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Starting Your Home Based Tutoring Business

So, like many teachers you were laid off and the idea of starting your own tutoring business seems like more of a good idea than ever. How do you make it happen?

Word of mouth is free and also your primary marketing tool. If you've been working in the school system you no doubt have come into contact with parents. Let them know you're available to tutor their children. Make your business cards up on your PC and when you meet parents at the grocery store or post office, hand them a card.

Who better to tutor them than a professional familiar with the standardized tests their children will have to take? You're going to find out quickly that much of your business will come from word of mouth. Once a parents sees improvement in their child's grades, it won't be long before other parents start calling.

Don't go spending money on advertising right away. There are too many free places to get the word out. Make up some flyers with tear offs of your name and phone number. Place them (with permission) at local business, libraries, and grocery stores. These places usually have a spot reserved for local entrepreneurs like yourself to leave business cards and flyers. If there's a college or university nearby, ask if you can place flyers on a bulletin board in the student center or library.

Other places you can market your tutoring business:

private schools
after school programs
day cares
Boys and Girls Club

If you're determined to spend money, check out your bookstore's selection of free local magazines. Focus on the parenting publications. These magazines usually have affordable rates for small ads. Better yet, offer to write an article about what to look for in a tutor and put your business information in the byline.

But you still need that first student. Let's say you want to tutor junior high school math. Contact middle school math teachers, counselors, and principles and tell them about your tutoring business.

If you have children and already have a relationship with school staff, let them know about your tutoring business. This is always better because you have a relationship with the staff already and because they trust you they will be likely to send students to you.

If you attend a place of worship, try to get your information placed in the bulletin. Spread the word of your new tutoring business among all your friends, neighbors, and family members. Remember, relationships are key. They are more apt to recommend you to someone because they like and trust you.

Another good idea is to create an online site. It doesn't have to be complicated. Just make it a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a short bio, and a way to contact you. This allows people to check out your business whenever it's convenient for them.

Once business picks up, ask for testimonials to place on your website. Testimonials are a great marketing tool. If someone is saying good things about your business, your potential customers should hear about it.

Believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to talk about your certifications and experience. Include this information on your website, flyers, and any correspondence you send to school counselors, teachers, and principles. Your qualifications help your credibility.

Want to be successful at school? Visit Success At School for all things related to education - from the teacher's point of view as well as the student's.

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