The demand for quality education and academic competitiveness across the world has made us come up with new and innovative ideas to effectively impart knowledge. The continuous and incredible advancement in technology coupled with the need for more within the convenience of their own environment has led to the advent of virtual education programs. Though these educational technologies have been in vogue for quite some time, it has now suddenly become the most essential necessity in all our lives, especially after the severe after-effects of the vivacious COVID-19 outbreak resulting in forced closure of all the educational institutions due to the rapidly spreading pandemic.
As we all know, the education sector has always been an ever-growing sector, and especially now that the whole system has shifted to virtual platforms the whole world is seeing a rising demand for good online tutorials.
As you can see in the above graph there has been an exponential growth rate in the e-learning business and is still continuing to do so. Hence, this is the perfect time for you to invest in building your own online tutoring business.
In this article, we will guide you through all the step-by-step procedures on how to start a tutoring business online.
Let’s get to it.
How to start an online tutoring business:
Below are the steps you require to plan, execute, develop and promote your online tutoring business efficiently-
- Planning your business
- Procuring all the requirements to start your business
- Getting to know your target audience
- Selecting your niche
- Determining the course of your tutorials
- Evaluating your pricing
- Developing your brand
- Engaging your audience
- Promoting and marketing your business
That is a long and complex list of things to accomplish. So, is your goal!
So, without further delay let’s jump right in.
Right from starting a normal day to starting a business the one constant step we all should take is Planning. With organizational skills, the course is bound to get chaotic. And especially when it comes to business matters, it involves a lot of risks for you to even consider being spontaneous. A detailed business plan is a down-right necessary step that needs to be taken care of at the very beginning so as to at least have an idea about where you are heading and to get a clear cut picture of what your duties are.
A drafted business plan is also a legal necessity when and if you are planning to raise funding for your business and also in order to put forth your ideas and strategies in a more factual and coherent way. Hence you need to pay extra attention to what goes into those papers.
Here are a basic format based on which you can build your business plan-
- Executive Summary
- Product or Service Description
- Industry Analysis
- Competition Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Marketing and Sales Plan
- Operations Plan
- Financial Plan
- Milestones Schedule
Deciding your requirements
Before you start actually working on all your plans of how to set up your own tutoring business, you need to know in and out of what business you are getting into. From the basics of such as advantages and disadvantages of starting the tutorial business, to marketing and promoting your platform, you need to research and make a list of what all you need to be prepared with.
The foremost in that list is your qualifications. The level of education you have had plays a very important role in determining what and to whom you can teach.
Here is a rough level of grades(based on the American metrics system) and their respective education level you can teach depending on the area of education you choose-
- High School Diploma Or GED: You can tutor elementary, middle school, and also to a certain extent high school students too
- UG Degree: You will be able to tutor elementary, middle school, high school, and college students depending on your area of expertise.
- PG Degree: You can tutor elementary, middle school, high school, and college students. Also, depending on your area of specialization you can also teach adults who are finishing their GED or the likes of it.
While you are at it you can also work on getting a tutor’s certificate to enhance your credibility and to build that trust factor that the parents and students look for.
Knowing your audience and competitors
The education industry is a highly competitive one, in order to plan and execute a successful business, you will have to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors as well. Also, one of the best ways in knowing how to go about your new business is by observing others in the same field.
- How they attract customers
- What is their operation plans
- How are they managing the course schedule
- What payment system are they using
- How do you integrate safety measures
and many more such nuances.
Experience is the greatest teacher there is. One can not only learn from observing the experiences of others but also get to know what not to do through it as well.
Another major set of people you need to study is your targeted audience. This step plays a pivotal role in the success and failure of your business. Before even deciding what you want to teach and how you need to understand to whom you are going to teach.
- Their age
- Their level of education
- What they are looking for from online learning
- Their location
- What do they want to achieve
This will help not only determine your niche but also plan the course execution.
Determining your Niche
Education is a sea of countless options. You have to pick a topic that you are comfortable with and then move forward from there in regards to planning the course material, how to implement it etc. There are many factors that you need to take into consideration while selecting a niche that is the most suitable for you.
- Your subject matter of expertise
- The student base
- The market demand for the niche you want to choose
Choosing a particular niche is really important as it is always better to impart education thoroughly on one subject rather than being a jack of all but master of none.
It also helps in drafting your curriculum and the time frame for your online sessions. Hence, this really helps streamline your course and give an aim and purpose for your classes. Also, it will be simpler to attract the right attention to your e-learning website.
Deciding your course outline
Once you have decided on what you want to teach, it is time to decide how to want to do it. Online tutoring provides you with extra flexibility wherein you can decide how and when you want to teach your students. You need to devise a plan keeping in mind the main aim of your tutorials, the age, and the skill set of your target audience.
While planning on the skeleton of your course make sure not to heap all your material on your students at once. It should be defined as SMARTly – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Divide them into modules and impart them one by one in a fixed schedule. Also, these modules should seamlessly get connected with each other rather than feel like separate dis-joint chapters.
There are basically two eLearning methods that you can adopt to execute your courses.
- Synchronous tutoring: In this type of tutoring both the student and the teacher are required to be present online at the same time in order to conduct the online class. Live interaction is the key to this method. To implement this the tutor would need- live video and audio streamer, a real-time chat window, and a common e-learning platform.
- Asynchronous tutoring: Here, the tutor and the student are not required to be online at the same point in time. The tuition material can be mailed or uploaded by the tutor for the benefit of the students who can watch it per schedule.
- Combination tutoring: You can always experiment around with these methods to see what fits you the best. A combination of the above-mentioned methods will be a great combination in order to keep the classes lively and have flexibility at the same time.
Once your curriculum is decided, you have to choose a style of delivering the course materials work for both your students and you.
Some of the most followed practices are-
- Distributing text-based documents through mails
- Powerpoint presentations
- Uploading videos
- Live streaming lectures
- Podcasting etc
At this point, you can choose to go with a robust Learning Management System (LMS) software that will help you in managing multiple systems, course materials, content libraries, audio and video files, class schedules, and everything else related to eLearning in a more structured and efficient way.
Evaluating your Course
The education field is one of the most lucrative businesses to be in. However, it does take time initially. Given the amount of investment you are making in terms of finance and time, you need to be really cautious while formulating a revenue model.
Here are a few models you can adopt in order to gain good revenue.
- Membership or Subscription fee model
- A freemium model
- A separate fee structure for one-on-one classes
- Different charges for certification and course materials
Now that you have decided the “how to execute” of your tutorials, let’s move on to see how to set up your own tutoring business.
Developing your own e-learning platform
Given this is your first time, we would suggest you first try by listing yourself onto an already established eLearning platform/ you can leverage on their experience to learn and manage your schedule. Take your time and get adjusted to the new formats and management. An added advantage to this being, gaining an immediate student base. These established tutoring platforms are bound to have their own set of exclusive audiences. You will also get a chance to tap into that resource and slowly redirect them to your very own virtual learning website.
There are a few basic features an eLearning platform should have.
- An in-built virtual writing board software
- Document sharing facility
- Notification Alerts
- Progress Analyser and Tracker
- Class scheduler
- Payment gateways
- Dashboards for admin, tutors, and students
- Review and Rating options
There are many ways in which you can develop your very own virtual education platform. Some of them are-
- Develop your platform from scratch
- On your own
- Hiring a tech team
- Purchasing a ready-made software, i.e Turnkey solutions
Given you are new and will have a limited time frame and finance in your hand we would like to recommend that you choose a turnkey solution. Here’s why-
- Immediate installation and hence you can launch your website in no time
- Is customizable to fit your business plan
- One time payment and comparatively low cost
- You will own the source code which will help you to customize it in the future
and many more.
Here are a few trusted software providers you can contact for your etutorials – Newrow, Wiziq, Pinlearn, Vectera, Tutorpace, etc.
Engaging your audience
User retention is one of the key factors that scale the success of any virtual platform.
Since this is a user-based platform they are the blood and bones of your tutorials. Without your clients, it is as good as being without any new online learning platform. So, you need to be extremely intuitive and creative at the same time in order to keep your students glued to your virtual learning platform.
Following are a few tips to help you with student engagement.
- Conduct guest lecture
- Use animations, PPTs, storytelling methodology
- Conduct quiz and healthy group discussions, debates
- Give knowledge building assignments
- You can also make students present a session by themselves
- Always make sure to be in regular contact with your students virtually
and the list can go on.
Also, you need to track the progress of your platform and your student’s as well. Hence,
using tools such as google analytics can make a big difference in how you perceive your upcoming classes. This will also help you in reworking your processes and make it even better and interesting.
Promoting your online tutorials
All said and done, the last step is to have your own internet footprint. You need to promote yourself in order to gain the attention of the audience and help in the growth of your online business. In order to get the right ranking on the Search Engine Result Page(SERPs), you need a good marketing strategy.
The most important question you need to ask yourself is –
- How will you persuade them to choose you above others? and
- What’s your “unique selling proposition?”
Given that we are in an age where everything and everyone is connected through the internet, it would be the best possible way to promote yourself too. Below are some of the good marketing strategies you can inculcate to effectively promote yourself to a wider audience-
- Social media marketing: Eg- Facebook, Twitter
- Multimedia marketing: Eg- google ads pay per click
- Content marketing: Eg- email marketing, newsletters
- Influencer marketing
- SEO technique etc
These are what needs to be done in order to set-up a successful online tutorial. Setting up a new business always takes time. You also need to give it some time to take off in the markets too. However, you need to be persistent with your efforts and be patient. Success doesn’t come to people who are not disciplined in achieving their goals.
If you need a helping hand to achieve your goal do not shy away from reaching out to us. We are here to help you in realizing your dream.