Franchisee Finds Purpose with Tutor Doctor

Tutor Doctor Byron Zahn

Byron Zahm Serves as an Example and Inspiration for Like-Minded Entrepreneurs

Tutor Doctor franchisee Byron Zahm of Albuquerque, N.M., is living proof that someone of extremely limited means can channel passion, mettle and opportunity into a meaningful, prosperous life. Seeking to discover his life’s purpose with varied job explorations starting in 2015, Zahm worked as a guide in Alaska and managed zip-lining courses in Minnesota. At one point he lost pretty much everything, and his car doubled as his home. 

He found himself adrift, still wanting to satisfy his potent hunger to help others and make a positive impact within society. So Zahm set about changing all that. “Over a period of four years, I had to rebuild my mental, emotional, spiritual and financial capacity, just to name a few areas. I was destitute in every way. Fortunately I was able to reclaim the strengths of my sales background and saved aggressively. This, plus a couple of loans that have almost been repaid, allowed me to get started with the necessary capital” for his Tutor Doctor franchise, which fit his personal goals to a T.

Why Zahm Chose the Tutor Doctor Franchise

“Tutor Doctor’s mission is to change the trajectory of students’ lives” with one-on-one tutoring in students’ homes and online, Zahm says. “As a mission-oriented person, this mission aspect really stood out. It has been the perfect marriage of business and mission.” He began his franchise journey in October 2019.

“I am an entrepreneur by nature,” he adds. “Launching out in a new endeavor is a whole lot more comfortable and satisfying for me than the ‘safe’ job market.” Zahm sees it as a privilege to serve every student and family that come to Tutor Doctor Albuquerque and asserts that “the gift of education has the power to change everybody’s life for the better.”

Tutor Doctor Franchisee’s Tips

Zahm’s enthusiasm and hard work as a Tutor Doctor franchisee has won company-wide acclaim. He serves as a “global mentor” at the company, which means sharing his knowledge and advice with prospective and current franchise partners of the brand. As he counsels them, Zahm tells his own story of perseverance and imparts these pointers for succeeding in business:  

  • Value relationships. Build bonds with quality people, Zahm says. “When you surround yourself with good people, your confidence begins to soar in every aspect of life,” he says. Zahm trusts his employees, clients and corporate, and he’s not shy about crediting all of them with aiding his achievements.
  • Branch out. “Never be afraid to try something new.” Zahm had a background in sales, but he courageously made forays into other fields during his self-discovery period. Only later did he try his hand at entrepreneurship.
  • Inspire others. Zahm is thrilled with his mentoring role and says he loves to motivate people. “I want to help others grow personally and find their purpose.” 
Through his Tutor Doctor franchise and the personal and professional relationships he has developed in the Albuquerque area, Byron Zahm is a bit of a local celebrity.

Through his Tutor Doctor franchise and the personal and professional relationships he has developed in the Albuquerque area, Zahm is a bit of a local celebrity. People easily recognize him from the Tutor Doctor-wrapped Jaguar he drives, and families often stop to thank him for the impact his franchise made in meeting their educational needs.  

Tutor Doctor’s Individualized Approach

The Tutor Doctor franchise was built around the premise that while every student can learn, each learns in a different way. The founder, who launched Tutor Doctor in 2000, recognized that students needed individualized instruction to maximize their potential. Students are prescreened to be matched with a tutor who can work with them in their optimum learning style, and the tutor develops a curriculum so the student can hit bull’s-eyes within his or her educational targets. 

Tutor Doctor’s first franchise locations opened in North America in 2003, and the company went global in 2008 with sites in the United Kingdom. Today the Tutor Doctor franchise has more than 700 territories operating in 16 countries. Part of that growth arises from referrals; Tutor Doctor has a 95% customer satisfaction rating. The Tutor Doctor franchise aims to expand so its affordable, convenient tutoring reaches more markets across Europe, Latin America, North America… almost anywhere.

Advantages of a Tutor Doctor Franchise

Among other pluses, Tutor Doctor franchisees appreciate the low cost of $73,295 to $100,995 required to launch their business. Other enticements include quick start-up (opening as few as two months after signing), limited overhead costs (a home-based business model), and the rewarding nature of the field. Tutor Doctor clients range from a 12-year-old struggling to master beginning algebra to high-schoolers wanting college admissions test prep to a grandparent who always yearned to play guitar. 

Tutor Doctor’s launch support specialists provide in-depth assistance to franchisees in their first year and help them set biweekly objectives, market their franchises locally and recruit tutors. Each franchisee has a dedicated webpage (Zahm’s is designed with cutting-edge search engine optimization techniques to enhance online presence.

Training consists of six of weeks of pre-work, including e-learning and onboarding tasks, and two weeks of virtual, live home office training. This includes in-field activities that are focused on community marketing/relationship building, training in using the brand’s proprietary management software, financials and tutor recruitment. There will be on-going support with a dedicated business coach who the franchisee meets with weekly.

Impressed by Corporate Leadership

“What immediately impressed me about the Tutor Doctor franchise was the many quality people I was meeting at the corporate level,” Zahm says. “I saw people of passion, commitment and character. I believe that character precedes reputation, that it impacts what we do and how we do it. I believed by surrounding myself with quality people who had a solid mission and a proven model, that the only missing ingredient was my effort, and no one was going to outwork me.” 

His franchise keeps him “very busy, because I am committed to not just being another tutoring service. I’m committed to being the best we can be. We are always looking for ways to improve.”  He has a team of five part-time professionals who figure heavily into his franchise’s success. “We’re always a work in progress and our team is always redefining the best version of who we are at Tutor Doctor Albuquerque.” 

Zahm sees a bright future for private tutoring, and statistics bear that out. Global Industry Analysts Inc. predicts worldwide gross revenue of $260.7 billion by 2024. To find out more about Tutor Doctor’s entrepreneurship opportunities, please visit

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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