Why Teachers Turn to Tutoring

Jobs & Careers

Why Teachers Turn to Tutoring

from Clark

By Kelsey Bowlby     Jan 21, 2019

Why Teachers Turn to Tutoring

Employment prospects and annual salaries for classroom teachers have reached all-time lows, with new teachers receiving an average of $38,617 in 2018—less than in the 1990s. And while turnover varies widely by state, the percentage of teachers leaving their jobs before retirement age is high. Because of low salaries, those in teaching roles are 30 percent more likely than other professionals to have a second job.

Many educators start tutoring as a logical way to earn extra income while helping students in focused, one-on-one sessions. But even those prospects can be bleak. Adding hourly work to a full-time schedule is labor-intensive and tiring. And independent tutoring is often difficult to scale. Yet, on-demand tutoring marketplaces offer notoriously low wages with capped upward mobility, and big tutoring franchises can require sums in excess of $100,000 up front to start a business with their name on it.

The good news is that those aren’t the only options. There’s a real demand for tutoring businesses beyond the big brands, a strong desire to work with smaller, locally owned and operated companies that know the community and schools and a growing client base that wants curriculum tailored to their needs, not an out-of-the-box national standard. Classroom teachers have the expertise to capitalize on that.

But making the leap from occasional after-school commitment to legitimate business can be daunting. With the hurdles of daily administrative tasks, marketing and financial matters, even full-time tutors stress over the complexities of managing their tutoring business.

Clark’s platform offers help for teachers who want to take their tutoring enterprise to the next level. Designed specifically with educators in mind, the software lets tutors operate a business, grow a client base and generate income without wasting countless hours on operational tasks. By streamlining accounting processes with automated invoicing, giving business owners at-a-glance views of their tutors’ schedules, and simplifying on-the-go session reporting with mobile-friendly tools, Clark handles the back-end work so tutors can focus on maximizing the hours spent actually tutoring—resulting in more impact and more income.

Maximize Your Impact

1. Reach More Students

Tutors have always done a balancing act between growing a full client base and over-committing to an unsustainable schedule. With new technologies and intuitive software, tutors are able to scale their businesses. No more turning away students due to a lack of available time or scrambling to find help from friends for a burgeoning business.

In fact, running your own tutoring business provides opportunities to hire additional tutors with expertise in more subjects, which in turn increases the ability to reach and serve a broader range of students. The right technology can help.

Denice Dixon founded her tutoring business using Clark. With a B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education, she was a full-time middle school teacher who tutored on the side before deciding to open TREAD Educational Services. In her new role, Denice has full control over her company’s growth. In the first three months of operation, she saw her number of monthly sessions quadruple from around 30 to almost 120. “To see growth in my students was nothing short of amazing,” she recollects. “I began to think of the impact I could have on so many more children.”

2. Make More Money

Making the switch from classroom teacher to tutoring business owner has a financial upside, too. Teachers can boost their income exponentially by running a tutoring business as opposed to just squeezing in tutoring clients outside of regular working hours or working for somebody else. As business owners, tutors can gain full control over billable hours, administrative tasks, and overhead expenses. More tutors working with more clients under their brand means more dollars for the bottom line.

Worries about overhead expenses and administrative tasks shouldn’t hold anyone back from starting a tutoring business. It’s possible to grow a business, generate revenue and still keep working directly with students as a tutor—it’s just a matter of using the right tools.

In Denice Dixon’s first year operating TREAD, she brought in over $63,000—quite a leap from the average starting salary for classroom teachers.

Sarah Gonzales, of Tungsten Prep in Washington, D.C., observes that “Clark has freed up untold weekly admin hours, allowing us to focus on growing our business significantly.”

Fred Tabeek of the FRED Center in Boston agrees. “It used to take me up to two days every month to figure out how much to pay everyone,” he says. ”Now, with Clark, I can do all of that in a matter of an hour.”

3. Grow Your Brand

Tutors rely on word-of-mouth to attract new clients, and a lot effort goes into building a reputation. Business owners working with Clark can seize on those positive impressions by growing a brand to expand their reach and influence. Customized invoices and session reports present a professional image and help build trust with clients both long- and short-term.

Juggling different clients on different schedules and different packages, tracking invoices and payment reminders, marketing to reach new clients, communicating regularly and providing thorough session reports to keep the clients you have—it’s a lot for one person.

With the right tools in place—ones that let you hire other tutors to meet demand, easily stay on top of scheduling and accounting and minimize time spent formatting and compiling thorough session reports—you can focus your energy and efforts on the tutoring itself and gain incremental revenue opportunities at the same time. As La’Vonnda Hanyes-Burnett of Zion Learning in San Francisco asserts, “Clark is great for any tutoring business that wants to become bigger and more efficient.”

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