Q: I am interested in opening a tutoring center in my neighborhood, but I would like to know more about that type of business.
— F. Ramirez, Miami
A: Your timing for opening a tutoring center couldn’t be better. There is a strong demand for tutoring as a result of significant changes in education during the past decade toward increased testing, larger class sizes, and an emphasis on college preparation.
What does it take to be a tutor? To start, it will require plenty of patience and good communication skills. Students who need tutoring usually lack confidence and may be slow to understand your explanations. A good tutor needs to communicate effectively and be able to interpret the student’s needs. Also, a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree — although they are not required — will add credibility to marketing your tutoring services.
I found a couple of resources that can provide you with a basic understanding of the tutoring industry. The National Tutoring Association (www.ntatutor.org; 863-529-5206), the leading professional organization in the industry, is a good destination for learning how to start your own tutoring service. Also, take a look at Tutor.com, an online service that uses the Internet to connect people for one-to-one instruction. Make sure the Internet is part of your business model, whether you plan to offer services online or develop a Website to promote your new tutoring center.