Technology has improved significantly over the last 20 years to the point where it is now quite easy and cost-efficient to provide tutoring services online. While many independent tutors and tutoring companies view this as a favorable change in the industry it also poses many threats to existing businesses. Many articles look at the advantages and disadvantages of online tutoring from the perspective of the student - this article will explore this topic from the perspective of the tutoring business.
The availability of technology for online tutoring is most advantageous to new tutors or tutoring companies that are not yet established in the market. Online personal-tutors requires low start-up costs; it opens the tutor up to a much larger market and offers more flexibility for scheduling. Let's take a look at each of these advantages one at a time:
Although many independent tutors also have low start-up costs, if you are a tutoring company and decide to go the online route, you can avoid many of the expenses associated with starting up a traditional tutoring company. Traditional companies often require an office for administration or where tutoring takes place, marketing through local media, driving to meetings to prospective clients, etc. Online tutoring companies do not require an office other than a home office and definitely do not require a building for teaching students. Online marketing is lower cost and can be targeted more directly than traditional marketing, and talking with clients can be done online or by phone. These low start-up costs make it much easier for new businesses to start online.
Traditional tutoring companies are limited by geography - they cannot cost-effectively serve students outside of their geographic area due to time-constraints related to transportation and the cost of transportation. For this reason, tutoring companies have much smaller markets and can only enter new markets by adding new locations. Online tutoring businesses do not face this limitation. They can reach anyone with an internet connection and the only real limitation is language. For this reason many individuals prefer to start an online tutoring company so that they can reach a much larger market. This can be a very good strategy if your company teaches a highly specialized subject that would not have enough people locally to support the business.