If you’re considering starting your own soon-to-be-successful tutoring business, you came to the right place. Apart from supplying you with steps on launching this sort of business, we’ll learn a bit about it, including how to master its marketing and make your business boom in a market that’s steadily becoming overcrowded.

Whether you’re a retired professor, a college student, or anyone who holds the knowledge wanted by others, an online tutoring business could be a superb way to make a buck (or even a living) from the comfort of your home.

If you’re interested in online tutoring, before taking the first steps stop to consider whether this is the right choice for you. You should be confident in your knowledge, as well as confidently connect and communicate with your future students. Also, it’s a plus if you take pleasure in passing knowledge and possess a genuine desire to help other people.

So, if you’re sure you want to be a tutor but are not so sure how to start your tutoring business and market it successfully, this article should be of service.

Why start an online tutoring business?

Given that there is a strong demand for private online tutoring, test preparation classes, and educational courses overall, if you’ve played with the idea of kicking off your online tutoring business, this is the perfect time to turn that into reality.

The worldwide online tutoring services market size was valued at $6.57 billion in 2021 and is expected to exceed a compound annual growth rate of 14.7% by 2030, which shows a strong and steady demand for private online tutoring, test preparation classes, and educational courses overall. So, if you’ve played with the idea of kicking off your online tutoring business, this is the perfect time to turn that into reality. 

Especially considering how the world has gone digital, you are no longer confined to teaching only the students in your direct area and instead can expand your reach.

An online tutoring business is a fabulously flexible area of work since you’ll be the one choosing who to teach and when. You can create your own hours and be at liberty to teach however you’d like! 

The start-up cost is also as pocket-friendly as it gets, particularly if you already own the required equipment and plan to do everything on your own (like building a WordPress.org website for your business). So, the minimal start-up cost is around $100 but can add up to a couple of hundreds of dollars if you’re not exceptionally tech-savvy or are running short on time.

This start-up cost is as pocket-friendly as it gets, given that you’ll be working from home and using very little equipment.  And since you’ll be your own boss, you have the freedom to turn this into full-time work, a side gig, or shift between the two whenever you like.

Pros and Cons of starting an online tutoring business

In addition to the pros we’ve covered in the previous section, there are other reasons why you should start an online tutoring business. There are also some reasons that you might want to reconsider. Here, we outline them both.

Pros

  • You get to make meaningful business connections. Since you’ll be working with all sorts of students you never know when you’ll meet someone who’ll bring about new business ideas, one-of-a-kind opportunities, and perhaps even future collaborations.
  • You get the ultimate flexibility. By running your own online business you’ll be the one making the calls whether it’s about choosing the people you want to work with, the place you’ll work from, the projects you want to work on, and so forth. 
  • You’ll have a loyal client base. Since this work allows you to build your online community, it’s less likely you’ll have one-shot customers, which will make your customer base grow together with your business.

Cons

  • It’s a competitive market. With over 200,000 online tutors in the US alone, you have to make sure you are offering a competitive advantage to your students in order to corner a piece of the market.
  • It’s unpredictable. You can’t be sure how big your workload will be, what your hours will actually be, or how steady your work will be. During summer months or major holidays, your business might slow down a bit, for example.
  • You won’t get any benefits. Like with any other freelance/solopreneur jobs, you will be in charge of setting up your own benefits like a retirement plan, savings, an emergency fund and so on.

Prerequisites for starting an online tutoring business

Before starting your online tutoring business you need to make sure you can actually teach. There are a few things you need to have in order to be considered a strong candidate to teach others:

  1. Ask yourself whether there is a space in the market for the knowledge you’re offering, and if not, how you can create one. 
  2. You must have at least a high school diploma and extensive knowledge in the field you’re teaching.
  3. It would be helpful if you had prior teaching experience, or at least know how to put together a lesson plan.
  4. You should definitely have great written and verbal communication skills.
  5. You should be minorly tech savvy and understand how to connect a Zoom account (or others) and use it properly.

8 Steps to starting an online tutoring business

Step 1: Decide what kind of tutor you want to be

While the online tutoring market is booming, the most popular subjects for tutors to teach remain the same: arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, in short, all levels of math. Unfortunately, it seems that humans are never going to solve the “I hate math” problem. 

If you’re not into math, physical sciences and languages (especially English) are particularly popular at this point.

Use Google’s autocomplete to see which tutors are in demand in your area, look at competitors’ sites and see what niches they are teaching, and come up with a list of subjects you feel comfortable teaching. 

Step 2: Come up with a business plan

Although your imagination is probably the only real limit, there are a couple of business models most tutors choose when starting their tutoring careers. 

The simplest way to start is by becoming a part of an established online tutoring service (such as Sylvan Learning, LearningRx, and Tutoring Club), but the shortcomings of doing so range between steep initial startup fees and lack of freedom.

Alternatively, you could run a home-based tutoring business and cut down the startup costs, but you’ll have to worry about taxes and paying additional fees later on. And if you don’t mind mingling with people face-to-face, you could be a traveling tutor or combine it with an online model.

Step 3: Set up your classroom

This rather technical part of the trade involves setting up your classroom to meet some of the essential requirements such as finding a quiet area in your home, making sure it’s well lit, and creating a clean, professional-looking background for teaching.

In addition to this, you’ll want to make sure you have the hardware to support your trade including a stable network connection, a PC, a webcam, a microphone (or a headset), and a suitable software solution (such as Zoom).

Step 4: Find a tutoring software to use

The next step involves picking out professional software for online tutoring and due to the sheer amount of similar software on the market it can be a difficult decision. So, before going with one over the others check its price-performance ratio.

With the most popular software (vcita’s online tutoring software being one of the top ones), you’ll easily manage tutors’ lessons, connect with your students and track their attendance and progress and much more. 

A top-quality tutoring software goes beyond that and also handles back-office administrative duties by providing an intuitive, user-friendly platform for making and managing schedules, processing payments, organizing your data, and promoting your business. With vcita’s online tutoring software for example, you can integrate with Zoom for a seamless experience and harness one solution for all your online tutoring business needs such as everything mentioned above.

Step 5: Register your business

Once you’re all set with the above, come up with a business name that feels professional yet easy on the ear, and don’t forget to check its availability.

The registration part of this step depends on the applicable law in the country and the state you live in, as well as whether you’re registering as a sole proprietorship, as part of a partnership, or as a corporation.

In either case, in most countries you’ll be required to register in order to handle tax returns, even if you’re self-employed and working part-time, so make sure to check out specific taxes that apply to your business.

Step 6: Gain a web presence

To make it in today’s online tutoring business, it’s critical to have a powerful online presence. Besides creating accounts on popular social media platforms and posting valuable content, you’ll also want to create your own professional business website.

While doing so, make sure to pick out a reliable web host that’ll provide you with all the right tools to build a beautiful business website and optimize it for search engines. Also, back it with a blog and make sure it stays active for good measure.

Step 7: List your business

Getting your business website listed on web directories such as Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps is a smart strategy for driving additional traffic to it. Being a part of these lists will help you rank higher as they are crucial to local searches – so don’t skip this step.

These directories also provide a place for business information, user reviews, and backlinks to your website.

Step 8: Start marketing and attracting new customers

Now it’s time to market your soon-to-be-booming online tutoring business since there’s no point in having everything set up and ready to shine if there’s no one to see it. 

So, map out your marketing plan, and don’t forget to utilize social media (including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn), since most of your future students are hanging out there.

You could also pay for Google ads, set up a referral program, offer free demos and discounts for new students, and master newsletters and email marketing. Plus, don’t forget your blog is a good way to attract new students as well, so make sure it’s frequently updated.

Start your online tutoring business today

If you still think that the tutoring business is the right thing for you, don’t waste any more time and start with the first steps – there’s no better time than now. It will likely look a bit intimidating at first, but with the right mindset (and the right tools), you can take on this challenge head-on and perhaps even have a bit of fun. Use the steps outlined in this article to help you get started the smart way and set yourself up for long-term success.