TutorBloom helps both new and established tutors get their tutoring businesses off the ground. Here we'll cover some of the key topics that new tutors will want to consider when starting out.
What are your goals in starting a tutoring business?
Launching any kind of business requires some reflection on your motivations for doing so. Many private tutors are earning some side cash, while others are running a full-time business, or close to it. Some tutors are college students who tutor to invest in further developing their own skills. Some are retirees looking to connect with others and "give back". Some tutor as a form of volunteer work.
Whatever your motivations, it's important to understand them, because they will impact the way you operate. Tutors seeking extra cash might take all the sessions they can get. Tutors working to solidify their knowledge might focus on specific subject areas. Tutors aiming to build meaningful connections might prefer a smaller number of longer-term engagements as opposed to many short engagements.
It's up to you. But give it some thought.
Which subject areas will you tutor, and what are your qualifications?
This one should be pretty straightforward—you generally want to tutor subjects where you have special knowledge or expertise. It's important to be able to demonstrate your qualifications since most learners will be interested in that.
Will you do in-person sessions, online sessions, or both?
Lots of tutoring is still in-person, but online tutoring has been growing in popularity, especially since COVID-19. You'll have to decide which tutoring modalities you will support. Some learners will prefer one or the other.
Here are some factors to consider:
- The needs and preferences of your learners
- Having a convenient, safe place to meet in-person
- Whether you want to drive to the location
- Your geographic reach (online obviously extends it)
We encourage you to consider supporting online tutoring as it will allow you to generate more business.
Will you do 1-1 sessions, small group sessions, or both?
Decide whether you want to support 1-1 sessions, small group sessions, or both. Some learners prefer 1-1 sessions for privacy and dedicated attention. Others prefer small group sessions to make things social and to have a way to split the cost with others.
What is your availability?
Decide how many hours per week you'd like to work, and when you can work them. Will it be a fixed block of time each week, or will there be flexibility depending on the learner's needs?
What is your hourly rate?
Tutors typically charge by the hour, so you will need to decide on an hourly rate. The price is totally up to you. Keep in mind that TutorBloom is a marketplace, so most learners will use the rate as a factor in selecting a tutor. Therefore it makes sense for you to look at what other people are charging to get a sense for the range.
Tutors with stronger qualifications, a background check, and strong ratings and reviews can typically charge higher prices. Newer tutors might find it useful to charge a lower price to attract early customers.
Tutors working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) areas can often command a price premium as well.
If you find that you're getting more business than you can handle, consider raising your rate. On the other hand, if you need more business, reducing your price is one of your options.
In short, feel free to experiment with your rate. You can always change it if you need to. You can even charge different prices for online vs. in-person sessions, should you opt to do so.
How will you take payment?
You will need to decide how you want to take payments, and let your learners know how to pay you before you start doing sessions with them.
TutorBloom does not currently handle payment processing. That is entirely between you and your learners at this point in time.
Which technology platform(s) will you use?
There are a number of technology platforms available for video conferencing. These include, for example:
Most tools offer free versions with limited functionality, such as being able to meet for a certain length of time. For online tutoring you will need at least one of them. You may find it useful to support more since some learners may prefer working with a specific tool.
If you want to offer small group sessions, be sure to choose a tool that supports that at a price you're comfortable with.
Whichever you choose, spend some time getting familiar with the tool before actually using it to run tutoring sessions. That will make for a smoother experience.
Will you get a background check?
Background checks are a good way to reassure potential customers that you are safe. Some customers won't work with you unless you have one.
We strongly encourage you to get a background check.
It is important to purchase your background check through the TutorBloom site so we can verify its authenticity and add it to your profile. Additionally, our tutor search engine gives additional weight to tutors who have a background check.
Will you get private tutor insurance?
Many tutors will find peace of mind in having private tutor insurance. This can help protect you against certain claims, depending on the type of insurance. It's beyond the scope of this blog post to go into details, but if you are interested, do some research on the web about the policies that are available.
Set up a workspace
For online sessions, you will need an effective workspace. This includes:
- A quiet, distraction-free environment
- Appropriate decor
- Good lighting
- A good network connection
Update your TutorBloom profile, share the link and prepare to tutor
Congratulations—you've answered all the hard questions. Now for the easy part: update your TutorBloom profile and share it with the world. Your profile will allow learners to find you when they do a TutorBloom tutor search. You can prepare for that by reading our blog post on responding to a new tutoring request.