Clare Rimmer

Staying On Target During the Lockdown

Our Member, Clare Rimmer was telling us how she is stayed on target during the lockdown.

"If you had asked me two months ago, would I consider teaching online I would have laughed. One of the reasons we left a tuition franchise 5 years ago was because we love face to face tuition so much and did not want to be pushed to change our business model. Oh how things have pivoted in the
last 8 weeks! On the 20th of March I recorded an emotional video for Facebook explaining to our clients that we would try our best to keep our centre open for those who wanted to continue learning. That evening I sobbed all the way home listening to the latest news, knowing that we were facing the biggest challenge our business had ever seen in 13 years. By the 22nd we had shut our doors and the worry and stress was worse than anything I had experienced before.

The first stage impact of lockdown

The next week was a whirlwind. We knew we had to keep earning money to keep a roof over our heads. At this stage we had discovered our insurance company was not going to cover our loss of earnings and there had been no announcements of help for the self-employed. We were lucky enough to still have lots of contacts with tuition centres across the United Kingdom who had all been part of our former franchise. Zoom meetings began to take place and new plans started to form within days.

Going Online

We spent the next week learning how to zoom and gathering resources to upload online. On 8th April, I nervously clicked host a meeting on zoom and welcomed my first student to my online world. My first lesson went so well! I was bouncing around the room to the horror of my 12 year old daughter afterwards, totally elated that it had worked and I could actually break out of
my comfort zone and tutor online!

A New Way of delivering the On Target Service

Fast forward 8 weeks and I am shocked at how we have manged to adapt. My husband and business partner Martin is teaching Monday to Saturday and I’m teaching Monday to Thursday. We are fully booked and I actually feel like we might be working harder than we ever have! We are tutoring students far and wide across Northern Ireland and not just in the Lisburn area. I do really miss the buzz of the tuition centre and the connection that you make with pupils when you meet them face to face. I look forward to the day when we can open our doors and get back to teaching in person but I’m also delighted to have learnt a new skill. I think this pandemic has been an amazing wake up call for us. We are learning that we can’t have all our eggs in one basket and we need to diversify our business if its going to be sustainable in the future.

New Opportunities and a chance to improve

It has also given me a chance to work on the resources side of our business. Understandably, this has really boomed during the lockdown as parents need resources more than ever. Sales of our AQE and GL Revision Books and Practice Papers have increased and we have also been selling our yearly subscription model to schools and tutors. We have even had a large order from a tuition centre in London. This was a market I had never considered exploring before! I’m now doing my research with the hopes of securing more orders from across the water. If I have learned one thing in the past couple of months it is that you never know what is just around the corner and you have to take every opportunity that is thrown your way - if you can find the time to do it!"


Thank you Clare for sharing your story of how you stayed on target during the lockdown.

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Clare Rimmer
On Target Tuition and On Target Resources

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