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8 Min. Read

How to Start a Tutoring Business

how to start tutoring business

Studying for a big test or striving to get straight As in school isn’t always easy. When the studying struggle is real, many students turn to tutoring to help them master their classwork and land that perfect score.

For those looking to make a side income—or even start a full-time business—tutoring presents an opportunity to make money while helping others succeed. Whether online, on-site or from home, tutoring can be done from anywhere and has near limitless earning potential.

Do you have a knack for test-taking and the drive to ensure students succeed? If so, starting a tutoring business might put you on the fast-track to earning a remote income.

Why Get Started With a Tutoring Business? 

Private tutoring can make a great business for a variety of reasons. Beyond the ability to make money as a tutor, your tutoring service can open the door to a wide range of business opportunities.

Some of the key advantages of starting a tutoring company include:

  • Building relationships with students and families in your community
  • Endless opportunities to find jobs both in-person and online
  • Minimal startup costs
  • Can be done from anywhere with an internet connection
  • The opportunity to teach a wide variety of topics
  • Freedom to travel while working online
  • You can set your own schedule
  • Flexibility to set your own rates and scale up your income

Of course, every person has their own reasons for wanting to start a small business. If tutoring piques your interest, we encourage you to follow your passion and start a tutoring service of your own.

Types of Tutoring Businesses

When most people think of tutors, they think of people helping students study for math tests, English tests and the like. In reality, there are many types of tutoring services and it’s worth reviewing them to decide on the right focus for your small business.

The most common types of tutor include:

  • Subject tutors: Tutors who help students review and understand a variety of subjects like math, English, science, social studies, etc. 
  • Homework help tutors: These tutors help students complete their homework, often helping them solve complex problems and finish projects
  • Test prep tutors: Assist students in studying for tests, quarterly exams, SAT, ACT, AP tests, etc. 
  • Language and ESL tutors: Help non-native language speakers learn and practice a new language; English as a second language (ESL) tutors help students learn English
  • Admissions and application tutors: These tutors help aspiring students apply for higher education, often helping them organize their extracurriculars, write essays and more
  • Learning disability tutors: Assist those with learning disabilities so they can excel in school and in life; they might be highly specialized with additional experience in psychology
  • Pre-K tutors: Tutors who help young children perform well in school, complete projects and excel socially
  • Group tutors: Group tutors may tutor on a variety of subjects, but in a group setting rather than one-on-one
  • College/university tutors: Help students who need assistance to understand lectures, complete homework and study for exams

How Much Money Can I Expect to Make as a Tutor?

How much you make as a tutor will depend on the type of tutoring you do and your level of experience when you start. The good news if you want to tutor is that everyone starts somewhere in this business and you can always increase your rates over time.

According to Tutors.com, the average rate for a tutor in the U.S. varies by state but can range anywhere from $25 to $80 per hour. You can charge more if you have standalone specialties or if you offer higher-scale tutoring. 

A few other factors can influence your rate, including subject matter, the length of the session, your expertise and the complexity of the tutoring you are offering. Also, certain markets (like college students) are able to pay more for tutoring sessions than others (like pre-K).

8 Steps to Starting a Profitable Tutoring Business

Plenty of students and test-takers are looking to hire tutors, which means there are ample opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs like you to get started with a profitable tutoring businesses. 

While there is no single path to business success, we’ve included eight basic steps that detail how to begin tutoring and land your first clients. 

1. Decide on Your Niche

Previously we mentioned the various types of tutoring businesses that exist and how they differ from one another. Rather than be a generalist, it’s best that you choose a niche and offer a specific type of tutoring to particular students.

Why choose a tutoring niche for your business? Well, it’s a great way to set yourself apart from other tutors, market yourself as a specialist and charge premium rates.

In defining your niche, make sure to ask yourself:

  • What subjects am I best at?
  • Where can I offer the most value?
  • What types of students do I want to work with?
  • How much money do I need to make?
  • Where will I offer my services?
  • How can I stand out from the competition?

2. Define Your Ideal Client

Do you want to work with elementary school students? High school students? College students? SAT test-takers? Other kinds of students or someone else? Before you can start marketing your services, you need to get specific about who you aim to help.

Once you have defined the ideal client you want to tutor—who they are, what their goals are and what they need assistance with—you can make sure to start advertising yourself as a tutor who works specifically with these types of clients. 

3. Launch Your Online Profile

You don’t need a fancy website in order to have a tutoring business, but it certainly helps to have some sort of online profile where people can go to learn more about your services.

Platforms like WordPress and Squarespace offer low-cost website templates where you can list your services, showcase your expertise and entice prospective clients to contact you. Or, you can simply use platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn to attract clients online.

4. Set Your Rates

When you are first starting out, you’re likely to charge rates that are at the low end of the average tutoring rate ($25-$80 per hour). If you’re struggling to find clients who can afford this, you may need to charge even lower and then raise your rates as you gain more experience.

How much you charge will depend on the types of clients you work with and the level of service you provide. Over time, you can ask for client reviews to showcase your work. This is a great way to justify charging higher rates.

5. Market Your Services

There are many ways to market a tutoring business, both online and offline. We recommend starting with a variety of marketing methods to determine what works best for your business and then focus on those that yield the most clients. 

Where to Find Tutoring Jobs:

  • Facebook/Facebook Groups
  • Local job boards
  • Online job listings
  • LinkedIn
  • Craigslist
  • College job boards
  • Networking
  • Google (search engine optimization, or SEO)
  • Referrals
  • Flyers
  • In-person events

6. Offer Amazing Tutoring Services

For your business to be successful, you need to offer amazing services to your clients. The happier they are with your services, the more likely they are to keep coming back and to send new business your way.

Focus on helping your clients achieve their goals—whether that means getting better grades, acing a test or getting accepted to their dream programs. This will boost your reputation and increase your chances of attracting new clients in your niche.

7. Hone Your Skills

On a similar note, in order to provide amazing service you need to continue improving your skills. Research tutoring strategies, study the subject matter, learn more about marketing and otherwise hone your skills over time.

Your goal is to make a name for yourself in your niche. You need to continue learning so you can prove that you’re the obvious choice for prospective clients looking to hire a professional tutor. 

8. Ask for Testimonials

Got happy clients? You need to ask for testimonials on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or on your website to showcase your skills to prospective clients.

It’s one thing to talk the talk but another to walk the walk. If you prove yourself to be an amazing tutor, you’ll be well on your way to business success. Then, you can charge higher rates and make a solid living.

Bottom Line

Tutoring can be a solid career choice for those who have expertise to share and the desire to make money on their own schedule. While the journey to success varies for each person, this guide serves as the jumping-off point you need to help you launch your business, fast.

Want to help people and make money at the same time? Kickstart your private tutoring business today.

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