Setting up as a tutor seems simple in the beginning; a bit of marketing, find a few clients, remember to invoice, enjoy your new business - easy, right?
But, of course, as time goes along and you gain more clients, perhaps begin to build a team, there are more and more plates that you need to keep spinning, and things inevitably begin to slide.
You start to struggle to keep up with the admin, and all of a sudden, a business that you built so that you could do the thing you enjoy most in the world, becomes to feel like a burden.
Of course, outsourcing seems like a no-brainer, but SO many tutors I know really do struggle to know what sorts of tasks they could pass off to a VA.
So, below you will find a list of the tasks that you could potentially outsource - freeing up time for you to do the thing that makes you shine. Win-win, right?
#1 - Outsource some of your tutor marketing
This is one of the most important things to outsource early, because social media and other marketing stuff can be an ENORMOUS time suck and while getting it done is time-consuming and painful, NOT getting it done is a worse proposition, because it's one of your prime ways of getting clients!
Some examples of tasks you can hand off to your VA:
Social media marketing - daily social media posts (copy, graphics and scheduling)
Setting up Social media pages/groups
Community management (if you have a Facebook group, for example)
Engagement on social media
Email marketing (building a system for you and sending out newsletters)
Creating lead magnets (and automating the system behind them)
Creating landing pages for your lead magnets
Writing blogs for your website (great for SEO!)
Researching your main competitors
Keyword research for your website
Writing copy for your website
Setting up a basic website (you can't expect a VA to be an expert Wordpress consultant, but they will be able to work in Wix/Squarespace and create you something professional looking)
Helping you to apply for business awards
Writing press releases when you win those awards!
Chasing and collecting testimonials
Of course, for something as important as marketing, you want to work with a VA who has boots-on-the-ground experience of education in general, and teaching specifically. Myself and my team are ALL ex-teachers, which means that we understand the background in which you are working. All of this makes helping you to reach your target audience ten times easier than if you were to work with a VA with no education experience.
If you'd like to discuss what we can help you with in terms of creating copy and marketing your tutoring business, why not book a free, no-obligation call?
"You have direct experience of working in education, know what my audience are most likely to need and are able to take over tasks without any additional input from me"
#2 - Outsource tutor customer service
How well your clients feel cared for is a crucial part of what makes and maintains your tutoring business's reputation. We all know that word-of-mouth is one of the most important ways that tutors and tutoring agencies can get the word out about their amazing services!
So, as the wave of admin you're currently trying to complete begins to overwhelm you, it's completely understandable that a few client emails might fall through the cracks - understandable, but almost the very worst thing you can do, because feeling unheard and forgotten is going to get you the wrong sort of reputation - the one that spreads far more quickly than the right one.
It makes sense, then, to have someone at your back who can stay on top of the comms, manning the inbox daily if necessary to make sure that all client communications are seen, read and responded to, as well as keeping on top of all that client admin.
Some client care tasks you might like to pass over to your VA are:
Inbox management - triaging your emails; making sure you see the ones that need to be seen and responding to other more routine enquiries.
Appointment scheduling - what if your VA could manage your schedule too, making sure your tutoring sessions fit into your schedule perfectly and handling any cancellations and no-shows for you? Bliss!
Invoicing - oh, the monthly dread of invoicing. Not just creating and sending them, but staying on top of what's been paid and when. Chasing unpaid invoices. Argh! This might be a manual process if it's just you, or it might involve setting up and monitoring systems (like TutorCruncher) if you're an agency working with multiple tutors.
Onboarding new clients - making sure they have all the info they need and are set up on all the systems they need to be added to.
Offboarding leaving clients - onboarding but in reverse (remembering to ask for feedback before they leave!)
Creating forms for client feedback (and using them)
Katie handles our customer service with care and attention. Her flexibility and adaptability makes her invaluable to a small business with a variety of support needs and her background in education adds an edge that has been super useful for us!
#3 - Outsource that general tutor admin
This is the one that causes tutors most pain; the general day-to-day admin which is a pain in the behind to do, takes ages and brings NO cashflow to the business but which is absolutely detrimental to the business if not kept up to date. I'm looking at you, SCR!
Here are some ideas of general admin tasks that a VA could take off your hands:
BASIC bookkeeping - you have to be careful of this, because there is a line in the sand about the point at which you need someone with a qualification. Koffee Klatch have a great blog explaining this line in the sand here.
Updating financial records in your bookkeeping system (if they are registered to do so by HMRC)
Maintaining your tutor records and Single Central Record
Maintaining your client records or CRM
Task management for you and reminders/accountability to keep you on track
Greetings cards for clients at Xmas/Birthdays. I've sent out congratulatory cards for children who pass 11+ exams or get offers from their preferred schools before - it's such a thoughtful extra!
Inbox management (filing emails, unsubscribing where needed, maintaining inbox zero and your sanity!)
Answering phonecalls - many VA's will operate a virtual reception service.
Chat support (if your website has a chat function, for example, or this might be via Whatsapp/FB Messenger)
Katie goes way above and beyond the PAs of the past. Her operational and technological nous is transforming my business from the inside out, and building systems for scale. She’s an education sector expert so understands exactly where we are coming from.
#4 Future-proof your tutoring business
One of the hardest things about owning a tutoring business is that it's hard to build systems that will scale. When you're in the middle of it, you just do what works - by the time you're ready to take your business to the next level, those systems either simply won't work or are bloated, over-reliant on manual input and not fit for purpose.
Being honest, we are straying out of education VA services here and into OBM (online business manager) as there are more specialist skills needed for scaling and growing and future proofing a business, but I'm pleased to be able to offer this as a service - in fact, it's what I specialise in!
Here are some things you can outsource so you can concentrate on the important stuff (teaching) while having the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when you're ready to take the next step with your tutoring business, it will be ready.
Setting up a fully functional CRM - it might be an all-in-one like Tutorcruncher, or purpose build in something like Airtable, but it should be made-to-measure and practical so that you can easily run your business through it.
Setting up peripheral systems - and making sure they integrate with your main one! This might be email marketing and automation systems like ActiveCampaign, or invoicing systems if they aren't included in your CRM. What's important is to build a tech stack made up of systems that, as far as possible, talk to each other, and complement each other.
Recording SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). This is something few small tutoring businesses have in place, and it makes me twitch, since I operate on a 'what if I went under a bus tomorrow' system which means I want all the systems in my business documented so that someone else can work them in my absence! Creating SOPs is even more important as the business grows and uniformity becomes important. I love it - writing and iterating, making sure they're perfect.
Systems and business mapping. It's important to have a bird's eye view of your business - if you won't know what plates are spinning, and where, it's impossible to make sure they all stay up!
Project management - plan and oversee a variety of business projects such as recruiting tutors to move to an agency business model, franchising, or just building your first website for the business - the OBM can hold onto all the strings and track and monitor the project.
AUTOMATION - as your business grows it's important to be able to automate the tasks that can be automated, so that there is time for the tasks where a personal touch is required. This is the MAIN function of automating - not to remove the personality from your tutoring business, but to make sure it retains it even as you grow.
Team management - as your business grows, it's likely that you will start to work with a team - social media managers, VAs, accountants and many more. An OBM like me can delegate, manage the different teams within your business, project manage and step in when needed.
You're super responsive, funny, organised, you follow things through and update me. You make me better at what I do! You have good advice and questions, you go the extra mile, you're really solutions focussed and anticipate what needs to happen and make it happen.
So, why use myself and my team instead of any other VA service?
We are education VAs. We have real, boots-on-the-ground experience of teaching (all of us are ex-teachers, assistant heads, SENCos...) Whenever I ask my tutor clients why they enjoy working with me and my team, they ALWAYS mention the fact that having an educational background gives us access to a shorthand that other VA's simply don't have.