In order to set up and run a successful business you should definitely have a tutoring business plan. It’s a great way to organise all your thoughts and make sure you have everything in place before you get started
When I graduated from university, I remember having several thoughts echoing inside my head about music teaching.
What was the next step? How will I support myself? Where will I find a job?
My goal was to do become a successful piano teacher, with time to play gigs at weekends and evenings during the week.
But I wanted to do things the right way...
I knew I had to take into account all the important issues about setting up a tutoring business. And I thought a business plan would help to collate all my ideas, ensure I wouldn’t overlook anything important...
…and avoid making any poor business decisions!
Here is the process you can use to come up with a business plan.
Executive Summary For Your Tutoring Business Plan
1) What’s the name of your business?
You can use your name, or something unique and catchy
2) What is the nature of the business?
Guitar teaching, maths tuition, teaching English as a foreign language etc
3) Describe your target market
Who do you want to teach? This is really important.
School pupils? Business professionals? The retired? Think about this in GREAT detail.
Try and find out more information about your target market. For school pupils, your local authority should have information on the number of them in your area. You can also use various websites to find specific demographics for your town; age, education level, employment industry, household income etc
4) Business Objectives for next 3 years
Write down your aims for each year over the next 3 years. Be realistic, but give yourself something to aim for.
5) Financial information
If you need a loan to get started, forecast your projections and profit margin.
It is really important to keep track of your income and expenditure. Buy yourself a receipt book and provide your clients with a receipt for each payment. You might want to consider using some online tutoring software to make the task easier.
Your Business Idea
1) Background to your business
Outline the type of business you intend to operate
2) Your experience
What experience do you have as a tutor? Think about your education and work experience
3) Information on your tutoring business
What makes you different from the competition? What is your Unique Selling Point (USP) or Emotional Selling Point (ESP)?
For example, if you provide maths tuition, how can you stand out from your competitors?
What can you offer differently?
Marketing And Competition
1) What market research have you undertaken?
How large is the market? – How many people in your town/city do you think will want lessons?
What can you charge per lesson?
2) What are the future trends? How will this impact on your business?
Although this can be tricky to figure out, if you’re a piano teacher, contact other music teachers offering lessons on other instruments. Do they have more students than 2-3 years ago? Do they teach more school pupils now than before?
You can also use Google Trends to see whether your search terms online have been increasing or decreasing in recent years. This is really useful if you plan to tutor students online, but in my experience, it often mirrors local trends as well.
3) What are the needs/aspirations of your customers?
If you’re a music tutor, will students want to play for fun? Become future musicians? Perform at local concerts every so often?
If you teach science to school pupils, what are they (or their parents) looking to get out of your lessons. Do they want to get into university? Or do they need to pass an important exam to get into senior school?
Understanding this can be extremely useful when it comes to advertising.
4) Who are your competitors?
Competition can be viewed in different ways.
Many people in business think of it in a negative way, but I’ve always had a positive approach to competition. If you have competitors, it means there is likely a market for your tutoring business. You just need to market yourself the right way.
5) How do your competitors market their products/services?
How are they positioned in the market place? Do they place any ads in the local paper, Yellow Pages or use Google Adwords? Or do you think it is mainly word of mouth...
Carry Out A SWOT Analysis
I remember doing one of these when I was studying Business Studies at school 🙂
What can you do better than the competition?
Where do think you might face problems with your business?
What opportunities are there for growth and finding more students?
How likely is it you will face more competition in the future? Or face a declining number of students?
What is your pricing structure? Have you allowed sufficient margin to cover overheads, materials, your time, and still obtain a sustainable profit margin?
Where will you promote and sell your services? e.g. Public venues, schools, libraries, sports centres, local stores? Will you use flyers, posters and/or the internet to find students?
Where will the business operate from? Why is this choice the most suitable?
What equipment or facilities do you need to operate your business?
Expand on your business objectives for the next 3 years – what is your predicted turnover, costs and profit for Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.
If you have a bank loan, what will be your payment to financiers – bank charges etc
So there you have it!
I firmly believe if you have a good plan, the right setup, offer quality teaching and market your business the right way, you can have a flourishing tutoring business and earn a good income as a result.
I know a couple of tutors who live in nice 3-4 bedroom homes in the leafy suburbs around London.
One singing teacher I know teaches 50 students a week and charges about £50 per hour. He lives in a tiny village about 1 hour from London by car and has a waiting list. If you try and work out what his income could be annually, it’s certainly impressive!
Furthermore, he doesn’t teach online and all his students come to him. He simply created a detailed plan and came up with an effective way to market his business.
If you're keen on getting your tutoring business up and running, take a look at the Tutor Start Up Course which has everything you need to get started, find students and grow a successful teaching studio.