In Conversation with Tiffany Sorya of Novel Education Group
Describe your business in a few words?
Novel Education Group is a homeschooling, tutoring and academic enrichment agency that provides flexible, personalized education. #makingsmartstylishagain
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I wanted to create something that didn’t have a limit. I felt like if I worked for another organization rather than creating my own, there was only so far I could go.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I moved to Los Angeles from Portland, OR when I was 22 and freshly graduated from university. I began privately tutoring when I was 23 and worked with numerous families up until I decided to start Novel Education when I was 28. I found my work to be effective with students and wanted to find a way to scale.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Not at all actually haha… I graduated with a degree in organismal biology so I always thought I’d be some sort of scientist.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Honestly, my lack of marketing strategy is probably my biggest regret when I started Novel. For the first year or so we ran strictly as a word of mouth business and it managed to stay that way until year two. I began by doing as much personal outreach as possible and while people were always interested to hear about my unique position and services. I found that making connections within the demographic you service was the most effective way of doing outreach. We started gaining traction when we put our information in front of the right people.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Just the fact that I started a fully functioning business that services people around the globe and employs others full time is something that I’m really proud of. Additionally, I’m the only member of my family who has ever started a business and broke a few barriers regarding gender roles.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We’re busier than ever helping out families since the school closures and making sure people know we are available to help. We have expanded on our services to include programs that encourage students to be interactive with their peers such as learning pods, book clubs, and virtual P.E. programs.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are currently working on developing more fun and engaging book clubs for students of all ages as well as virtual Valentines Day lessons where students can learn about the history of Valentine’s day and engage in some fun crafts! We’d like to see our enrichment programs more easily accessible to families. It will be as easy as picking up our book and engaging in a 4-week program on their own following the lesson plan guide.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Always be prepared.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Spend all the money you have on marketing and a publicist.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Of course! I’ve always worked from home so the lines between work and personal life easily get blurred. One thing I love to do to help separate them is to make separate work and personal to-do lists. When writing them, prioritize what needs to get done, and know what you can delegate to others. It’s also good to unplug, get away from the T.V. and computer and go on a walk, take a workout class or read a book!
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m actually quite silly and I’m always cracking jokes. I know an impressive amount of RnB songs from the late 90’s and early 00’s by heart lol
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Eat breakfast – Start your day with food, tea, or your favorite smoothie so you don’t feel agitated or tired later on. Exercise daily- short lunch break or evening walk can help reduce stress and clear your mind. Create to-do lists! You can even give your tasks a deadline so you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate or waste time on other things.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being a business owner who stays true to herself and genuinely believes that what your business has to offer is unique and valuable.