In 2006, online tutoring was an 115 million dollar market. With common core and No Child Left Behind, parents are still looking for ways to help their children succeed in school, and while online tutoring is on option, face to face tutoring is still popular. Starting a tutoring business out of your home can be a great business opportunity for you, but that is only if you maximize the things that you need to do to be successful in your endeavor. Anyone can start a tutoring business, but a successful tutor does his or her homework to learn about the business. Learn how to get up and running with your own tutoring business, and help others.
There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when you first start kicking around the idea of having your own tutoring business. You need to decide why you think that this business option is the right fit for you. Do you enjoy working with others helping them to learn something? Do you enjoy being around people, especially children or teens? Do you have the patience to help someone that is struggling? Answering yes to these questions is a good start. Plus, you will also want to think about what you have to offer potential students. What subjects or topics are you ready to assist them with learning today? At this point, you may also want to think about whom you want to teach. Do you have a local community college where you can find potential clients? Are you going to look for middle and high school students to help?
This can be a great time to write out a list of your skills and your qualifications. This information can prove helpful in later stages of your business as you create your plan and start to look for clients. It can also be a good idea to find out about your local ordinances to see what you may need to start your tutoring business. You may just need a business license, and being compliant with any laws is the best way to start off a business no matter what is required.
When just beginning, it can be helpful to look at your competition. This is not cheating, but a way to educate yourself on your area. This can help you to determine things like pricing, where you are going to focus your efforts on marketing, and if your subjects offer you a niche apart from other local tutors. You may find that none of the tutors offer a foreign language or help with college level courses. This information can come in handy when trying to find ways to make your business stand out among other local tutors: be it with your price, where you are willing to take students from, or your topics. Maybe you find that your town is chock-full of tutors, but the neighboring town a short drive away, is not. It might be worth the extra gas to try to go where you will have less competition.
Creating a tutoring business plan is an outline for your success. Take the information that you brainstormed in determining that you want to start this type of business, and continue to flesh it out. A business plan is the equivalent of planning where you want to be in your career in three to five years. At this stage, it may be helpful to look at general business plans to get an idea for what you should include in your tutoring business plan. Some items may not be as appropriate, such as organization and management since you are probably going to be a sole proprietorship, but this will help you get a feel for how you should plan your business.
Your business plan should have some information on your potential budget, and this is certainly something you should consider if it does not. You may be able to get started on a shoe-string budget depending on what you are offering your students. If you plan to teach coding, you probably will want to have your own computer to use during lessons. However, owning a computer might not be necessary if you are helping your students learn how to do common core math. For business purposes, you may be able to utilize your local library’s computers to create marketing materials or learn about local ordinances. It can backfire on you if you buy more things than you actually need to get started, so just focus on what is necessary. For instance, you can save money by not renting a space to run your business, but do it out of your home office, and offer to tutor students at their home. Later on, when you have several paying clients and more stability in your business, you can think about those little things that might make your life easier as a tutor.
Your tutoring business will not go far without clients. The key with attracting clients, at first, is to make yourself attractive to them. Remember when you created that list with your subject strengths and qualifications? This is where you are going to put them to good use. Let your potential clients know why they should trust their child’s tutoring to you by bragging about yourself in your marketing materials. Most people find it very hard to give themselves compliments, let alone toot their own horn by bragging, but this can help you to find clients. The key is not to come off wrong but to show what benefit can be had from contracting with you. For instance, if you are a math whiz and can get their F student into a passing grade because you understand how to break it down easier for them, this would be a good selling point.
You may even want to get in touch with your other contacts in the community. Word of mouth is a great way to find clients, but that usually requires you to have previous clients. If you have children, you may want to speak with their friend’s parents to see if anyone is struggling. If you have contacts at your local school or library, reach out to them to see if anyone might need your services.
You may be a little nervous about putting your marketing materials out there for a variety of reasons. Some people may worry that they are spending money on something that will never bring in clients, such as starting a website. Others may worry that they are not ready for marketing and clients.
For the former worriers, there are plenty of ways to cut down on marketing costs while still getting your tutoring business out there. Social media is just one free tool that businesses can use. Create a free Facebook business page where you can connect with potential clients, and even better, have satisfied clients thank you for your tutoring help with their child. This can be seen by other parents in the satisfied client’s network and act as word of mouth that you do not even have to solicit. Update it often with studying tips and cute pictures or cartoons. There are even websites, like Wix, that allow you to create a free website using their website builder that doesn’t require you to know how to code. You may want to pay for a personalized URL as a free website will reflect the company that allowed you to build it, but it’s not required. You can always go back to make it personalized later. Marketing offline using flyers and pamphlets might have some costs associated with it, but there are companies that are willing to print your projects at a reasonable cost, or you can even think about printing a few things at home if you have a computer and printer. These can be put up in places like your local library, grocery store, and any other business that has free bulletin board space.
If you are worried about not being ready, the best thing that you can do is evaluate your business plan and determine if you have all your bases covered. If you do, then it’s time to leave the nest. If not, continue working on your business plan until you are confident on your success.
To be successful, you will want to run your tutoring business right. Establish policies that will keep your business and clients on target. For instance, use a scheduling tool that allows you to keep track of your appointments, and let parents know about your cancelation policy. Everyone knows that kids can get sick or have something come up at school, allowing parents to always wait until last minute to cancel can set a bad precedent. Some of your policies may need to be created as issues come up, but most parents will understand that this is a business, and it has to have guidelines.
Learning how to start a tutoring business can seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Rich Tutor can help. Remember that you will be telling your clients that they have to do their homework to get ahead, and the same is true for you. The more you educate yourself on the tutoring business, especially what tutoring needs there are in your neighborhood, will put you on the path to success. Ask yourself this, is it time for you to take your piece of the multimillion-dollar pie of tutoring?