If you’re the type of person that likes helping people, and you have the necessary skills, starting a tutoring business may be a great way to supplement your income. Students of all ages need help learning subjects they have a hard time understanding. If you’re able to quickly and efficiently help them accomplish that, then tutoring may be for you. Following are a few tips on how to start a tutoring business.
Tutoring Isn’t Easy
Simply knowing a lot about a certain subject doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a good teacher. You have to know how to communicate with people, especially those who may not be able to quickly grasp the concept you’re trying to get across. You will need to exercise a great deal of patience, particularly if the person you’re tutoring doesn’t really want to learn. Fortunately, most of your customers will come to you because they really want to do better. You also need to realize that teaching someone on a one-on-one basis is a lot different than standing up in front of a classroom. However, because you’re teaching an individual instead of a bunch of people at once, you will know immediately whether or not you’re getting through to them.
Create a Business Plan
Before you start your tutoring business you need to develop a business plan. Most successful businesses came about because the people who started them had a goal in mind before they started, and a somewhat detailed formula for getting there. The first thing you need to do is decide what you hope to accomplish with your tutoring business. Sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself a few questions. Do you intend to make a career of this, or is it just a way to bring in a few extra bucks? What is your specialty? Can you branch out into other areas of instruction, or will you limit your business to your area of expertise? Are you willing to teach children of all ages, including adults, or would you be more comfortable tutoring people at a certain level, such as college students?’ By answering the questions honestly you will be better able to develop your business plan.
Choose a Location
Traditional tutors often conducted their business from their home, from their clients’ homes, at the library, or at school. You can still do all of these things. You can also tutor people on the web. There are a number of web applications and conferencing systems that allow you to work with a distant party online. You can have conversations, share computer screens, and work together in real time on online whiteboards. If your students live nearby, you may combine traditional tutoring with online tutoring so that you can meet up in the most convenient ways.
Opening a tutoring business can be as simple as agreeing to help a friend in return for a few bucks. However, if you’re serious about making it a business you’ll have to advertise. A good place to start is by posting notices on local bulletin boards. The notice should include contact information, as well as a brief explanation of your credentials. Something along the lines of, ‘Having trouble understanding the past? Former history professor willing to help,’ will give people an idea of the services you offer.
Posting your services on social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter is also useful. If you live in a college town, you can put a flyer up in each dorm and in the community center. You can even stand out in front of dorms or classrooms and hand out flyers. There are always students who aren’t doing well and need to increase their grade point averages. It may benefit you to take out an ad in a local newspaper or send in a press release. You may even want to contact the editors of local papers and tell them about your proposed business. Ask them if they’re interested in doing an article for their business section. In the end, your best advertising will be word of mouth. As you tutor, students and their grades improve they will be your best advertisement. People will see that they’ve improved and ask how they did it. Their answer will be that you tutored them.
Guest post from Taylor Harris. Taylor writes about online schools for BestOnlineColleges.com.