A+ Resources For Tutors
In the following series, Philip White, a Maths tutor for over 15 years, offers tips on how to start and run a successful private tutoring practice.
1  Private Tuition
1. PRIVATE TUITION
There are few ways of earning a living which offer as much satisfaction as private tuition.
I have been well paid for my tutoring services, but I have also derived particular pleasure from receiving "thank you" letters from past pupils who have achieved success as a result of my tuition.
I began by offering a few hours of maths tuition a week, the subject I had enjoyed most at school. I had no formal teaching experience. Whatever your skill or discipline, however, I am sure you will find many opportunities to teach what you enjoy if you have the right attitude, and sufficient knowledge. Besides, good tutors in any subject seem to be few and far between.
Furthermore, if you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching, you will find that your private tutoring becomes more of a hobby, and less of a job. You may even decide to give up your job, and tutor on a full-time basis, as I did.
This is not to say that tutoring is easy. If you are tutoring properly, you will probably never work as hard. "Profitable Tutoring" is a step-by-step guide to starting your own successful private tuition business. It really does tell you everything you need to know, in particular how you should market and promote your services.
I have not withheld any of my knowledge or experience from this publication. "Profitable Tutoring" is not a theoretical guess at how a private tuition business should operate, but a comprehensive guide written from the perspective of my own experience.
Even if you have been tutoring for some time, I am sure you will find much to interest you. Moreover, if you adapt some of my ideas to your business, I am confident your tuition will become more profitable, and more efficient.
Finally, I have avoided padding-out "Profitable Tutoring" with lots of general advice on starting a business. There are thousands of books on the subject. Suffice to say, make sure you take professional advice on the nuts and bolts of being in business. I hope this publication has given you the tools to start, or continue, your own profitable tutoring business.
1.2 Opportunities in the U.K.
Private tuition is currently very fashionable in the U.K.
A number of surveys have revealed that a majority of parents in Britain would like to send their children to a private school. In other words, parents do not mind paying directly for the education of their children. During the past twenty years or so, a perceived fall in the standard of education in state schools has coincided with a rise in the disposable incomes of middle-class parents.
Many parents, worried by allegations of falling standards, appear to have made the decision that if they cannot afford to send their pupils to a private school, they will pay for private tuition instead. This partly explains why there has been an increase in the number of tuition agencies, especially in the south of England.
There is a large market in the U.K. for private tuition, both from school children and adults. It is up to you to take advantage of it.
1.3 Researching The Market
Many people going into business think that market research is something that is done before starting a business, and then forgotten about. Wrong. Market research should be an on-going process. You never stop learning.
I would even go as far as to say that market research becomes even more valuable once you are in business, since you are in a better position to find out what your customers actually want. All you have to do is ask.
Keep your eyes and ears open, at all times. Do not become complacent, no matter how successful you become.
1.4 Market Research Checklist:
Start by finding out who is offering tuition in your subject, in your area.
Regularly monitor the tuition column in the local newspapers, including the free ones. Cut out and file any adverts which are interesting, or which relate to your particular subject.
Find out what local tutors charge. Ring up and ask.
How do they present themselves? Do they convey a professional image? Do they have any information regarding their service to send to you? Do they offer any extra services? I believe that the route to success in business is to "do it better, do it differently." Make this your motto.
Finally, keep your eye on local sources of free advertising, such as the local library and shopping centres.