Would you like some extra income each month?
Are you tired of your current job and want to try something different?
When you become a private tutor, you can have a rewarding career sharing your knowledge with others and helping them reach their goals.
In this article, you’ll learn some useful information on how to get started.
1) Do you know a subject well enough to teach others?
One of the most important things you need to be an effective tutor is subject knowledge.
It might seem obvious, but it is essential you know a topic well enough so you help others learn and achieve their goals.
Do you need a degree in your subject?
Of course it looks good for your profile as a tutor, and it’s nice to have some letters after your name on your business cards and website!
However, it shouldn’t put you off tutoring if you don’t have a degree.
Experience is more important, and a reputation of getting good results for your students. This can be achieved by getting some positive reviews and testimonials from your existing students which you can use on flyers, posters and on your website.
Let’s be honest:
Being able to communicate your knowledge effectively to others is far more valuable than just having a degree. As long as a student is improving and making progress, you can’t ask for more than that.
I’ve met some tutors with degrees who aren’t good teachers at all!
Demand for lessons
As part of your research in starting your tutoring business, make sure there is demand for lessons in your subject.
Of course some subjects are more popular than others such as learning the piano, guitar, Maths and English tutoring, but if your subject is too specialised, too much of a small niche, then it will undoubtedly be trickier.
You may have to widen the net and teach online if you feel there is insufficient demand in your local area.
Another important point to consider is the need for REGULAR lessons in your subject. If students only want occasional lessons every few months, then your business is not really stable in terms of income and student numbers.
How many subjects can you teach?
If you teach more than one subject then that can open up some more possibilities for your tutoring business. However, just be aware you don’t want to appear too ‘general’ as a tutor. I would recommend focusing on one subject to start with and then branch out once your business starts growing.
2) Create a business plan - research and goals
This is a great way to do some market research and give yourself some goals and aims for your business. How many students will you tutor? How much will you earn in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3?
Take your time with this. If you write down some goals, it will really motivate you to succeed as a private tutor.
Also, really get to know your target market. Figure out how you can reach them and attract them to your tutoring business.
How will you market your business? How do other tutors promote their services? Can you find other ways to reach your target market, using online and offline methods?
As you can see, there are many benefits for creating a tutoring business plan.
3) Teaching Environment
Make sure you have a neat and tidy workplace. It’s important your students feel the working area is set up correctly and conducive to learning.
The room should be quiet and free from distractions.
Not like this!
I would also recommend purchasing some insurance, something which is often overlooked by tutors.
What happens if a student has an accident in your home? Of course it’s unlikely, but what if they trip over a bag and hurt themselves? Or put their hand through a glass table?
I don’t want to sound like a merchant of doom, but you need some public liability insurance to protect yourself from these situations.
4) Set up a tutoring website
This is important for students to find you online, and also for people to learn more about you when they see your website address on flyers, business cards and posters.
You can create one yourself or get a professional web designer to do it for you.
I recommend having a go yourself, as it’s cheaper and much easier when you want to update any content or change anything on your website.
One of the most popular ways to create a website is to use WordPress.
After watching a few ‘How To’ videos on YouTube you’ll be well on your way!
5) Payment terms and cancellation policy
Time to discuss money matters!
You can be the best tutor in the world, offer engaging lessons and your students will adore you...
...but if you don’t clearly set out how you get paid as well as your policy on cancellations, you will run to problems.
I guarantee it.
Basically, be strict about this. In the first lesson with a new student, spend some time explaining how you want to be paid and what happens if you cancel a lesson, or if they cancel.
You don’t need to go over the top, but just ensure you still get paid if they cancel at the last minute.
I would advise charging for a block of lessons, with the payment due before the first lesson. If you already have the money and someone cancels one week, there’s no issue.
The aim of a detailed cancellation policy and payment terms is to protect your income.
Becoming a private tutor means you are self-employed so you should respect yourself and your business and do everything to make things run smoothly.
If you'd like some more advice on how to get your tutoring business up and running, check out my product Start A Tutoring Business