Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. When you get that “Eureka!” moment, when your student masters a concept! When they shine and blossom in front of you is such an amazing feeling. Don’t get me wrong it is hard work and you need the patience of a saint to get to that point sometimes but it becomes all worthwhile when you see the student succeed.
Starting a tutoring business contributes to children’s education and guides them to success. Reasons why you might go into may vary. Maybe you are a retired teacher or you have been teaching at a school for some time now and looking to branch out with one specialism and focus on this with students, who need more support outside of school. Or perhaps you want to tutor on the side to supplement your teaching income.
Tutors are in huge demand, to help students struggling in classes SEN (Special educational needs) or EAL (English as an additional language)?, to stimulate the minds of gifted and talented students or to broaden their skills (Learning a musical instrument?). Parents are looking for tutors to help their children pass important exams (SATs or GCSEs?) or prepare for advanced education (A Levels?).
Starting a private tutoring business takes planning and can be achieved on a small budget.
Here are some tips on what to do and how to go about starting your home tutoring business:
It pays well to research other tutoring businesses around your area-because if they are focusing on the same subject area that you are thinking of and they are already an established business, then they will have a greater client base and trying to tap into the same market might prove difficult.
Find out through forums or local schools to find out what parents are requesting. It may not be subject you are not a proficient in but if it complements your qualifications then doing your own homework and picking up subject knowledge will help your tutoring business in the long run.
2) Subject or Specialism
Once you have done your research and know what subject/s you are considering then think about the age group you will tutor. What will your tutoring business offer which sets you apart from your competitors? This goes back to having done your research – so will it be Primary/Elementary age Maths? English Literature GCSE? A level Physics? Piano lessons?
Now with the title of the post being about home tutoring – it is obvious it will be at home – but whose? You may tutor in your home or offer to visit clients’ homes instead. Most families prefer that you tutor in their homes, especially as you will be unfamiliar to them, so factor this in when it comes to your charges.
You should be experienced and skilled in the subjects you will offer. Ideally parents will prefer someone who has the qualifications (PGCE/B.Ed. for example) and experience of teaching that particular subject. After all they are entrusting you with their child’s education and paying for it-so they want the best person for the job! Your qualifications/experience will make you stand out from other tutors who aren’t as qualified as you.
It is recommended (though not compulsory as a tutor) that anyone in the UK who works with people under the age of 18 has a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) certificate, showing that they have no restrictions in working with young people.
To obtain a DBS Certificate, you need to apply via a third party organisation such as an employer, a recruitment service, a tutoring agency or a similar umbrella body.
Public liability insurance is recommended for all private tutors, whether you tutor in your own or your student’s home. This type of insurance covers you if you’re held liable in the event of an injury to a student or damage to third party property. However, public insurance isn’t a legal obligation. Use a comparison site to find the best cover for you. Professional Insurance is also considered by some tutors as a means of protection against legal proceedings.
5) Business Plan
Like any business you need to prepare a business plan. Remember those teaching practice days where you had to type out (write out depending on how old you are!) a daily lesson plan including differentiated tasks and mini plenaries?? So just before teaching a lesson you would need to prepare and do the groundwork? So this is no different.
A business plan pretty much includes the points set out in this blog-your specialism, research backing your choice, your target group, what you need to budget for, plans for attracting and retaining clients as well how you are going to market your home tutoring business. Check this site which gives you an example of a business plan you might want to follow or where you can use a template.
You will need a few basic supplies to get started; a supply of pens pencils and paper. You may want to purchase study guides and visual aids for your tutoring business but there are many online sites that provide resources for teachers-most you will need to pay a subscription for but is a small price to pay for the amount of resources you will get access too.
Sites like these are popular amongst teachers:
NRich (Maths resources for higher order thinking)
Twinkl (for all ages and levels) and
Super Teacher Worksheets (differentiated activities)
Many interactive tasks or PowerPoints can be shown on your laptop – so that could be an essential purchase if you haven’t got one already.
If you have personal savings that you can tap into – invest in getting some leaflets done to tell people about your tutoring business. Even a few large posters might be a good idea and these could be displayed in your local library, community centre, local grocery stores and other places students and parents are likely to visit.
If you are in position to then place an advert in local newspapers, ask your local schools if you can advertise in their school newsletters or college newspapers and local regional phone directories as well.
If you have a good relationship with your local schools (through your teaching connections) you could ask them to refer students to you or at least allow you to leave posters and leaflets on their information boards by reception.
8) Online Marketing
Create a website for your tutoring business. Potential clients may find your business on the Internet. Nearly everyone will go on a search engine like Google and type in “a home tutoring business near me” so you want to make sure your business will be one of the search results.
You cannot get away with not having any online presence for your home tutoring business so you need to market yourself on social media sites.
Facebook has the most users and covers a wide range in terms of age range. Instagram is the most popular at the moment, especially amongst the younger generation. So for high school children these two platforms might be the best two to start with. Twitter is another platform to market your business too.
It’s always recommended that you start off with one platform and do this properly (posting regular updates of your business, your services, videos showcasing your students’ progress, sharing testimonials…) You don’t want this to consume your life as you want to focus on tutoring so be wise when selecting the best platform to start with.
9) Business Management Software
Lesson planning and tutor scheduling, booking further lessons with students, as well as processing payments and securing more business is all going to be time consuming components of running a home tutoring business.
But as technology is continually evolving, almost every industry and businesses are moving towards cloud technology which has tools to help automate these tasks. Benefits of cloud software are that you don’t need to download anything on a desktop. You can access documents and carry out tasks anywhere and on any device as long as you have internet access. Grow in Cloud is one such software that has the business tools to streamline these admin processes for tutors.