How to Set up a Home Tutoring Business
Setting up a home tutoring business is a great way to earn some supplemental income or
even make a career change if you're successful enough. By finding your strengths as a potential
tutor, determining the right fees, and marketing your new service, you can go into business
for yourself as a tutor.
Planning Your Tutoring Business
Play to Your Strengths
Tutors can provide assistance in nearly every subject that students take from elementary
school all the way through college. Break down the grade levels and subjects with which you
are comfortable enough to tutor students.
Don't forget to include those at a lower level. For example, if you're comfortable tutoring
in math all the way through calculus, then you shouldn't forget to include algebra and geometry students.
If you're not a retired teacher, substitute, or otherwise familiar with curriculums in your
area, then check with your state's department of education to see what you must be proficient
in to tutor certain grade levels.
Common Core standards have also been adopted by a number of U.S. states, so you can look into
your state's adoption of these standards for curriculum information as well.
Check Out the Competition
Call other reputable tutoring services in your area to learn their services and rates.
Find out if those rates are based on tutors who are certified or not. This research will help
when you eventually decide on pricing, and it will also give you the chance to see the areas
in which your competition specializes. Use this information to help set your service apart.
Consider Getting Certified
Most states do not require any specialized training for someone to work as a tutor. However,
parents are essentially entrusting the academic development of their children to you (not to
mention paying for the service), so tutoring certifications can help separate you from the
crowded tutor pack - not to mention translate into higher hourly fees.
The National Tutoring Association (NTA) and American Tutoring Association (ATA) are two
organizations that offer certifications to help distinguish your tutoring business. You can
expect to spend between $200 and $500 for the certification depending on the subjects and
course levels at which you seek certification.
Pick a Name
Once you know your areas of specialization, you can start building a brand for your business.
Choose a name that sets your service apart, and Google it to ensure that it's not already taken.
You'll also need to choose a name for the business before you can file for the business
license in your state.
Remember That it's Not Just Tutoring
While you'll spend the bulk of your time as a tutor assisting students, you must remember
that you are still starting a small business. You'll have to file for the appropriate small
business license in your state, perform bookkeeping duties, pay taxes, market your services, etc.
If you're unfamiliar with setting up a business, then you may want to see a tax specialist
concerning the best way for you to file. However, you will most likely want to file your
business as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). This will protect you as the owner from
the debts of the business if it fails or any judgments against it.
You may also want to spend some time talking to a small business attorney who can point you
in the right direction regarding state and local ordinances pertaining to liability, such as
how to protect yourself in the event of a student injuring himself or herself while in your home.