How to Start a Tutoring Business

You do not need to invest any money initially to get started tutoring unless you want to. Here is how I got started making some extra cash from my tutoring services by starting a tutoring business and you can do it too!

Step 1: Pick a Subject to Specialize in.

Your college major or a specific school subject that you enjoyed are teh obvious choices. The most important thing is to stick to one subject to avoid the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ appearance. If you try to target all students by listing as many subjects as possible, you will lose potential clients to other tutors who specialize. When you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one! If I was looking for a tutor for calculus, I would pick the person who specifically provides calculus tutoring over the other tutor who offers lessons for everything from Ancient Civilizations to Zoology. By specializing in one subject and advertising just that subject in your ads, you will appear to be an expert.

Step 2: Advertise Your Tutoring Services!

Craigslist is a great place to start. I still advertise there and it is also where I get the majority of my clients. You must invest the time and effort in writing a good craigslist ad if you want to be successful at getting clients there. Another good resource is SGLessons which is an online tutor directory. When people Google ‘tutors in [area],’ this site will most likely appear on the top of the search results so make sure you have a profile made so clients can find you! Flyers are also an option and you might be able to print some for free at work or a college campus computer lab! Good locations to post your fliers are at grocery stores and libraries.

Step 3: Base Your Hourly Rate on Your Tutoring Experience

To determine a decent starting price, check out what other tutors are charging in your area on UniversityTutor and Craigslist and set an hourly rate on the lower end of the spectrum. Raise your rates as your experience grows as well as when you start to get more clients than you can handle. If the demand for your services raises, so should your hourly rate.

Another good time to raise your rates is when your tutoring portfolio really starts to fill up. When your clients see how many people you have helped by tutoring they will realize how valuable you are and be willing to pay more because they wil be confident that you are worth it, and you are!

Step 4: Provide Easy Options for Clients to Contact You

My cell phone number (with the note “Call or text anytime!”), email address, Facebook profile, Twitter Account, and LinkedIn profile are all made available to the public in my advertisements and on my websites. I recommend that you do the same because your clients will have different modes of communication that they prefer and you want to eliminate any barriers that may prevent prospects for contacting you. For those of you who are afraid of spam, over the past year I’ve only had 5 texts that were spam and 2 spam emails made it through my Gmail filter.

Step 5: Specify Where You Can Tutor

Public libraries are great locations to meet for tutoring sessions. Coffee shops or other similar venues can also work if your student is not distracted by the noise or the people. Be sure to specify whether or not you are comfortable tutoring at the student’s home. If you have to commute to your tutoring client and the drive is over 20 minutes you then may want to consider charging for gas.

Step 6: Be Prepared for Anything!

You will sometimes encounter students that are completely unprepared so always have paper, writing utensils, and your schedule with you. Bring any textbooks you may have to refer to diagrams or the glossary. Also consider checking out books from the library that may be useful. Both parents and students will appreciate your preparation, especially if it enhances the session. Your schedule is important to bring because you will need it to schedule future tutoring sessions!