Six Easy Steps to a Successful Tutoring Business
Tutoring is my favorite side hustle of all time. I enjoy doing it, which is excellent, but I am also good at it. Going to work and feeling like you are good at what you do is a great feeling.
If you believe that you would be a good tutor, there are a few things you need to consider in order to make yourself successful.
Measure your qualifications against your hourly rate.
I use my MA in English and college teaching experience to advertise my expertise in the field. From what I have seen, I could probably charge slightly more than my current $35 per hour, but I enjoy the type of clients I find at that price point. Often they are both easygoing and serious about learning.
What is the competition like?
Take a look at some tutoring offers in your area. What are other tutors charging? What are their claims to fame? Measure yourself against them. If you can find something about yourself that sets you apart, you will be in good shape! For instance, you might note that you are a lifetime resident of the town you would like to tutor in, or that you have worked with children of a specific age for a certain number of years. All of these things add to your list of qualifications, and help parents choose you over other tutors.
You will also want to consider what subjects are overdone in your geographical area. There are a lot of English tutors in my area, but I have still managed to be successful in securing students because I tailor my presentation of myself in a way that appeals to parents and college students alike.
How limiting will you be?
Being very specialized in this field is not a bad thing. If you only want to tutor children in grades 1-5, say so. If you only work with adults, say so. Being very specialized makes you attractive to a smaller group of people, but you will still be very marketable within that age group.
I have recently opened myself up to one-on-one tutoring with children; I did group tutoring in this age range previously, and have taught dance classes to children for a long time, so even though it is a very different experience than working with highschoolers and college students, it is refreshing. I enjoy working with children because they are more open to games and silly analogies during learning, and they also help me learn to break down more complex writing ideas into bite sized pieces.
Because I am open to nearly all ages, I need to be very specific about how I am qualified to teach each specific age group. Giving a general tutoring statement will never help you be hired; people want to know exactly how you are trained and qualified for the age and subject you want to teach.
Consider a tutoring match-up service carefully.
I have done both self-employed tutoring, as well as tutoring through a service that connects you to clients. I did not enjoy the latter. From the portion of my paycheck that was taken each session to the huge list of policies, I felt that there was too much work involved for too little reward. While starting with a tutoring service can be beneficial in the beginning, particularly if you do not have access to productive ways to reach potential students, you also need to read the fine print very carefully.
Make the commute easy on yourself.
I do not tutor in peoples’ homes unless I have known the person for a while. I am simply not comfortable doing this, and most families are more than happy to meet at a library for tutoring sessions. This makes it very easy to have other students come to you at times that are convenient to you. Work smarter, not harder! I often tutored back-to-back at a local library, which saved me gas money, lowered the time I spent commuting, and I had peace of mind knowing I only had to be in one place for multiple students.
Reach out to specialty groups.
Find groups that could benefit from your services. I have a lot of luck reaching out to homeschoolers in this area. I have worked with homeschoolers as a group tutor for years, and really enjoy the community. The best part about this specific group is that homeschoolers are open to bringing in tutors for many different groups; I have taught dance, Italian and writing courses, while my brother has taught chess and another friend offered yoga. Practically any subject you offer could be of interest.
You may also want to look for 4H or Scout groups if you want to teach something crafty like woodworking or jewelery making, or if you offer classes in showmanship, public speaking, or animal training.
Do you tutor, or have you considered tutoring? Have you been successful?