Home tutoring can be a fun and engaging way to bring in some additional income. Some people might be intimidated at the idea, especially if you don't have a teacher's license. However, if you have a degree or some other specialized knowledge, tutoring can be a great way to work at home and share what you've learned with others.
Choose a Tutoring Niche
What area are you qualified to tutor someone in? You may have completed college-level calculus, but if you haven't retained it, you wouldn't want to market yourself as a calculus tutor. However, you might be more than ready to tutor algebra or elementary math. You'll also want to decide what age range you want to work with. Are you better at working with teens or with younger children? Do you have the training to tutor special education children? Decide what subject(s) you want to offer your tutoring skills, and decide what age range you want to work with.
Marketing Your Business
An ad placed in your local yellow pages could be an easy way to start marketing your services. If you're not financially ready for that step, it can still be easy to drum up clients. Talk to the principals in your local schools, and let them know about your services. Attend PTA meetings and hand out business cards or flyers. Another niche market to consider is home schoolers. If you tutor public school students exclusively, it can limit the hours that you'll be able to offer home tutoring lessons. If you want to work full-time at home tutoring, pitch your services to local charter schools and home school groups.
Choose Your Office Space
You don't want your office, or tutoring room, to look like a traditional home office. You'll want something comfortable, with a table where you can sit next to your students as you work with them. A professional-looking office might feel more like the principal's office to them. You could even use your kitchen table as the space where you tutor. Whatever location you choose, make sure it's always neat and tidy before your students arrive. Their parents will be dropping them off, and if the tutoring area isn't clean, you could lose business fast.
Decide Your Rates
Most home tutoring businesses charge between $20 to $100 per hour. Rates depend on your level of education and the subject matter that you're teaching. Special education rates tend to be much higher. Other economic factors could weigh in as well, and some families may not be able to afford your rates. You'll want to consider whether you'll give special rates, depending on the family you're dealing with.
Get a Background Check
Most parents will want to be reassured that you're not a convicted criminal before they drop their child off at your house. Find out what background check requirements are in place in your state for teachers, and get one for yourself. This usually involves getting your fingerprints taken, and it can take up to 2 weeks to get the results back. Be prepared to provide the results to the parents of your students when asked.
Home tutoring is not a business that everyone can thrive at. It takes patience and a heart for helping children, but it can be a very rewarding home business. It also helps meet a need in your local community.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.