Russ Hanush owns Acclaimed Tutoring, an online math and science tutoring business based in Templeton, California.
Russ and his global team of tutoring professionals have helped hundreds of students tackle STEM subjects like trigonometry, physics, calculus, and chemistry. In addition to cultivating the future scientific and math minds of America, Russ is credited with inventing the Periodic Table of Dimensions.
Can you tell me a little bit about what you do?
We’re a math and science tutoring business. We’ve been in business for 16 years, tutoring students from 8th grade all the way to college. The typical student stays with us for three to four years, starting with sophomore year.
We’re based in Templeton, California. I do in-person tutoring, but all lessons are online so we can get the best tutors possible for everyone. We have tutors in Southern California, Bogotá, Columbia, and have had tutors in India and France. We’ve tutored students everywhere from Beverly Hills to Portland, Honolulu, and Paris.
What made you decide to start Acclaimed Tutoring?
I used to do research out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a nuclear research laboratory.
About 20 years into my career at the lab, they were looking to downsize. So, I took early retirement, then took a three-year sabbatical to develop my own periodic table—I invented the Periodic Table of Dimensions. It does for physics what the Periodic Table of Elements does for chemistry. (The whole thing started with me playing with the concept of time travel, something I was enthralled with as a kid!)
Then, I was looking around, trying to figure out what I was going to do, and my cousin asked me to tutor her kids. So, I helped with that. I realized it was a great way to make a living. I love teaching, and I love math and sciences.
What’s your favorite part of running your own business?
I love interacting with the clients, doing the sales, and doing the check-ins.
This last week, I was just doing check-ins with clients to make sure the students’ grades were right where they wanted to be. I had a great experience with getting feedback. I got a couple of incredible testimonials, and I had a couple of parents with small issues. This gave me the opportunity to work with the tutors and address them.
Right now, there are about four to five weeks left in school. Everyone’s been preparing for the AP exams, which are taking place now.
Tell me about the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your business.
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was actually personnel: learning how to hire and manage people. And this is why I love Patriot so much. As a matter of fact, without you guys, I couldn’t have made that leap to growing my company. You guys are incredible. I’ve appreciated everything you guys have done.
When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?
Students. The students we’ve helped. We’ve had so many go on to become successful scientists, engineers, bankers, lawyers, and doctors.
Two went on to become professional baseball players, including Spencer Howard who played for the Phillies. We had one student—Mari Stewart—go on to become a professional women’s basketball player in Croatia, Latvia, Australia, and the UK. Max Styler went on to become a world-famous DJ, playing with Steve Aoki in Coachella. Josh Oliver is a tight end for the Minnesota Vikings.
I’ve worked with some really great students. We are so proud of them all.
What words of advice do you have for people hoping to start their own business?
Get into a groove. Coaching—coaching is the thing that’s going to put you over the edge. You need people to support you as an entrepreneur. We end up very isolated, and people who aren’t entrepreneurs don’t understand the way we think.
I’m a member of two coaching groups: E.L.F. Coaching from Joe Polish’s Genius Network and Titans Xcelerator (my mentor is Brian Kurtz).
How did you process payroll before switching to Patriot’s Full Service Payroll?
I pretty much started with you guys from scratch. I had one person with me as a contractor. I talked with another client of yours who was so impressed with you guys and recommended you.
I talked with another payroll provider, and the price was 50 times what you were asking me for; it was insane.
I’ve really been able to grow my business. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have been able to make that change. Now, I have a team of five – six tutors and a couple of other employees working for me. I couldn’t have done any of that without Patriot.
On average, how long does it take you to run payroll?
Two and a half minutes.
On the rare occasion that I’ve had a problem, one of the greatest things about Patriot is your customer service is always there. I don’t get the runaround. They always fix my problem—your customer service is just excellent.
Connect with Acclaimed Tutoring:
Russ was also recently featured on the I Love Marketing Podcast!
About Patriot Software
At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing accounting software and payroll that lets small business owners keep their time and money for what they love: running their business! Our #PatriotSpotlight customer success stories celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners across the country.