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Starting a Tutoring Business: A Guide

If you want to start a business that is easy, affordable and has a quick setup process, then tutoring is worth thinking about. Tutors provide additional instruction to students beyond their regular classroom work and will often work with students who need extra assistance in a certain subject area. Tutors are needed at all levels of education and on a variety of topics.


To become a tutor, you do not need a degree in teaching or any specialist training. However, before you can get started, you do need to have a solid knowledge of the subject that you are going to offer tutoring in, and you will also need to be able to explain the subject in a way that others can learn it. Typically, tutors can earn between $10 and $75 per hour depending on the topic and the student’s education level. You may be able to charge more if you have expertise and knowledge in specialized topics like languages or advanced sciences.

Where to Work

You can offer tutoring from your own home, at your client’s home, in another location such as a library or school, or even online. Thanks to the internet, video conferencing tools mean that you can easily tutor clients who do not live near you, from the comfort of both of your homes.

Pros and Cons

Before you decide if starting a tutoring business is a good idea for you, it’s worth focusing on the pros and cons for a while. Weigh them up and see if the pros outweigh the cons for you. Some of the advantages of setting up a tutoring business include small upfront costs, opportunities for expansion and growth, and flexible hours. Along with this, it can be very rewarding to help students meet their goals and get a better understanding of a topic, and it can be a good way for teachers to supplement their incomes. On the other hand, some of the downsides include the fact that some students might be reluctant to learn, you may work a lot of evenings and weekends if you need to fit tutoring around students’ schedules, and success could mean losing a client. You’ll also need different teaching skills for success with one-to-one sessions.

Starting Your Home-Based Tutoring Business

There are several things that you can do to get started with tutoring from home. You can sign up to work as a contractor for one of the several online tutoring companies available or purchase a tutoring franchise. Alternatively, you can simply start your own business from scratch. Some steps that you may want to take include:

1 – Determine Subjects and Educational Level

Before you get started, think about the subject or subjects that you are going to be tutoring, and the educational level of your ideal students. Common topics where students need help include science, math, and English from elementary school through high school. You may also find that college students are looking for tutors to provide additional help in these areas, along with in other subjects that are specific to their majors.

2 – Create a List of Potential Students

Based on your chosen subject and the educational level that you want to tutor, think about who your target market might be. Who are the people that are most likely to be interested in hiring your services, and where can you find them?

3 – How to Provide Your Service

Consider how you are going to provide your tutoring service to students. Are you looking to only work online, or would you prefer to work in-person with local students? Or perhaps you will offer a combination of both? If you are going to work in-person with students, think about where you are going to conduct the lessons. If you are going to use your home, then you may need to check with the local authority regarding any permissions that might be needed. You will also need to get liability insurance just in case a student gets hurt while on your premises.

4 – Get the Tools and Equipment You Need

You will need to get some basic equipment before you can start tutoring. One main tool that you’ll definitely need to get started is a laptop, especially if you are planning to offer tutoring online. You can check out Lenovo for laptops for teachers and students with an education discount or business discount available. You will also need to consider getting textbooks, workbooks, and other materials that will assist you while tutoring. A service that you can use for digital whiteboard writing, for example, is a popular choice with tutors.

5 – Choose a Business Structure

There are several ways that you can structure your business. You can start immediately as a sole proprietor. Or, if you want a business structure that offers more protection to your personal assets, then you may want to consider forming a limited liability company (LLC).

6 – Decide Policies and Pricing

The topic and grade level that you are instructing are two of the main things to consider when it comes to pricing. Bear in mind that the more advanced the grade and the topic you are tutoring, the more you will usually be able to charge.

7 – Come Up with a Business Name

You can either operate your tutoring business under your personal name or create a separate business name. You may also want to use a combination of both when it comes to naming your business; it’s up to you. If you are creating your business as an LLC, then you will need to ensure that you are not using the same business name as any other businesses registered in your state.

8 – Get Licenses and Permits

Before you can start offering tutoring services to students, it’s important to ensure that you are aware of any licenses and permits that you are going to need to start your business and have obtained them.

9 – Write Your Business Plan

It is a good idea to have a business plan that outlines all aspects of your business and includes plans for future business growth. While this might change over time, it’s worth having a plan that you can refer to as you set up your tutoring business.

10 – Create a Marketing Plan

Finally, think about how you are going to market your services as a tutor to your potential clients. This should include a website where your potential clients can learn more about you and the services that you offer, a networking strategy, and a referral system.

How to Identify Your Target Market as a Tutor

One of the trickiest parts of setting up a tutoring business is identifying your target market, or your ideal client. This is one of the first things that you should do, however, as who you are going to be selling your services to will have an impact on your entire business plan, policies, and services that you offer. Some of the main things that you may want to think about when it comes to identifying your ideal client include:

Where you want to tutor: Decide whether you would prefer to only work with local clients, prefer tutoring online, or want a combination of both.

Group or individual: Some tutors offer group classes for students to attend, while others provide a one-to-one, tailored tutoring service. Deciding on which you would prefer will help you determine who your ideal client might be.

Tests: Some tutors specialize in certain niches, including preparing students for specific tests. If you want to do this, then it is a good way to narrow down your target clients.

Grades: Finally, think about which grades and educational levels you want to tutor. The subject matter and teaching services that you will offer will differ based on the age and experience level of the student you are tutoring.

Preparing Yourself to Work as a Tutor

When you start a tutoring business, your expertise and knowledge is going to make you an income. Once you have decided who your ideal clients are going to be, the next step is to focus on building your knowledge as much as possible in the subject that you want to teach. Find a niche to tutor and assess your strengths and weaknesses in this subject.

A good way to do this is to take a practice test in your chosen field and see how well you do. This will allow you to evaluate your knowledge and identify any gaps that you will need to work on. Along with this, you should be prepared to stay up to date with the syllabus and curriculum that your students are learning. To be effective as a tutor, you should have a good knowledge of what your students are working on in school or college.

If you have a good knowledge of a certain subject, then you may want to consider starting a tutoring business. You do not need a teacher’s qualification or license, and it can be an easy and inexpensive business to start.

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