How to Start a Tutoring Business {Successfully}

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Written by BusinessAlligators Support

Support Staff at BusinessAlligators is a team of business experts led by Shilpi Singh Trusted by over 100K readers worldwide.

October 2, 2017

Starting a tutoring business is a lucrative business opportunity that ensures good profit margins with a low probability of failure. According to a leading newspaper report, tutoring is a $6 billion industry worldwide and has grown by almost 40% over the past 5 years. Having the right tutoring skills, deciding on the right fee structure and efficient marketing strategies have helped several entrepreneurs in establishing their successful business in the field of teaching.

Thankfully, with the demand for tutoring soaring high these days, these are not just limited to daily school curriculum but have ventured into college entrance exam preparations, college courses, and even kindergarten. Let us understand the steps needed to start a successful tutoring business.

1. Niche

Tutoring is a very diverse business so it is important to understand what type of tutoring you specialize in? Whether it is about focusing on younger kids, competitive exams preparation, subject specific tutoring like or coaching for special needs children. Understanding the niche becomes the first and foremost crucial aspect in tutoring business. Pick up your core strength where you feel your major expertise is in. Having said that, mixing 2 niches is also not advisable as it sometimes deteriorates the quality standards. Choosing the niche in which you have certificates or results to show to potential clients is highly recommended.

Determining the grade levels and subjects that you plan to tutor makes your tutoring business specialized and helps you focus on your core strengths. Once you have decided on your target niche, create a service menu that outlines each type of service that your tutoring provides along with the cost for each service. One way of doing so is to offer 60-minute personal interactive sessions (mainly for those who are looking for coaching for competitive exams or any specific course like mathematics tuition, or group sessions or even online tutoring service using a web conferencing program). Also develop policies and procedures for your tutoring business including the payment terms, cancellation policies, rescheduling, pre- and post-evaluation guidelines and working successfully with a tutor.

2. Budget Needed

  • Tutoring Center Rent- Rs. 10,000- 30,000 per month
  • Furniture- Rs. 40,000
  • Books and Study Material-Rs. 20000
  • Basic Tutoring Website- Rs. 5000
  • Advertisement- Rs. 5,000- Rs. 20,000 per month
  • YouTube channel- Free
  • Facebook Live- Free
  • Webinar Tool (for starting an online tutoring business) – Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 1 lakh Rs. depending on the number of participants
  • Insurance for tutoring business- Optional

3. Name of Your Tuition Center

Once the niche and budget for your business have been sorted out, the next important thing is to come up with a unique name for your tutoring business. Look out for competitors’ business names, search in Google to come up with a unique name that has not already been taken, seek people’s opinions, basically a name that makes your brand stand out and should be related to your niche and easy to pronounce.

4. Legal and Licensing Required for Tutoring Business

The next important thing to keep in mind is to register your business. For small-scale businesses, you can register the company as LLC or proprietorship, while for large scale businesses, one can opt for Pvt Ltd. If you are starting a small home-based tutoring business then you might not need anything. Additionally, you must also comply with teaching certifications depending on the state or country you plan to operate in. In the US, for example, NTA (National Tutoring Association) is an important teaching certification that all prospective tutors must adhere to. Likewise, in India, teachers employed in government schools cannot start their own tutoring services as it is considered illegal.

Also, consult your local Chamber of Commerce to find out if there are any additional permits or licenses to provide tutoring services in your area. To start a business in a commercial property, one must liability insurance. If needed, consult a small business attorney who can guide you towards the right direction regarding state and local ordinances pertaining to liability such as how to protect yourself or a student in case of a case of natural injury while at your center.

5. Location and Ambiance

Creating a study space, or a convenient location becomes the next important thing. Whether it is about starting your tutoring service from home, or at a commercial space, even in public places like libraries etc., a convenient location is a must to give a favorable study environment to students. You can rent commercial spaces and start your tutoring business. The location should be easily accessible, provided with adequate parking facilities and be in a safe neighborhood. The facility should be neat at all times, with proper lighting and should allow parents to take a tour, in case they wish to.

Next, purchasing important tutoring supplies is a pre-requisite. Some of the essential items include a supply of pens, pencils, notebooks and so on. Necessary furniture, a sturdy wall mounted whiteboard of good quality that offers good visibility from all directions is a must. You might also purchase study guides and visual aids for your business. A notice board with a proper teaching schedule, highlighting the number of hours dedicated to each class should also be available in advance for the convenience of the students. Invest in a good set of reference books for the main subject areas. Additionally, library and internet are good sources for free materials.

6. Advertising and Marketing of Tutoring Business

Let us discuss some of the effective ways in which you can generate more leads for your tutoring business by doing advertising and marketing in a different way:

1. To begin with, text and email everyone you know around you about your upcoming tutoring services. Let them know about your service as this is considered to be one of the best ways to gain clients in the tutoring business. Word of mouth is beneficial too.

2. Advertise your business by placing fliers on school bulletin boards and distributing brochures and pamphlets to students. Post fliers in local communities, grocery stores, libraries and other frequently visited places by students and parents.

3. Place banners in nearby local areas and describe your tutoring services.

4. Approach local stationery shops and place banners there, with their permission. Also, provide shop owners with pamphlets that they can hand over to students who come to purchase something from their shops.

5. Place ads on the walls of nearby schools and universities. Additionally, also consider placing ads on local autos serviceable in and around areas of schools and universities to generate more leads.

6. Additionally, you can make your online website include direct testimonials and success stories of your students to increase your popularity. Consider having a blog on your website as well that you can update regularly with general study tips or other useful information.

7. Another useful way is to start a Local Facebook Page to spread the word about your services.

8. Approach local parenting and education publications also to provide advertising opportunities to spread the word about your business.

9. Hire a freelance graphic designer to create a logo, website brochure, and business card template. The brochure should discuss your passion for tutoring, grades, and subject areas you cover, your experience and credentials, guidelines on how to schedule a session, charges, and another tutoring related information.

10. Offer free seminars, contact your local library, schools, and recreation centers to provide you space for that. A lot of prospective clients get enticed by free information and platforms like these are a great way to deliver useful information in a one-to-many environment. You can discuss your tutoring services’ vision, how you intend to provide services, and what gives you a competitive edge over your contemporaries.

7. Online Tutoring Business

Starting an online facility for your tutoring business is also a viable option to give a striking edge to your business. This also shows that your business is technologically advanced and you are way ahead of the curve. You can consider purchasing online tutoring software/ webinar tools and conduct webinars where you can carry out classes. Another option is to conduct classes all through the week at your teaching facility and set up problem-solving sessions over the weekend to respond to all queries of the students online. You can also consider starting a live video on Facebook or YouTube to gain more visibility and address problem-solving sessions over the weekend. Doing this will increase views on your video as more people in the social network circle would watch them.

8. Result Orientation

Simply relying on marketing is not enough. Actual promotion takes shape only by result-driven drives. The number of students who clear the competitive exams determines the success rate for your business and empowers you and your business. For instance, the leading IIT coaching institute in Kota (India), the Bansal classes had a success rate of 70% in the first 2 fiscal years (when Mr. Banal was teaching alone) but now the quality is on a decline, due to which their rate of admissions has reduced significantly. This has worked for the advantage of other coaching institutes and today, Bansal Classes is way out of the top 3 leagues of the best coaching institutes in the area. Hence, equally important is to maintain the quality standards for your tutoring service.

Consider, for example, ‘Super 30’, which is a highly ambitious and innovative educational program started by Anand Kumar. Every year, he selects 30 students from the economically backward students and teaches them free of cost so that they are able to crack the IIT. His success rate is that out of 30 students, min of 20 (sometimes even 28) of them get selected and his success can be attributed to the fact that his service is result-oriented. He does not provide any luxury to students nor he spends even a single penny on advertisement still he is famous worldwide just because of the result-driven approach.

One way of ensuring quality is to provide regular updates to parents about their child’s progress, what subjects you have covered and how far the students are coming along with their respective courses. Take the regular exam and motivate each student to achieve more. Parents always appreciate the progress reports and it proves that your service is a worthwhile investment. In fact, right before starting your classes, present your tutoring plan, what all materials you will provide to students and the duration of the session with parents to keep them informed in advance. Your clarity in your teaching methodology reassures the parents’ faith in your services in the long run.

9. Speech Variation while Teaching

It is a common sight of students taking small naps while attending their classes. A common reason that is attributed to this trend is that such teachers usually give the lecture in a single pitch. Needless to say, these teachers lack the basic knowledge of pitch variation and hand movements. It is important for teachers to learn more about ‘Vocal Variety’ which is a combination of pitch, tone, volume, and rate, to make their classes more engaging and fascinating for students to learn and grasp things.

Additionally, to meet up with the increasing demands from students, you can interview, hire, and train potential tutors who are experts in their chosen fields and have a strong educational background, to work for your tutoring business. Preferences would be for people who have prior teaching experience and proven knowledge in the subjects your business plans to cover. Create policies and procedure handbooks for your tutors that outlines rules, regulations, and procedures for your tutoring business.

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  1. Mayce Hye

    I love teaching & I want to start my own tutoring business. I think these suggestions will help me in my tutoring business start-up. Thank you for the informative post.

  2. Mfonobong Daniel

    This is a nice piece. It was indeed informative.


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