Looking to gain some experience and references for you tutoring business? Maybe you just want to do some good and give back to the community. Here are a few opportunities:
SWIFT in Schulenburg, TX.: Check out their website and see if you’re interested in their programs. A recent news article states that they are looking for tutors and, if you are interested, you can call the SWIFT office at 979-743-4600, ext. 02.
Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry in South Carolina.: You can visit their website or call 843-815-6616. A recent news article talks about a couple’s experience with tutoring English to Spanish speaking people through this oganization. They said they are even learning to speak Spanish from their students so it looks like a great way to brush up on your Spanish skills too!
Reading Power, Inc. in North Chicago, IL.: This nonprofit tutoring organization serves “low-achieving” children in North Chicago elementary schools. THey have a lot of cool notes from the students on their website as well as more information about their company and services. A brief press release tells about how they have named Frank Sibley as their newest member on the board of directors. It also states that you can contact Executive Director Rebecca Mullen at 815-867-7476 for information on becoming a tutor.
I hope this information helps someone to discover some new opportunities. If this post has helped you or if you are interested in seeing more posts like this about tutoring opportunities around the country, please let me know in the comments!
It’s been a really long time since I’ve added anything new to this site and I’m working on getting back into it. I’m curious what YOU guys would like to learn more about. Let me know in the comments!
I also wanted to let everyone know that I’m slowly but surely working on creating an eBook that I’ll be allowing you all to download for free once I finish it! Keep a look out for that!
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Thank you Reddit!
The “iNeedATutor” subreddit has just added this site to its resources sidebar so first and foremost I’d like to thank the moderators of r/iNeedATutor: jhudson3, shamefullycreative, j_s_lebach, cheesecake966, iseeyoutroll, authorblues, and BigFriendlyRobot!
So what exactly is reddit? Reddit is ‘the front page of the Internet’ where user-generated news is linked to. Votes promote stories to the front page. What is so compelling to me about reddit is all of the diverse subreddits, or categories, that the site’s news is divided into. You can subscribe to different subreddits to suit your tastes and interests. Clearly, one of the subreddits I subscribe to is r/iNeedATutor and you should check it out!
Why Should I Care?
If you need to build your portfolio or practice your tutoring skills, reddit is a great place to do some pro bono work online in your spare time. There is a lot of potential to build a large portfolio of reviews and recommendations via reddit in a relatively short amount of time.
Have you ever considered hiring other tutors?
It is an excellent growth strategy and now is the perfect time! There are a lot of unemployed teachers out there and for some reason, no matter how much I try to convince them, few are open to working for themselves as a tutor and the ones who are have yet to follow through. They’re looking for a real job with somebody else to hold them accountable. Here’s where you come in.
You can hire teachers to work for you as tutors!
It’s win-win. You’ll be responsible for finding clients, scheduling sessions, handling the business tasks and so forth so that your employees don’t have to. Then, your employees only have to worry about showing up on time and doing their job.
Here’s how to do it.
At this point, it will be appropriate to seek legal counsel to determine what type of business structure will work best for you because with employees comes liabilities and you need to protect yourself. Second, you will need to file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which you can do at the IRS’s website. You should also make sure you have any required permits or licenses that you may need for your locality. You can figure out what these are by using Google, just make sure to only visit and trust the .gov sites. Many businesses will try to sell you the service of incorporating for hefty fees. Everyone advises against those services.
Again, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get legal advice for this stage of your business. I didn’t when I started and I made a mistake that may end up costing me $10,000. Make sure that the lawyer you choose has experience with entrepreneurs. It is a huge bonus if your lawyer is an entrepreneur himself and has started his own firm. Ask your SCORE mentor for recommendations because they’ll most likely know several lawyers.
How to Find Teachers
Posting an ad to craigslist is always a good place to start. Also, you can search through public resumes and contact people directly through sites like LinkedIn and the resume/job wanted section on your local craigslist. You may also meet candidates at networking events or through your existing contacts. Get out there and network!
When you find someone, ask to see a pay stub from when they were teaching. This will let you know that they’ve most likely been finger printed and have had a background check because that’s a requirement for teachers in many areas. Also ask for references and be sure to call all of them. Meet with the prospective hire and get a feel for who they are. As a rule of thumb, and as Jeffrey Fox would say, “Only hire people you would invite home to dinner.”
How to Determine Pay
Chances are, paying an hourly rate is the best option. To stay competitive with other tutoring businesses in your area, make some phone calls and do some visits in person and see if you can figure out how much tutors are paid. Pretend that you’re interested in a job if needed. Once you know what the competition is paying, offer your employees more.
It’s up to you to determine how much your services are worth to your employees. The money you charge your client will be used to pay your employees and the rest goes towards business expenses and then to you as profit. Take your time and really think about your business goals and your financial goals before making a decision because if you change your mind later you will face challenges in either cutting the pay of your employees or increasing your fees to your clients.
How to Handle Billing
Have your clients pay you for the tutoring sessions. Don’t have your tutors handle the money, that’s your job. You can have your clients pay you in cash, by check, or you can even accept credit card payments or bank transfers if you create a PayPal account. I have a detailed post on my personal blog (with pictures, yay!) that shows how to set up an eBay and a PayPal account. Just scroll down to the PayPal part if you need help setting up a PayPal account.
I recommend paying your employees with a check.
How to Schedule Tutoring Sessions
When you have hired a tutor, request their availability for the each month as far ahead of time as you can. For example, if it’s the first of September then it would be a good idea to request the November availability from each of your employees. Google calendar is a great tool to use as well if you and your employees are tech savy.
When you find a client for your tutor, you may want to go with your tutor to meet with the client for the first time. Take care of the paperwork, close the sale, and let your tutor work his or her magic!
If you have already finalized the sale, be sure to call up your client and your tutor after the first tutoring session. Make sure that everyone was happy and got along well. If it’s a bad match, switch tutors or speak with the client to see what they’d like to do about it. Do this step even if you did decide to go to the first meeting with the tutor.
This process is very tedious and there are countless implications that must be addressed. Don’t let that stop you from growing your business though. If you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them and so will other readers (hopefully)! Also, share your success stories with us too because we can always use some positive encouragement!
If you’re coming here from BudgetsAreSexy.com and you are serious about tutoring, here are the posts I recommend that you start with:
- How to Write a Good Craigslist Ad
- The Free Tutoring Lesson Strategy
- How to Create the Ultimate Sales Tool
- What to Ask Clients on the First Meeting
- Guarantee Your Services to Increase Sales
- Start a Referral Program to Increase Sales
If you prefer video to text, I’ve got a video that runs through the basics.
Thanks for checking out my site and let me know what you think!
This is a cool tool I discovered a while ago and it’s really easy too. Get yourself some clear plastic page sleeves and some dry erase markers. Put a sheet of white paper into the sleeve (or a template that you’ve made/printed) and there you have it! Instant portable white board.
You can write directly on the sleeve and then just wipe it off when you’re done. I keep mine in the front of each of my binders and keep a marker in my bookbag/pocket. In my experience, the portable white board is quite situational. However, it’s the coolest thing ever when you do get the opportunity to use it! Plus, it’s an awesome way to use any leftover page sleeves you may have from building your ultimate sales tool.
Guarantee Your Tutoring
Offering a money back guarantee is a great way to boost sales because it gives your prospects confidence. Use this guarantee in conjunction with the ultimate sales tool and the free lesson strategy and you will land every sale when you meet with clients.
Tutoring is an emotional purchase. Parents want to make sure their child does the best they possibly can in school so selecting a tutor can be a difficult process. The trick is to get a meeting in person with your potential client, that’s where the free trial lesson comes in. Once you meet with the prospect, you wow them with your recommendations and then ask to schedule the next sessions, reminding them that they can ask for their money back if there are no positive results. With a great first impression and the no-risk promise of a guarantee, there’s no way the parents could opt out for different tutor because you’ve successfully appealed to their emotions.
Be sure that when you are closing the deal you do not ask “Do you want to schedule another lesson?” Instead, ask “What days work best for you for our next sessions?” This slight change of wording makes an enormous difference because by presuming they do want to schedule another lesson, you further decrease the chances of being turned down.
Image by penywise.
So you’ve been tutoring for yourself for a while now and you’re loving it! Now you want to start growing your business. What do you do?
The first step you should take is to meet with a SCORE mentor in your area. It’s absolutely free and you will receive guidance and consultation from a retired business executive. One-on-one consulting with a retired CEO… for FREE! I will never understand why so many people ignore SCORE while spending hundreds of dollars on business seminars.
Your SCORE mentor will help you plan the steps you need to take in order to accomplish whatever goals you have for your tutoring business and they will also be able to point you to the best resources available in your area. In addition to SCORE, make sure you visit your local library to read up on relevant books and to use their subscription services for free! Of course you should also keep coming to my site to read up on my personal tricks and tips that I’ve been using for years (and because you love my writing so much, right? haha :)).
Find your SCORE mentor here.
Create a Script
Meet with every client with a prepared and rehearsed script. Plan out how you want the interaction to begin so that you can make the clients feel comfortable and to also demonstrate your professionalism. Gathering the following information from your clients will help you to better serve them and it will also help you gather important data that you can use to improve your business.
Ask for Contact Info
This entails getting the name, address, phone numbers (of parents and student), city, state, zip code, and email addresses (of parents and student). Ask whether or not you can text them, find out what their preferred mode of communication is and what the best time to reach them is. This information is required to keep in touch and also for mailing any gifts or advertisements.
Asking for the student’s date of birth is also important because then you can send a birthday card with a thoughtful, hand written note and a gift card. This is an awesome way to build karma points and to increase the likelihood of getting a referral.
How Did you Find Me?
This question will help you to refine and focus your marketing efforts. If you discover that most of your clients are finding you through craigslist and few are finding you through your fliers, you can stop wasting your time with the fliers and start working on writing a better craigslist ad. If your client was referred through word of mouth, make sure you reward and thank the person who referred your new client to you.
Privately Ask the Parents
Find out if your student has any diagnosed learning disabilities so that you can properly accommodate them. Research techniques for teaching people with the disability and use them during sessions. Also find out if there is specialized instructional support at school, such as a note taker.
Ask the Student
Here is the list of questions I ask my new students to start getting to know them. Obviously, you should adapt the wording of the questions so that it’s appropriate for the student you’re speaking with.
- What are your favorite subjects and why?
- What are your least favorite subjects and why?
- What are your academic strengths?
- What are your academic weaknesses?
- What factors are contributing to your academic challenges?
- Do you complete and turn in homework assignments regularly?
- Are your test taking skills strong or weak? If weak, what are your biggest challenges?
- How do you organized your school materials (notes, assignments, due dates, etc.)?
- What are your short-term educational goals?
- What are your long-term educational goals?
- Do you do any extracurricular activities? If yes, what are they?
- What are your hobbies and interests outside of school?
- What do you hope to gain from our tutoring sessions?
- Do you have any questions for me?
Always be sure to ask if the student or parents have any questions for you and answer them honestly. If you don’t know something, say so, research the answer, then provide the answer as soon as possible.
An important thing to note is that this exchange should be more of a conversation and less of an interview. Try to speak naturally and share your own thoughts and experiences without dominating the conversation.