Top marks for the ‘Grade A’ business tutoring the next generation
We caught up with Samuel Adu-Gyamfi, founder of Sam Tutoring; a company that’s focussed on creating academic excellence through private tuition, seminars, workshops and social media.
Do something that makes a positive impact in this world, serve someone with your business and enjoy the process!
Tell us what Sam Tutoring is and what the business offers?
Sam Tutoring is not your average tutoring business, we’re an education company that is not just focused on academic excellence but also to encourage and teach independent learning, study and life skills that can be used inside and outside the classroom.
My hope is that by the time you’ve completed your time with us you shouldn’t need tuition anymore. The best learners understand how they learn. We aim to give the tools to students to be self-sufficient with their learning. We do this via private tuition, workshops and seminars and learning on social media. I don’t believe tuition should be cost prohibitive so I’ve created a service whereby students can still have access to our resources for free. They also have the option to work with our tutors if they would like to. Either way, the onus is more on the work ethic of the student and less so on their socio-economic background.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
The Sam Tutoring story is actually intertwined with my own academic journey. I’m an education hybrid, up to GCSE in a failing south London school and the last three years in one of the best schools in the country. The culture alone was like day and night and I learnt a lot from both experiences.
I was on my Gap year. I was on a fast and remember walking to our local primary school to pick up my siblings from school and I was having a conversation with a friend of my mothers’, she was explaining the difficulty her son was having with his studies and the idea just jumped out to me why not run intensive classes over the Easter holidays?
So that day I wrote down the idea and I had a new focus. I thought I was going to make £30,000 within three months and pay for medical school. I had no idea that it would turn into a whole new entity in itself and that seven years later I would still be working on it.
During my time at university I would play around with the idea every summer (mostly fail at stuff) and I decided to pursue it full-time upon graduation.
I felt like I had learned and seen enough to be able to give it a good go and my university experience had really opened my eyes to entrepreneurship. I never really felt like I was the perfect fit for any career. There were aspects of lots of things I liked, but entrepreneurship made so much sense to me and allowed me to flourish.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
Most definitely, it would have helped. Cash flow was a real challenge, especially in the beginning. So much so, I paired up with a friend and we started fledgling companies to fund our main ideas. We would go out in the mornings and return in the evenings with money in our pockets, although I didn’t have much, it was an invigorating time for me and real confirmation that business was something I loved. I also won non-equity funding and another business idea I had, so extra financial help would have been great!
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Probably gaining access to the right client base which gave us good cash flow. We weren’t profitable until last year, so it’s been a journey but I’m glad I stuck it out!
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Be ok with working in silence, behind closed doors and people not taking any notice, or even deriding your vision. Don’t live by their affirmations, keep focused!
Don’t worry about being the next big thing and platforms. Concentrate on your craft and getting better day by day and your gift will get you to places you couldn’t imagine for yourself.
Everything can be learned from, especially failure.
If you’re not prepared to stay up till 4am working on it I would question whether you should be doing it.
It’s ok to grow and change your mind, don’t be so romanticised with an idea that can’t grow with you.
Finally, enjoy the process. You’re doing something extraordinary (as in being an entrepreneur) the riches are great but they’re a means to an end. Do something that makes a positive impact in this world, serve someone with your business and enjoy the process!
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
I think my proudest achievement to date is the fact the idea that jumped in to me one afternoon, now provides employment for people and changes the lives of young people. It allows me to live a life I am passionate about. I have to pinch myself when I go into work!
Samuel Adu-Gyamfi is the founder of Sam Tutoring.