Running a tuition centre or home tutoring service is one of many options when it comes to setting up a business from home. A centre can be small or large, based at home, or in rented space.
Read on to find out more about how you can set up your very own tuition centre.
Qualifications Needed For Starting a Tuition Centre
Depending on your own educational qualifications, you can teach children of several age groups, and even young adults.
Graduates in the humanities can easily provide tutoring services in subjects such as English and social studies; those from the sciences can tutor in maths and science – both across primary school up till 12th Standard.
Postgraduates can even run classes for college-level students appearing for competitive examinations. However, you don’t need to let your qualifications (or even lack thereof) limit you when it comes to the subjects you tutor in!
What really matters is your subject knowledge and your ability level when it comes to determining what subjects and age groups you’d like to tutor.
Knowing an additional foreign language (such as French, Spanish, German, and even Japanese) adds value to your centre’s services.
If you’re looking to set up a large-scale centre, you can apply the same principles in hiring the staff you’ll require to teach larger batches of students.
Setting Up a Tuition Centre at Home
If you’re looking to a start your tuition centre relatively low-key, your own home is the best place to set it up. Assign a room that’s free from distractions like the TV, sounds of traffic, pets, and other members of your family.
The room needs to be large enough to fit a good-sized table that seats a maximum of eight people. You’ll naturally also need sturdy, but comfortable chairs for your students. Keep a box of pens and other stationery at hand too – you’ll need it!
For large-scale centres, you’ll either need to rent a space, or convert any additional property you have to accommodate larger batches of students. How much of it you’ll require depends on the size of your intended centre.
You also need to factor in enough space to include washroom facilities. Remember to check with local building authorities whether you need special municipal permits to set up your centre – these vary from city to city.
Larger-scale centres, apart from basic furniture and stationery, also require storage spaces, cupboards/lockers, and whiteboards or blackboards for individual classrooms.
Don’t forget you’ll also need staff. How many depends on what you’re going for, and how many batches an individual instructor is trained to handle.
Publicise and Advertise Your Home Tutoring Services
After setting up your business, you need to make yourself known. Approaching friends with children is a good start. You could also post a notice or spread the word in your building, housing society, and the general neighbourhood.
An advertisement in the paper is another option, albeit a slightly pricey one depending on the city you live in and the publication.
Get in touch with other tuition teachers in your area; you might think they wouldn’t want to help out their potential competition, but you’ll actually often find they have far too many students to handle on their own.
Go digital, too! Social networking sites are a great way to market your business – create groups and pages on the Internet, and get all your friends and contacts to join in on the campaign!
Larger-scale centres could benefit greatly from a dedicated website of their own.
Growing Your Home Tutoring Business
You might notice a snowball effect after your first few batches of students. Children and parents tend to recommend specific tutors to each other, and after a month or two, you could find you have a lot of interested parents and students interested in enrolling.
If your centre consists of just you, the key to handling this is to always keep batches small (6 students at a time, max) so that you can really keep your quality up, and to schedule these in a realistic and practical manner.
For larger-scale centres, a larger number of students is only good news, but it’s best to keep batches limited to 20 for optimum results. As time passes, you can add more staff if you needed, or even tweak your schedules.
How much should you charge? Well, it depends on several factors: the subject(s) you teach, the area you live in, the age and grade level of your students, and even which school board they study in!
It helps if you ask around as to what other tuition teachers charge in your area – stick to the average rate to begin with. You can increase your fees with new batches later if necessary!
For larger-scale centres, it’s worth noting that you will need to inflate your student fees in order to cover both the overhead and your staff’s salaries.
You’ll also need to create a separate bank account in the name of your centre to keep your accounting and finances legal and hassle-free.
Running a Successful Home Tutoring Service
Running a tuition centre is a low-stress-level enterprise – you won’t find students exhibiting the same sort of discipline issues they would in a classroom. It would help, though, if you read up a bit on basic behaviour management before taking the plunge.
Be a stickler when it comes to punctuality – one late batch is all it takes to throw an entire day’s timetable off-schedule!