Tutoring and other supplemental educational services are prevalent these days, especially with the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act. Parents realize the benefits that qualified tutors can bring to their children’s education and find themselves looking for someone who can relate to their child and provide quality tutoring. Scanning bulletin boards or calling local colleges often proves to be laborious and unsuccessful. After all, who wants just anyone coming into their home to tutor? Hiring someone sight-unseen can be a risk, regardless of how great a resume may look, but driving to and from a learning center proves to be a time-consuming undertaking that more and more families comprised of both parents working full-time are not able to do. While the No Child Left Behind Act works for many lower income families, the children in middle to upper class families often do not qualify for this “free tutoring.” So the demand grows for qualified tutoring and tutoring services.

Over the past decade, many entrepreneurs have taken note of this need and have opened tutoring services. If you are interested in starting a home tutoring business, but aren’t sure how to make it happen, buying a business opportunity that shows you how to become a tutor broker may be for you. After all, if someone else has led the way and developed a business that works, why re-invent the wheel? These business opportunities can be a wonderful alternative to the pricey, traditional franchised learning centers. However, you need to do your research and find the one that best fits your situation. What used to be a niche in the educational services market is quickly being filled in by many reputable (and some not so reputable) individuals hoping to make money by selling a guideline to operating an in-home tutoring service in their community. Consider the following before you invest your money:

Some tutoring business opportunities are cheap - $99.00 gets you a basic business plan. Others will charge upwards of $15,000. There are several companies priced in between. Decide where your strengths are – are you experienced in the business world and/or the educational industry? If so, you may not need to buy a high-priced product. Conversely, you get what you pay for, and $99.00 is a very low price to successfully begin a business that you want to be profitable and lucrative. In other words, do your homework and be sure you talk to the President or Founder of the companies you are considering. Clarify exactly what you will be receiving for your money and be sure it is in writing on their website. Ask how long they have been in business and request phone numbers of some of their clients. If the company refuses to give you references, cross them off your list. Anyone selling an opportunity should be open to prospective buyers speaking with their clients.

What will your investment include; a manual or formal detailed step-by-step business plan of some kind, templates for advertising, a website, an accounting program, free advice? Decide what is essential for your skill level. If you have never started a business, all of the above-mentioned items are necessary. Look carefully at the quality of what is included in your purchase. The company should maintain an up-to-date website that shows you examples of all of the components you will receive. Read the Terms & Conditions on their site for any hidden costs down the road or time limits on using their services.

Does the company you are considering offer support after they sell to you or are you on your own? Many entrepreneurs, especially first-time entrepreneurs, need some coaching and mentoring in the early stages of their business. Ask who you are supposed to call if you have questions. If there is no formal support system in place, such as a certain number of consultation hours and a toll-free number to contact, think again about investing. Knowing there is someone just a phone call or email away is very reassuring when you are venturing out on your own. Companies who do not encourage communication may not have the resources (or desire) to speak to their buyers after the sale is made. Make the decision if is important to you to have a sounding board if you need it.

Since business opportunities and business packages do not offer protected territories, inquire into how many have been sold in your immediate area. If you live in a large metropolis that can support several flourishing tutoring businesses and one or two have been sold, that becomes important information for you to consider. If you reside in a big town and there are no tutoring companies at all (even the major franchises) this may mean the demand for tutoring services just isn’t high enough to try to open a new business. Franchises almost always conduct a comprehensive demographic study before opening in a neighborhood. Knowing there are two or more major companies is a positive sign because you will be offering an alternative to the learning center environment.

If you are looking for a company that can provide an a-la-carte of programs, custom made for your individual needs, then look towards the Newbury Park, California based company Home Tutoring Business. HTB is the brainchild of Laurie Hurley, an ex-hotel executive turned home-based entrepreneur. Hurley offers a complete business “package” that details exactly how to begin a tutoring service – from choosing a catchy company name to contracting with qualified teachers, tutors and educators and matching them with kids in all grades, K-12 who need tutoring in any subject imaginable. Hurley refers to herself as a tutor broker. She does the leg work of advertising for tutors, as well as visiting her prospective clients in their home before she pairs a tutor with a student.

Hurley’s successful business model is based on her own tutor referral service, Bright Apple Tutoring, founded in 2002, which services a large area of Southern California. “Bright Apple is my bread and butter, but HTB is gaining in popularity as more and more individuals want to be in control of their future. Layoffs in the teaching industry and early retirees comprise much of my HTB client base. These are individuals that have a strong desire to make money and be their own boss, they just aren’t sure where to begin,” says Hurley.

Two years ago, HTB was launched and to date Hurley has assisted more than sixty companies open their doors in communities across the United States and Canada. Her packages include a comprehensive business manual, advertising and marketing materials, a complete website, and consultation, mentoring and coaching with Hurley via phone or email.

Hurley also recently began to fill a much needed void in the Tutoring Industry by launching Accounting Tools for Tutors (ATFT). ATFT is a tutoring business program that assists with the specific accounting needs and database management tasks unique to a tutoring service. It includes basic accounting features needed to track income and expenses. “I found myself piecing together Excel spreadsheets and trying to use Quick Books, but the result wasn’t good enough to accurately track my clients and tutors and produce correct invoices and other documentation I needed. So, I contracted with a group of individuals that helped me customize a program to fit my needs and the needs of all of my HTB buyers.” Hurley quickly discovered that her ATFT program was in high demand in the tutoring industry. Some of her customers include private tutors and large franchises.

If a home tutoring business is what you are looking for then stop by Hurley’s site today at http://www.hometutoringbusiness.com. You’ll find all the information you need to succeed and so much more.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Hurley has been featured in national magazines including this summer’s Entrepreneur Magazine’s Summer Start-Up Guide, Woman's World, Family Circle, Family Fun, Parenting and more. Her site at www.hometutoringbusiness.com
offers detailed information on getting started in your own tutoring brokering business. For additional information contact Hurley at info@hometutoringbusiness.com. Article is free to reprint as long as author's bio remains intact.