The Ultimate 21 Steps How To Start Your Own Tutoring Business28 min read

Introduction

This post focuses on the steps necessary to start your own tutoring business. It begins by discussing why you should consider starting a tutoring business. Then, it goes over what things you will need as well as how to get started. It also lists some ways to make money from being a tutor. This is not intended to be an all encompassing guide of how to start a tutoring business. I encourage interested readers to read through many articles or books that deal with this topic. However, this post provides an overview and list of resources that can help you get going.

What’s the motivation, why should you start a tutoring business?

(We give a more detailed breakdown of the cost of private tutoring in a previous blog.)

There are several benefits to private tutoring. One reason is because tutors have the ability to help others reach their goals in life. As such, tutoring is rewarding both spiritually and financially. Another reason is that the demand of tutors around the United States could reach 10 million people in the next few years (according to a 2012 report). These numbers may seem high, but that report seems to only include students who attend school. In reality, the current number of student/tutor pairs range in size from 1:4 to 5:1. That means that 1 out of every 4 or 5 students you tutor has already done some form of work with a professional.

That alone is enough for someone to consider tutoring as a career choice. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. There are ways to increase your income. Here are some suggestions:

  • Teaching classes at local colleges or universities

  • Hosting workshops or lectures

  • Writing articles and books

  • Becoming a coach

  • Joining forces with another firm

  • Working part time at multiple schools and institutions

These methods of making extra cash come either before or after you decide to become a tutor. Before you get started, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “If I had the chance, would I be willing to teach more than 20 minutes of my expertise once a week?” If the answer is yes, then you might look into becoming a tutor. If no, then you may want to look at other professions that pay better.

Why Do You Need A Business Bank Account?

The first step to taking advantage of any business opportunity begins with opening a new bank account that separates your business finances from personal ones. Having a separate business account frees up more funds for the business. Also, having a business bank account makes taxes easier since any expenses associated with running the business aren’t subject to personal accounting fees. The tax savings can be a tremendous benefit to both the business owner and the IRS. In short, a business bank account provides two big advantages: it opens up more room in your personal budget to invest in the future growth of your business and it helps you keep a tighter grip on your business and its expenses.

So What Does All Of This Mean?

You can probably see where we are headed here. By now, you should realize that getting started as a tutor can be extremely beneficial, but there are a few hurdles you must overcome. The following tips will give you insight as to how you can better prepare yourself and get ready to open a tutor business.

Do Research On Your Market And Its Demographics

As mentioned earlier in this post, the education field is currently estimated to hit 10 million student/tutor pairs by 2025 according to a 2012 report. This means that the market for tutoring is huge. Even though these numbers don’t include online tutoring, there is still a massive potential. By doing research on your market demographics, you will gain important information about your future clients.

Here is what you can find out from looking at your market and its demographics:

Where your potential clients live – The location where most of your clients reside (their homes) offers hints to which type of education they receive. For example, students living near college campuses are usually enrolled in higher learning programs and therefore require additional guidance. The opposite holds true for those who live near elementary schools. These types of students usually need less guidance.

Location, Location, Location

The location where most of your clients reside (their homes) offers hints to which type of education they receive. For example, students living near college campuses are usually enrolled in higher learning programs and therefore require additional guidance. The opposite holds true for those who live near elementary schools. These types of students usually need less guidance. A sample student population – Knowing the age groups and grade ranges for the children being taught by tutors and teachers allows you to know whether young kids (elementary), middle-aged adults (college students), or older adults (graduates) are needed.

Young children require guidance at their earliest stages and often continue seeking help throughout their teens. Middle aged adults seek tutoring assistance in areas that pertain to current courses in college and beyond. Older adults need help in subjects relating to retirement and past degrees related to their field of interest.

Note most prevalent age groups in your region

Knowing the age groups and grade ranges for the children being taught by tutors and teachers allows you to know whether young kids (elementary), middle-aged adults (college students), or older adults (graduates) are needed. Young children require guidance at their earliest stages and often continue seeking help throughout their teens. Middle aged adults seek tutoring assistance in areas that pertain to current courses in college and beyond. Older adults need help in subjects relating to retirement and past degrees related to their field of interest. Children’s needs – Knowing what the typical teaching and learning methods used for younger students is essential, for example, if tutors are hired to aid in homework completion, test prep, etc.

Knowing these basic facts will allow you to tailor your approach accordingly. There is a lot of flexibility within each category, but knowing who your audience is, will help you more effectively serve them. You will also be able to offer services that you may have previously overlooked since you knew there was little demand for them. Additionally, researching this topic will provide a valuable resource you can use to improve future relationships with existing and potential clients.

Get Professional Help With A Website Built for Tutoring

Before you begin teaching, create a website for promoting your services. Creating the right website takes time and effort. You must spend enough time to make it work for you instead of against you. The initial cost to create the site is minimal, but it will need plenty of time to get the search engines to love it. Your website needs keywords. A large portion of your success with the website is based upon how well it ranks on the web. You must put your best efforts into creating content that is relevant to whatever keyword phrases you select. Your goal is to rank highly for these key phrases which will result in more clients coming to your site. This is very much an ongoing process.

You will also want to think about how you want to position your brand when designing your website. Is your branding going to be professional or more casual? Should you look like a professor or an entertainer? You may want to hire a graphic designer who can help you craft the perfect image for your brand. Also, you will want to think about what your website will say about YOU as a person. Do you enjoy helping others and want to share your knowledge? Or do you feel that it is more advantageous to remain anonymous while making a great profit? Whatever you choose, remember that your website reflects your brand.

Finally, don’t neglect to add a call to action button. This button prompts interested visitors to click to learn more about your business.

Start Your Tutoring Business With An Open Mind

It is important that you try to view things from your client’s perspective. Don’t forget that clients are going to place themselves in YOUR shoes for the purposes of understanding your tutoring experience. For example, imagine yourself teaching Spanish. Would you have the patience to wait for a student to master the material? Probably not. Would you expect to be compensated for tutoring students in advanced levels without the proper training? No. The same concept applies to tutoring. It shouldn’t matter how much practice, experience or knowledge a teacher possesses. Clients expect you to have certain certifications and licenses for things like CPR certification. However, they don’t care if you have experience or if you have been to college to study pedagogy. They really only care about one thing. Will you be responsive and helpful?

Don’t let past tutoring experiences limit you. 

Don’t assume that all students are lazy or that they will act irrationally in the face of adversity. Remember that they will be counting on you to solve their problems and show them the way forward. Take heart because they will be relying on YOUR guidance and expertise as you help THEM succeed.

Decide How You Will Communicate With Others

When you are teaching, you will encounter various personalities. Some people are reserved and prefer to give very little verbal feedback until they are completely satisfied with the results of their tutoring sessions. Also, some parents might not want to reveal sensitive information about their child to a complete stranger. You can avoid some of these issues by taking the following precautions.

Have clear communication lines set up between you and the parent first. Be sure to communicate openly and honestly so that the relationship is built through mutual respect. You should make it apparent to prospective parents that you have the best interests of their child at heart.

Make sure you clearly explain that you will use the information provided by the parents to address any behavioral issues appropriately. Always ask permission before sharing private educational details, especially if they involve discipline strategies. Avoid disclosing private family information or medical records unless asked, and even then, you should probably refrain from doing so. As you tutor, always keep your own personal values separate from that of parents. In fact, it would be best not to share such information anyway even if it could benefit your students.

Create A Positive Learning Environment

Tutors may find themselves in situations where the classroom environment is too stressful for both the parent and student. Therefore, it is wise to maintain a positive atmosphere. Try to establish a strong rapport with the parent. If possible, you should schedule a few appointments ahead of time to meet with them prior to beginning tutoring sessions. Doing so gives them a chance to ask questions to get a better sense of you as a person. While many successful tutors take this extra step, other tutors might just get started and find out that something is off right away.

Make a point of meeting with the parents on a regular basis to assess their satisfaction level with you as a tutor. Keep track of your progress in order to determine whether you are improving. Ask yourself how you can do better. Sometimes parents are just unsure of what direction to push their child. Once you find out about their background, you’ll be able to find a good fit that works well for everyone involved.

Offering Quality Service

There is no perfect tutor, but if you are willing to master the various methods, you can reach success quickly by offering high quality service. The sooner you realize the benefits of being a dedicated, reliable teacher, the sooner you can start attracting paying customers. If you are struggling, it might help to go back to your original goal of becoming a tutor in the first place. Try to focus entirely on this endeavor. Dedication will pay off. And you won’t be struggling forever, not if you start today.

This article can guide you from just getting started in tutoring to finding ways to enhance your skills and ultimately increasing your profits. Good Luck! The following paragraphs will cover an abundance of topics that will help you become a successful tutor. As you move through the steps in the guide below, be sure to read carefully and follow instructions carefully. Your success is entirely dependent upon the effort you make.

Your First Appointment

As mentioned earlier, it’s best if you speak with parents in advance to make sure things go smoothly for you. This gives you some control over your first session – if you’re worried about the whole scenario turning out poorly, you can plan for things to work out perfectly. But, if you make mistakes, you’ll likely end up with a negative attitude for you and your students. It’s easier to correct a mistake now than to do anything during the session itself. There is nothing better for making a good impression on a student and his parents than arriving on time and giving a prompt greeting.

Here’s a list of items you’ll need to pack:

  • A printed copy of your credentials letterhead
  • A printed copy of your curriculum sheet
  • A notebook for taking notes
  • An appointment calendar
  • Bringing copies of your student record will greatly ease your interactions with parents; however, it is optional.
  • If applicable, bring copies of your academic transcripts for each semester you’ve spent in school over 4 years of college. Also, have your license available to hand to the administration office or school if asked.
  • In addition to bringing items to pack, it’s a good idea to bring extra cash for use as a tip to the principal or vice principal in case someone forgot their wallet while waiting outside to pick up their child. Having cash ready could provide you with a pleasant surprise along with the opportunity to make a new friend!

Getting Started

Your first session with a student is usually scheduled for around 30 minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have the student over a couple days after the first session, you can extend the time a little once you see the student again. You don’t want to rush your first two or three sessions. By keeping your first sessions short and sweet, you will allow yourself enough time to build a base of trust and trustworthiness. Don’t be afraid to try different techniques during that time frame. It’s normal to have your “off day” occasionally! You want to find a balance such that you are making steady improvement every week so that you’re not completely stressed out by the end of the year. 

Just remember this – students aren’t babies. 

They need constant attention. It’s easy to let your guard down and go easy because the kid isn’t complaining. This shouldn’t be tolerated. When you see the child struggling, it’s time to reestablish some guidelines that prevent you from going soft. This is when learning about your student becomes paramount. What did he struggle most with? Was there one area of weakness you noticed immediately? How can you address that issue at this point? By applying these same skills throughout the entire year, you’ll be able to keep him at the top of the class instead of having to constantly push the kids ahead to catch him!

During your initial meeting you’ll get the names and ages of everyone in the family. Make note of these numbers as it may come up quite frequently. Here’s what else you should prepare for as you begin:

Have a game plan for how long you will take with the student. 

Most tutors take somewhere between 45 and 75 minutes with a student. This includes the presentation, discussion and feedback. Depending on your style, you may decide to spend more time on certain materials. It would also be wise to set another time slot to follow-up with the student on the same material a few weeks later. In other words, you plan what you feel is necessary and then double your estimate.

Once you start working with the student, don’t expect to learn everything instantly. It takes time for children to process information and absorb what they are taught. Asking questions helps too! Remember, kids get bored easily; so you must cater to them or they’ll grow tired quickly.

Try to limit your speech to a minimum. 

Yes, sometimes kids need a break to just relax and regroup. However, many teachers will notice if you’re going over an hour. If you’ve learned what you can from this student, make your apologies before you move onto the next one. Ask if there is anything more they could have done to help you help them.

You have permission to record the session so that you can review the entire situation with future clients. But, never listen to the recording without headphones directly in front of you. Hearing something spoken back to you will only cause you problems during your session. As I said, the best way to improve your performance is to practice repeatedly until the quality reaches perfection. The last thing we want to do is to create a bad experience for our students! That’s why, if possible, let them sit in the room with you. Some kids like being surrounded by others; some prefer it when no one else is in the room besides the tutor. So, ask ahead of time if that’s alright.

Lesson Summaries will Increase Parent/Student Satisfaction by 500%

As usual, please write a detailed summary of the session as soon as you leave the home. Be honest. Tell the parents how successful you were with the student and how much of a positive impact you had on him/her. Let them know how well the child performed. These comments won’t hurt the child nor will they put doubt into anyone’s mind regarding whether to continue or discontinue services. If the student does not seem interested in further assistance with any given subject matter, it’s best to move on to another student. However, don’t get discouraged.

It’s important to stay motivated and enthusiastic through all the hard work. If the parent doesn’t agree with your opinion, then don’t argue with them but rather discuss the pros and cons of your approach. It might take a bit longer to convince everyone to continue with your services; however, it might save you from any future disappointments.

I realize this article may be a bit overwhelming at times, especially for beginners. But, that’s the goal here. To give you a bit of guidance for what lies ahead. Once you have this general overview of starting your own tutoring business, you can always refer back to this guide whenever you feel confused or uncertain. It’s the perfect companion to your website and social media accounts. You can link everything together with a simple click of your mouse!

What’s Next?

There’s still plenty more to cover. For example, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to have students who share similar interests. If that happens, it’s smart to establish a connection with them to potentially become friends. As an educator, you will often find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands. Make it worthwhile! Take an active interest in their lives outside of the classroom. What sports are they involved in? Who are their friends? What’s their favorite restaurant?

As long as you don’t turn into a stalker (haha), it’s okay to have some personal contact. Being friendly will only go a long when you’re able to offer advice and help them succeed. Remember, being a mentor is more than just passing on knowledge to kids. It’s helping develop good attitudes toward life and education and building relationships with like minded individuals. And, hey, maybe even earn a little scratch while doing it!

You’d be surprised at how many people look back positively in life knowing a friend helped them out. metimes they don’t even realize it just yet until later on in life. Just make sure it’s worth it to invest in their future success.

So, where are you now? 

At this point, you’re probably wondering where all this leaves you to focus on your own career. Well, let me assure you that you’ll be fine. I promise. Starting a tutoring service won’t be your worst problem. You just need to find the proper location to do so. For some people, the best locations to start a business include schools, colleges or universities. While that may sound appealing to you, it’s not necessarily the easiest route for everyone.

Do you already have that spot picked out? Wherever it is, you must ensure you’re located legally and within range of the people who need your services. Remember, there are legal requirements you must adhere to; however, if you’re determined to be successful, then you’ll be willing to work very hard regardless!

To check for that possibility, start your search online. 

Try looking for tutoring businesses listed near your area, if you live in a major city or state, and nearby states. 

Keep your research broad to maximize your results. You’ll be amazed by the amount of places you’ll uncover. Regardless of the number of spots in which you search, chances are you’ll find several promising location to build your tutoring business.

This same basic concept applies to your tutoring business. It really requires that you locate a niche in terms of subjects. This is easier said than done. I mean, how can you truly become an expert in all subjects? Yet, that’s exactly what you need to achieve. 

If you’re able to discover a skill or knowledge in your subject matter that few others know, you might be able to attract enough students so as to get started right away! If so, this will certainly be the perfect answer for you.

You can also take it one step further by targeting those potential customers with whom you share a special connection. For instance, are you someone who thrives on helping children succeed in their schoolwork? Perhaps they love sports just as much as you do. And, maybe you’ve been friends since childhood. Whatever the case, let’s say they ask you to tutor them in biology. Why would you ever turn them down? 

As long as it has something to do with their interests, then you should jump at the opportunity to offer your services! Of course, this only works for parents of young children. They’ll definitely appreciate the chance to have a more personal relationship with you. And, the result will be even better!

Parenting Associations & Facebook Groups

A great way to go about doing this is to join a parent association. Look through the list of available ones near you. The association will usually be in place to advocate for your community, but you never know when they might come across parents searching for tutors. You’ll likely be able to give their kids advice and suggestions to help them be more successful throughout high school and college. You might even suggest joining the association yourself to see how things might pan out!

Regardless of whether you choose to use a website to list your services or simply post flyers around town, you want to ensure that everything appears 100% legitimate. That means, no one knows that you’re actually just making money off of their child unless they’ve actually paid you. So, be sure to make it clear up front that you’ve decided to charge a small fee to help their child learn certain material!

There is no doubt that tutors can be beneficial.

However, you’ll want to do your due diligence. Check out various forums on reddit and other platforms to see what sort of tips and tricks you might be able to put to use. Make sure these are real, though; otherwise, you could end up harming students with information you didn’t intend to teach them.

Always remember that any person who requests a little extra help is deserving of your time. Don’t feel obligated to offer your services to every single student, especially if you aren’t at all qualified to teach them!

If you’re ready to dive into the world of private tutors, consider doing so sooner rather than later! This is why online tutoring sites were invented in the first place to help you begin your services without having to worry about too many complications.

 Of course, they also provide a wealth of helpful resources for any teacher-to-be. If you’re interested in getting started, then go ahead and pruse our website for additional info and tips. Our team looks forward to speaking with you again soon; after all, we know you’re anxious to get things underway!

For a summary of what we discussed above,

Here are the 21 essential steps to starting a tutoring business in 2022 listed for you:

  1. Find a Tutor Niche

    – A niche is a particular subject that interests people and has lots of potential clients. You should pick niches that you already have some experience with because that will cut down on starting costs and time spent learning this new field.

  2. Find A Tutor Business Plan

    – Think outside the box. Are there people who are willing to pay more for lessons? Are there different levels of lessons depending on age group or grade? Does someone need to be home early or stay late? Do students require homework materials? Do they need extra practice tests? What happens if the student doesn’t understand something the first time? There is a lot of thought that goes into setting up a tutoring business plan before you even start offering lessons!

  3. Create a Tutor Website

    – Creating a website is very cheap and easy, but not everyone does it right away. Having an actual website allows prospective students to find you easily, giving you an advantage over companies that use flyers or other methods. It also tells students where to go before they call you.

  4. Have An Official Name, Phone Number, & Address

    – If you are having difficulty finding a Tutor niche, try looking for “teacher name + phone number + address” in a local area, or better yet, try searching nationwide. The latter will give you so much more opportunity to build your business. It also shows people that you are legit and trustworthy so that when they call you, they can feel confident that you are legit as well.

  5. Build Relationships With Educators In Your Area

    – Get involved with educators by volunteering at schools, teaching classes, attending open houses and so on. A good relationship with educators should really be a top priority. You may even ask them when your students are most likely to take a test or quiz and offer your professional assistance in helping them prepare.

  6. Research Your Subject Matter & Curriculum

    – Once you know the type of subjects you want to tutor in your niche, research them. Is there a textbook you recommend? Does the curriculum seem comprehensive enough? You don’t need to follow the entire book but do pay attention to each chapter so you learn everything they cover.

  7. Create High Quality Lessons

    – The lesson is how you communicate what you have learned. Think about your lessons while the school bell rings. How would you explain a concept to someone who didn’t quite understand it? When you think about it, the whole process begins with a lesson about teaching.

  8. Set A Price For Your Lessons

    – Decide what you’re going to charge before you advertise. Students won’t be impressed if you start by saying, “Well, I charge $20/hour. Why don’t we just start from there?” Instead, decide which price you’d like to charge and what you’d like them to earn per hour so they’re encouraged to purchase lessons.

  9. Market Towards Prospective Students & Educators

    – Before advertising, reach out to your current network first and tell them all about your plans. Most likely, you’ll meet some wonderful people along the way.

  10. Promote Yourself Via Social Media

    – If possible, create several social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn all work perfectly fine. LinkedIn is good because you’ll always keep your contacts updated even if you delete your account. Plus, people can look at it when they search for “Tutors” and see your profiles. Social media is vital because it’s basically free marketing.

  11. Set Up Mailing Lists – Create several mailing lists for those who sign up. They can be based on anything, such as geography, gender, age groups, etc. People love that stuff! You can set them to send out weekly emails with important updates.
  12. Hire A Freelance Writer For Email Marketing

    – Hiring a freelance writer is relatively inexpensive. You’ll pay about $10-$15 per email campaign, and most often, you don’t have to write any of your own emails. It’s much cheaper and easier than creating your own email campaign. You’ll still have to write content, but a writer will make it look professionally done.

  13. Buy Email Service Plans From Services Like MailChimp Or AWeber

    – These businesses sell email marketing services that will allow you to create and promote email campaigns effortlessly. You’ll only buy the service, and you’ll manage all your email accounts yourself.

  14. Grow Your Audience By Joining Groups In Your Tutoring Niche (Including Facebook Groups)

    – Join groups that share similar interests. For example, join the National Association of Professional Children’s Teachers (NAPCT) in the United States, the British Council of Learning Support Professionals (British CLSP), and the Scottish Association of Learning Support Professionals (SALSP). This is the best place for you to connect and share resources and opportunities with other professionals in your niche. It’ll also boost sales.

  15. Offer Incentives For Sign Ups

    – Every now and then, give incentives to encourage people to sign up. Maybe every month, you can have a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card to those who sign up during a promotional week.

  16. Track & Analyze Performance

    – Do your lessons go smoothly? Are students learning? Did I send enough practice materials for homework? It’s not fun being held accountable for mistakes made. You have to track and analyze your performance weekly to determine if you are providing quality instruction.

  17. Manage Student’s Progress Online

    – Keeping a close eye on your student’s progress helps keep them motivated to continue working through the class. If you know how well they did last term on a paper or assignment, you can adjust accordingly for this semester. Also, they won’t ever have to wait weeks or months to receive coursework. It will be immediately available whenever they log into our system.

  18. Be Accountable For All Lessons

    – Even if your students are using a site like Learnvest, you must approve each lesson your students request. Otherwise, you’re leaving it entirely up to your students and you’re ultimately responsible for any lessons that fail.

  19. Communicate With Parents On Daily Basis

    – It’s common courtesy to reach out to the parents when you notice your lessons aren’t re-booked. You may even be able to solve the problem yourself if it can’t be resolved quickly and efficiently.

  20. Add New Lessons Regularly And Promote Them

    – When your teacher sees a lesson posted, he or she may want to use it. Adding new lessons regularly keeps the teacher excited. You never want to become complacent, so always add new lessons regularly throughout the year. Remember that educators spend their own time planning and grading lessons. So, you need to show them you care!

  21. Recharge Your Creativity By Making Something New or Adding to a Current Idea

    – Recharging your creativity by adding new ideas or taking risks in your business can lead to great results. Try a new method, such as video recording instead of writing, or add something new, such as tutoring in a foreign language. Weigh the pros and cons before starting out for the next lesson!

The tutoring market is pretty saturated but it’s more like water to an ocean than oil to a refinery. You’ve got to jump in and start swimming. All you need is a good business idea, a good marketing campaign, and a solid strategy as you develop your online presence. What are you waiting for, you can get started today!

If you’re interested in franchising opportunities please contact us today. Other than that, here is a collection of more content you may find useful.

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