Your name and age:
Amrit Deogun – 41 years old.
Tell us about your family:
I’ve been married to my husband for 12 years and we have two amazing children together. My son is eight and my daughter has just turned three.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I studied Maths at the University of Leeds. Once I’d graduated, I started working in an area of deprivation, and ran a Bexley Council youth centre for 10 years where I did a whole other range of jobs: youth participation, working in schools, supporting voluntary sector organisations and much more. I met my now husband, got married and we moved in together. I got pregnant, gave birth to my son, and then decided I wanted to go into teaching as I wanted better working hours to work around being a mum. I studied for my PGCE at Goldsmith’s University and started working in a school as a Maths teacher. Through the years, I worked my way up the ladder firstly as head of Key Stage 3, and then worked towards becoming Head of the Maths Department. However, I soon became pregnant again. When my daughter was born, I was able to pick my son up from school on a regular basis for the first time, I craved something even more flexible – and that’s when I started thinking about having my own business.
When did you launch?
How did you get started?
I realised that I had to start thinking about the long term and have a career where I could be more available for my children. I decided very quickly that I wanted my own business, and thinking about my strengths, I knew that a tutoring business was my calling. That’s when I came across the Tutor Doctor franchise opportunity. Here was a way to start my own business with the support of a global network behind me – so I went for it! I attended a seven-day business bootcamp in Toronto where they train you on how to run your own business. It was very full on, although extremely thorough, and I came back home equipped with everything I needed to get going. I have to admit, the first year was very tough as I had no idea what I was putting myself up for but I got into the swing of things after a while.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
It feels incredible to provide and create jobs for my local community.
What has worked well about your business?
I’m really proud of the way that the team has grown: we’ve managed to get people on board, some being friends, and it makes it all worth it. I’ve also started working with schools in the area, supporting a broader spectrum of young people including those with mental health and social emotional difficulties. I think it’s great that I’ve come full circle to my days working in a youth centre and now supporting young people through my own business.
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it?
At the beginning, I completely immersed myself into the business and said yes to any opportunity that would come my way. I underestimated how much time and effort my husband and family would have to put in to support me, in order to get the business up and on its feet. This all had a huge impact on our life as a family, and after a couple of months I realised that I needed to block out time just to spend with my family. This started to help create that work–life balance that I wanted in the first place.
How do you fit in work with the family? Is your partner supportive of your business?
My business has enabled me to do things that I couldn’t do previously. I can now spend more time with the children, picking them up and dropping them off at school and having the freedom on the weekends to do things with the family. My husband is verysupportive. He has supported me financially taking full responsibility for all the household bills, and just being there to help with the kids and housework whilst everything for the business was being set up. He’s been very patient.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
In the short term, I’m hoping to have Tutor Doctor Greenwich operating with a turnover of £250k within the next 1-2 years. For the long term, I want the business to get to a point where it can run with little input from myself.
Would you ever give up your business to do something else?
I would never want to give it up, the business will always keep going, but I would like to get a point where I’m just overseeing operations.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come?
We’ve had various breakthroughs of different sizes that have taken us in new directions, but I don’t think I’ve had that moment. And I don’t think that I ever will because I’ll always just want to be able to do more. I’ll constantly strive for the business to get bigger and better.
Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
It’s still very early days in my journey yet so there’s still a long way to go, but I hope to be running a sustainable business with ease. I’d love to be able to have more holidays with my family. My ultimate dream is to work with the Government on the policies of education. I’ve worked within so many different aspects of the education system, within formal, informal and private education and I want to be able to share my insights, to impact and make a real difference to the way education is being delivered on a national level.
Your website link: www.tutordoctor.co.uk/greenwich