Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gabby Marshall, Founder of Gabby's Classroom Educational Services, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Gabby's Classroom services students aged 2-16 in the Vancouver area. We specifically look to support students that require an intensive program to really help them achieve their personal goals. Examples include private school applicants, English language learners, or students looking to meet or get ahead of the curriculum expectations.
Tell us about yourself
I started my tutoring business as a part-time job after leaving my role as a Team Lead for Kindergarten to Grade 4 in a private school in Vancouver. I quickly realized the value of personalized learning for students and how much progress they could make in a short period of time when their program was aligned with their needs. This is something that is much more challenging to achieve in a large class setting where you have to meet the needs of all students. Personalized learning involves creating a customized curriculum that meets each student's unique interests, goals, and learning style. It goes beyond simply differentiating the classroom learning, as students get to engage in a curriculum that they truly enjoy and find motivating.
As a tutor, I find nothing more rewarding than seeing the difference I can make in each student's life and how much they enjoy the learning process. I am passionate about facilitating learning opportunities and helping students achieve their goals. At Gabby's Classroom, I strive to provide individualized attention to each student and create a learning plan that is tailored to their specific needs and interests.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Since starting my work in educational services, I have been successful in fostering strong relationships with families and creating a collaborative learning space that caters to the unique needs of each family. By prioritizing individualized attention and open communication with families, I have been able to build a community where families feel known, supported, and empowered to take part in their child's learning. As a result, I have been able to generate trust and excitement among families, and this has resulted in positive word-of-mouth referrals and a growing business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest parts of running Gabby's Classroom has been balancing the business needs against the educational needs of the students. It has been important to ensure the financial stability of the business as well as ensuring all students receive the service that best suits them. I have overcome these things by focusing first on the quality of the programs that we are offering and how we are best-serving clients, and the products ultimately have spoken for themselves. This has allowed us to grow our team, consolidate our practice, and - after much hard work - achieve profitability and a stable business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't set things up so that clients come to rely on you as the owner - always have trusted staff that you can delegate any task if required.
- Get someone to help with the areas that you find more challenging. For me, that was the taxes and finances!
- Focus on your core company goals and values and use these to guide your decision-making.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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