How To Start A Tutoring Business

By Mike Gomez

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Unpaid tutoring happens every day between parents, teachers, friends and students.

Do you have the knack for connecting with students who are struggling or seeking an extra boost to reach their educational and career goals?

Do you have the patience to teach them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed starting at whatever level they are currently at?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may have what it takes to be a tutor.

If you want to move beyond just the occasional tutoring gig and turn it into a business, however, you will need to have a head for business, public relations, networking, and marketing as well.

It takes a lot of hustle up front to establish a stable base of students to support an ongoing tutoring service. Beyond the rewards of helping someone else succeed educationally, the financial returns can turn into a livable income with flexible schedule control for a healthy work-life balance.

How Big Is The Tutoring Industry?

  Forbes reports that industry analysts predict the worldwide private tutoring market will exceed $102.8 billion by 2018. The United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and China comprise 90 percent of that market. In 2011, the U.S. government spent $134 million on private tutoring programs to fill the gap left by school budget cuts.

Why Starting A Tutoring Service Now Is A Good Idea

Forbes cites a Global Industry Analysts, Inc. study as saying that traditional education is failing to meet the needs of a diverse student population. In addition, many parents are seeking out extra support for their children’s academic success in a drive to provide the best education and offer them a competitive edge in entrance exams for higher education and career.

Online tutoring is becoming more and more popular alongside traditional face to face tutoring. Many parents are searching for a more personal and flexible education than the public schools can provide; and some students need a more relaxed and secure learning environment away from the chaos and stress of large group, one size fits all public education.

School districts cannot keep up with the demand in the face of dwindling funds and thus there are profitable opportunities galore for those that want to set up business and market themselves as a tutoring service.

Here are some facts and figures about the tutoring business you should consider:

Tutoring business startup costs

According to Wealthy Tutor, $0 to $250K, depending on the size of your target market, whether you rent space, tutor in homes and public places or online, the number and type of tutors you plan to hire and how you plan to pay them and how much you put into marketing to spur your initial business growth.

How much do tutors make?

$20K to 85K per year

How much do tutors charge?

$15-$200 per hour with minimum hour commitments paid up front. Start slightly above the average for your area to be both competitive and profitable.

How do tutors find customers?

Pass out business cards to family and friends and ask them for word of mouth and referrrals, parent groups; leave brochures and fliers at public and private schools, colleges, daycare centers, afterschool programs, libraries, coffee shops, churches, pediatrician’s offices and anywhere else you can find that local parents congregate. Advertise in the local newspaper, online bulletin boards and websites for organizations that serve families, parents and children. Introduce yourself to school and tutoring center, administrators, counselors, teachers, babysitters, speech therapists, youth leaders to make a personal connection and leave information for them to pass onto parents who may be interested in your services. Register with a tutor referral service and invest in a professional website and social media presence. Be patient as the effect of your networking can take time to pay off, but eventually you will get a lot of good PR by word of mouth from families and students who are satisfied with your services.

What Skills Are Required?

The ability to clearly communicate concepts to students on their level in a variety of ways, the flexibility to figure out which learning methods best match each student’s learning style; assessment of student needs, curriculum planning and design, progress monitoring and learning assessments; the ability to relate well with students of your target population; scheduling, public relations and marketing, business operations, including HR, payroll, taxes and accounting.

What do I need to operate a tutoring business?

Basic office supplies, bookkeeping materials, one or more qualified tutors, curriculum, learning materials (books, games, etc.), meeting space, students in need of extra help, reliable transportation, a business license.

Tutoring Business Ideas

Will you offer online tutorials?

Home-based Teaching

Struggling with what to name your tutoring business, here are a few ideas:

Club XL! Tutoring Steps to Success
Learning Connections Alpha Learning Group
Rx for Learning Cutting Edge Tutoring Service
Garnet Test Prep Heads Up Study Group
The Study Shack Knowledge Coach
Educational Connections Academic Adventure
Exceleration Learning Center Breakthrough Mentors
On Target Tutoring Compass Points Learning Academy

 Youtube Videos

Related Content

How to Start a Home-Based Tutoring Business by Beth Lewis

Starting Your Own Tutoring and Test Prep Business (Entrepreneur Press)

How to Start and Run a Home Tutoring Business by Gillian Stellman

How to Start a Business as a Private Tutor by Graham Woodward and Margaret Greenhall

The Tutor House

Start a Tutoring Business with Wealthy Tutor

Tutoring Business and Franchise Opportunities

Tutor House Business Tips

What a Start-Up Tutoring Business Taught Me About Email Marketing

Is Your Tutoring Business in the Right Places Online?

TutorCruncher Blog

Udemy: Start a Profitable Tutoring Business – Steps to Success!


Entrepreneur: Tutor Your Way to Profits How to Start a Tutoring Business

The Penny Hoarder: How to Start a Tutoring Business THIS Weekend (& How to Find Paying Clients)

The Tutoring Business: Starting a Tutoring Business: Seven Important Lessons

Tutor Panel: Starting a Tutoring Business: Steps to Success

Tutoring Expert: Starting a Tutoring Business

Forbes: Global Private Tutoring Market Will Surpass $102.8 Billion by 2018

The Wealthy Tutor Blog: How much does it cost to start a tutoring business?

Payscale: Tutor Salary

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