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EDUCATION

How to Start a Home Tutoring Service in Nigeria

Many parents think their children could be helped by extra lessons besides what they get at school. This is usually either because they aren’t satisfied with their children’s pace of learning relative to their current stage in the formal education process, or it could be that these parents believe that the schools can’t give their wards all the education they need.

Whatever motivates families turning to private tutors, their demand for after-school supplements to their kids’ learning has spawned a whole industry. Home tutorship has become more than just a side hustle for teachers; it’s an enterprise and an increasingly respected one at that. What’s more, there’s money to be made from it as well.

It’s why services like Prepclass and Tuteria are springing up. These platforms have an online presence that lets them reach huge numbers of adults who want the children in their care to be tutored by persons qualified to teach specific subjects. The growing popularity of these kinds of ventures points to the desire of many to plug the learning gaps that exist with the kids in their lives.

However, you don’t have to go all techy like the examples we’ve mentioned. If you want to set up a home tutoring service, you simply need skills that’ll help you do well at imparting knowledge to the children you will be instructing. Perhaps some marketing on social media will let more people know that you exist; maybe they’ll inquire of your services after engaging with your online posts. But the first thing you should have is the qualification required to run this business.

Have you decided to set up a tutorial service targeting children of school going ages? Are you still wondering whether you should leap into this in the near future? If you consider yourself as belonging in one of these two categories, you should find this article helpful. In it, we’ll show you how to hit the ground running with this business.

Setting Up a Tutoring Service

1. Focus on What You’re Competent At

We are assuming that you have some educational training- it’s a must if you’re going to be a tutor.

You will be most comfortable and effective with teaching subjects that are related to the field you’ve been formally trained in, or courses you have mastered over time. For example, if you have a degree in physics education, you’ll probably be able to teach physics or maths. If you studied English literature at University, you may do well as an English tutor.

2. Look for Places With Unmet Tutoring Needs

Are tutors in high demand where you’re at? If they are, is the demand being met, or is there a supply gap you can fill? What if your locality doesn’t have such a shortage? What other districts in your city could you reach with your services?

You will have to answer these questions before going ahead with establishing your business. You want to be sure that there are enough potential families willing to pay for your services when you eventually begin to offer them.   

3. Decide If You’ll Be Starting Alone or With a Team

Some people want to start off as a single tutor and learn to manage teams as they begin to build them. Others will team up with fellow tutors from the very beginning. The former might allow the founder of the service lead any possible team that they form as time goes on; the latter makes for a more decentralized structure, in which every tutor has a significant stake in the venture.

Think about which organizational system would work for you in the medium to long term. But don’t forget to find out which of these options is easier to operate with at the moment.

 4. Have a Structure to Your Operations

Know how much time you (and your team) will allow for lessons. In practice, the actual times may be agreed upon by you and the people whose children you will be tutoring.  But it’s important to have a baseline from which you can negotiate, and limits to coaching times.

This is crucial because you won’t simply be teaching all the time. Because you’re running a business, you’ll also be balancing your accounts and marketing on various media. Unless you carve out time for these other things, your ‘main’ activity- the instruction you’re giving the children –will suffer. Give attention to all aspects of the venture.

5. Set Your Rates

When setting rates for your services, factor in the costs you incur to in the process of delivering them. These costs could include expenses made on teaching materials, transportation, energy, qualifications and salaries of team members, and the educational level with which the subject you’re teaching is associated. For example, you should charge more for teaching Biology than you would for Integrated Science. 

You may want to charge fixed fees, as this makes bookkeeping easier for you. But it’s also fine if you negotiate fees with parents on an individual basis. Here’s a guide to setting prices for your services.

6. Kickstart Your Business

When you have the bits we’ve mentioned here in place, you’ll be ready to start your tutorial service.

Get a couple of social media pages for your business, one for each social network you choose. These will serve as fronts through which you will be able to reach an audience beyond your immediate locality. But don’t neglect word of mouth; it’s a good idea to let your family, friends, and acquaintances know what you’re up to with your new business.

You can also spread the word about your home tutorials by offering excellent service to your first clients. If they’re impressed with the work you do, they could literally become unpaid ambassadors of your brand.

Featured image source: Shutterstock

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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