Richard Evans: Award-winning Tuition Company That Has Been Providing Top-quality Tutoring to Students Across the World

August 9, 2022

The Profs is an award-winning tuition company that has been providing top-quality tutoring to students across the world.

The business has facilitated over 250,000 hours of tuition for 10,000 students in 50 countries, and has done so keeping customer service and tutor support at its core.

Through continuous investment in the very best quality talent in the industry, The Profs has created a home for professional, life-long tutors and empowered them to do what they do best: tutor!

Tell us about yourself?

While studying for my degree at LSE, I began tutoring internationally. I quickly sensed a gap for bespoke help for students, given that the economic and social costs of underperforming were – and still are – huge. I found out that 76% of companies screened out candidates with a 2:2 and the life-time difference in earnings versus a 2:1 was £132,000!

With this in mind, I brought together five tutors who shared my vision and started The Profs from my bedroom.

The business plan was simple: find top tutors and match them with students in need of help. I took the best practices of existing companies whilst targeting their weaknesses and, in doing so, intended to turn a highly fragmented cottage industry into a mainstream, professional service.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Invest in finding the best people before you need them. A company is limited only by the capabilities of its team.

As such, there is nothing more important than finding the best talent – the people who are capable of driving your company forward. Think strategically about the future needs of your company, and also the weaknesses that your current team has.

See these as opportunities to grow. In doing so, you’ll plug your gaps before they turn into major challenges, allowing you to continue the momentum and growth trajectory you have worked so hard to build.

What problem does your business solve?

The Profs solves problems on two sides: the tutor side and the customer side. For customers, we solve the problem of not being able to access the highest quality tutors, or trust whether the tutors you’re getting will help with your specific needs. Our customers are assured that we only work with the very best tutors in the industry – we only accept the top 3% of tutors who apply to our network.

We also have a team of knowledgeable Client Liaison Managers (CLMs) who speak to every potential client and, with the help of a smart-match AI algorithm, match them with the perfect tutor for them.
On the tutor side, we have worked tirelessly to professionalise the tuition industry and make tutoring a viable career path for talented individuals.

We provide regular training sessions, arrange tutor-focused social events, and pay tutors highly for the service they provide.

With 38 of our tutors having earned over £100,000 and some top tutors earning over half a million, we offer a home for professional tutors.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind the business started as my own experiences as a tutor.

I saw that the tutoring industry was a highly fragmented one that rarely prioritised high quality talent and excellent customer service, and I believed these two aspects should be at the core of any great, professional tuition business.

What is your magic sauce?

Our magic sauce is the sheer happiness of our customers. Since we started The Profs, customer reviews have been our bread and butter, and we have since accrued thousands of five-star TrustPilot and Google reviews. We are proudly the UK’s highest-rated tuition company on TrustPilot in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 with a score of 4.9 out of 5!

I’d also say that our data-focused approach has distanced us from our competition. We have consistently tracked the success of our services and used these to improve and make decisions about the business.

We now know that 81% of our students achieved a grade increase in their final examinations and, unbelievably, 97% of our students get into their first or second choice university thanks to our admissions programmes! Our Oxbridge acceptance rate is 55% — more than three times the national average.

By tracking and sharing these results with prospective families, as well as the expected costs of achieving them, we are bringing much-needed transparency to our industry, whilst also confirming that The Profs’ tutors are the best-in-class when it comes to achieving life-changing results.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our vision is simple: we package educational outcomes. If a family needs to get from a B to an A in Maths A level to achieve their university offer, we will soon be able to accurately predict the cost of doing so through one-to-one tuition, as well as the amount of hours needed.

We have a 92% success rate of helping students get into top-tier undergraduate courses, increasing to 97% at postgraduate level.

We believe that the final step in our journey is to automate the link between our matching, pricing and success rates to create the definitive online tutoring platform and package success-based outcomes for families around the world.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of our greatest challenges was changing perceptions around online tutoring. Long before the pandemic, before the entire world had heard of Zoom, we were deploying online learning technologies.

t took patience to show our industry that our solutions were better than traditional in-person tutoring, but over time we became the gold standard of professional tutoring. Today, few customers even raise an eyebrow at our online delivery methods.

That is because, when executed correctly, virtual learning is not merely a cost-cutting exercise; there are many benefits to virtual learning which simply cannot be achieved through in-person learning.

For example, recorded, online lectures are more accessible for students who are unable to attend in-person or who benefit from revisiting material for revision.

Technology such as Bitpaper (https://bitpaper.io/) can also allow tutors to make virtual, high-quality notes that can be saved and revisited at a later date.

This technology adds value to courses by providing students with the best of both worlds and allowing them to work in a way that suits their learning style and needs.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We’re always on the lookout for industry partnerships and affiliates. I’ve spent much of my career trying to bring the tuition industry closer together.

We have been instrumental in many of the education business’s biggest collaborations, including Love Tutoring Festival and The Crunch. Please do get in touch with us if you think we could work together ([email protected]).

At The Profs, we have created a home for professional tutors and are always looking for more highly-rated educators to join our network (https://www.theprofs.co.uk/become-a-private-tutor/).

Supporting and nurturing tutors has always been part of the foundations of the business. Our designated tutor team provides free Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops, resources and webinars to every tutor in our network.

We believe that tutoring should be a well-paid, viable and respected career path, not a stop gap.

We also help students with their studies all the way up to the professional and business level. This includes qualifications such as the ACA, CFA, and ACCA, and tuition in business management and entrepreneurship.

Reach out to us if we can support you with your studies (https://www.theprofs.co.uk/contact-the-profs/) for your start-up business!

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