Private tutoring is big business in the UK. Over the last decade alone, the industry has grown to be worth an estimated £6 billion. Indeed, according to the Times Educational Supplement, in 2020, more than a quarter (27%) of all 11 to 16-year-olds received private tuition. This makes it a lucrative market for ambitious self-employed tutors.
However, whether you run your own business or work as a freelancer, knowing how to win more work can be tricky. Preparing your business for growth by putting the correct insurance policies in place can also be a challenge. With this in mind, in this guide we outline some easy to implement strategies that will get your tutoring business growing. We also explain how your insurance needs may change as your business expands.
Making the conscious decision to grow your business can be daunting. After all, with growth comes increased risk. However, for many self-employed tutors, the need to expand will be signalled by a range of common scenarios. For example, if you are struggling to find new students in your area or your business has sustained constant profits and you want to move to the next level, it’s time to think about expanding.
Of course, you don’t have to experience either of these things to want to expand. If you are ambitious and have the work ethic to match, there’s nothing stopping you trying new things and implementing change to grow your business. Below we look at a number of quick and easy ways to expand your tutoring company.
In this day and age, no matter what business you run, being active online is a must. This not only improves perceptions of your business’ legitimacy, it also allows you to significantly increase your reach. Naturally, this can result in more leads, more business and more business growth.
However, establishing an online presence is not as easy as it once was. Nowadays, a solitary website won’t cut it. On top of a user-friendly site, you also need to think about social media. To make sure you don’t miss a trick when improving your business’ digital presence, take a look at the checklist below.
1. Build a website
As mentioned above, a company website is essential. According to online domain experts Verisign, 84% of consumers think a website makes a business more credible than those which only have social media profiles. So this should be a priority.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create and launch an effective website. It doesn’t even need to be anything too fancy. As long as it is user-friendly, clear and professional-looking, it will serve its purpose. In terms of what it should contain, think about a full service list, a personal bio and CV, and a few positive testimonials from previous clients.
You may also want to think about including a blog section. Parents of prospective students will want to know as much about you as possible before hiring, and a blog can be a great way to present this information naturally. Finally, make sure your site provides an easy way for clients to get in touch with you. This can be as simple as providing a phone number or email address.
2. Use social media
Social media is almost unavoidable nowadays. For this reason, being active on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be a great way to drum up custom and expand your business. And remember – simply having a profile is not enough. In order to engage with potential clients, you have to remain active. This should involve contributing to discussions in relevant groups and communities. Posts that display real-life testimonials from past clients is also a good idea. Naturally, you will also be required to respond to any business-related comments and queries.
3. Create video content
Another way to improve your business’ digital presence is by creating regular video content. By generating short videos that demonstrate your knowledge and teaching skills, you can build brand trust and authority. Doing this has never been easier. Whether you opt to create three minute TikTok clips or longer YouTube videos, they can be shared between potential clients, as well as on your business’ website and social media channels.
A common barrier to growth for many private tutoring businesses is ineffective pricing structures. It can be hard to know what to charge for your time, especially if you are new to tutoring. However, it’s really important not to undersell yourself. With this in mind, if you are looking to grow, reassessing your pricing is a good place to start.
Remember – you need to strike a balance between being affordable for your client base while also making sure you earn enough. For this reason, it can help to conduct research to discover what other local tutors are charging before setting your own reviewed prices.
You could also offer a range of loyalty discounts. For example, this could include discounts for parents that pay for block sessions in advance. Alternatively, you could give discounts to parents that bring you more business through a referral scheme. This can be a quick and effective way to grow your client base.
Thinking about pricing for group sessions also provides a good opportunity to grow. This is to say, if you tutor two students with similar needs, you could suggest tutoring them both together at a slightly discounted rate. If the parents agree, this allows you to fit more tutoring sessions into your schedule, while still retaining two happy clients.
When it comes down to it, business expansion relies on a steady growth of your client base. While the advice above on building your online presence plays a big part in growing your client base, there are also more traditional methods to be aware of. These include:
This includes using business cards, flyers and pamphlets detailing your services. It can also involve advertising in local newspapers and on local radio stations.
By getting in touch with local schools to let them know about your services, you may be able to increase referrals.
For an annual fee, or a percentage of your client’s fee, you can list your business on a specialist tutor listing site. Although sometimes costly, this additional exposure can really help to build your client base.
When your tutoring business starts to experience growth, it’s important to reassess your insurance needs. While there are no legal requirements for self-employed private tutors to have any business insurance in place, this doesn’t mean cover is not a good idea. On the contrary, as your business grows, so will your risks. And as risks increase, so do the consequences should a claim be made against you. For this reason, private tutors should really consider two forms of insurance.
Firstly, professional indemnity insurance. This type of cover will protect you should a parent or student take legal action against you. Specifically, these policies are designed to protect against claims of financial or emotional damage that resulted from a mistake in your work or from inadequate advice.
The second policy tutors should consider purchasing is public liability insurance. These policies protect your business in the event a third party is injured, becomes ill or their property is damaged as a result of your tutoring. For example, if a student trips over your laptop cable and becomes injured during a session, public liability cover will pay all legal fees and compensation if you are sued.
Here at Caunce O’Hara, we understand the changing needs of growing tutoring businesses. That’s why we offer specialist teachers and tutors’ insurance packages. With our insurance, you can combine a range of covers into one single policy, ensuring your business gets the protection it needs to thrive.