Real Scaleup: Lingotot

RTC North (RTC North)

Created by RTC North (RTC North), 1 week ago, [last edited 15 hours ago]


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Angela Sterling is Managing Director and Founder of Lingotot, she's a fully qualified teacher whose GCSE students ranked in the top 10 in the world. With a keen interest in languages she founded Lingotot ten years ago to bring fun and interactive language classes to children aged 0-11.

In June 2018 Angela signed up for the Scaleup North East programme after she felt the need for some assistance and wanted to know how to scale the business.

Craig Huntingdon is a Scaleup Partner who has succesfully scaled three businesses over the last 15 years. 

Angela Sterling (AS): We teach languages to children aged 0-11 through a network of really highly qualified franchisees all over the UK. And what makes us different, apart from the vast array of languages that we do,  we are really early years specialists, there’s not many of us about. Languages tends to be something for secondary school and beyond. So, we are really unique in that way and also, we offer teacher qualifications, we offer qualifications for the children at the end of primary school so it just formalises it a little bit as well so that the teachers and the children are rewarded for the hard work that they do.

Craig Huntingdon (CH): Lingotot joined the Scaleup North East programme approximately four months ago, we’ve worked with Angela and Darren now for a number of months and it’s going fantastically well.

AS: I think what attracted me to this particular scaleup programme is, it’s hard just to go on adrenaline and excitement alone and as the business has grown, I’ve learnt so much along the way. I was not a business woman, I was a teacher. You hit a point where you need help, we’re still kind of early doors, but it’s already completely changed everything we do.

CH: The main issue when we engaged with Lingotot was to take what was essentially a growing business and turning it into a scaling business. The mindset was absolutely fantastic, the guys were very much engaged, the platform had been built and had been delivered. It really was a case of changing the infrastructure in that business in order for it to scale rather than to grow. The business is successful, it has a number of franchisee’s, in the region of 50. We’ve identified potentially 600 franchise sites across the UK of which we’ve targeted 400-450 over the next couple of years.

AS: Craig comes in and we get really excited, we really look forward to seeing him and he just gets it., but, then he just introduces us to really awesome people who can help us achieve what we want to achieve. We’ve never had that before.

CH: Without a shadow of a doubt, every time I visit Lingotot, I’m absolutely astounded by the progress the guys have made. We’re setting clear objectives, the guys are knocking the socks off them, we’re blowing down walls and every time I’ve had a meeting with them, I’ve never been less than absolutely amazed at the progress they have delivered. The future for Lingotot in my opinion is absolutely uncapped. They are already looking at developing the UK market to be a considerable multiple of where it currently sits. The second stage really is to optimise, not maximise, optimise each of the franchisees to make sure the return for them and the business is where it needs to be. And already I’ve planted a few seeds on internationalisation which is a key requirement for a really good successful scaling business.

AS: You have to dedicate yourself to it to get the most out of it and you have to go into it with a really open mind willing to try new things, don’t have a fixed view of how you see the future to be because actually there will be loads of other opportunities that will come along the way. Be prepared for it to take you in unexpected ways. It’s exciting, you know, it’s fabulous, we love it!

CH: Where it ends up, the ultimate end goal for the business, who knows? I guess we’ll find out in due course!




RTC North (RTC North)

Created by RTC North (RTC North), 1 week ago, [last edited 15 hours ago]