Tag Archive: educationbusiness

  1. Setting Up a Tutoring Business in 2024 – Step 2: Your Niche

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    So, you’ve weighed up the pros & cons of setting up a tutoring business and you’re now all in. You’ve established your ‘why?’ and feel confident that you’re in it for reasons that will hopefully lead to a fulfilling (and potentially lucrative) career!

    Well, that’s all well and good. But now comes the tough part. Now you have to actually do some of the groundwork to put your plans in to action. And it’s not exactly the most glamorous of steps. You see, one of the most common misconceptions that budding entrepreneurs make is that they assume that a skill or service they value highly is one that the rest of the local population will also be delighted to utilise. And sadly, that just ain’t the case!

    Research, Research, Research!

    So, how do you know if you even have a prospective clientele base to work with in your area? This is easy… if you take a stab in the dark and guess. But, that doesn’t sound like a good plan does it? Taken too far in the other direction, and it can become quite a quagmire of statistical studies, time spent researching local consumer behaviours and everyone’s favourite – canvassing your friends, family and every poor sucker that stumbles absent-mindedly past you, clipboard and questionnaire conveniently at the ready.

    My suggestion – forget both approaches and follow the advice outlined below.

    Is There A Demand?

    This is an obvious, and elementary, question to pose. But if your plan is to set up a tutoring business for face to face tuition in your local area. The first thing you want to consider is whether that is feasible

    Let’s say you live in a small village, where the local school holds a grand total of thirteen students. The chances are that relying solely on the income generated by your tutoring business from private face to face tuition is perhaps a little ‘unrealistic’.

    If this sounds scarily like where you currently live then don’t worry. You don’t have to frantically list your property on RightMove, pack your cases and to head to the city!

    A larger local population is certainly an advantage, but even that doesn’t guarantee they are the right demographic for your services. In areas that would be considered financially deprived, it probably doesn’t matter if there ten or a ten thousand students. Their money is going to be spent elsewhere on things that are probably more pressing to the quality and comfort of the collective household’s situation.

    Understanding this is really, really important.

    So how can you determine whether you’re currently in an area that wants a new tuition business, or one that would simply carry on living their lives happily ignoring any offers you thrust in their face? Well, a quick solution is literally a click away – my friends, let me introduce you to… Google.

    Okay, so chances are you have almost definitely heard of this nifty search engine. But let’s consider it as a tutor service database. And the best part? You can search for agencies, directories and even one-man bands in or around your exact target area!

    When researching whether there was a need for a ‘TutorRight’- style tutoring business in Warrington originally, I simply searched “Tuition Companies in Warrington”, “Tutoring Business in Warrington” and “Tutors Near Me”. Sure enough, before my very eyes, Google told me that there were several (loads, actually…) in or around Warrington town.

    Now, what does this mean? Well, I deduced that it was unlikely ten completely random individuals all took an uneducated punt at approximately the same time and were all currently at the same point in their journeys. And wouldn’t you know it? After looking at a few of their websites, I found that they were all at different stages of their journeys.

    Now, sarcasm apart – what does this really mean? Some had been established for twenty-plus years, whilst others were only in their second year of trading. And both categories led me to the conclusion that, if there wasn’t a need, then why would there be competition in the first place?

    Sometimes a bright idea that comes to you whilst peeling potatoes or taking a shower seems to solve everyone’s problems…

    Until you investigate it as a business idea and soon realise there is a good reason why nobody has bothered to bring it to reality – it either makes zero financial sense, or somebody has done it before, and they crashed and burned.

    Having established tutoring companies already in the community gave me a strong indication that there was a need for the service. Having fairly new companies still operating past their first year gave me a comforting indication that it wasn’t too late.

    They had started a company in the same sector, despite their established competitors, and they had enough business to get them through that first financial year. Which, as we’re led to believe by the statistics surrounding businesses in their infancy, is no mean feat.

    Now like I said, there are plenty of technical, advanced – even expensive – ways of determining the need for tuition in your locality, but the Google hack is certainly worth exploring!

    How Do I Compete?

    Congratulations! You’ve discovered that there is competition in your area! Wait? What? Surely that’s a bad thing? Well, as discussed above, it doesn’t have to be viewed that way. The real issue now is how to complete with those competitors.

    Did you find that your competition focused predominantly on secondary school exam prep, such as for GCSEs? If so, as a primary school trained professional, you might have the perfect skillset to offer a similar service but for a slightly younger target market. It could even be that you and your competitor put your heads together and refer parents to one another if there are services that you don’t offer, but the other does.

    Maybe you discovered that there was so much attention related to Maths & English tuition, that as a qualified Science teacher, you can offer a subject that seems to be in short supply. Again, starting with a particular subject can differentiate you. This in turn can help single you out as the authority in your field. After all, only you specialise in that subject.

    But what if there are already primary, secondary, subject-specific focused tuition companies already available to students in your area? How can you stand out when there are already varied options vying for the local parent’s approval?

    This is where marketing, brand and company culture come in. And for me, these are the “fun” aspects to work on in your business. All of this happens a bit further down the line. After all – we don’t even have a name yet!

    To look at the task of naming your future empire, look no further. Make sure you check out Setting Up a Tutoring Business in 2024 – Step 3: Your name

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