What I Like About the Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Franchise Opportunity
Club Z! is the world’s largest one-on-one in-home tutoring program, with more than 450 independently owned and operated units across the United States. Club Z! tutors students of all ages — from pre-kindergarten to adults — in all core subjects (reading, math, science, and history), standard test preparation (such as SAT and ACT), foreign languages, study skills, and more.
1. Club Z! stands out from its main competitors in the tutoring business (such as Kumon and Sylvan Learning Centers) because it provides highly individualized, one-on-one instruction in the convenience of the student’s home (although private tutoring sessions may also be scheduled at schools, after school facilities, libraries, or community centers). In comparison, Kumon and Sylvan franchises have actual physical locations where most of the tutoring is done, and instruction is usually given in small groups of 2-3 students.
Club Z!’s business model greatly reduces their franchisees’ initial investment and overhead costs because there are no buildout expense or monthly rent. The franchise fee is $19,750, and an additional $6,000 to $10,000 is needed for start-up expenses and advertising. This is far less than what one would expect to pay for a Kumon or Sylvan Learning franchise.
2. Unless the franchisee is a qualified tutor (i.e., an experienced, degreed professional and/or state certified instructor with appropriate credentials), the main role of the franchisee is to match each student with the right tutor.
The franchisee will schedule a time to meet with the parent and child (at no cost) at a convenient time in the family’s home. During the meeting, a more detailed assessment is taken, goals are set, and a tutoring plan of action is recommended. The franchisee will then assign to the student a Club Z! tutor who meets the child’s academic needs and complements the child’s personality type. The tutor will contact the parent directly and schedule each tutoring session at a convenient time (tutoring is available morning, afternoon, evening, weekends, and summers.)
3. Club Z! provides new franchisees with their initial pre-screened staff, and access to the company’s referral networks (Club Z! has developed relationships with national partners for referrals.) In addition, Club Z’s proprietary on-line certification program ensures that the tutors are thoroughly trained.
4. Club Z!’s customer call center can answer all incoming calls for the franchise during business hours. All call center representative are trained to explain the benefits of the service to potential clients, and schedule the franchisee’s enrollment meetings using a web-based calendar. By utilizing the call center, franchisees never miss an opportunity to gain a new client, while freeing up time to focus on the growth and management of their business.
What I Don’t Like About the Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Franchise Opportunity
1. There is nothing proprietary about the business model or systems of Club Z!, and the brand is not yet a household name among consumers. So a resourceful, aspiring entrepreneur can easily duplicate Club Z’s business model and start his or her own independent in-home tutoring business, without having to pay Club Z!’s initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty fees (6% of gross sales).
Of course, there are benefits to being part of a franchise, particularly in terms of ongoing support (such as the customer call center, and access to a referral network for tutors), but if someone is really motivated to start an independent in-home tutoring business, it can be done at a fraction of the cost. (I have a personal bias in favor of going the franchise route, because I like following a proven system and getting ongoing support from a team that understands best practices.)