bettering Youth business was about more than bringing on another educator – it was also about finding a way to expand their offering. As part of their Small Business Consultant service, Louise developed a questionnaire with Bettering Youth to understand more about what their clients wanted. The responses revealed a need for more interaction between children as a result of the isolation created by lockdown. With this insight, Bettering Youth developed group sessions which would allow children to interact and gain a sense of normality. The group sessions were more affordable than 1:1 tutoring, meaning a broader potential client base. The sessions also act as a funnel for students to trade up to potential 1:1 tutoring.
The results for Bettering Youth have been fantastic. They have grown the business to the extent that they now work with another educator on a permanent basis. They also have a broader range of offerings with a “waiting list” system which gives the team visibility of future income. Louise’s Small Business Consultant service helped Bettering Youth realise that negotiation is not just about bringing on clients but is actually something that’s relevant across all areas of the business. With small business consultancy support from Louise, Sarahlynn successfully established business boundaries. This now enables her to give her best to her clients without feeling like she is losing herself.
Revenue grew by over 40% with income levels by client up by over 20% with an increased number of clients. By putting Louise’s advice to work, Bettering Youth were able to expand their group sessions, attracting as many as 18 children per group.
I was attracted to working with Louise as a Small Business Consultant because of her belief that sales processes didn’t need to feel disingenuous. She works in an incredibly powerful and thoughtful way. She doesn’t waste time, she’s really focused and efficient, helping with a detailed follow-up email to make sure you stay on track. As a result of working with her I now have developed increased confidence in how to negotiate not just winning new clients but also handling some of those more challenging situations. I also loved the way she helped me with some challenging conversations but also celebrate whenever we had a win – she helps you keep your momentum going and totally understands what it’s like to run your own business. I would thoroughly recommend Louise Pengilley’s Small Business Consultant services if you want to find a way to grow your business in a way that’s true to you and your values.Sarah