Is this the year you start your new tutoring business or not? You may have spent the last few weeks of December lazily dreaming about running your own tutoring business – fantasizing about all the money you will make, being your own boss and coming and going as you please. Maybe it’s about being more in control of your schedule so you can spend more time with your family, hobbies or other pursuits. Now that the New Year is well and truly underway, it is time to stop dreaming and actually do something about it.
In Part I of this post I talked about the importance of setting a timeframe for researching the market, writing your business plan, and then making the final go/no go decision. In this post, I will talk more about making that go/no go decision based on the information you now have.
The Market: One of the biggest factors in making your decision will be the size and composition of your local market. If you live in a large metropolitan area with over 1 million people, lots of schools nearby, but not a lot of local tutoring locations, then finding students should not be a big problem. If, on the other hand, you live in a smaller city or town, finding students may not be so easy. I know this sounds obvious, but it always surprises me how many people ignore this factor.
The Competition: If there is an abundance of different tutoring options in your area, then you may feel that the market is well-served and there’s not enough business to support a new player. In this case, you may want to consider looking at other locations, or offering a service niche that is not currently available, so that you aren’t going head-to-head with the existing competition. However competition is not always bad. You may find that, while there are a lot of tutoring locations, most of these are large, expensive franchises that charge high rates for small group tutoring. In this case, there could be a lot of demand for a new business offering more reasonable rates and/or more individual tutoring.
Get Creative: Perhaps you have reached a point where, for one reason or another, you don’t believe a new tutoring business is viable in your market at this time. If you have explored all the options and you still feel this way, then perhaps this is not the time to proceed. If you are still resolved to find a way to make it work, then perhaps you need to get creative and think outside the box. Here are some of the common roadblocks that would-be entrepreneurs often face, and potential solutions to overcome these ‘roadblocks’:
Lack of Affordable Retail Space: Look into sharing space with a daycare or other business, or perhaps renting space in a church or community centre just for the days and times that you need it.
Lack of Available Tutors: If you can’t find enough certified teachers to hire as tutors, then perhaps you should consider hiring college or university students, or even high school seniors. Properly trained and supervised students make excellent tutors, because they are young, enthusiastic and often connect better with their students.
Market is Too Small: If your local market is too small to support a tutoring academy, then you could locate in a lager town or city or even start an online tutoring business which would greatly extend your potential market.
Not Enough Demand: Perhaps you want to tutor English and grammar but have found there is not enough demand for this in your neighbourhood. You know there is plenty of demand for Maths and Science tutoring, but these are not your areas of expertise. In this case, you could simply hire tutors with the required expertise in Math and Science so that you could offer these subjects as well as English and grammar. You don’t have to be an expert in all subjects, as long as you can hire and properly supervise the experts.
Whether you decide to start your new business this year or not, if you have done your homework and considered all the facts, then your decision inevitably will be the right one. Remember that if you are following your dreams then you are always on the right path!
For more information about starting a tutoring business consult: