Pictured: Roy Lalor, Master Franchisor, School is Easy
Roy Lalor is the Master Franchisor for School Is Easy, an innovative online learning franchise. School is Easy offers online tutoring across the range of subjects available in Irish schools, and is currently operating in 5 territories, with further franchise opportunities now available across Ireland. As the impact of Covid-19 is still being felt, School Is Easy is determined to support learning goals while keeping everyone safe with two online options available for distance learning: School is Easy online tutoring (pre-arranged tutoring), and a School is Easy app (for on-demand tutoring).
What was your first job?
I worked as a lifeguard while I was in school and college, for about eight summers. Looking back, it was comparatively well-paid work because I was paid slightly more than the men working for the local council. It was Braywatch though, not Baywatch.
What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?
I’ve worked in education and training for most of my career, so taking on the Master Franchise for School is Easy Ireland seemed like a good fit. I really think that education is the key to life and that early intervention is essential to solving educational problems, hence the new business.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
I’d like to say my children, although they’re still a work in progress at 29 and 27. Probably opening a new business during the pandemic at 63 is up there with things I’ve done.
Career wise, would you do anything differently?
Could have, should have, would have! To be honest I prefer not to look back, or at least say like Emile Zola, “Je Ne Regrette Rien”. I’m happy enough with life so far.
In one sentence, how would you define success?
The health and happiness of my family would probably be my best indicator of success but that might just be an age thing. I’m conscious, always, that we’re all at different stages on the journey.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
An old friend and mentor said that you should always wait 24 hours before sending an email if you’re angry. It’s good advice that I have tried to follow.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
We have a no blame culture in our businesses. If someone makes a mistake, I usually think it’s my fault because I didn’t give clear instructions in the first place. Luckily, we tend to keep staff for three or four years at least, so they get used to what we want. I think a quiet workplace with no shouting is a good starting point.
How do you handle adversity?
During the last recession we used to drive to work and listen to Marty Whelan in the morning. Marty played great music and never mentioned the R word. He kept a lot of us sane. It’s still a good recipe. Luckily, I’ve always had calm staff.
How do you relax?
I try to walk 10 kilometres every day and I’ve been a year-round swimmer for many years. I’ve done a couple of Caminos, and I’m looking forward to hiking Jordan in the future.
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
We plan to have 20 more territories open throughout Ireland, and we have the rights to the North of Ireland as well. It’s going to be great fun, and we’re looking forward to it.