If you’re good at correcting grammar and spelling errors, teaching reading skills, or even showing how to complete math problems, you would probably make a good tutor. Starting a tutoring business is a good way for people with an aptitude for instructing others and teaching techniques to earn a living, and requires very little start up money.
The first step in starting your own tutoring business is to decide what subjects and grade levels you want to tutor- if you have a degree in a certain area or excelled in a subject while you were in school, that may be a good option for you. Only choose those subjects at which you are proficient- if your grammar is horrible, do not offer to help anyone with English. Likewise, if you can’t do long division to save your life, being a math tutor isn’t the best route to choose. One important thing to note is that it isn’t necessary to have or be working towards a college degree in the subject you choose, although it would greatly add to your credibility and make your services more marketable.
Once you choose your subjects of choice, decide which grade levels to tutor- this can range from elementary to graduate school. A good rule to follow is to tutor only the grade levels you have passed yourself. For example, if you hold a bachelor’s degree, it would be fine to teach first-year college students, but if you’re a first-year college student yourself, you should stick to high school, junior high, or elementary grade levels.
Before you can start marketing your services, you need to choose whether to be a sole proprietor or form a company- for advice regarding business structures, and requirements by state visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website here: www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/chooseastructure/index.html
After choosing the best structure for your tutoring business, filing the necessary documents, and choosing a business name, you must decide on your operating budget. Your budget will determine everything from where your business is based to how much you spend on marketing and promotion.
Regarding location, there are many options including a home-based setup, renting office space, or renting space in a recreation center. As far as marketing is concerned, you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money; you can post ads on sites like Craigslist, join a tutoring directory such as DirectoryOfTutors.com, and post flyers at nearby schools and universities- just get permission first.
The key to a successful tutoring business, and business in general, is customer service. Be available to your students, make sure you give them your business’s correct contact information and hours of operation, offer specials and discounts to regular clients, and try to resolve their issues in a timely manner. With a bit of thought and planning, you can have your tutoring business running, and thriving, in a relatively short amount of time.