Technology has improved significantly during the last 20 years to the stage where it is now really simple and cost-efficient to offer tutoring services online. While many independent tutors and tutoring companies view this as a favorable change on the market in addition it poses many threats to existing businesses. Many articles look at the advantages and disadvantages of online tutoring from the perspective of the student – this information will explore this topic from the perspective of the tutoring business.
The accessibility to technology for online tutoring is most advantageous to new tutors or tutoring companies that aren’t yet established in the market. Online tutoring requires low start-up costs, it opens the tutor up to and including bigger market and offers more flexibility for scheduling. Let’s have a look at each of these advantages one at a time:
Lower barriers to entry
Although a lot of independent tutors also provide low start-up costs, if you’re a tutoring company and opt to go the internet route, you are able to avoid most of the expenses related to starting up a normal tutoring company. Traditional companies often require a company for administration or where tutoring takes place, marketing through local media, driving to meetings to prospective clients, etc. Online tutoring companies do not require a company other than the usual home office and definitely do not need a building for teaching students. Online marketing is less expensive and may be targeted more directly than traditional marketing, and talking with clients can be done online or by phone. These low start-up costs ensure it is much simpler for new businesses to start online.
Traditional tutoring companies are limited by geography – they can not cost-effectively serve students outside of their geographic area as a result of time-constraints linked to transportation and the cost of transportation. For this reason, tutor tutoring companies have much smaller markets and can only just enter new markets by adding new locations. Online tutoring businesses do not face this limitation. They are able to reach a person with a web connection and really the only limitation is language. For this reason many individuals prefer to start an on line tutoring company so they can reach a bigger market. This could be a very good strategy if your company teaches a highly specialized subject that would not have enough people locally to support the business.
Tutoring companies may also hire tutors from a bigger area and may be much more successful to find top-quality teachers in the subjects they offer.
Online tutoring companies have more flexibility since they are able to choose to teach students in numerous time zones. Tutors that are only available to teach in the late evening can quickly teach students from a later timezone where it is afternoon. This causes it to be easier for independent tutors to match their tutoring within their personal or work schedule.
Lower operating costs
The ongoing operating costs of running an on line tutoring business will also be less than traditional tutoring. A number of the eliminated costs can be found in the shape of building leases, phone, transportation and marketing. Online tutors can do sets from their house, they are able to use free or low-cost online phones like Skype for communication and they don’t have to invest money driving to the tutoring office or to clients’ homes.
Lots of the benefits of online tutoring may also pose challenges for tutoring companies. We’ll look at the disadvantages below one at a time.
Lower barriers to entry
Low barriers to entry make online tutoring attractive to new tutoring companies, however for incumbents this is a negative since it causes it to be easier for new companies to enter industry and contend with them. This ultimately contributes to more price competition and lower profit margins.
Competition from other markets and other countries
Online tutoring overcomes the geography barrier which can be also a disadvantage for existing tutoring businesses. Which means instead of facing competition only from tutoring companies in their immediate market they now face competition from tutors in other areas of the nation and in other countries all-together. Many online tutors are from countries like India where the cost of living is significantly lower. Thy can teach American students online and charge a rate that is still much less than standard rates in the United States, though well above the rate they’d earn for tutoring in their own country.
Technology limitations of students
Some folks have a laptop or computer in the home and access to the internet, many students who need tutoring do not have the necessary technology to receive online tutoring. As well as a pc, a high-speed net connection is ideal, a headset and microphone are needed for talking with the tutor, and hardware such as a writing board may be required with respect to the subject. This implies if your organization wants to offer only online tutoring you will have many students that you can’t reach.
While online tutoring can succeed, you can find certain subjects where face-to-face communication and explaining concepts on a page of paper are more efficient than communicating online. It can also be more challenging to help keep students engaged when tutoring online, which could have a poor influence on the student’s progress.