How to Start a Tutoring Business
Starting a tutoring business does not have to be complex or expensive. Although providing tutoring services is easier than most other businesses, it still requires a great deal of planning.
Tutoring is a skill that will always be in demand because students continue to need help to pass their exams. A tutoring business can be started quickly. However, you still need to do research and create a strategy to increase your chances of success. There is a great amount of flexibility in terms of what you teach and how much you can charge when starting a tutoring business. You also have the flexibility to work the amount of hours that you choose when providing tutoring services.
Flexibility is only one advantage of starting a tutoring business. Here are some more benefits of tutoring:
- Affordable and quick to start.
- No specialist equipment needed.
- Opportunities to expand from a one person business to employing a team of tutors.
- No specialist training required.
There are some disadvantages of operating a tutoring business, which include:
- Dealing with students who do not want to learn.
- Working around students’ schedules.
- Short-term work, as your services may only be required until a student passes their exams.
If you believe that you have the knowledge to help students to improve their academic performance, the following tips will help you to start a tutoring business.
1. Decide the subjects you will teach
The first thing you need to do when thinking about starting a tutoring business is to decide which subjects you will teach your students. You need to list the subjects that you are qualified in and also have the necessary knowledge to enable you to confidently deliver lessons.
2. Think about the age group
It is important to determine the educational level that your tutoring services will target. In general, you may find it easier to teach elementary and middle school children. However, you may be able to charge more for providing tutoring services to college students and adults.
3. Choose the geographical area
If you plan to deliver your tutoring services in person, as opposed to online, you need to choose the geographical area you will cover. You can provide tutoring at your home or at your clients’ residence. Alternatively, you can lease a space, use a coffee shop or a local library to provide your tutoring services. When considering where to carry out your business, remember that students may be hesitant to travel more than half an hour from their homes. You also have to consider the time you will spend commuting and the cost of gas or other transportation if you will be tutoring in your students’ homes. You should also keep in mind that if you are in charge of multiple tutors having to show up to locations all over, then you should utilize a software platform that makes it easy for you to assure that everyone is exactly where they need to be. To use the same software platform used by Amazon, Ace Hardware, and Nike then click here.
4. Determine your prices
You are obviously starting a tutoring business to make a profit. Therefore, your pricing is one of the most important aspects of your business. The range of tutoring rates varies broadly.
Rates are determined by many factors including:
- Who your students are.
- Where you will be tutoring.
- The tutoring subjects you have chosen.
Tutoring rates could start at around $15 per hour and go up to over $200 per hour. The price you settle on will determine how your students value your services. Where your prices are set too low, you may have a high number of students but you could find it difficult to make a profit. Students could also perceive that your tutoring is of low quality if your prices are set too low.
On the other hand, if you set your prices too high without a track record of delivering results, students may not want to take the risk. It is recommended that you increase the prices for your tutoring services after you have delivered impressive results for your first intake of students. You should conduct research into the pricing of other tutoring businesses that are based in your geographical area, teach similar subjects and have comparable experience. Researching how other tutors price their services will give you a solid starting point for pricing your tutoring.
5. Settle on payment terms
After you have decided on the amount you will charge your students, you will then need to create payment terms. Asking students to pay for blocks of lessons in advance, instead of one lesson at a time will help with your cash flow and increase the commitment from your students. You can offer your students a discount when they block-book their lessons. You should also notify students that you reserve the right to review and increase your prices every year.
6. Establish a cancellation policy
Your tutoring business will need consistency in order to create a reliable source of income. A cancellation policy helps you and your students to know if and when they can expect a partial or full refund. Where a student has paid for a block of tutoring lessons, make it clear that it is their responsibility to attend on time.
7. Write a business plan
After you have conducted preliminary research into starting a tutoring business, you should formalize your strategy by writing a business plan.
Your business plan should include the methods that you will use to promote your services, as well as how you plan to grow your tutoring business. This includes how you plan on managing multiple tutors if and when you get to that point, consider using an employee scheduling platform that makes it easy to keep track of all of your tutors. To learn more
You must include your business name in your business plan. You can choose to use your personal name for your tutoring business, for example ‘Jenny Graham Tutoring.’ Alternatively, you can create a fictitious business name. You should consider registering your business name to protect your brand.
You must also decide on the structure of your tutoring business. As a sole proprietor, you will be able to start your tutoring business immediately. However, you may want to consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets.
You should clearly explain how you will set-up and manage the administrative aspects of your tutoring business in your business plan.
Administrating your tutoring business should include the following:
- Applying for licenses and permits
You have to contact your local department of licensing and inspections to determine whether you need a small business license or any permits to operate your tutoring business.
- Consulting an insurance agent
It is recommended that you consult a reputable insurance agent to find out whether you require insurance for your tutoring business. If you are using your home or commercial premises to deliver tutoring, it is likely that you will need public liability insurance. You may also need insurance to protect yourself and your students in the event that they suffer injury while being tutored by you.
- Maintaining accurate records
Your business plan should detail the type of records you will keep for your students. Your students’ records should generally contain emergency contact information, lesson notes and progress reports. Your records should be easy to access and update. Keeping accurate student records will increase the efficiency of your tutoring business, as it will be easier to track and share your students’ progress and generate reports. You must also take into account data protection when storing your students’ records. Ensure that the records are kept in a secure area (either in a locked cabinet or protected with a password if using a computer) to prevent access by third parties.
- Creating tutoring schedules
You may be able to get by without a proper system to schedule your students when you first start your tutoring business. However, using a scheduling tool will become essential when you take on more students. Efficient scheduling also becomes critical to your business if you have employed and are managing multiple tutors.
Keeping track of your revenue
In addition to keeping student records, you also need to maintain financial records that will demonstrate how much revenue your tutoring business generates. Additionally, expenses must also be tracked to determine how your business is performing. Financial records are also important for when you file taxes for your tutoring business. To make sure you’re staying on top of your company’s ROI, then click here to be taken to your own ROI calculator that can be kept handy and used whenever you need it.
Providing your students with invoices gives your tutoring business a level of professionalism that your students will appreciate. Your invoices can include a breakdown of lesson fees, credits and other payments that you have received. You can use a spreadsheet like MS Excel to create invoices when your tutoring business has only a handful of students. However, you should consider using invoice generating software as your business grows.
8. Buying tutoring equipment and supplies
Being equipped with the right tools will instill confidence in your students. The equipment and supplies you need will depend on whether you will be delivering your services online or in person. If you are delivering your services online, you will need a reliable computer or tablet with a clear webcam, good audio and high-speed internet. For in-person tutoring lessons, you should buy pens, pencils and paper. Visual aids and study guides will also be useful for your business. You should decide if you will buy books and materials for students and bill them, or whether your students will buy the necessary equipment and books themselves.
9. Promote and market your tutoring business
After you have taken the time to research and create a plan for your tutoring business, it is time to get yourself in the best position to acquire paying customers. Using multiple methods to promote your tutoring business will help to increase the rate of your growth. Word of mouth referrals can be very useful when you start your tutoring business. However, you will need to try different types of marketing if you want to scale your business.
You can also promote your tutoring business in the following ways:
- Create a tutoring website
It is highly likely that potential students will search for tutoring services online. Therefore, you need a website to increase the chances of your business being found. You can develop a website for free, using services like Wix or WordPress. Alternatively, you can hire a website developer to design the site for you. Designing the website yourself may take some time but you will be able to control how and when you make updates.
- Online advertising
Submitting your website to Google Places is a free way to promote your tutoring business. If your business is listed in Google Places, it will appear when potential students search for tutoring services in your area. You can also set up a Facebook business page with details and updates about your services.
Your in person and online network will be very useful when starting your tutoring business. Ask your family and friends whether they know anyone that will benefit from your tutoring services. You can also visit schools and colleges to introduce yourself to teachers and students. Remember to use online networking sites, such as LinkedIn to grow your tutoring business.
Here are some additional ideas to market your tutoring business:
- Provide free taster workshops for your chosen subject.
- Offer incentives for referrals.
- Cross-promote your services with relevant local businesses.
- Use adhesive or magnetic signs on your car with your business details.
Starting a tutoring business requires dedication and planning. Growing your business also takes determination and effort, especially if you decide to employ tutors. Keeping track of different tutors and students does not need to be complicated if you use the right tools. To see how Deputy can be the solution to your scheduling woes, then click on the button below to begin your free trial.