Tutoring is a rapidly growing business as more and more parents are looking for their child to receive additional help outside the classroom so that they can improve their grades, pass exams, and have help with homework which has been set by the school or to offer additional support to the child if they have additional educational needs.
At present 1 in 4 children in the UK have private tuition and this number is set to grow!
At the moment in the UK there are no specific legal requirements required in order to become a tutor, so providing you have a good subject knowledge and the ability to share this knowledge with a less knowledgeable other you have all the requirements needed! (Please note I personally feel there is a huge difference between someone who is a tutor and someone who is a great tutor).
If you are working with children or vulnerable adults a DBS check (formally known as a CRB check) would be expected. Unfortunately these can’t be obtained by individuals, they have to be applied for through an official body; agency, charity or company.
Keep in mind if you are not tutoring as an employee of a company (you are going it alone) you will be regarded as self- employed and will need to notify the HMRC that you have started a business within 3 months of doing so. It is very simple and if you keep an organised record of your income and expenditure submitting your accounts at the end of the year is also a very simple task. (The key is to stay organised and to keep on top of things).
Although public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement it is a good idea to have it to protect you against any damage or injury. Some tutors also take out a legal cover to protect themselves in case they should ever have a claim made against them concerning their actual work as a tutor.
Once you considered the legal aspects of how you become a tutor you then need to consider the practical implications.
What hours will I be able to work?
This is an important point as you will be predominately be required to when children are home from school so you will inevitably end up working predominately at weekends and in the evening. How will this fit in with your own family?
What should I charge?
This is a hard question to answer as there are so many variations to take into account;
Your geographical location, your experience, your personal circumstances, your qualifications, will you have travel expenses? What form will your lessons take – will your prepare resources that need printing off or will your preparation be kept to a minimum? How long will it take you to prepare for each lesson, will there be any marking after the lesson?
Do I work from home or do I travel to the tutee? Maybe I should offer online lessons?
Not only will this affect what you charge it will also affect the number of children you will be able to tutor as you will obviously need to allow for your travel time. Some families may find it advantageous if they don’t need to travel to you especially if they have additional siblings which they need to look after. However, for other families, having the lessons in their own house maybe impractical if there isn’t a quiet place for you to work.
Should I create my own website or should I put my profile on an established website?
You will probably find there are advantages to doing both of these. The larger tutoring agencies will have a far greater marketing budget which will allow them to market to a far larger audience. People often trust tutors coming from an establish company like this. However, another point to take into account is that the tutee often has to pay a significant fee to gain the tutors information. If they can get hold of you directly via your own website and not pay this fee, most people will obviously find this preferable.
How do I market my new tutoring business?
There are so many places that you can market your business, just be careful that the money you spend on this is actually going to give you a return on your investment. THINK about where the people who will need a tutor are likely to be and focus on these places. I have found Google Adwords, Bing and more recently Facebook have been my main successes apart from word of mouth which is both free and when people hear of you like this you have probably come with a positive recommendation from a person that they trust. This is invaluable.
I feel I have only touched the tip of a very large iceberg here.
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