Paula had been working in the education sector for over two decades, including ten years in senior leadership positions when she decided to set-up her own tutoring business, Tutor Tailor.  

She started her business journey feeling overwhelmed and at times alone. Through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s support to start a business, Paula was introduced to a local Start-Up Manager and accessed training, which was funded by the Combined Authority. 

Tutor Tailor offers 1-1 tuition to young people, available both in-person and online. Additionally, Paula is developing links with local schools and provides tutors upon request. The business is based in Haworth, Bradford, with tutors spread throughout West Yorkshire. While in-person services are limited to West Yorkshire, online services are available nationwide. 

Paula spoke about her challenges: 

“I needed all the support! Although I had a lot of experience in education, I had never been in business, let alone starting my own business. I couldn’t afford to join a franchise, so I decided to go it alone. My main areas for support were marketing, social media skills, confidence building, and recruitment of tutors.” 

Before accessing support, Paula was working on her own and had only two clients. Paula joined the support programme in March 2023 feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how she could grow the business and win new clients.  

Paula participated in various webinars, covering topics such as LinkedIn, business planning, and social media marketing and was guided by a business coach. Paula also received support and guidance from a dedicated Start-Up Manager in Bradford

Paula told us about how she felt supported: 

“I have found my regular meetings with my Start-Up manager an enormous help. Before our meetings, I felt alone and floundering at times. She helps to give me focus; she talks through any challenges that I have so that we arrive at a solution together. She also celebrates any successes in a positive, motivational way.” 

The business has expanded from two to twenty-three regular clients, resulting in a substantial increase in turnover and has won a Yorkshire Prestige Awards 2023, being recognised in the tutoring category.  

The support has helped Paula develop resilience and confidence in running her own business. While workshops and webinars were valuable, the individual support provided by Bradford Start-Up Manager was the most beneficial, offering a sense of security and support during challenging moments. 

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council, said, “I’m delighted that Paula has found our business support so helpful and it’s great to see that her business has since gone from strength to strength. Bradford is a great place to start and run a business and our Invest in Bradford team are always on hand to support businesses small and large to achieve their ambitions.”

Paula was supported by a Start-Up Manager from Bradford Council and attended webinars delivered by People Plus through Start-Up West Yorkshire. This support is funded and delivered by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

To sign up for Start Up West Yorkshire, contact the Invest in Bradford Team.

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