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    How to Start a Tutoring Business

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    how to start a tutoring business in canada

    If you’ve got a passion for teaching, starting your own tutoring business can be a great way to supplement or even replace your income. Read on for our tips on how to start your own tutoring business.

    Low startup costs, creating your own schedule, and building meaningful relationships with students are just a few reasons why people love becoming tutors. And depending on their niche, many part time tutors find that they’re making enough money to quit their full time jobs and focus solely on tutoring.Whether you’re starting up a side hustle or looking to make it your full time job, read on to learn everything you need to know about how to start a tutoring business in Canada.

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    Figure Out Who You Want to Teach

    Deciding what demographic of students you want to tutor will go a long way to defining what separates you from other tutoring services. Here are a few different factors you should consider when building your business plan.

    Age Range

    • Start by asking yourself what age range you prefer to teach. While some may enjoy teaching fundamental basics to younger children, many others will enjoy guiding older students through more difficult concepts.Many older tutees will be university or college students looking for tutoring in their post-secondary classes. This means that if you’re looking to teach older students, you may have to be specialized with an accreditation in that particular field. For instance, a student majoring in Chemistry in university may be wary of taking classes from someone who has only taught high school science.For those looking to tutor university students, any experience you’ve had as a professor, teacher, or teacher’s assistant in a post-secondary setting will go a long way.However, there are many mature students that may be looking to upgrade their current grades as a way to get into a good university or college. If you’re looking to teach older students but have no experience with teaching university curriculum, this is a great way to cater to that niche.

    Class Size

    • Another factor is the size of class you want to teach. One-on-one tutoring is often preferred since it allows the teacher to create personalized lesson plans and gives them the ability to cater to their students’ individual needs.However, there are some positives to offering small classes as well. For instance, individual tutoring sessions may be too expensive for some students, so they may be looking for a cheaper option. Also, since you’ll be offering your services to more students, you may be able to make more money per session depending on how much you’re able to charge and how many students you have at a time.

    Online or In-Class

    • Deciding on whether you want to offer in-home or online tutoring is another step that can help separate you from your local competition. Not only does online tutoring offer you the ability to work from the comfort of your own home, it also allows you the potential to take on clients from anywhere in the world.However, many students prefer to take a more personal approach to their learning, preferring a physical classroom setting. If you’ve got a vehicle, offering to go to your students’ homes can allow you to charge more for your services, since they don’t have to drive to you (or in the case of children, the parents don’t have to drop them off and pick them up).

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    Decide on What You Want to Teach

    Many private tutors specialize in one area, so your next order of business should be to decide what subject matter you want to teach.

    • While teaching a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject is the most in demand right now, it’s a good idea to focus on something you have a passion for. If you aren’t interested in the material, your students will pick up on this and more than likely lose interest as well.

    • Many tutors also focus on a specific test as a great way to market to people looking to take tests like the LSAT (law school admission test) or MCAT (medical college admission test). Test prep courses can be lucrative — in many cases, the student is charged a premium to take the test, and some are only offered a certain number of times every year. With so much at stake, tutors with a knack for teaching students how to ace these exams can often charge a premium.

    • However, what you teach doesn’t have to be a traditional school subject. Some other ideas of classes you could teach are:

      • Yoga classes

      • Fine arts, such as portrait painting

      • How to play an instrument

      • Exercise, such as boxing

    These are just a few ideas of what kind of classes you can teach. In some cases, you may not even need formal training for some of these options. Just having an experienced resume can be enough for people to seek out your expertise.

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    Start Advertising Your Services

    Now that you know who and what you want to teach, it’s time to start getting the word out about your small business. Here are a few ways to spread the word about your services:

    • Social media is a great way to start telling friends and acquaintances about your tutoring services. Encourage your friends to share your posts for some easy publicity as well.

    • If you’ve got some budget available, using pay-per-click advertising is a great way to make your business seen on Google, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media outlets.

    • Word of mouth is another powerful method of advertising your tutoring services. Asking your clients to rate your business and write a review on Google can go a long way to helping your reputation.

    Related read: 17 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Business

    Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance

    Ensuring you’re protected with the right Business Insurance policy is a vital part of any business structure. Here are some common business insurance policies you should have to protect your tutoring business:

    • Professional liability insurance. This popular policy is also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, and protects the policyholder from claims of professional negligence. For instance, if a student fails an important exam and feels that it’s your fault for not teaching the proper material, they could come after you for damages.Pro tip: Make sure to check with your insurance company to see if you’ll need this — in some cases, your homeowner’s insurance or condo insurance policy could include professional liability insurance.

    • General liability insurance. This policy protects you from any injuries or bodily harm that may come about during the course of your tutoring. If you’re teaching a client in your home and they get hurt, they could attempt to get you into a lawsuit, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.

    • Contents insurance. Also referred to as commercial property insurance, this policy is designed to protect you from damage or loss of any of your business property. For instance, having a computer is a necessary part of many tutors’ jobs. Should anything happen to this or any other important equipment, this policy can help with the replacement costs.

    Getting the proper insurance shouldn’t be complicated. APOLLO Insurance makes it effortless with a simplified process that will have your policy emailed directly to you within 15 minutes.

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    Originally published November 10, 2022, updated August 25, 2023

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