How to start a tutoring business

Running a tutoring business

Running a tutoring business is a fantastic way to either make a little coin on the side or pursue as a full-time business. If you have some expertise, degrees or stand out skills – why not simply pass these on for profit? What are you getting yourself into?  There are many considerations here, lets look at a few:

  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • What services are in most demand?
  • Where will you tutor – in your home or through visitation?
  • Do you need some courses or accreditation under your belt?
  • How will you get it off the ground with your first client?

Who are you competing with?

Time to check the competition diligently – we can learn all their secrets from simple observation and information requests. Biting another tutoring business’ ideas is a fantastic way to launch your own, giving you a running start.

Scan websites and social channels to get a better idea of what they are up to, what they say to parents, what kinds of students they target, whether they do one-on-one or small groups etc. You can even go so far as a simple cheeky email or phone call to scope out their prices, services and tutoring business model.

What kind of juicy information can you get?

  • Pricing guides
  • Service offerings
  • Service style – home or visitation based?
  • Branding tips
  • Marketing practices
  • Social media ideas
  • Qualifications usually required
  • Student types

Don’t be shy – take it all! Just be sure to use this as a base to starting a tutoring business, building on this business model using your own style. You still need to be unique.

Handling bookings

This is the real business here – how do students book your tutoring services? Email is dead. Phones are dead. This is a fact.

When was the last time you called an airline or hotel to make a booking? Few and far between? If you are running a modern tutoring business you need a 24/7 flawless assistant taking bookings around the clock and automating calendar changes and client confirmations.

To run a successful tutoring business, you need your professional and modern booking software dead centre on your website – all of your business will flow through here so make sure the website you house it in really pops too.

Consider the following when setting up your booking link on your website:

  • Booking page – is it the absolute centrepiece of your site?
  • SEO – how do you rank?
  • User Experience – is your web design intuitive, attractive, fit for purpose?
  • Mobile Friendly – ensure your site is multi-device compatible.
  • Online chat – Consider an online chat function to engage unsure visitors.
  • Searchable – make sure you have indexed your site and made it fully searchable.

Tutoring business plan

Your potential earnings will dictate how this tutoring business adventure will go. How do you charge? Will you have enough regular students to tutor? What are your expected outgoings? Where will you teach from? All of these questions and more…

Do you have mortgages and regular payments that need critical servicing? This needs particular attention. The boring bit of starting a tutoring business is budgeting and forecasting and that is what you need to do now before anything else. Sit down and do a basic income vs expenditure budget by plugging in your proposed rate of pay for you tutoring services next to a reasonable prediction of work and compare it against your budgeted expenses.

What did you get? Is it viable? A close shave? Or totally manageable? There’s no point exposing yourself if your rent won’t get paid.

Is this perhaps a side hustle? In this case you can cheat a fair bit and create a less onerous plan – this is extra work after all, not your main meal.

The numbers and coins

The nitty gritty. How will this all work out in the wash?

Have a little think about this:

  • Tutoring business startup costs
  • Tax implications
  • Accounting needs
  • Invoicing plan
  • Separate tutoring business bank accounts and credit cards

Keep in mind you will also be paying your own taxes! So be sure to look at the accounting software you will need and factor in your tax bill when forecasting your earnings. You should certainly also chat to a bookkeeper before making the leap to understand your new tax position better – they will have all the answers.

Consider the following:

  • Booking page – is it the absolute centrepiece of your site? Is your booking link dead centre and supremely clickable? It better be.
  • SEO – how do you rank for your keywords?
  • User Experience – is your web design intuitive, attractive, fit for purpose, simple and easy to navigate?
  • Mobile Friendly – ensure your site is multi-device compatible. Free mobile friendly tests from Google will analyse your site and report if it is easy to use on a mobile device.
  • Online chat – Consider an online chat function to engage unsure visitors.
  • Searchable – make sure you have indexed your site and made it fully searchable.

One important thing to remember about websites is that people have grown short attention spans, a recent study by Microsoft revealed the average human attention span at 8 seconds, so don’t waffle on in your copy or you will lose potential customers. Keep it succinct and then chop it in half again.

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