Starting a business does not always involve an innovative product or service idea. In fact, you can literally make an excellent living by simply using what you already have – your mind!
Tutoring businesses are booming as the college admission process grows more competitive and a 4.0 GPA is no longer a worthwhile academic feat. As long as you have a college degree, good communication skills, and a passion for helping others, you can help students of all ages achieve their full academic potential. Or, if you have musical experience playing an instrument, you can become a private music instructor. Both academic tutors and music instructors are in high demand by parents around the country.
While you embark upon the road of tutoring for profit, leverage the following strategies and tips to build your business. Although the industry can be competitive, properly positioning yourself can ensure that you start a highly lucrative part-time business that could easily become a full-time endeavor.
Skills Required: Good communication and specialized knowledge
The more academic prowess or musical talent you have, the better poised you shall be in creating a successful part-time tutoring business. However, remember that those who cannot do teach. Did you get your bachelors degree in English literature but work as the manager of a department store? You are still qualified to help struggling middle-school students improve their writing. Do you love to play the guitar but can’t get up the courage to start a band? Giving private guitar lessons is a great way to put your talent to good use.
Startup Expenses: $20 – $200, depending upon whether you purchase textbooks
There are marginal startup expenses associated with beginning a small tutoring business. You will most likely start as an individual part time tutor, meaning you travel to the student’s home or meet students in a public space, such as a library. Thus, paying overhead for rent or utilities is not an issue. In terms of advertising, you can promote yourself through free online classified ads or by leaving flyers in youth-oriented locations, such as the YMCA or community center.
For scholastic part time tutors, it is a good idea to invest in some basic school supplies and textbooks to bring with you to sessions. However, if you are helping students who are struggling with a particular class, you may not even need to buy textbooks, as you will simply use the ones from their coursework. For musical tutors, be sure that you have your own instrument (students will usually provide their own) and some pre-prepared lesson plans and sheet music.
Monthly Revenues: $500 – $100 per month
Most part time tutors succeed financially by charging by the hour. Anywhere from $10 – $50 is normal, and the price should be determined by your level of expertise.
Monthly Expenses: Minimal
Expenses vary based on what you are teaching, but they are typically very minimal. However, anything you purchase for the student (textbooks, practice lessons, etc.) should not come out of your own pocket. Thus, monthly income is usually aligned with overall monthly profits.
Time to Break Even: One week, or less than five tutoring sessions
The average musical or academic tutor should break even within the first few tutoring sessions. With the minimal start up expenses, you can even break even within the very first tutoring session.
To be a successful part time tutor, it is important to differentiate yourself from the crowd. In your advertising efforts, either in your flyers or online ads, make sure you “brand” yourself and what makes your tutoring business special. If you have a degree from Harvard, by all means, make your credentials known. If you are a composition tutor and have published books in the past, then include that information in your advertising efforts.
Now put on your thinking cap – and you are ready to start your own part-time tutoring business!