1. Write a business plan

Writing a business plan is an important step when considering starting a tutoring business. Your business plan will help you think about what needs to be completed at various stages and will help you focus your time and energy on the essential steps of building a tutoring business.
A business plan will also help you plan ahead for potential challenges and come up with ways to deal with them. Your business plan will also help you determine the viability of your business and will allow you to determine if it will be profitable or if you need to change your plan in some way to make it profitable.

Items to consider in your business plan include:
- What services will you offer?
- What geographic area will you serve?
- Who will be responsible for different roles in your business (tutoring, accounting, receptionist, etc).
- How will you find customers?
- How much will you charge for your services.
- Will you need to register your business or meet any regulatory requirements?

2. Do a Self-Evaluation

If you've completed a business plan you should have a pretty good idea of what the tutoring business is like. The next step is to determine if this is something you want to do. It's important to evaluate if you have the skills to operate a business and if you don't have certain skills will you be able to find someone who does have those skills. Starting a tutoring business can be a time-consuming process and it can put a strain on your finances, so you need to have the perseverance and desire necessary to stick with it.

3. Take Action

Many business ideas never get past the business plan stage. Planning a business is easy and comfortable because it doesn't involve any risk. There is no chance of failure if you never actually implement your plan, which is why so many people never make it past this stage. However, if you never get past this stage and implement your plan you will also not have the opportunity to reap the benefits of your business. Once you've developed your plan you should make a commitment to complete different steps by certain dates and then stick to your time targets.

4. Be Flexible

No business works out exactly the way you expect it to – sometimes things go better than expected and other times they go worse. The key is to be flexible and be able to adapt to your environment. As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” The same holds true to the business world, you need to adapt in order to survive and thrive.

5. Focus on Marketing

Many people that start tutoring businesses have a background in education. They may be independent tutors or former teachers and they see tutoring as an ideal business and while they have a head start in the education department, they often struggle with the marketing side of the business. Even if you are a great teacher or have tutors who are great teachers, you won't make much money unless you can let a large number of people know how great your teaching is. Marketing is a tool to let people know the services and quality you offer. There are a variety of ways to promote your business including classifieds, word of mouth, networking with local school guidance counselors, online advertising and more. Try a variety of methods and see which work best for you. Successful tutoring businesses can survive on word-of-mouth advertising alone, but in order to make it through the initial stages you will need to make use of other methods.

6. Bootstrap

Bootstrapping is a term frequently used referring to the methods used by small businesses to minimize costs. This often includes the owners of the business performing many roles including manger, teacher, accountant, receptionist, etc. When you start your tutoring business you will likely need to where many hats. Another part of bootstrapping is only spending money on the essentials. Many new business owners think that spending money on expensive software and office supplies will determine the success of their business, when in fact these are some of the least important things when starting up. A tutoring business requires very little to start up and with the availability of free or low-cost software it's even cheaper than in the past. You can use programs like Google Calendar for scheduling, a free spreadsheet program for tracking finances and a phone to handle inquiries.

7. Focus Your Energy on What Matters

If you are responsible for a lot of roles in your business, it's important to focus on the essential activities that will grow your business. Don't waste your time on minor details such as your logo design, what type of office furniture you should buy or on time consuming tasks such as accounting. Some of these activities can be eliminated completely and others you can simplify or automate. For instance, you can reduce the time you spend on managing your business by using tutoring business software. The time you save by eliminating or automating certain activities can be used for activities that create more value and will actually grow your business such as marketing, networking and finding the best tutors.

8. Keep a positive and resourceful attitude

All businesses face challenges from time to time and small business probably face more of them. The key is to keep a positive attitude and view problems as challenges that can be overcome. If you can keep a positive and resourceful attitude that focuses on solutions and potential then you will be able to make it through difficulties and grow your business. Keep in mind that if you can make it through the difficult starting stage you will face less challenges down the road.

Author's Bio: 

Christie Van Arragon is an entrepreneur and tutoring enthusiast. She enjoys sharing her experiences and insights about tutoring and business with other people who will find it useful.