Entrepreneur – Dmitri Dalla-Riva

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My name is Dmitri Dalla-Riva, I am the owner of LearnMate Tutoring – a tutoring agency connecting primary and high school students with tutors throughout all of Australia. We currently have over 1,000 tutors on the platform and over 3,000 students use our services on a recurring basis yearly.

After a previous failed business venture when I was 19/20, I had a debt of $20,000 to pay back. The only way to pay it back was through tutoring, and since I had obtained DUX for VCE English Language in Year 12, tutoring for me presented a great avenue to offer my experience. From tutoring, I then ventured into the agency world after being booked with more than 25 students per week.

What motivates you?
My biggest motivator is dual: both problem solving issues that undoubtedly present themselves in creating a new business, and seeing students achieve more confidence in their own studies and their abilities. I am also motivated by building something that achieves an impact, makes a difference from a social viewpoint.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those thinking of starting their own business?
Don’t try to do it all. I, like many business owners, have a do-it-all syndrome that while serves you well in the initial stages of growth, it hinders your growth moving forward. Learning how to systemise and empower your team is the catalyst for growth.

What are you doing to change the world for the better?
Every month we do thousands of hours of tutoring, and each time a student has a lesson with one of our amazing tutors, that student is benefitting from that tuition. How? They get more confidence, higher marks, and undoubtedly a better educational foundation that can transcend into tertiary education and beyond.

Did you experience failures? If so, what did you learn from them?
Yes, a number and still do. Failures are never-ending in entrepreneurship, it’s just that now the impact isn’t as severe when I was first starting out. However I have learnt that each failure is not a reflection on the customer, it’s a reflection on a failure in my system. I use this to pinpoint what can be made better.

What were some mistakes you wish you could’ve avoided?
Understanding that cashflow is by far the lifeblood of any business. Just because you’ve earned the money doesn’t mean it’s in your account. Knowing this key fact can be the difference between life and death in a business. Another mistake would be trusting people who hadn’t proven their trust yet. As a business begins to get more profitable traction, it’s important to keep close guard who joins your company.

How can people connect with you? (Website, social media handles, etc)
People can check out my agency’s site here: learnmate.com.au
As for my personal LinkedIn profile, they can go here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmitridallariva/