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How Do I Start a Tutoring Business?

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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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There are several recommended steps for someone who wants to start a tutoring business. Regardless of whether one plans on tutoring children in schools or helping adult students online, a typical first step is to formulate a business plan that states the goals and objectives related to running a small business. Then one should take the necessary legal and financial actions to establish the business. Once he has created the business, a tutoring business owner needs to recruit customers, so it is important to advertise and market one's services.

Developing a business plan is usually a good first step when starting a tutoring business, as it can help a new owner answer important questions. For example, an individual who wants to start a tutoring business must first decide whether he will provide the tutoring services himself or run the business and employ other tutors. If the owner will also be the tutor, he has to decide where he will be based — he could tutor in his home, at the students' homes, or strictly online, for instance. Some tutors act more as consultants and work specifically with local school systems. All of these matters can be addressed in a formal business plan.

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Additional items that could be listed in the business plan might include legal and financial issues. For example, one may need to obtain a small business license in order to start a tutoring business. Next, one should figure out initial costs and determine how they will be paid. Some examples could include teaching materials, such as study guides and handouts, as well as rent or transportation costs. Considering all of these factors can help one decide on the rates to charge in order to cover costs and earn a profit.

Another decision involves the question of what subjects to tutor. One might focus on specific academic subjects such as math or science, for example, usually at the secondary or post-secondary level. Additionally, tutors can teach study skills and effective note taking, and even can offer specialized services, such as ESL tutoring or standardized test preparation.

After one decides to start a tutoring business and finalizes his business plan, he should formulate a marketing and advertising strategy. Common marketing tools can include business cards, fliers or brochures, direct mail, and newspaper ads. Other strategies include creating a website, especially if the tutoring business will offer online services, and posting information in local businesses, libraries, and community centers. Some tutors also advertise their services by going directly to schools and meeting with teachers, principals, and guidance counselors.

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