Developing your tutoring business sales plan
To develop an initial tutoring business sales plan, you need to identify your overall business goals which almost certainly will include growing your existing business and acquiring new business or expanding into a new metropolitan or geographical area. Simple to say, harder to do!
To start your business plan work on the 4 main areas.
So a strategy could be to move into a new market, offer a new service etc.
Once you have your strategies work on your tactics. Consider the specific services you offer and ask yourself some simple questions: . Why are your tutors/your company the best choice, as opposed to another tutoring company or other tutors? Keep in mind, you’re selling yourself and your company as well as your business services.
What sets you apart? Do you: Specialize in some subjects that differentiate you? Hands-on k–12 academic tutoring? Provide after-school homework help? Offer Summer Camps? Promote STEM or 21st Century learning? Prepare students for college? Conduct ACT/SAT Test Prep workshops? Tutor college students? Willingness to travel to students location? Willingness to work evenings? Weekends? Holidays? These are all unique selling points or USP’s.
Tutoring is very personal. Consider your target audience. With younger students you’re selling to parents, whereas with older students you’re selling directly to them. What will motivate each group to take action?
Also, consider the size of your sales territory. Whether you are a franchise business or you’re independent; regardless of where you operate from (store-front, your home, or your students’ homes); your territory has to be large enough to provide plenty of prospects to support your business.
Tactics – Get the word out
Print and direct mail aren’t good choices to get the word out about your business, unless you have a very large marketing budget. Forget the Yellow Pages too! Both mediums are expensive and no longer as effective in the Internet-age.
For a specialized service like tutoring, local radio and cable TV can be cost-effective, and a direct mail campaign might be worthwhile if you concentrate on a small area with a high concentration of prospects.
A high quality brochure, posters and business cards are VERY effective. Post them anywhere families gather or you find community (Periodically check your posts and replenish if necessary):
- bulletin boards
- public libraries
- community centers
- sports facilities
- coffee shops
- grocery stores
- Chamber of Commerce (attend marketing gatherings)
- Teacher or tutor organizations
- LinkedIn groups.
Offer to speak @:
- Service clubs
- Other community groups
Network, network, network…
Word-of-mouth advertising is free, and third-party recommendations tend to carry more weight than anything you say about yourself. Include these ideas in your tutoring business sales plan.
You can get referrals from:
- Friends and classmates of your students.
- Friends, neighbors and co-workers of your students’ parents.
- Local public and private schools.
- Build relationships with teachers and leave behind brochures, cards or a poster.
- Build relationships with guidance counselors and leave behind brochures, cards or a poster.
- Coaches, whose team members must keep up their grades.
- Your own friends and colleagues
- Request testimonials from students, parents, teachers and your tutors.
Online marketing is CRITICAL
An attractive website isn’t enough anymore. You need good search engine optimization (SEO).
A professional look says quite a bit about you and your business, but if they can’t find you, what is it worth?
The good news is you don’t have to unload lots of cash to get an appealing and high-functioning site. Include all your course offerings and those all-important testimonials. Offer downloadable articles as well as your brochure. Put your web address on ALL marketing materials.
Social media and content marketing is extremely important these days. Make the most of these mediums using visuals and testimonials. And it’s free!
Create a presence on:
You can connect with prospects, convert them to customers and expand your marketing reach with online sharing and recommendations.
Expand your knowledge; expand your reach
- Learn about content marketing to improve your SEO and maximize your online branding opportunities.
- Create an e-newsletter, a blog, posting information readers can use, solve a problem not just self-promotion.
- Make a short video about how to study, how to pick a tutor, etc. and post all your work to YouTube.
A few more ideas for your tutoring business sales plan:
- Always work to capture your prospects email addresses
- Include “sign up for our quarterly e-newsletter and get your first class free” or some other enticement in all collateral.
- ASK readers to forward or share your posts. And make sure your brochure, blog and e-newsletter have a look that’s consistent with your website.
- Take advantage of free online advertising via Craigslist or other sites.
- Create a Groupon/LivingSocial offer
- Offer referral incentives and family or other group discounts.
- Hold an open house.
- Offer free short workshops or seminars on learning-related subjects.
- Advertise on retail merchandise bags or receipts.
- Use promotional give-aways.
- Partner with other local businesses that cater to your age students.
- Create cross-promotions such as “complete 10 tutoring sessions and get 15% off” your partner’s products.
- Say yes to sponsorships that will put your name in front of students or parents
- ball games, school activities, community events, etc.
- Write a periodic newspaper or trade journal article.
- Put a sign on your car or wrap the whole thing.
Take the same advice you’d give your students – do your homework.
Then track all your sales efforts to determine what works best and most cost-effectively.
Identify what’s working and eliminate what’s not. And, carry on.
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