How Do I Write a Business Plan for an Online Tutoring Business?

You have asked, “How do I write a business plan for an online tutoring business?” This is an excellent question. If you are thinking about doing some online tutoring or if you are considering a startup that involves online tutoring, then it is a good idea to start with a solid plan for your expected operations. 

To write a business plan for an online tutoring business you will need to include at least ten important points: an executive summary, a business description, marketing analysis and strategy, marketing and sales plan, Competitive analysis, management and organization description, products and services description, operating plan, financial projection and needs, appendices that contain anything else that you need that doesn’t fit under these headings. 

Getting Started

How Do I Write a Business Plan for an Online Tutoring Business?

If you are just beginning to consider your online tutoring business, then it is a good idea to start with the old Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How list frequently used for creating journalism articles, non-fiction works, or even fictional works. A great way to do this is to copy or download a standard business plan template. You can frequently find good ones by checking out a book on small businesses, going to your state’s website for the development of small businesses, or downloading a template from an online source. While these are not a substitute for consulting a knowledgeable professional, they will help you get started thinking in the right direction. The more you have thought out before you go to your professional consultant, the greater your chances of creating a viable plan that will not only impress that person, it will also show lenders and other financial stakeholders that you have thought your plan through. 

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Know Your Market

There are a wide variety of online tutoring businesses already available on the Internet, ranging from homework helpers to instruction at the professional level. This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that there are plenty of examples for you to look at. The bad news is that competition can be fierce. There is a good chance that you will need some financial help with your setup; and that means you need an excellent business plan to show lenders, prospective business partners, or corporate members. 

Who, What , When, Where, Why, and How

Before you get into writing a formal business plan, ask yourself these six questions. You will find that while it is not an exhaustive reference for writing your business plan, you will need to find solutions for these basic queries. If you already have them lined out, it makes the formal write-up easier.

  1. Who: Who will teach the classes, who will take the classes? Some kinds of tutorials, such as informal arts or crafts, can be taught by just about anyone. However, if your classes will involve creating credentials or if you are instructing minors, your instructors will need specialized training, certification, and might need to pass a background check.
  2. What: What subjects will you teach or tutor in? Will you be helping students with homework, teaching them a language, coaching college level classes, or teaching something for fun or personal development?
  3. When: Will you have formal “open” hours for your business? How will you handle enrollment across time zones?
  4. Where: While Internet classes can be set up to reach students just about anywhere, you will need a physical address for your business. You will need to pay appropriate taxes regardless of you home location, and you will need a place where you can receive physical business assets, such as servers and your Internet connection. For an online business, that last is supremely important.
  5. Why: Why have you chosen to do online tutorials? Is it because you are passionate about a topic? Because you need extra money? Because you have specialized knowledge that you would like to impart?
  6. How: How will you go about setting up your tutorials. Will you use a shareable medium such as Google docs? A public domain teaching platform such as Moodle? Will you record lectures? Post writing information? Provide demonstrations or a “sandbox” for computer programs? Use an online “whiteboard” to interactively share skills, such as how to work a math problem?

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers before you start work on your business plan. You might need to change some of the answers as you go along. That is all right. In fact, as you gain more information about how to put your service together, you should be flexible enough to make changes. Even after your business is started and you have been doing it for a while, you might want to go back and revamp your business plan. 

Definitions of the Ten Important Parts of a Business Plan

These definitions for the parts of a business plan are extremely limited. Before you embark upon this business venture, it is an excellent idea to visit your public library and check out as many books as you can read in a week about business plans and about business in general. With that general disclaimer, here goes:

How Do I Write a Business Plan for an Online Tutoring Business?
  • Executive Summary. This is an enthusiastic, overview of your business, how it will operate, and what you hope to achieve. Ideally, you should write this last, after you have written all the other parts.
  • Company Overview. Nope, this is not the same as your executive summary. This is a bird’s eye view of your business the service you hope to render (tutoring) and what you plan for it to achieve, which can range from assisting special students who must learn from home, helping home-school parents, coaching young adults in life skills, teaching academic skills, imparting technical how-to, and so much more. It should include your mission statement, your company history, and similar items, but should be brief.
  • Business Description. Here we get into the nuts and bolts of your business, such as the type of platform you will use to deliver the lessons, who will teach them, what kind of credentials your teachers will have, items such as background checks (important where minor children are involved), dealing with time zones, and  that very important thing, how you will get paid. 
  • Marketing Analysis and Strategy. Here is where you will look at the competition, and what your tutoring service can offer that is unique when compared to similar services. You will also cover advertising here, as well as a formal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) review. 
  • Marketing and Sales. This seems a lot like the above, but you’ll get into more specifics such as will you contact local schools and home school organizations to offer your services, will  you leave business cards at local school supply stores, place adds on websites that parents might frequent, and similar strategies.
  • Competitive Analysis. Who is offering a similar service? How are they doing it? How can you do it better?
  • Products and Services. Tutoring, of course. But what topics? Are you going to offer other goods and services, such as workbooks, applications, and similar items? How about t-shirts? Cups? Pencils?
  • Operating Plan. This is about how you are going to conduct your day-to-day business. Don’t forget about that pesky time zone consideration. Also, this is where you address how the owner/operator and/or employees gain remuneration. What payment platform will you use? Will it be the same one as the app used to collect payments? What about liability? Health insurance for your workers? How will their hours be organized? Are they contract labor, or will you need an employer ID number so  you can do a formal payroll?
  • Financial Projection and Needs. This section has three important parts: the amount of money you anticipate bringing in, your initial outlay for equipment and similar setup costs, and your day-to-day operating costs. Other considerations include assets you have saved or accumulated that can be used as part of your business, investing partners, or even shares if you plan to incorporate. If you wish to apply for a business loan to help with start-up costs or if you plan to offer shares in your business, it is extremely important that you get this part right. This is an area where professional help could be invaluable. 
  • Appendices. You might have a number of things that would be good to include with your business plan that do not handily fit under the other categories. You can append these documents or copies of them to the back of your business plan. 


It should be noted here that this is a brief overview of how to write a business plan for an online tutorial business. It does not get into the specifics of starting up and running such a business or address specific licenses or certifications that you might need. It is presented as a starting point if you are interested in such a business and should not be considered professional advice. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I just want to earn a little extra money tutoring. Is there an easier way to do this?
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If your only goal is to earn a little extra money, then instead of starting your own tutoring business you could sign on with one of the many existing companies that offer online tutoring. It is a good way to learn about this kind of business and to see how established tutoring companies set up their offerings. 

  • Where can I learn more about how to set up a tutoring business?

There are so many places to learn more about setting up any business, or to set up a tutoring service. Your public library is an excellent resource for business information. Or you can take some evening classes at your local community college or trade school. If you find business to be of interest to you, you might even sign up for a four-year degree in business. And, of course, there are websites in abundance on the Internet that will share information about business startups of all kinds. 

  • Should I consult with a professional when setting up my business plan?

Yes, you absolutely should consult with a professional who specializes in business set-ups before finalizing your business plan. However, you can save money and time by reading about business and business startups, looking at the requirements in your state for new businesses. Do your homework and due diligence investigation, then get an expert to check your work.

To learn more on how to plan your own online tutoring business click here!

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.