In uncertain economic times, many individuals have attempted to start home businesses for supplementary income. Home tutoring is one of the oldest home businesses, which has become prevalent in recent years due to increasing demands in the American educational system combined with the problems of overcrowded public school classrooms and dated teaching materials. Provided that you have a credible background or a degree in the field you wish to teach, it's easy to reach out to prospective students to start your own tutoring business. Before you get started though, make sure that you have the adequate patience to deal with troublesome students and the etiquette to handle demanding parents. Make sure that you are skilled in student-centered activities and have the ability to properly draft a multi-hour lesson plan from start to finish. If you're unable to do any of these, you might have to cut your teeth for a bit longer before venturing out to become a tutor.
First, you have to decide the age group and subjects that you wish to teach. These can range from elementary school to college students, depending on your abilities. While there are no required credentials to tutor, you won't get many offers if you lack a college degree or relevant job experience. Foreign languages, such as Spanish or Chinese, are popular choices, and specialized subjects such as music or advanced science or mathematics are also in high demand. Prior teaching experience in the subject, along with references and recommendations from former students or employers, will also help your chances of landing more students. If your current job is a teaching one, then your current students may even ask you for extra help outside the classroom. However, beware that providing your own students with extra tutoring assistance may construe a conflict of interest and violate your school's policies.
Second, you have to decide where you'll hold your classes. If your home has a good set up with a private study, then you can request that your students come directly to you. However, parents of younger students will likely prefer for you to make house calls, since it is more convenient for them and offers them peace of mind when they can observe your tutoring sessions. You can also consider teaching via Skype at a cheaper price for the sake of convenience. Next, you have to set the price for your sessions. Most tutors set the prices by hour. Remember to stay consistent in your pricing, as word of mouth between parents can travel fast if you charge different rates to different students.
Now that you're set up, you have to get the word out about your business. Many tutors print out business cards with their contact information and their experience, and hand them out at social gatherings. Church and school social events are a great place to get the word out about your business. Set up a website or Facebook page and post to discussion forums to advertise your business. However, refrain from using any paid advertising since your income will likely be limited at first, and hardly be enough to outweigh those costs.
Lastly, once students start signing up, stay organized! Use your smartphone to stay synced to your online calendar to insure that you don't miss any classes. Always discuss the status of the student with the parents (if applicable) after every class to address their individual needs. Keep careful notes regarding the students' progress and share it with their parents. This meticulous care will pay off eventually as your current customers spread the word to their friends, who will soon be contacting you for additional tutoring jobs!