What Teachers Should Know About Starting a Private Tutoring Business

Mar 16, 2018 by

With all the talk we’re constantly hearing about side hustles, more teachers and educators might be interested in jumping onboard the opportunity to earn money outside of their day job.

Of course, one of the natural options for a lot of people already in education is starting a private tutoring business. There’s more to it than simply working with students, however. For example, will you form an LLC? How will you find new clients? Will you tutor in your home?

If this is something you’re thinking about, the following are some strategic and business considerations to keep in mind.

Decide on a Niche

Tutoring is a huge, diverse and very broad industry. It’s a lucrative industry as well, but as an educator, you likely understand that you can’t specialize in all things.

Before you can start strategically planning other elements of your business, think about the niche you’re best suited for.

Maybe it’s a certain subject, a specific age group, or maybe it’s something like SAT or ACT tutoring. If you can get even more specific, that’s helpful. For example, maybe your expertise is in working with students who have a learning disability.

Even though it may seem like you’re limiting yourself, what you’re actually doing is making it easier for yourself to target clients.

Research and Planning

Once you have a niche, you should do some research in your local market. You’ll have to see if there’s a demand for what you’re going to be offering, and what upfront costs you may have to put into your business.

You’re also going to have to decide on a pricing structure that’s in-line with your local area, but also that’s going to allow you to be profitable.

Think about your location as well. Tutoring in your home or someone else’s home is obviously less expensive, but some people might be wary when it comes to safety concerns, so you could potentially boost your client base by having a physical location.

Take the time to research your competitors to see what they’re doing and also what they’re not doing that you could use to set yourself apart.

Legal and Financial Issues

Once you have the general details hammered out, you’ll have to think about the technicalities. For example, which business structure is right for you? The best option for most tutors is typically a Limited Liability Corporation or an LLC. This protects your family and your personal assets, and it’s also a simple structure that’s fairly straightforward to set up.

You may also have to work with someone locally who can help you learn about liability issues and local laws and regulations that could impact you.


Finally, once you have all the details in place, you can start a marketing plan for your tutoring business. If you’re currently employed as a teacher, your current network of other teachers, students and parents is a great place to start your marketing plan.

Once you have a few clients, much of your marketing will happen through word-of-mouth, but you should also think about creating a social media presence for yourself.

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