If you are a retired teacher, college student looking for work, or anyone else looking to work on your own, tutoring can be a rewarding option. Private tutors work in many different disciplines. All you need is an exceptional knowledge of areas people need help in, an ability to teach, equipment or materials necessary for the subject, and a great attitude.
Considerations for Becoming a Tutor
If you are thinking about tutoring, first consider if it is the right choice for you. You should be confident that you will be able to connect and communicate with your prospective students to help them learn. You should have a natural desire to help people, and be patient enough to teach them.
You should be very knowledgeable in the area you wish to tutor in. It is possible to tutor in multiple disciplines, depending on your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Pick subjects and grade levels you are comfortable with.
The location at which you tutor will be key for attracting clients. Parents will want to ensure that their children are safe and in an environment conducive to learning.
You may want to consider having references handy, and possibly have a current background check printed out for viewing. Parents will be more apt to hire you if you can show you are trustworthy with their children.
You might think about forming a limited liability company (LLC) before beginning work. An LLC is a company form that gives you different tax choices and protects your personal assets by allowing you to separate them from your business assets.
Decide how you want to market yourself. There are numerous platforms available across the internet that you can advertise on. Consider talking to the local school district and see if they have a list of vetted tutors. If so, see if you can get your name and qualifications put on it.
Use your existing connections to help you market. Send emails to your old teachers, church members, and friends and let them know what you are starting. When a community knows you, they are more apt to recommend you to others.
Be prepared to sell yourself to parents seeking a tutor. Look over the competition and work to display more qualifications to make yourself more desirable. The background check, college education and performance, and success rates of those you have tutored could be some factors that make you more appealing as a tutor. If you have any other qualifications that might appeal to a parent, list those as well.
Plan for school breaks. Many families like to take vacations during breaks, so these might not be times when you can rely on income. You could use this time to catch up on business tasks, get some certifications, or begin your planning for the next year.
Advantages of a Private Tutoring Business
While many private tutors are successful on a part-time basis, supplementing their regular income, private tutoring can also make a great small business. Full-time tutoring can be rewarding because:
- You can build upon relationships you already have in your community.
- There are always students who need assistance.
- Start-up costs are minimal.
- You can teach anything as a tutor—math, music, or the ACT and SAT.
Disadvantages of a Private Tutoring Business
There are always some disadvantages to starting your own business. Potential challenges of starting a private tutoring business can include:
- Finding a location to tutor in might be challenging. You may need to travel to your clients' residences, as your home may not be the best location.
- It can be a challenge to line up enough business to carry you through school breaks.
- You need to be exceptionally patient and work well with children.
- You need well-rounded knowledge and experience.
- You may be competing with the school's own tutoring program or recommendations.
- The hours you work will be when your clients are available, such as evenings and weekends.
As long as you're able to deal with the different schedule you'll keep as a tutor, you'll find it very rewarding. Seeing the look of finally understanding something on a student's face is priceless. A student that is having trouble understanding something will always remember the adults that helped them through it.