Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 8,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their tutoring service. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a tutoring business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your tutoring service as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a tutoring service, or grow your existing tutoring service, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out how you will grow your business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Tutoring Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a tutoring service are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a tutoring service is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a tutoring service. They might consider funding a tutoring company with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.
How To Write a Business Plan For a Tutoring Service
Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of tutoring service business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a tutoring service that you would like to grow, or are you operating a network of tutoring businesses?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the tutoring industry. Discuss the type of tutoring you are offering. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of tutoring you are offering.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Exam preparation: this type of tutoring company provides exam preparation and training materials for high school students, undergraduate students, and recent college graduates preparing for college entrance exams such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, etc.
- Primary school tutoring: this type of tutoring specializes in helping students in K-12. This type of tutoring is typically subject-specific – math, literature, history, etc.
- Occupational and advanced academics tutoring: agencies may sometimes specialize in occupational certification for those entering the workforce as engineers, mechanics, technicians, etc.
In addition to explaining the type of tutoring you provide, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include placement goals you’ve reached, the number of new contracts, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the tutoring industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the tutoring industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:
- How big is the tutoring industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5-10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your tutoring service? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: elementary students, middle school students, high school students, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of tutoring you offer. Clearly, high school students would want different subject tutoring and would respond to different marketing promotions than professional certification clients.
Try to break out your target market in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most tutors primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target market. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other tutoring services.
Indirect competitors are other options customers may use that aren’t direct competitors. This includes peers, teachers, or graduate students. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs help with grade improvement and test preparation will hire a tutoring company.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other tutors with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be tutoring services located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What types of tutoring services do they offer?
- What is their pricing structure (premium, low, tiered, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regard to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior services?
- Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to engage your services?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a tutoring service, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of tutoring that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific courses or subject help you will be offering. For example, in addition to high school level math tutoring, will you provide GED preparation, or will you be specializing in certification preparation for a specific occupation?
Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place: Place refers to the location of your tutoring services. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your tutoring office located next to a high school or near a retail district, etc? Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.
Promotions: the final part of your tutoring marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to schools and teachers
- Reaching out to local websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your tutoring service, such as serving customers, attracting future applications, processing paperwork, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect your 100th student to successfully improve their grades, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect your Xth student to excel at a specific exam, or when you expect to launch a new location.
To demonstrate your tutoring business’ ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in teaching or tutoring. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in education and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement: an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you tutor 10 students per week or 50? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets: Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your tutoring office, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a $100,000 contract for helping employees achieve certification, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for curriculum, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180 day period, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing your tutoring service:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of equipment like software, office equipment, etc.
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office design blueprint or location lease.
Putting together a business plan for your tutoring company is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the tutoring industry, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful tutoring service.
Finish Your Tutoring Business Plan in 1 Day!
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your plan?
With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!
Click here to finish your business plan today.
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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
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Tutor Business Plan FAQs
What Is the Easiest Way to Complete My Tutoring Business Plan?
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your business plan.
Where Can I Download a Free Business Plan Template PDF?
Click here to download the pdf version of our basic business plan template.
Our free business plan template pdf allows you to see the key sections to complete in your plan and the key questions that each must answer. The business plan pdf will definitely get you started in the right direction.
We do offer a premium version of our business plan template. Click here to learn more about it. The premium version includes numerous features allowing you to quickly and easily create a professional business plan. Its most touted feature is its financial projections template which allows you to simply enter your estimated sales and growth rates, and it automatically calculates your complete five-year financial projections including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Here’s the link to our Ultimate Business Plan Template.