BOOM: Tutoring & Learning Centers
It’s a (sad) fact. About half of students in 2023 started the school year behind grade level.The pandemic, combined with digital distractions, has had an impact on how kids are performing in school. But MULO (multi-location) tutoring centers are coming to the rescue. The private tutoring market is expected to grow to $106 billion by 2030 and, although these supplemental programs often happen online, walk-in learning centers are still alive, well, and thriving.
Although many tutoring services or learning centers are run by individuals or small groups, others are franchises. Supplemental learning starts these days at the pre-school level. For example, Ivybrook Academy now has close to 80 locations.
But let’s say your child “graduates” pre-school with flying colors. They may still need after-school help with learning or test-taking skills or with a particular subject. Among the other brick-and-mortar learning centers are:
- Kumon: A global brand, it’s also one of the oldest companies. Founded in 1958, Kumon is now in 51 countries and regions and has close to 25K centers, according to its press kit.
- Gradepower Learning: Founded in 1984, this franchise has more than 150 locations.
- Huntington Learning: Offering a choice of online or live tutoring (like many of the franchises), this franchise was founded in 1977 and has close to 300 locations. They offer special programs for students with ADHD and help students from K through college prep.
- The Tutoring Center: Founded in 1994, this business was franchised in 2005 and has close to 90 locations.
- Mathnasium: Addressing the challenge of learning math, this specialty tutoring business, founded in 2002, now has more than 1,000 locations globally. It was acquired by Roark Capital.
- Young Rembrandts: Not technically a tutoring center, this business founded in 1988 promotes the arts (which are often lacking in schools these days).
- Nutty Scientists: For those students who need more STEM education, this franchise has more than 200 locations worldwide.
So, whether parents are prepping kids for kindergarten or grad school or just need extra help in a particular subject (or enrichment in a subject they are interested in), they are turning to these MULO businesses as resources.
Although WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing is still one of the ways this population finds out about tutoring, the franchises all have optimized sites so when someone looks for “tutoring near me,” they can easily find the closest learning center. Convenience for after-school drop-off and pick-up may be an important tie-breaker if multiple programs are under consideration.
We tend to think of MULO businesses as being limited to food and retail, but today’s consumer’s needs are varied and (as noted above) start when their kids are still toddlers and last for many years of learning!