Tutoring elementary kids can be a great part-time business if you’re looking to really boost your income.
Becoming a tutor for elementary students can be a simple endeavor and the start-up costs can be minimal.
It’s a great business if you want to start small but still have the option of expanding your operation over time.
Though it’s a relatively simple business, you’re likely to be more successful if you take the time to do a little research and put your plans down on paper.
These 7 steps will serve you well as you start the journey to becoming a tutor for elementary students.
How to Become a Tutor for Elementary Students
1. Decide which subjects you want to teach.
There are several factors that will help you choose subjects to tutor that fit with your skill set.
✓ Is there enough demand? You might be a great artist, but the demand for art tutors of elementary-aged kids is practically non-existent, so you’re not likely to get many clients if this is your area of choice.
✓ It’s important to find subjects with enough demand for tutoring to sustain your business. Subjects like math, reading, and special education seem to have a never-ending supply of students requiring assistance.
✓ Additionally, leverage the power of specializations. Are you a math or a reading specialist? Parents of kids who struggle in those areas could really use extra support.
✓ Consider whether or not you have the necessary knowledge. If you struggle with basic math, it’s unlikely you’ll be a math tutor. However, when it comes to elementary students, you have other options such as reading/writing, ESL/bilingual, and special education.
2. Choose an age group.
There’s a big difference between 2nd grade and 5th grade. Consider which age groups will be best served by your experience, knowledge, and temperament. Each level presents its own unique challenges.
3. Decide on the geographical area you’ll serve.
You’ll likely want to provide tutoring services close to your home, but it might be much more lucrative if you’re willing to drive to other parts of town or work online.
✓ If your intention is to work out of your home or to meet students at a single location, such as the public library, consider how far the average client is willing to travel.
✓ Thirty minutes tends to be about the maximum most will drive.
✓ Pull out a map, and draw a rough radius around the equivalent to a 30-minute drive in order to zero in on your tutoring area.
✓ Willing to drive to your students? If yes, then consider how long of a trip you’re willing to take. Take time and cost of your transportation into account. This will probably have a big impact on the fees you charge.
4. Determine your pricing structure.
Pricing is a very important decision that will require a moderate amount of market research.
✓ Tutoring rates vary dramatically depending on the subject, student, and your geographic location. Your level of expertise can also play a huge part. Some tutors might charge as low as $10 per hour, but in larger cities, $65 per hour isn’t uncommon.
✓ After determining your target age group, subject, and geographic area, finding a competitive tutoring rate for tutoring elementary students is quite simple.
✓ Look at the prices being charged by comparable tutors. Take a look at their advertisements or website. You can even call and inquire about prices. You’ll quickly get a good idea of the average rate other tutors are charging.
✓ Remember that your pricing accomplishes two goals. Pricing sends a message about the quality and value of your services, as well as having a significant effect on the amount of money you’ll be able to earn.
✓ If you charge a low rate, you’ll probably have plenty of students. But you’re also likely to earn less money in the long run. This may also cause you to have insufficient funds to do any meaningful advertising.
✓ A low price may lead parents to think that your services are of lower quality.
✓ Pricing too high can leave you short of clients. A high price is fine if you can show that your services deserve a premium price. You might have to show a track record of success first.
✓ In most cases, the best rate will be somewhere near the average fee being charged for tutoring. Why? Because the market is currently supporting this price-point, and prospective parents are likely to be somewhat insensitive to that price. This can allow you to raise your rates after proving your worth.
Related: Take a look at this step-by-step guide to pricing your elementary tutoring services.
5. Market and promote your business.
Marketing is arguably the most important factor in determining initial success with your tutoring business.
At first, others won’t know who you are. It’s up to you to figure out how to overcome that obstacle.
✓ Consider how parents will search for a tutor. They are likely to either approach the student’s teacher or guidance counselor for a recommendation. Some may look online.
✓ Contact the schools in your area, and let them know about your tutoring services. You can easily find the names of the appropriate educators to contact on the school’s website.
✓ A handwritten note with a simple flyer or brochure can be a quick and simple way to reach potential customers.
✓ Think about other places elementary kids and their parents spend time. It might be the local library, community center, sporting venues, or even the local grocery store. Hang flyers in those locations with your contact information.
✓ Tell everyone you know about your tutoring business. The time you spend on Facebook might finally pay off. Let the world know what you’re offering.
✓ Create a website. With WordPress, it’s very easy for anyone to create a great looking site. For a domain name, see if there’s one available that matches the term someone would likely search. For example, www.neworleansmathtutor.com would be a great domain name if you lived in that area.
✓ Use Craigslist. Many people turn to Craigslist, whether they’re looking for a new stove, a place to live, or a tutor.
✓ Use the numerous online directories to list your website and services.
✓ Eventually, you’ll be able to rely on word-of-mouth to secure additional clients. You’re getting closer to becoming a fully-booked tutor for elementary students!
6. Get organized.
You’ll want to keep all of your relevant records and paperwork organized. This includes your session notes and progress reports.
✓ For your own sake, have a consistent billing system. It’s up to you whether you want parents to pay before or after the session. But it’s helpful to pick one or the other and be consistent.
✓ Sending a bill will result in you having to spend a lot of time on collection efforts. Another useful method is to be paid in advance for the next 5-10 tutoring sessions.
✓ Keep track of your revenue and expenses. You’ll have to pay taxes, and staying up to date is much easier than trying to recreate the past from memory. Keep all your receipts along with accurate records. This would include any gas expenses, your mileage, and any materials you purchase.
7. Enhance your business.
As you’re operating your tutoring service, ask yourself how you can make your business better and more profitable.
There are likely to be challenges along the way, whether it’s scheduling, difficult parents, or the students themselves.
✓ Find solutions that limit future challenges.
✓ Set aside a few minutes each week and brainstorm ways you can take your business to the next level. You’ll be surprised by how many great ideas you can come up with if you reflect on your business on a regular basis.
Time to Implement the Steps to Becoming a Tutor for Elementary Kids
A tutoring business can be a great way to supplement your income. With enough clients, you might even be able to turn your tutoring business into a full-time income!
There are many busy parents desperately seeking tutoring services for their children.
Helping these parents successfully guide their little ones towards academic success can make you incredibly valuable.
Few people have the opportunity to influence someone’s life as much as a teacher or tutor.
Get your business started, aggressively market your services, and collect the monetary rewards. It’s a great way to boost your income while also helping others.
Want to devour more information about becoming a tutor for elementary students? If so, check out these great tips for launching a successful tutoring business.