It seems that no matter where people live, they still have many of the same concerns and issues when starting up a new business venture and this is certainly true in the tutoring industry. There is an ever-increasing demand for supplemental education providers in most cities around the globe, and starting a tutoring business can be a good career alternative for people who are looking for something more challenging or exciting than a regular teaching job. If you are considering such a venture, I hope you will find the following list of commonly asked questions and answers useful in starting up your new tutoring business!
1. How long will it take to get started?
This depends upon your current situation and experience. If you already have teaching or tutoring experience and ready access to potential students, you could probably get started almost immediately with one or several students. I always advise people to get started as soon as possible, as this will help to build momentum early, which will increase your enthusiasm and energy for launching your new business. If you will be hiring tutors instead or tutoring yourself, this may require a month or two to get everything in place. Your marketing and advertising efforts could start within a few days, while some print advertising may take several weeks to set up. Generally you should allow one to three months to get your business completely up and running, while you can probably have the essentials up and running within a couple of weeks.
2. How much can I really make?
As a tutor, this is entirely dependent upon how many hours you will work. If you tutor fifteen hours per week at $40 per hour, you will make $600 per week. If you have ten tutors working fifteen hours per week, you will make $6,000. If you have an online tutoring business employing 100 tutors, charging $30 per hour, each working ten hours per week, you will make $30,000 per week.
3. How will I get tutors?
You can advertise for tutors at local colleges and universities, especially if they have career websites where you can advertise for free. The top job recruitment websites may also be useful places to recruit tutors, although they tend to be somewhat expensive. Some recruitment websites allow you to target colleges and universities, which is ideal if you are recruiting students as tutoris.
4. How much will it cost to start up?
This depends upon the type of tutoring business you are launching. If you are tutoring students out of your home or a local library or other public space, you can probably get started for under a thousand dollars. If you are renting space and hiring tutors, you may want to have $5,000 to $10,000 in the bank before you get started, to cover some of the major expenses like payroll, office rent, and textbook purchases during your first few lean startup months. If you are starting up a major online tutoring website, you will probably want to have $15,000 to $25,000 in startup capital to expenses like website and systems development, marketing, payroll and office expenses.
5. How much can I charge my students?
Typical rates for tutors in North America are $30 to $60 per hour for in-person tutoring, or $20 to $30 per hour for online tutors. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen new tutors make is to undervalue their services. I have seen highly qualified teachers charging only $20 per hour for one-on-one tutoring, while tutoring academies typically charge $40 to $50 per hour for group tutoring! Research your relevant market to determine what your services are really worth and don’t be afraid to charge the going rate.
6. Do I need any special certification to be a tutor?
Although tutor certification is available through various organizations, I am unaware of any state or province where certification is required in order to operate as a tutor.
7. Do I need teaching or tutoring experience?
If you are doing the tutoring yourself, you should have some teaching or tutoring experience. If you are hiring tutors, a basic knowledge of teaching or tutoring is advisable but not absolutely necessary, as long as you are able to hire knowledgeable tutors.