Above Grade Level Franchise - CEO, Balthazar J Sauer

Date: NOV 13th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO


Balthazar J Sauer graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degrees. After a short spell of teaching, he worked in the educational division of large multi-national corporations gaining extensive marketing and managerial experience.

In 1993, he and his partner, Elaine Sauer, opened the first Academy for Mathematics & Science learning centre in Canada. The unique and innovative tutorial and enrichment educational system proved to be extremely successful and the concept has been franchised across Canada.

In July 2011, the operating name was rebranded to Academy for Mathematics & English, due to the significant demand for English tutoring.

In May 2012, he entered into an exclusive license agreement with Above Grade Level to offer one to one in-home tutoring in Canada, utilizing the propriety and proven audio and visual math tutoring system.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Above Grade Level (Canada) concept.

Balthazar J Sauer: Above Grade Level franchise opportunity provides world class, 1-to-1, in home tutoring in math, English and more. We offer students a guaranteed 1 letter grade improvement; a 2 to 3 grade level rise is not uncommon within 6 months.

Our unique tutoring methodology is based on our expertly developed, customized, proven curriculum which has been relentlessly honed and perfected for over 30 years, at a cost of over $1.5M. It has helped tens of thousands of students get better grades and experience the rewards of elevated self confidence.

Our honed and perfected operations, marketing, sales, tutor management, and teaching methodologies are the basis for the success of 63 operating units across North America. As an Above Grade Level franchisee, you can join a winning team, with a proven model for success.

There is no greater joy than transforming children’s lives for the better. As an Above Grade Level franchisee, this joy can be yours every day!

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Above Grade Level?

BJS: As the owner of a proven audio visual teaching system and product developed and improved over the past 30 years at a cost of $1.5 million I saw the opportunity, demand and need for a comprehensive in-home tutoring program in Canada. Above Grade Level Canada was launched in 2013.

BTB: What was your background prior to starting the company?

BJS: My entire career has revolved around education. After graduating as a teacher I spent the early years of my career teaching high school students. Soon my entrepreneurial leaning resulted in starting my first business in the education field. I have been involved in numerous education business ventures on 3 continents of the world (mainly in product development and marketing).

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being an Above Grade Level franchisee?

BJS: There are numerous advantages of being an AGL franchisee. These include:

  • A reasonably low investment to participate in the opportunity


  • The ability to work from the comfort of home


  • The ability to be your own boss WHILE having the safety net of the support of a team with 350 years of experience in the industry to train and guide you every day


  • The ability to gain financial security and success for yourself


  • The joy, meaning and satisfaction that comes from helping kids in your community succeed - of being the change agent in your community who builds brighter futures for children


  • Access to our Heartbeat Success system which literally integrates all the systems and processes to run every facet of your business successfully (from administration, sales, marketing, tutor management, enrollment management, lesson management, and teaching curricula etc. - we cover it all)


  • Access to our Heartbeat Tracking System, a unique Internet based system -that functions like a digital nervous system that allows Head Office to watch over your operations and business analytics, in real time, to provide proactive just-in-time support and optimizations as needed (we're like an invisible hand, always ready to support our franchisees' success: you will never be alone!)

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

BJS:The ideal franchisee believes education is of prime importance for every student’s future career and success. They must have great people skills and love dealing with students and parents. They must derive satisfaction from seeing children grow from strength to strength, improve their self-esteem and their academic results.

BTB: Tell us a little about the tutoring industry?

BJS: The tutoring market is unique and exceptional in many ways. Let me list a few salient points to consider. The tutoring industry has experienced growth for 50 years straight, has been 'recession' resilient throughout its history, has increased in size by 900% in the last 10 years according to Wall Street Journal's Smart Money Magazine (Nov. 2011 Edition), and is poised to continue to grow beyond 2025, as far out as current forecasts go. According to a recent survey by the Canadian Council of Learning, 1 out of every 3 parents report hiring a private tutor. This % will only continue to grow.

We live in a knowledge based economy and society where 'education' is everything. It is getting more and more competitive to get into top tier universities. Since educational success increasingly equates with success in life - parents will continue to pour more and more resources into private tutoring to give their children an edge, so they get their shot at success in life! For all of these reasons, it's an industry you can comfortably and confidently bank your future success on.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in growing this franchise?

BJS: Two extremely important factors are critical for a franchisor to grow the brand - provide superb training and ongoing support. The Franchisees that follow the system closely are the successful franchisees.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

BJS: Do thorough research by speaking to current franchisees. Be confident that the opportunity is exactly what they would like to do as a future career.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Above Grade Level would be a great opportunity for someone?

BJS: For a relatively low investment, you can build income for yourself, while helping kids succeed (all while working from home)! Above Grade Level franchise represents the perfect marriage of money and meaning! In the calculus of hard choices in adult life, isn't that the ideal that everyone strives for? Money and meaning in perfect synchrony: it can be yours with an Above Grade Level franchise.

Live the life of your dreams - now!