Starting your own tutoring business can be an exciting way to make a difference in your community and earn extra income.
You get to take your knowledge and expertise of a particular subject and share it with others who are eager to learn.
Whether you’re an experienced teacher, an expert in a particular subject, or just looking for a new way to make money, a tutoring business can give you the flexibility and income you need.
But how do you get started? What online tutoring platforms can you join?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of starting your own tutoring business and some key steps you’ll need to take to get your business up and running.
Starting a tutoring business is a great way to share your knowledge and help students succeed. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when you start your small business:
- Tutoring is a growing industry with increasing demand from students and parents. Even adults look for tutoring for GED programs or life skills.
- Personalized attention and one-on-one instruction are highly valued in the tutoring market.
- Tutoring can be offered in-person or online, with online tutoring becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and accessibility.
- Specialization in specific subjects or test preparation can set a tutor apart from competitors.
- Reputation and word-of-mouth referrals are crucial for success in the tutoring business.
- Online tutoring platforms like BookNook, and Cambly offers opportunities for tutors at all levels of experience to connect with students from K-8.
How To Start A Tutoring Business
The hardest part of any business is learning how to start, but tutoring businesses can be simple to start with some help!
I’ve put together some key steps to get your tutoring business started:
1. Pick Your Subject(s) & Niche
With so many subjects and areas to specialize in, deciding on your tutoring niche can be challenging.
Here are three primary things to consider when choosing your tutoring niche:
1. Your Expertise and Passion
The first thing you should consider when choosing your tutoring niche is your expertise and passion.
It can be what you know the most about or are interested in, and you don’t necessarily need a degree. Kelan tutored in English for years because it was in high demand, and he enjoyed helping students learn our language.
2. Market Demand
When choosing a subject, pick something you love. But also make sure that other people want to learn about it or need help.
Look at your area and determine which subjects or topics people need help with most. Check online platforms such as social media, forums, and tutoring websites to see popular niches.
Also, consider these questions while researching:
- Are there any subjects people in my area need help with? Do they need a tutor to help them learn?
- What can I teach them that YouTube can’t?
- How do I provide more quality so students hire me instead of learning online?
- How can I be different from the other tutors?
By focusing on these questions, you can provide high-quality tutoring services that meet your clients’ needs.
Focus on a specific subject or skill set within your broader area of interest to differentiate yourself from other tutors.
There are several tutoring niches available for you to specialize in. Here are some niches you might want to tutor:
- Test prep tutoring (SAT, ACT, GRE, etc.)
- STEM subjects (math, science, engineering)
- Language learning (English as a second language, foreign languages)
- Writing and Literature
- Music and art lessons
- Special education and learning disabilities
- College admissions counseling
- Homeschooling support
- Executive functioning skills (time management, organization)
- Career development and job skills training
2. Improve Your Knowledge/Skills
One of the best ways to become a successful tutor is to improve your knowledge and skills continuously. It can be done through:
- attending workshops
- taking online courses
- reading books and articles
- practicing on your own.
By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field, you can provide more effective and relevant instruction to your students.
Continue to develop strong communication skills. As a tutor, you will need to be able to:
- Explain complex concepts in simple terms so that your students can understand them.
- Also, be patient and empathetic.
- Adapt your teaching style to meet the needs of each student.
3. Figure Out Your Ideal Client Base
Before you can start tutoring, you need to get to know who your target audience is and what their needs are. You must also understand what you are looking for when you start tutoring.
Knowing who you want to work for will help you tailor your services to meet your ideal customer’s needs.
It’ll also help you determine which marketing techniques would most effectively reach your client base.
Here are some questions to consider when narrowing down your clientele:
- Do you prefer working with elementary school students, high schoolers, or college students?
- What neighborhoods and schools in your area do you want to work with?
- Do you prefer one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring sessions, or tutoring online?
4. Online, In-Person, Or Both?
If you’re a tutor looking to expand your services, offering both online and in-person tutoring can greatly benefit your business.
Here’s a breakdown of offering online tutoring, in-person tutoring, and both to clients:
Many students are now comfortable with online learning platforms and like the convenience of connecting with their tutor from anywhere with an internet connection.
It just makes sense to offer online tutoring and make money from home.
Online tutoring is a great way for tutoring businesses to offer flexible scheduling and accessibility. All sessions take place over video chat or phone calls!
Online tutoring eliminates your travel costs as a private tutor, and there are fewer overhead costs for running a tutoring business online.
A few students may still prefer face-to-face interaction with a private tutor, especially when it comes to subjects that require physical demonstrations or experiments.
In-person sessions allow for more immediate feedback and visual cues to help facilitate learning in areas such as science or math tutoring, where visuals are important.
It can also be helpful for younger students who may need additional support and guidance to offer tutoring services in person.
While it may require more effort or cost to travel, a private tutoring business in person can also offer a more personal connection that’s hard to replicate through a screen.
You also have some potential for joining a tutoring franchise like Sylvan first to get a feel for in-person tutoring and get some experience for your resume.
Both – Online & In-Person
This is honestly our preferred go-to. In today’s fast-paced world, students need flexible options for academic support.
That’s why many tutoring companies now offer both online and in-person tutoring services.
They can pick which they need, and you can charge more for in-person services to offset costs while giving them the additional help they need.
With both options available, students can choose the format that best fits their needs and learning style.
If you tutor online and in-person, you can cater to more needs across the board, but you can still create your own schedule.
5. Choose A Platform Or Business Entity
It’s important to choose the right business structure for your tutoring business. The right structure will help protect your personal assets and ensure your business is legally compliant.
Several business entities exist, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
Each type has advantages and disadvantages, and you should research what works best for you, but here’s a quick run down on the 5 business structures:
- Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietor business model means you’re the only one responsible for everything and have complete control over business decisions and profits. This structure is ideal for small businesses and startups as it requires less paperwork and legal formalities.
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC): Starting an LLC tutoring business can offer several benefits, such as reduced liability, choosing how you are taxed, and an easy way to separate personal and business finances. An LLC business model mostly means your personal assets won’t be up for collateral in legal situations.
- C-Corp: Choosing a C-Corp business model can also provide sole business liability. It’s the only business entity not considered a flow-through, meaning that taxes are filed separately from personal taxes.
- S-Corp: By selecting S-Corp status, you can reduce the amount of self-employment taxes you pay and save money. This business model also offers liability protection for your personal assets while allowing you to maintain a flexible business structure.
6. Form/Register Your Business
Congratulations on choosing the right business model for your tutoring company!
Now it’s time to move on to the next step: forming and registering your business.
The steps to form and register a business are different depending on what kind of business it is.
For example, if you have decided to form a limited liability company (LLC), you must file Articles of Organization with your state’s Secretary of State office.
Once you have filed the necessary paperwork and paid any required fees, you will need to obtain any necessary licenses and permits for your tutoring business.
It may include a business license from your city or county government and any professional licenses required by your state.
7. Check Competitors & Set Your Pricing
If you’re running a tutoring business, keeping an eye on your competitors is important. Knowing their successes and failures can lead you to run a successful business!
Here are some tips for checking out your tutoring competitors and using their information to pick services and prices:
- Research their offerings: Do market research and look at your competitors’ services in your niche. Do they offer online, in-person, or group tutoring? Who is their ideal client base? Market research can help you identify gaps in the market that you could potentially fill with your new business.
- Build a competitive advantage: Once you know what your competitors offer, determine how to differentiate yourself. Maybe you could offer more personalized attention to more students or focus on a niche subject area other tutors aren’t covering.
- Evaluate their marketing strategy: Look at how your competitors market themselves online. What social media platforms are they using? What keywords are they targeting in their ads? This information can help you refine your marketing strategy.
- Research how they charge for different services: As a tutor, most people charge per session- usually an hourly rate. But you can also charge a flat fee for an exam prep course or writing course, where you have videos or other offerings besides lesson time.
- Look at how much other people charge for the same thing: When you start tutoring, charge a price that is the same as other tutors. As you gain experience and expertise, you can increase what you charge.
Where you live and your experience will also affect how much you charge for your services, so be sure to compare yourself to other tutors that match your niche and your overall expertise.
8. Establish A Presence Online
Establishing an online presence is the most important thing to do when launching a tutoring business.
Having a website or social media channels allows potential customers and students to learn more about your services and decide if you’re right for them.
Here are some tips on how to go about getting started with establishing an online presence for your tutoring business.
Creating Your Website
Creating a website is one of the best ways to establish a business online and get people interested in your services.
Having a website allows potential customers to learn about what your business offers, view customer testimonials, ask questions, and make inquiries.
If you don’t have web development experience, numerous platforms are available that make it easy to create a website in no time!
We set up our WordPress blog without experience and found templates and online directions easy to use. Plus, we used Bluehost to get our domain name for free and now have consistent web hosting we trust.
Setting Up Social Media Channels
Social media platforms are great for promoting your tutoring business online. Social media lets you interact with customers personally, so they feel more comfortable doing business with you.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to connect with potential and existing customers. You have an easy spot to answer questions that aren’t in your inbox!
You can easily do online advertising for your services on these platforms by writing engaging posts or creating eye-catching visuals such as videos or infographics.
You can also share printables and other content for sale on social media or other websites to make money and increase your business’s visibility.
Content marketing involves creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, eBooks, etc., that provide value to potential tutoring clients without directly promoting your services.
Great educational content helps build trust with potential customers and encourages them to use your services when needed!
It’s a great way to earn more money from your knowledge and build up credibility and expertise online.
9. Prep Your Business Materials
Before you start tutoring, you must ensure you have tutoring materials!
Creating lesson plans will be one of the most important steps as you prepare your tutoring materials. You need to have clear objectives and goals before you begin teaching.
It will give your students direction, structure, and purpose while they learn.
Additionally, having well-thought-out lesson plans will help ensure that each session is productive and efficient.
When creating your lesson plans, include information about what topics will be covered, methods of instruction (lecture or interactive activities), and resources needed for class.
Resources are just the tip of the iceberg- you may also include any assessments or quizzes that may be given and assignments or projects.
10. Get Your First Client!
How do you land your first client? Here are some tips to get you on the right track:
Join BookNook Or Cambly
Signing up and creating a profile highlighting all your skills and qualifications as a tutor takes just minutes – plus, it’s free!
To learn more, read our honest Cambly Review.
Now that you know who your clients might be, it’s time to start building relationships with them. Reach out to other educators in your area and let them know about your services.
Ask if they have any students who might need tutoring or if they could refer anyone else to you. Consider offering discounts or free introductory sessions to those who refer new clients to you.
Join Online Communities
Another great way to find potential clients for your tutoring service is by joining online communities related to teaching and tutoring.
This will allow more people to hear about your services and give them a chance to get an inside look at how passionate and knowledgeable you are about education!
11. Make Changes As You Go
Starting a tutoring business can be exciting and rewarding, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a one-and-done process.
You’ve got a lot set up now, but things may not work as planned. You may need to make changes along the way.
The pricing plan may need to be adjusted, or your target audience may change. You may find that you don’t have enough clients or you have too much client demand!
For example, if you don’t see the results you want from social media advertising or email campaigns, it may be time to try new tactics or adjust your messaging.
By being willing to make changes as needed, you can ensure that potential clients know what sets your tutoring business apart from others in the market.
Remember: Change isn’t always easy, but it’s often necessary for growth and long-term success in any industry.
Tip For Tutoring
Businesses Finances & Management
Setting up a separate bank account to keep your business and personal finances separate is important. You can track income and expenses separately from business and personal finances.
It isn’t required by law or anything, but it’s the easiest way to check cash flow, business expenses, and profit!
You could find business management software that can help track money and clients, but when you start small, you may want to hold off on this type of expense.
Budget Your Business
Just like personal finances, creating a business budget to cover any expenses associated with providing services is important.
Here are some areas you need to consider when budgeting for your tutoring business:
- Tutoring Fees (Income!): Determine how much you will charge for your services and how many hours per week you plan to tutor.
- Marketing Expenses: Decide on your best strategy for marketing and put funds towards advertising, website development, and social media campaigns.
- Supplies and Materials: Consider the cost of textbooks, workbooks, stationery, and other materials needed for tutoring.
- Insurance: It’s important to have liability insurance in case of accidents or injuries during a tutoring session.
- Taxes: Be sure to set aside tax funds as a self-employed tutor.
- Professional Development: Allocate funds towards continuing education courses or workshops to improve your skills as a tutor.
An online budgeting tool like Empower can help you stay organized and be better prepared to manage expenses and succeed in your new venture!
Make Printables For Students
Making printables can be a great way to save money while still providing students with quality materials.
You can create worksheets and activities tailored to each student’s needs. Canva Pro is an excellent tool to use to create printables.
With Canva Pro, you can easily create custom printables that cater to your student’s specific needs and learning styles.
They have custom templates you can change how you want, cute graphics and thousands of images for projects, and more so that you can create great educational materials!
You can also start a side hustle with your tutoring printables if you want to make money passively. Other teachers will pay for printable worksheets and more for their own lessons.
To learn more about creating printables for students that may be easy to sell, check out the free workshop by ePrintables.
Pick Helpful Reference Books
Reference books serve as valuable resources when teaching difficult concepts or topics that require further explanation than what is available in textbooks or lecture notes.
Look for comprehensive reference books with clear explanations and illustrations so students can access reliable information when needed.
But these reference books can also help you brush up on topics and prepare for your lessons so you can ace their questions like a true pro!
Ask colleagues or former instructors which references they recommend; this will ensure that the book(s) you pick is worth the cost and contains useful information for students and you.
Don’t Forget A Work Schedule
Your tutoring business is just that- business! A well-planned work schedule is essential for any tutor who wants to stay productive and organized.
And any business needs work hours, so clients have options to work with you.
Your schedule should reflect what works for your clients- in this case, most kids aren’t home from 8 am to 3 pm, so you may need to dedicate weeknights or weekends to tutoring students.
You may decide the best schedule for you is weekends during the school year from 8:00 – 4:00, and summer tutoring is weekdays from 9:00 – 5:00.
It all depends on what you can do and what works for your clients.
Having a set schedule can also help you plan when you need to prepare or review materials from past sessions so that you’re always ready when it’s time to teach.
You can recommend students start with one hour with you every week as a baseline and then increase or decrease that time based on their needs.
Now is a good time to learn how to start a tutoring business and start landing online tutoring jobs.
You can work from home, pick your hours, set your rates, and talk about your favorite interests and passions every day!
Starting a tutoring business doesn’t have to be complicated or cost much money- it just takes proper planning and preparation!
You can start from scratch or join tutoring services like BookNook to get your tutoring business off the ground.
With the steps suggested under your belt, there’s no reason why launching a successful tutoring business and finding prospective clients isn’t within reach!
So take some time today to make your dream of owning a successful tutoring business come true with our “How to Start a Tutoring Business” tips!