Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Jessi Dall. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Jessi, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Risk taking is something we’re really interested in and we’d love to hear the story of a risk you’ve taken.
I studied elementary education in college and spent the first three years of my career as a classroom teacher. I wanted to be able to continue to “move up” in my career, so I decided to leave the classroom (this was way before leaving the classroom was associated with the great resignation). At the time, I had a few students I was tutoring and zero business experience. However, I took a risk and worked my tail off. That was in 2009 and since then, my entrepreneurial journey has been filled with risks. I had to figure out how to train/hire tutors who would emulate my tutoring approach. I had to find and rent spaces that would support my growing business. Buying my own building one year before the pandemic was one of the greatest risks I have taken. Over the years, I have learned that the risks are usually worth the uncertainty and even the pain. They have allowed me to grow as a business owner, as a leader, and as a woman. To date, the scariest thing I have done was hiring a manager to run my company, so I could join an Ed-Tech start-up. While the risks I have taken have not always resulted in perfect outcomes, they have all shaped the success I am experiencing today.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
After leaving the classroom, in pursuit of dental school, I tutored to make ends meet. It did not take long before I realized tutoring allowed me to enjoy all of my favorite parts about teaching. (Spoiler alert… I was accepted to dental school, but chose not to attend). Instead, I dove head first into developing the best tutoring company. With the average American family getting to spend less than 37 minutes of quality time together each day, I made it my mission to end the homework battle, so families could enjoy more time together. I do not offer a pre-determined program, but instead carefully customize each session to meet the personality, schedule, and subject matter needs of each student. Advantage tutors are much more than academic guides in students’ lives. We mentor students based upon an academic platform by matching them with the right tutor. I have created a tutoring initiative that is effective because it allows tutors to get at the root of students’ struggles by connecting with them in a trustworthy and meaningful way. While the pandemic has removed the stigma from tutoring and non-traditional approaches to education, it has also created a huge need for individualized academic support. Today, my team of tutors is committed to strong communication with parents, teachers, and students, while bridging the learning gaps. We are instilling confidence in students and reminding them how truly rewarding learning can be!
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
My reputation within the market is a direct result of my unwavering commitment to honesty, relationships, and excellence. I have pursued meaningful partnerships with teachers and counselors all over the valley, which allows myself and my tutors to better understand the educational environment that our students are being asked to thrive within. As an evolving, small business, I faithfully pursued the highest level of academic support for all students. Possibly, of utmost importance, I communicate consistently and effectively with students and parents. I have earned the trust of families by the superior level of service I provide. I also walk into necessary conflict, in order to always demonstrate my true appreciation and value for my customers. I own my mistakes and do my best to learn from them.
Can you share one of your favorite marketing or sales stories?
As a natural introvert, networking has been a challenging skill for me to develop. However, I made up my mind to form a partnership with my favorite local, educational toy store. I’ll never forget the first time I walked in the store, one I had shopped in many times before, but this time with a specific marketing goal. I had a stack of postcards I had designed and printed under my arm and I walked straight back to the owner’s office. I told her I wanted to partner with her by regularly featuring items from her store on my social media, in order to demonstrate the ways our tutors are incorporating them into sessions. After she reluctantly listened, she stood up and walked towards me. At the time, I had no idea what an absolute honor it was for this successful business owner to collaborate with me. Because I took a big step outside of my comfort zone, we have now partnered to bring free summer programs to valley schools, to provide Advantage campers with the most unique learning experiences, and to continually grow our businesses together. The increase in sales through collaborative marketing that we have both been able to experience is undeniable. And most importantly, I have developed a true friendship with this woman that, without a risk, I never would have had.
- Website: www.advantagetutoringaz.com
- Instagram: @advantagetutoringaz
- Facebook: @advantagetutoringaz
- Linkedin: Jessi Dall
Claudia Johnstone -dasfotohaus Grace “Volume and Vibes Photog”