Steve Almond, 48, has spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical industry but after taking voluntary redundancy twice he decided to take a step outside of his comfort zone into the world of franchising, and hasn’t looked back since.

“I started in research and development at AstraZeneca and after a few years I moved on to operations and latterly spent 10 years as a project manager. I enjoyed this corporate role, and project management in particular, but during a major oprations re-organisation, AstraZenica offered a voluntary redundancy package to their staff that was simply too good to turn down! “At the time, the idea of franchising hadn’t really popped up and I took another project management position in the same sector. SSL International, well-known its brands Durex and Scholl, was taken over by Reckitt Benckiser just 12 months ago and I was given the option of relocating from Cheshire to either Hull or Slough. My wife’s family all live locally and my eldest son was soon to take his GCSEs, so relocating just wasn’t a sensible option. I guess that’s how I found myself taking voluntary redundancy for the second time! “I met up with an old AstraZeneca colleague and, over a coffee, we chatted about what I could do next. She suggested I spoke with Andrew Pendleton at MatchPoint. Having worked with Andrew herself, when she was considering buying a franchise, she thought that the MatchPoint process of matching people to franchises could help me figure out my next step.

“I first met Andrew for an informal chat where he explained the MatchPoint suitability profiling process; he was very patient and took the time to understand what I was looking for. Our second meeting started the profiling activities and our subsequent meetings talked through the franchise opportunities that had been matched to my skills and attributes. The process is well worthwhile as not only do they offer a suitable franchise to someone like me but it means that once you are introduced to the franchisor, they are happy and confident that you are a suitable candidate for them.

Tutor Doctor was one of the first three options brought to me by Andrew. After some initial screening, I was allowed to talk to existing franchisees and each of them explained without prompting: “we work really hard but we make a difference to people’s education every day” and this simple statement ultimately sold it to me.”

Tutor Doctor provides the highest quality private tutors in the UK. The franchisee manages a network of tutors and visits each new student to assess their needs before allocating the best possible tutor.

“I launched the East Cheshire franchise of Tutor Doctor in May this year and have grown from nothing to a business now requiring 30 tutors to cover the tutoring demand. The business model seems to be stacking-up nicely as, even over the quiet summer holiday, we are on target for around 75 students at the end of year 1.

“Tutor Doctor is set apart from agencies because we know all of out tutors personally and we can find a tutor for almost every need. We have students from 5 to 75 years old and we could have renamed ourselves ‘University Rescue’ for the number of students we’ve helped over the past couple of months with subjects such as economics and aviation to geology and law!

Using the Match Point service was just what the doctor ordered for Steve:

“It does what it says on the logo! It took the pain out of the franchise search. Just like Tutor Doctor, they fully assess the need and provide the most appropriate solution.”

You can find out more about MatchPoint by calling 0843 289 2645 or visit: www.matchpointnetworkuk.co.uk