Running a tutoring agency is not always smooth and, as like every other business, it might face difficulties. Here is a list of the most common challenges you will find during your journey and some helpful tips to overcoming them and growing a successful tuition business.
Have Difficulties in Finding your Market Niche
At this stage, time management and a good business plan are crucial. If after conducting a research and analysis you still cannot find a gap, look at your competitors and see what they are offering. Can you spot anything missing? Do you think you could offer something different and more innovative? If you believe there is in fact a demand and that you can meet their needs you are on your way to consolidating your market position.
Coming Up with a Unique Brand
Branding is key to any small business since it will hasten visibility and loyalty. You can look for some inspiration by examining your competitors’ strategies - they are the “market-movers”. Which names and logos stand out in your memory? Try entering the market by copying the best aspects of their strategies while adding your own distinguishing elements.
Growing your Business
After a period of settlement and success you might feel like you need to do something to keep up with demand, there are a number of ways of growing organically, that require either moving into a new area geographically, or into a new position in the market such as online tuition.
There are different ways of expanding such as:
- Opening a new agency in another location.
- Becoming a franchise.
- Form an alliance.
- Expand subject and level capabilities.
- Target other markets.
Clients Complaint about Tutors
Discuss the matter straightaway and directly with them. One of the most crucial attributes of a good agency is openness with clients. Address the problem in a way both parties feel they are been treated equally and with respect. Remember, don’t try to avoid dealing with these issues, communication is key!
How to Prepare for Busy Periods
Demand for private tuition might be seasonal which means there might be busy periods from time to time. Busy periods can be stressful for the business as well as for the parents who feel the pressure behind their children’s success and might push the agency.
In order to overcome these difficult times, we suggest you to:
- Plan ahead. Look back over previous years and find out when these busy periods are likely to occur.
- Increase staff. Hire extra tutors and, if possible, look to get more hours from existing ones.
- Offer Group Tuition. In order to reduce the number of students who are placed on your waiting list.
- Summer Schools. Entrance exams commonly take place on early September, which means you should consider offering your services even in summer.
Setting your Prices
Deciding how much to charge is crucial as it will place you on a specific market position. This decision will be linked to your target audience as these prices will lure some kind of people and repel others. Some ways to discern what to do would include looking at how much other agencies charge; conducting a market research; figuring out the price by considering your costs, etc.
Article kindly submitted by TutorCruncher
As a supply teacher, the unpredictability of employment often leads teachers into other areas of education. One of the most reliable sources of income for supply teachers is private tuition.
As a qualified teacher, becoming a private tutor is relatively easy. It’s recommended that tutors are qualified to at least degree level and hold a DBS certificate to ensure students and parents make safe hiring decisions. Most supply teachers will already have these practicalities covered.
Most private tutors in the UK are self employed and either find work on their own or through private tuition agencies. In any case, all tutors need to be registered with HMRC within three months of going into business. Even if registered with an agency, it’s usually up to the tutor to arrange their own tax payments.
Here are some practical aspects to consider when setting up as a tutor:
- Will you travel to students or will they come to you?
- If you choose to tutor in your own home, will you apply for professional indemnity insurance?
- If you decide to travel to students, have you considered fuel expenses in your hourly rate?
- Most lessons take place after school - are you willing to give up your evenings and weekends?
As with any new business, one of the most difficult aspects of setting up as a tutor is marketing. Finding your first student can be challenging but once word gets out in your local area, you’ll soon pick up more students through word of mouth. One of the most effective ways of marketing your services is online. These days, Google is the first place people go when looking for local information so if you’re internet savvy, setting up your own website can be a great way to ensure consistent business.
Similarly, there are several private tuition directories that you can register with such as The Tutor Website, which advertises your services directly to students and parents in your local area without paying agency fees.
How Much Can You Earn?
How much you earn as a tutor can be dependant on where you live and what you teach. Tutors generally charge between £20 and £50 per hour, dependant on experience. Those living in London tend to charge more than those who live elsewhere in the UK. Many tutors offer their services full time and report earnings in excess of £36,000 a year – the equivalent of a teacher on an M6 pay scale. Tutors who teach core subjects can find themselves booked months in advance for lessons. English, Maths and Science tutors are most in demand by students.
For more information on working as a private tutor in the UK, have a look at The Tutor Website.
Featured article kindly submitted by Jamie Thomson of The Tutor Website
Second in a series of articles looking at additional earning potential for supply teachers