If you’re skilled in one or more subject areas and like to help people learn, you could start your own tutoring business and make money from something you enjoy doing. Getting started is simple, requiring only knowledge of a subject, patience, and a free schedule.
Starting a tutoring business verse going with a company brings with it advantages such as of setting your own hours and fees. Your only job is to cater to your students.
While getting set up may seem foreboding, it’s as simple as following the steps below.
- Before you rush off to make fliers, make sure you decide what your availability will be. Likewise you’ll also want to decide where you’ll be tutoring students. For children it’s typically accepted that this will happen at their homes, whereas for an adult you could opt for something like a coffee shop or a library.
- Be sure to supply clients with a list of subjects you can teach. Because the tutoring process is less formalized than the education system, you don’t need any degree or certification to do it (although if you work for certain companies, they do require a degree on some subjects), but you’ll want to make sure that you’re an expert in the subjects you’re teaching.
- Decide how much your fees will be based upon the difficulty of the subjects being taught and the rates of competitors. Because of the preponderance of tutors available for easy subjects, you’ll likely not be able to charge much for these. However harder subjects have fewer people teaching them and thus you’ll be able to charge more for these subjects. Things like math, languages, and college level material will typically pay the most so be sure to choose topics that will earn you the most.
- Be certain not to set your fees too low compared to others as this will give potential clients the impression that your services are of lower quality, despite how good they actually are. To find out what others are charging in your area, simply call and ask
- The final consideration before advertising your services is how you want to handle cancellations and late arrivals. Typically its accepted practice to charge a cancellation fee or to charge them for time spent waiting on a late student. If it’s a persistent problem you may wish to drop them as a client altogether. It’s important to make it known that your time is valuable so your clients will respect that.
- The next step in the process is to advertise using a combination of fliers, newspaper ads, online ads, and word of mouth promotion being sure to post advertisements in locations where they’ll be seen by students and or parents.For adult students post advertisements on the community boards of coffee shops, colleges, libraries, even grocery stores and laundry mats. For younger students you’ll want to try schools, but be sure to get permission to post the fliers before doing so.
Of course be sure not to forget Craigslist as most people search there for tutors and lessons.There are two options for addressing the issue of printing your price on the ad itself.
Some suggest that you not, as the variable pricing structure can be confusing and printing a price limits your ability to negotiate. Alternatively you could opt to include it anyway as it’s typically more likely to get a response when people know the price upfront.
You should try both types of adds to see what works well in your case.Naturally, you’ll want to make sure and include your degrees, experience, and other qualifications on every ad.
- It’s helpful to have a resume and references available in case anyone asks. This is a common request from the parents of children as they like to know you can be trusted with their child. It’s unreasonable however to furnish your tax id number for a background check as this leaves you open to identity theft.
Tips to Create a Successful Private Tutoring Business
1. Set-up a website
Make sure once your site is set up to link to it frequently in order to let people know about it. If you’re low on funds you can, using a site like Facebook set up a page for your business completely free of charge.
Though sites like Facebook, Friendster, Xanga, and others don’t typically rank very high on the search engine results, something is better than nothing and these sites are free to use.
Be sure to include a description of your tutoring philosophy, credentials, contact information, pricing, and references. Basically anything you’d put on an ad.
2. Set-up a PayPal account
Doing this opens up your payment options to include both PayPal and credit cards. While other sites can do the same, PayPal is the most widely used.
3. Check email frequently
Email for many is the default form of communication for initial contact and as such checking it often can help you not miss opportunities.
4. Consider Taxes
Don’t forget to hold some of your earnings in reserve to pay taxes. If you earn over a certain amount you’ll have to file as self-employed.
Using the guidelines above you’ll be all set to make a living as a private tutor.