How to Start an Online Tutoring Business

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If you are knowledgeable in a certain area of education and are adept at teaching others, then you might consider starting an online tutoring business. Many students need extra assistance in a variety of disciplines. High-speed Internet access provides you with a way to tutor students remotely over the Internet. You may want to consider setting up a website to outline your services and sign up with an Internet messenger service that will allow you to communicate with your clients in real time. The start-up costs are extremely low and the possibilities are numerous with an online tutoring business.

Research the online market for tutoring businesses. In particular, research the market for tutoring businesses that specialize in your discipline. If there is viable competition, consider how you will compete. For example, you may offer more flexible hours or provide personalized assistance that other large tutoring businesses cannot provide as well. Look into what standard qualifications online tutors have and be sure that you exceed those qualifications.

Write a detailed business plan based on your research and planning. Define your business goals with a mission statement. Describe what you will need as well as how you will operate your business in detail. Define the hours that you will spend tutoring and be available for assisting your clients. Provide an analysis of your market and competition as well as a marketing strategy that will allow you to compete. Because the online marketplace is so large, you will need to stand out for your expertise and quality of tutoring. Lay out financial projections for the first year of your business. Attach any documents that will be necessary to form your business at the end of the business plan. The business plan should detail the first year of your business. After a year, you will need to revise the plan to reflect your current business outlook.

Fill out and file a business and tax registration form as well as any other necessary documents to establish your business as a legal entity. You may need to consult an accountant to discuss tax requirements for a service-based business over the Internet. Since your business is service based and over the Internet, you should not be subject to any local or state regulations for operating out of your home. If you have specific legal or tax concerns, consult an attorney or accountant.

Set up a small office in your home. Equip your workspace with a computer, high-speed Internet access and a desk. You will want a bookshelf for reference materials as well as a printer and filing system.

Acquire any further qualifications that you may need in your area of expertise to provide the best tutoring service possible to your clients. This may mean taking courses or attending workshops and seminars. Refer to your research to determine the standard requirements for your discipline.

Develop an interactive website with the assistance of a web designer. Detail your services, expertise and methods for tutoring on your website. Set up a forum and blog to encourage interaction on your website. Provide tips and strategies on your blog. Update it regularly to encourage repeat visitors and maintain a high search engine ranking.

Set up an account with an online messenger program to provide you with the ability to interact with your clients in real time. An example may be Yahoo Messenger or a more integrated system such as Google Chrome. Be sure that it is something that you and your clients are familiar with and can effectively use.

Advertise in online classifieds and other community bulletin boards and forums. Look into advertising options on websites that provide learning and educational information.


  • Create a strong online community through a content-rich website to build a client base.


  • Be sure to clearly define your services prior to working with a new client.



About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.

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