How to Start a Tutoring BusinessHome Business Ideas Friday, February 18th, 2011
If you are an expert in any subject then you can start tutoring business and help people seeking to learn a subject. A tutor provides specialized training for specific subjects to school students.
Why Start a Tutoring Business?
All parents want their kids to be successful in school and excel in the subjects they study. When it comes to teaching kids, parents often face difficulty in taking out time for teaching and, also, the lack of required skills to teach a subject. The children too need help in various subjects in spite of being brilliant at studies in general. A student may be a science prodigy but may struggle with geometry. A tutor who is skilled in a subject and teaching in general is someone that parents look for to teach their kids and make them successful in studies.
Requirements to Start Tutoring Business
The requirements for starting a tutoring business vary based on the type of tutoring service that you will be offering (covered later in this article). The general requirements are:
- Expertise in a specific subject. A Masters degree is desirable but not essential
- Degree or certificate in teaching. Optional but it adds to your credibility.
A tutoring business can be operated in several ways. The most common methods of tutoring are:
- In-home tutoring
- At-home tutoring
- Online Tutoring
In-home tutoring Business
An in-home tutoring business involves setting up a place in your home where you will teach students. You will need a room or an area that is quiet and peaceful. The teaching area will need to have good lighting and seating arrangements depending on how many students you will be teaching at one time.
To start an in-home tutoring business you may be required to obtain a license. You should check with your local authorities about the regulations.
At-home Tutoring Business
To run an at-home tutoring business you don’t need anything in particular except your teaching skills and willingness to travel to student’s home. An at-home tutoring business involves going to student’s home for tuitions.
The best part of running an at-home tutoring business is that you don’t need anything to start this business. There are no regulations, no set up required and no capital to be invested.
Online Tutoring Business
An online tutoring business could be one of the most capital intensive of all tutoring methods but it has its own benefits. First of all it eliminates the geographical limitations and traveling requirements that often limit the growth of a tutoring business. Secondly, you will not require space for teaching as in the case of in-home tutoring.
To run an online tutoring business you can use a high end learning management system that allows for creating multimedia educational content and delivering lessons through live chat and video conferencing or use a simple system with an ability to post text notes and manage questions and answers. You can also have a custom website built for yourself with the required features.
Irrespective of the mode of tutoring that you choose there are some general points that you should keep in mind while running a tutoring business:
- Choose the subject that you will be teaching very carefully. You will need to choose a subject that you are an expert at and it should be in demand too. Choosing a subject that is not in demand will not bring you money and choosing the subject that you are not good at will bring you bad reputation.
- It is better to use the textbooks that students use in their schools. Make yourself comfortable with the content of those textbooks.
- You will need to motivate and engage students. Keep some small rewards handy for giving to students when they perform well.
- You will have to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the subject that you choose to teach.
- To grow the tutoring business you may be required to hire tutors. Do verify their credentials before hiring.
- It is often not advisable to teach many students at once; however, tutoring business may not be able to earn enough income teaching one student at a time. You should try to keep the size of each batch to 4-5 students. If the student can afford it then go for one-to-one sessions at a higher pricing.
- Focus on individual results. You may be teaching a whole group at once but parents want their kid to succeed. Prepare your plan for each student and share with parents.
- Set clear rules and guidelines. Let the student know what is expected out of them in terms of behavior and discipline and what they can expect from you.
- Parent-teacher communication is crucial. Set up a system to communicate with the parents as they want to know what is done in each session and how their child is performing.
- Time is money when it comes to tutoring business. A tutor gets paid by the hour and parents would want full value for the money they pay for each minute. Plan each session in advance and keep the session focused on task.
Marketing a tutoring business will involve contacting parents who need a tutor. Most parents take suggestions from school counselors about tutors and you should target school counselors in your marketing activities. You can contact school counselors and share the details of your tutoring service and your contact details which they can share with the parents.
You can advertise your tutoring business on local classified websites like craigslist.com and distribute pamphlets in your area.
Also let your friends and family know about your services and ask them to refer parents who need a tutor.
Upfront Cost to Start Tutoring Business
Depending on the tutoring mode that you select, you may be required to invest in space, furniture, website and learning management system. Apart from that most expenses will be related to marketing and advertising.
A tutor is paid on a hourly basis. For calculating the hourly rate for teaching a batch of students take the hourly rate that you would otherwise earn, add the associated costs for each session such as travel cost and divide that by the number of students. While deciding your hourly rate also consider the cost of running the website and the rental for the space, if applicable.
Insurance & Regulatory Requirements
A license is required to start in-home tutoring business. There are no specific regulations or insurance requirements to start tutoring business of any other type.
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