Tutoring refers to additional teaching sessions given to students outside the usual school sessions. This is one way in which money can be easily made. In fact, most local teachers are resorting to tutoring so as to earn more since their salaries are now meagre. Tutoring is a service that cuts right across the whole breadth of the academic spectrum; from kindergarten right up to tertiary. I just highlighted that most local teachers are now conducting tutoring. That doesn’t mean that only teachers can become tutors, star students too can and should become tutors. What’s of importance is that you are intimately knowledgeable and abreast with the respective field or subject you intend to tutor in. Let’s discuss how you can start your own tutoring business.
The location can be your home, a school, a library, a client’s house or even online. Obviously, your choice will be guided by what you are capable of. The most commonly used locations are a tutor’s home or a client’s home. You can stick to one or you can have different timetables to cater to different clients using different venues. You can also package your service differently in order to cater to various needs. For instance, some clients may need exam preparatory classes, some may need remedial classes – you get the picture right? Before you settle for a field or subjects to major in do some thorough research. Information on which fields or subjects are on-demand can be obtained from local academic institutions in your vicinity. The general rule of thumb is to pick fields or subjects that align with your qualifications or areas of expertise.
In addition to this technology has brought a whole new spectrum to consider. The ability to send multimedia communication including video over devices such as mobile phones means you can do a lot more. Consider the use of a simple WhatsApp group which you can charge a subscription fee for. In that group, you can post video or audio lessons or demonstrations of approaches to questions. Students can communicate with questions and concerns and you can host a virtual classroom all on WhatsApp. This brings a level of scalability to the business.
Other than the location issues which you’ll have to decide on, the other issue is on syllabi (or curriculums). Depending on the subject or fields you’ll be tutoring you’ll need to have up-to-date syllabi and study material. You’ll also need teaching material such as writing boards or computer-based presentation material and the like. Branding your business can be good and makes you look professional. I’m talking about things like business cards or fliers. The business thrives from referrals and testimonials so provide exceptional services and clients will market you without even asking. Also, take advantage of the internet and social media for brand awareness.
Not much needed here, you can do this business alone. In the event that some of your clients require tutoring in fields, you aren’t skilled in you could refer – and can even make money from this by charging referral fees on the tutors in question. Basically, by operating solo, you eliminate many possible costs and ultimately maximise on your returns. There can be cases where the workload becomes too overwhelming; you can consider other options such as having another tutor under you.
There isn’t much money required to start off in this business. In fact, most of the items needed such as stationery you could stipulate that clients bring theirs. Other capital requirements can be eliminated if you choose the home-based approach or on-call approach.
The market is quite huge and everyone can get a piece of it. You have a wide array of choices to niche from such as primary school, high school, colleges, universities and so on. Even in those categories, you can niche by age, subject, and location amongst many others. So the market is infinite; it just depends on your approach and how you choose to niche. You’ll also need to study any competition you might be having in your areas of operation.
Depending on the scale you’re operating there might be instances where you really don’t have to register the business. However, it’s always advisable to register a business. It’s also important to have formal certification for fields you’ll be tutoring in. Normally you don’t need certification to be a tutor but you must be certified for the fields you’re tutoring in. In principle, it wouldn’t be proper to tutor say Computer Science yet you have never studied it and received certification. I’m simply emphasising the importance of tutoring in a field or subject that you once studied, was examined and certified by a reputable exam board. This aspect of qualification not only feeds into the regulation issues but it’s also central in luring clients. Clients tend to prefer tutors with academic qualifications rather than otherwise.
This is a business initiative that many Zimbabweans can actually do. Zimbabwe is well known for having educated individuals. Most of the locals complaining about lack of employment can actually turn to pursue this line of business. More and more schools are being opened and student enrolments are on the rise. This means the likelihood of having many people requiring tutoring services is also on the rise.