Some of the tell-tale signs that it's time to expand your tutoring business...
There comes a point in every tutor's career when you need to decide whether you want to expand your business or maintain its current size. For some, growing a tutoring business means being a fully-fledged agency, whereas for others, it simply means increasing your hourly rate. This post will help you identify when the time is right to grow your tutoring business.
You Can't Keep up with Demand
If you find that you're receiving more requests than you can handle, then it could be time to look at outsourcing some work to other trusted tutors and start charging a "finder's fee".
Many small tutoring agencies work in exactly this way and it can be a good model for tutors who don't want to turn work away but at the same time, don't want to hire full-time staff.
This business model is also scalable and can be developed into a larger business. Many of the larger tutoring agencies in the marketplace started out as a one person operation and grew as demand increased. London tutoring agency Bright Young Things started out in exactly this way. You can read their story on the Startups website.
Administration Becomes More Challenging
As a freelance tutor, keeping on top of administration can be tricky and paperwork only becomes more challenging when you have more students.
If you start to find yourself drowning under a sea of unpaid invoices, lesson plans and materials, then it could be time to delegate those tasks to someone else. Hiring a virtual assistant can be a good way of freeing up your time while someone else handles your paperwork.
Not only does outsourcing your admin save you time, but it can also make you more money in the long term as you take on more students or grow your tutoring business in other ways.
Parents are Asking you to Recommend Other Tutors
Most tutors specialise in one or two subjects and typically direct parents elsewhere when asked to tutor in a subject they don't teach. If you find that parents are asking you to recommend other tutors, it could be time for you to act as a middle man and start your own private tutoring agency.
By trading on your reputation as a good tutor, you can grow your business by offering tuition in subjects that you don't currently offer. It can be beneficial for new tutors in particular to join an agency as they generally don't need to invest in any of their own marketing and they're guaranteed work.
Other Tutors are Asking you for Advice
One way of knowing that it's time to grow your business is when other tutors begin asking for your advice. As your reputation as a tutor grows, you'll come to be seen as an authority in your area and other tutors will be keen to learn from you.
You can capitalise on this by offering training courses and workshops, sharing your wisdom about running a tutoring business and advise on best practices.
You've Reached your Earnings Potential
As a freelance tutor, you can only work so many hours a day and you can only charge so much before you price yourself out of the market. If you find that you've reached a plateau in your earnings, it could be time to grow your tutoring business in other ways.
The obvious move here, is to start a private tutoring agency so you can continue to earn while other tutors carry out lessons under the umbrella of your name. However, for some, starting a tutoring agency isn't necessarily the best path to take.
There are other 'passive' income opportunities that tutors can tap into. For example, some tutors start selling their own lesson materials or offering courses to students. One tutor who really makes the most of this model is Victoria Olubi, otherwise known as The Tutoress. Victoria has created a series of 11 Plus materials and she's written an eBook specifically for private tutors. Victoria talks about her eBook in an interview we did with her earlier this year.
Have you successfully grown your tutoring business? Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other tutors?
Image credit: Xiaojun Deng - https://www.flickr.com/photos/hktang/4243300265/