As the co-founder of Groza Learning Center, Scott Groza has dedicated his professional life to ensuring that students are able to enjoy an enriching educational environment in which learning objectives are consistently achieved. Drawing on over 10 years of teaching experience, Mr. Groza created Groza Learning Center in order to provide tutoring, test preparation and other individualized academic services to students in elementary, middle and high school. Located in Pacific Palisades, Mr. Groza’s learning center has quickly become an incredibly valuable academic resource for students throughout the area.
With his many years of experience as an educator, Mr. Groza has come to recognize and appreciate the importance of creating an individualized learning experience focused upon improving any areas of academic weakness. As a result, students who take part in the Groza Learning Center’s services benefit from sessions that are designed to be as efficient and productive as possible. Through this focused approach and clear commitment to adhering to lofty academic standards, the Groza Learning Center has developed a reputation for making education both challenging and enjoyable.
By any measure, Mr. Groza’s entrepreneurial endeavor has been incredibly successful. Students of all ages have benefited from the center’s programs and demand has grown so much over the years that Mr. Groza had to move the center to a more accommodating location. Now operating out of a state-of-the-art, 2,400-square-foot facility, Groza Learning Center has consistently demonstrated a genuine devotion to assisting students enjoy a successful academic career while instilling what the center hopes will become a lifelong passion for education. With rigorous standards and a dedicated staff, Groza Learning Center strives to always represent all that is good about education.
How did you get started? What inspired you to start this business?
As an educator I have always recognized the importance of an individualized academic program, but I also understand that some students do not always receive the type of instruction they need during a traditional school day. When we founded Groza Learning Center, we did so with the goal of providing tutoring and other academic services that ensured students were getting the most out of their studies.
How do you make money?
We offer a full range of academic services, including tutoring, test preparation, academic management and reading services, not to mention the fact that we also host a fully accredited college preparatory program. We charge a reasonable fee for these services that is in line with industry standards, and we feel that these fees represent a tremendous value.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took quite a bit longer than we expected, but we felt confident that we would succeed over the long term by simply focusing on delivering quality academic services to our students.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
In the early going we had some doubts, but we were resolute in our belief that by focusing on achieving outstanding student outcomes we would ultimately be successful. Fortunately, we were absolutely right about that and have only continued to grow in the years since.
How did you get your first customer?
Our staff included educators and administrators from various school systems, so we had a lot of friends and former colleagues recommend our services to students and the parents of students who they felt were in need of additional academic assistance. We also used several targeted marketing campaigns to make sure students and parents were aware of the services we had established.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Working with this generation of students, we have found that maintaining a strong presence on social media has been a very effective marketing tool. Our current students have been very helpful in making sure we are aware of the latest trends along with all of the emerging platforms we may not necessarily be familiar with.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have found that both parents and students frequently seek my advice regarding personal academic decisions, and it is very difficult to provide helpful information without unintentionally steering the student in one direction or another. I simply try to do my best to offer whatever knowledge I may have while reinforcing the importance that students arrive at these decisions on their own. Deciding how to approach these circumstances is always tough, but I have found being honest and straightforward is best.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I understand that profitability is important and that it is necessary for the continued existence of the Groza Learning Center, but it is far from our most important business goal. By striving to assist students in the most efficient way possible we feel that we have created a business that is going to continue to thrive for many years to come.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There is simply no way to choose just one because there have been so many rewarding and highly satisfying moments since we founded the learning center. It is simply amazing any time one of our students demonstrates improvement or finds joy in an academic subject in which they had previously struggled, so I can honestly say that my work is unbelievably rewarding on a daily basis.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are always looking for ways to expand our programs and to serve more students, but we also have to be very cautious in order to maintain the highly personalized approach that has been so central to our success. There are a lot of aspects about the future of the learning center that serve as a source of excitement, but I have really appreciated the increased interest parents seem to be taking in the education of their children.
As an entrepreneur, how do you define success?
I personally consider my business a success only when we are able to achieve the specific learning goals we define for our students. In a more general sense that can be applied to entrepreneurial endeavors regardless of the industry, I feel that success should not be solely defined by profit margins or revenues, but instead should be based on the true value of the products or services that are being provided to a community. Even if my business had not been profitable enough to be sustainable, I would have felt like I had overseen a successful business venture as long as we were able to help our students improve academically.