The prospect of setting up a tutoring business is attractive to many people, at all stages of their career, from those currently in college to professionals looking to take back control of their lives or even retired people that want to keep active and engaged whilst earning a little extra income. Launching an English tutoring business is reasonably simple with a low barrier to entry and start-up cost.
Often, when people think of English tutoring they picture someone akin to a babysitter – young and perhaps currently studying at college themselves trying to make a bit of extra income on the side to supplement their studies; or a friendly retired teacher that wants to still keep his/her hand in tutoring students.
However, despite first appearance, many professional’s change direction part way through their career and become great english teachers, that benefit from being rewarded handsomely for setting up an independent tutoring business; as it allows them to be their own boss, earn a decent hourly amount, have plenty of freedom and diversity in terms of who they choose to work with.
This article will give you some direction on what it is you need to get started.
First off, you don’t need to be a fully qualified teacher to set up a tutoring business. A lot of time, professional teachers or retired teachers naturally drift toward private tutoring, and this does provide a competitive advantage, but tutoring is not limited to qualified teachers. Similarly, a PhD or Masters Degree isn’t required, in reality, a bachelor degree isn’t a ‘must have’ though it might be expected from many students, or more pertinently, the parents of the students.
That said, a great tutor is not someone with an academic qualification; a great tutor is someone that is a great communicator, has patience, deep understanding of their topic and can break down complex ideas into easy to understand bitesize chunks of information. The most important part of being a tutor is your attitude; as you’re going to be interacting with students that are coming to you for extra help – meaning, they are likely to have low confidence or enthusiasm for the subject area. If you are enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive and empowering; then you’ll have a lot of repeat business from students, and word of mouth business (the most powerful form of marketing) because you are delivering results; and one of those results is helping that person shift their thinking and build their confidence in this particular area.
No matter how good your tutoring service is, the thing that matters the most is that you get paying clients through the door – and the only way you’re going to get that is by marketing your business so that a) people know about you, and b) people want to engage in what it is you’re offering. There are myriad ways to market your tutoring business; but the two most powerful and effective forms of marketing are online and word of mouth. You’ll need to develop a smart yet simple website that positions you as an expert in this area, and ideally, allows people to make bookings directly into a dynamic calendar or booking system. Then, you’ll need to start directing traffic to your website – which is where tools such as Facebook Ads come into play.
In short, this is where you’ll need to focus 80% of your focus; marketing – with 20% of your focus being on the actual tutoring. Remember, you are starting a business rather than merely being an English tutor.
Hopefully, this will provide some inspiration for you to set up your own tutoring business and start to get the ball rolling in terms of thinking about your own ideas.