Off the back of a hugely successful conversation with Mike Michalowicz on the Qualified Tutor Podcast, we decided to summarise Mike’s 7 key points for tutors.
Tutors must see themselves as small businesses, so that they can grow their service, ultimately providing the best outcomes for their students.
In no particular order …
1. Tutors have a responsibility to be good at business
You don’t need to be a business mogul. Being ‘good’ at business involves understanding how you can get the most out of what you’re good at. It doesn’t mean making thousands, or even millions, of pounds quickly.
Focusing on how you can streamline your tutoring business’ finances means you can devote more time to session planning, feedback, building a relationship with the student and/or parent – the areas that are most closely linked to a student’s overall progress.
2. Sales → Profit → Efficiency → Impact
This clear pathway to the eventual goal does not have to be read linearly. We as tutors can, and should, make a positive impact from minute one, whether we’re generating profit right away.
However, each step takes care of the previous one and builds towards what we and Mike believe can be the ultimate success of a tutor’s sessions.
3. The primacy and consistency of Transformation
We want our tutoring to be transformative, not transactional.
Transactional means that no progress beyond the student’s examinable knowledge in that subject has been made.
Transformational means that, as well as the subject area you may be covering, you encourage the student to see the potential for progress across their learning, be it academic or otherwise.
Consistent sales are one of the keys to this. If you find that you do everything you can for one student, but run out of momentum to do this time and time again, then it may be because you’re spending too much time working out where your next student will come from.
Securing a better return for your work leads to legacy and longevity, which are crucial elements of any successful business.
4. Tutors change lives forever
Successful tutors make an impact long beyond the actual sessions with the student. The more time that is spent consolidating and planning how you can work you’re your student’s specific strengths and needs, the greater this impact will be.
Tutors, as Mike clearly states, bear a responsibility to release and pass on this knowledge, as others around and before them do and have done.
5. You CANNOT be afraid to market yourself
Students and clients need to know you exist; no one else will do it for you. Although this may sound blunt, it is the truth of an increasingly competitive market.
The Qualified Tutor Community supports tutors to promote themselves, with live interactive workshops providing you with the best advice for growing your network and the most supportive environment in which to do so.
6. Charging more does not mean focusing on yourself
It means greater focus on your student’s progress and success, so that you are not worried about the next client.
What’s more, you will find that your student is more engaged (or the parent is more committed to their child’s learning) when they know there is more at stake.
This does not mean pricing out your student and we fully support working with your client so that it works well for both parties. But you owe it to yourself and to the student to charge appropriately, which can often mean charging more than you currently do.
7. Impact-to-dollar, not hour-to-dollar
This was one of the most interesting points to come from this discussion, one we hadn’t considered too much up til now.
Work such as that a tutor does must be seen in light of an impact-to-dollar (read: pound, if you’re in the UK), not an hour-to-dollar, ratio.
Tutors can be comfortable with their rate, in comparison with that which a teacher may earn, because of the potentially life-transforming impact they can have.
Life as a tutor is not always as simple as this, and this enriching conversation focused on the business side of tutoring as this is not expertise that Qualified Tutor deals with.
We want to encourage you to view yourself as a small business. This means consolidating your financial future as the effects of this on the most important aspect of tutoring, the student’s learning, can be life-changing.
We’re always happy to chat.
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Thank you – we felt it more useful to generalise here as Mike is admittedly not an expert in tutoring (though he’s pretty darn good!). What further, more specific advice would you like to see here?