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General election 2015: Tutor Desk founder Richard Harris – I’m voting as…

Happy that the last government has made education "boring", but wanting less interference as a business owner, Richard Harris shares his thoughts with us ahead of the May general election.
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Joining our “I’m voting as…” feature series is Richard Harris, who has set up a number of companies in the education sector. With a desire to double his client base in the coming years, Harris is clear in what he wants.

Who are you and what does your business do?

My name is Richard Harris, and I am the founder of Tutor Desk, which is a regional private tutoring agency. I also give my own time as a ‘super tutor’ and author.

How has your business changed over the last five years?

Over the last five years the private tutoring industry has steadily grown, and with it, so have my businesses. We have taken on more admin staff (some of which are based in the Philippines), and plenty of new UK-based private tutors.

What are your growth plans for the next five years?

This year we would like to double our client base, and so far we are well on track. The obstacles we face for this are learning to do better with our search engine optimisation and recruitment. In five years I would like to branch in to other countries with similar growth in the tutoring markets.

What kind of government would you like to see elected?

The free market thrives with as little interference from any government as possible. Cumbersome regulation, public sector monopolies and harsh taxation all hold business back. Thus, a libertarian government would promote business the best. 

Since, however, there are no viable libertarian candidates, I feel safest leaving the Conservatives in charge of the economy, as they (very loosely) fit the bill above. Policy wise, I only ask that regulation, interference and tax be kept to a minimum, and the entrepreneurs will focus on wealth building.

Read other “I’m voting as…” pieces:

Do you think the government in general is doing enough to support businesses of your size?

I know that the government’s Start Up Loans scheme has helped myself and many of my entrepreneur friends get their businesses off the ground, and we are grateful. However, the purist in me would say the best ideas don’t need or deserve government support, and will thrive without it. Creamy benefits and subsidies lead to fat and inefficient businesses. Perhaps we would do better growing our businesses by bootstrapping? 

The government has so far been doing a terrific job of making education boring, irrelevant and ineffective. The worse state education becomes, the bigger the tutoring market becomes, so please keep up the bad work.

Has the impending general election caused any uncertainty regarding how you run your company?

I will be interested to see which new employment legislation comes in to effect. Labour, in particular, have promised higher minimum wages. If this were to happen my next admin recruits would have to come from Asia as UK labour prices become prohibitively uncompetitive.

In one sentence, please finish this line: “I’m voting as…”

I’m voting as the head of an education business who understands the necessity of small government and lean taxes to allow business to thrive.

Do you agree with Richard Harris? Is there anything you’d like to add? Please let us know in the comments box below.

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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