small business challenges

How To Overcome Key Small Business Challenges

There are a number of key small business challenges which recur over and over in business.

As every small business knows, the reality is that there are tonnes of issues facing them on a daily business. However, we have focused on two of those, so that you can take definite action on and set out ways to overcome them.

1. Cash Flow Issues

Money problems, in their various forms, are top of most lists of small business challenges. This can include issues such as clients stalling payments, unexpected outgoings as well as outstanding bills that need to be paid.

small business challenges

Using online invoices and automated reminders is a powerful way to persuade clients to part with money quickly and efficiently. Invoicing software, such as Grow in Cloud, provides customised invoice templates and can accept payments online as well as automatically charge clients upon booking.

2. Tiredness

It’s tempting to try to do everything if you’re a small business owner. In fact those who have left full time work to start up their own business, have found they are actually working more hours than before! One of the main small business challenges faced.

However, long hours add pressure. Fatigue, one of the most commonly overlooked small business challenges, can leave you disorganised, forgetful and cranky!

You end up not paying as much attention to your family and even clients. This is where you could start making mistakes. Small business owners have to pace themselves. This includes prioritising and delegating.

Prioritising And Delegating

small business challenges

Start by identifying business tasks that don’t require your expertise, such as social media posting, emailing reminders, making/scheduling appointments. Once you have identified these, take on an assistant, even part-time, to help out. There are many virtual assistants out there that can help. Check out our blog post on how virtual assistants can help you in business.

You could also consider delegating tasks that are outside your skill set to specialists, such as accountants or legal experts.

If you have budget constraints and cannot afford an assistant at the moment, you could look into using a software to automate simple functions. For social media posting you could use tools like Hootsuite. For all other business admin tasks, you could use “all-in-one business management software”, such as Grow in Cloud.

small business challenges

With this tool, clients could make/schedule appointments (without emailing each other back and forth) and be sent automated appointment reminders via SMS and/or email.

small business challenges

It’s important to get on top of challenges. Taking time out is critical for your health and well being, not to mention family and client relationships. Get into the habit of segmenting your day; analyse when and how you work best, the time you’d like to put into leisure or family. Then create schedules that identify key activities and how long they’re likely to take.

Overcoming the main small business challenges involves the following key actions:

  • Use software to manage your cash flow and keep money rolling in
  • Delegate, automate and set aside time for yourself
  • Target your most profitable customers to maximise your returns
  • Work hard to create employee satisfaction
  • Ruthlessly cut back your overheads
  • Keep your finger firmly on the pulse of your sector

To try a free 30 day trial of Grow in Cloud and see how we can help you reduce some of your small business challenges, please sign up here.

Some Related Small Business Blog Posts

15 Productivity Tools To Help Small Businesses

5 Ways No Shows Affect Service Based Businesses

Why You Should Automate Your Business Processes

productivity tools

15 Productivity Tools To Help Small Businesses

This blog post not only highlights the different tasks needed to be carried out by small business owners, it also lists some important productivity tools that can help them.

Small business owners face different challenges on a daily basis, when trying to keep their business running. This can be anything from responding to customer queries via phone/email/ text, absent employees, rescheduling client’s appointments, chasing late payment and placing orders for low stocked items, to name a few!

Small businesses do not have adequate resources like their larger counterparts. At times, employees may have to perform various roles. This can have an impact on productivity of the business, if the right systems are not put in place.

Thankfully, there are many productivity tools that small businesses can use, to make their job easier and make inefficiency a thing of the past.

Here is a list of some of those productivity tools that could help:

1. PandaDoc

productivity tools

PandaDoc is a proposal and document management software. You can create, send and track quotes and proposals sent out to the prospective clients. The drag and drop feature of the software makes it easier to prepare a proposal. Their e-signature function makes closing the sale simpler too. When the clients receive the proposal and review it, it can then be signed off.

Your sales reps work hard to nurture leads and turn them into customers. They don’t have to spend hours creating their own quotes and proposals from scratch. They can streamline the entire process with PandaDoc.

2. LastPass

productivity tools

Take a second to think about how many passwords you have for your various accounts. The answer is probably at least half a dozen, even if you are working as a solopreneur.

If you have a few employees, then the number increases. If you or your employee has forgotten the password, you’ll have to go through the whole process of setting up a new password, which results in wasting time that could have been spent on something productive.

Good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. LastPass can take care of this problem. You can store passwords to any account on this tool, whether it is email, bank account, social media profiles or software login passwords. You can manage your passwords from a central dashboard and can also remove passwords for inactive or deleted accounts.

3. Grow in Cloud

productivity tools

If you are running a service-based business, you don’t need to be reminded that time is money! The more people you book for your services, the more revenue you will generate.

Grow in Cloud is a small business CRM software which also enables you to automate appointment bookings and invoicing. Your customers can view your team availability, schedule and reschedule appointments. You can also issue invoices to clients and take payments online to for the issued invoice. The software also sends out email and SMS reminders to client prior to the appointment. This avoids the risk of no show ups, which cost you time and money (especially if you have had to book a meeting room!) You can spend more time with clients, without having to worry about missing phone calls from clients who want to make or reschedule appointments.

You can also use its tasks management module to set tasks, task due dates and reminders for deadlines. It also allows you to assign tasks to staff members and collaborate with them.

4. Canva

productivity tools

There is no need to hire an expensive graphic designer to design images for your website or social media posts. If you have social media profiles and use it to promote your business, you need to be using eye catching images. This will help to increase your post reach and engage prospects.

You can use Canva for this. Canva is an easy to use graphics design tool, which allows you to create images and infographics. Its drag and drop feature makes it user-friendly. It can be used by a non-technical person with ease. Canva has thousands of free images, which you can download from its resource library and use for free. Plus, you will find it has a selection of premium images which can be bought for $1 each.

5. Toggl

productivity tools

Toggl is a time tracking tool. You just have to click on the start button for it to start tracking your work. There is no need to fill in time sheets and then get them double checked and signed off, before you send them out to clients for billable hours.

It also lets you make simple and powerful reports, which can be used to analyse performance and boost productivity. You can use Toggl on all your devices.

6. ezClocker

productivity tools

An alternative to Toggl is ezClocker-an easy to use time sheet and scheduling software that will save you money and time by allowing you to view your employees’ timesheets in real time.

This is ideal for employers with remote employees or if you are always on the go and need to monitor your business away from the office. Employees can use their own mobile device as a time card and it has GPS support where employee’s GPS location is captured when they clock in/out , so you can verify their location.

7. Hootsuite

productivity tools

Running multiple social media profiles can be time-consuming! It is essential to have an online presence these days. You also have to worry about making sure you post content regularly, to increase social engagement, shares and a following. Hootsuite is a social media tool that enables you to run all social media profiles from one platform.

You can monitor all your social media accounts and schedule posts in advance, which can be sent out on a set date time. You can also review all comments and respond to them, without having to leave the software.

8. Slack

productivity tools

Slack is a team collaboration and communication tool. It is great for bringing teams together. You can use the platform to create groups, share files and send/receive messages.  It can be set so that certain groups are only accessible to certain staff members.

Slack increases productivity because it reduces the number of emails that need to be sent to individuals or groups. Also, it is also a place to post announcements to staff in one go, without the need for meetings, as information can be accessed from everyone who is part of the group.

9. Evernote 

productivity tools

Evernote is an amazing app which can be used to perform different tasks and keep your notes in one place.

With this app, you can set and take notes (audio and text), take photos, clip web articles and upload files/attachments.

10. Pocket

productivity tools

Pocket is an app that enables you to save blogs and articles that you can read later.

This is useful for example, if you come across a good piece of content, whilst doing research.  However, you do not have time to read at the moment, but interested in checking it out later to help you with your research.

You can then save it in Pocket and check it later at a convenient time. For reference purposes, you can keep all useful links here, to use for the future.

11. Dropbox

productivity tools

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution which can be used to upload and store files into various folders. It can be used as a central point to store all your company files. You can send and share files with team members.

The admin controls let you check who has accessed the file and who has added something new. It simplifies team management and enables employees to access files when required, anywhere and anytime.

This helps with those that might work remotely and productivity. It saves times having to ask someone to email over a particular file, wait for them to respond then carry out task. This way anyone can access the desired file.

You can also send a unique link for each file to clients, for them to access the file also.

12. Vocus.io

productivity tools

Vocus is a chrome extension for your Gmail account. It brings tremendous productivity to your email account. You can track open/ links click rate and send out automated emails to prospects as part of your outreach campaign. The emails can be sent in form of a drip market. You can also set the data and time for these emails to be delivered.

It comes with a lot of email and poll templates which you can use to prepare emails for your campaign. It can be integrated with leading CRMs.

13. Grammarly

productivity tools

Grammarly is a free cloud English grammar app. It detects spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammar errors. This app is particularly useful, especially if English is not your first language. Grammarly is free to use and can be added as an extension to Google Chrome.

You don’t have to worry about spelling mistakes in your emails or blog posts, as it has spelling auto correction.

The time you used to spend to get your tasks proofread can be saved by installing this helpful app.

14. Expensify

productivity tools

There are many business expenses which can be off set as an expense, when filing end of year accounts. However, you must keep records in case the tax authorities ask you to provide evidence.

Most businesses struggle to keep accurate records and receipts in one place. Business expenses can be incredibly hard to track and record. When you sell goods or services, there are often costs associated with delivering the services/goods. It could be travel expense, stationery, internet or postage.

Expensify makes it easier for you and your employees to track expenses on the go, so you can pass correct expense report to your accountant. The accountant can then present correct profit/loss account.

By tracking your expenses, you will get a better picture of the outflows and can work on reducing unnecessary expenses.

15. Zoom

Productivity tools

Zoom provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. It is a real powerhouse tool that can accommodate up to 500 participants to collaborate seamlessly. Its top features include: HD video and high-quality audio and screen sharing and full suite of collaboration features. It is easy to start and join. It is definitely a suitable alternative to Skype and allows you to send links to clients for professional online discussions.

Summary

There are many more productivity tools and resources out there, that can be used to help small businesses. At the end of the day, there are only a certain number of hours in a working day and all these productivity tools can help make life a lot easier for you as a small business owner.

Some Related Blog Posts:

Social Media Management Tools For Your Salon/Spa (And Other Small Businesses)

Best Virtual Assistant Software And Business Tools

Invoicing And Online Appointment Booking Software For Salons And Other Small Businesses.

Why Accountants Need An Online Appointment And Invoicing Software

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automation

How to Get Your Business Ready for Automation

In our digital age, automation surrounds all of us, particularly in the business world. Technology is constantly changing our world, and it’s important to keep up to date with advancements. Being adaptive prevents your business from being left behind. Using these new technologies to the benefit of your business may even help you reduce costs and increase efficiency!

Automation

Understanding the process

Before you do anything, it’s crucial to examine and understand exactly what it is you are automating. Evaluate all your business processes before deciding what needs to be automated. It’s a good idea to talk to the people who run your business. This means your employees. They can point out which tasks are tedious or of low-value. Perhaps you would like to automate basic tasks. This way, your employees can be more involved in tasks relating to the bigger picture. After all, they know your business the best.

Prepare your team

Keep yourself and your team educated on what automation means for your business. Make sure your team is ready and willing to learn about it and how it will help improve their roles.

Preparing your team means not only educating them, but also getting them excited. Let your employees know how impactful automation will be to the business. If automation impacts their role specifically, let them know how. No one enjoys repetitive work. Automation means less mundane work and that your employees are given meaningful opportunities. Be sure to communicate this with them.

Hold training sessions or discussion groups. Talk about how automation will improve the business, its customers and those it employs. It’s also important to discuss any concerns where automation might make something or someone in the business redundant. These are important issues should be addressed sooner rather than later.

automation

Focus on the human element

Although automation can make a lot of processes easier, sometimes it’s not the best option. Remember, there are areas where human contact is preferred. This includes critical thinking, empathy, customer satisfaction and creativity. These aspects cannot be automated and a personalised approach is always preferred. In particular, public relations are an area that should never be automated.

Of course, you can still incorporate automation into smaller tasks such as media monitoring. However, it’s important to involve human connection when dealing with your clients.

Long term considerations

Ask yourself what is sustainable in the long run. Automation should be able to allow your business to grow in the future. This means keeping things flexible and adaptable, no matter what future changes you incorporate. It’s important not to over-automate and be completely dependent on automation. You should remain in control at all times.

Ensure that automation provides employees with the chance to evolve, rather than make their role redundant. It’s critical that your business takes advantage of the opportunities offered by automation. However, you should always ensure your business is protected against risks.

Consider risks

Automation provides efficiency and ease for a lot of processes. However, automating processes also comes with security risks. What can be automated and digitised can also be hacked, so make sure you are protected with cyber insurance. Set up the appropriate security measures like firewalls and back up your entire system if possible.

Don’t depend entirely on your automated system because this will backfire. Automation is a giant step for your company. It makes your daily business operations easier, so there are more resources and opportunities for the bigger picture. In fact, automation gives your business the chance to grow. However, it is important to take precautions before doing so to prevent failure.

More about the author

Kiwi wordsmith Harper Reid is fond of anything related to business and technology. When she’s not busy producing articles for blogs, you’ll find her catching up on the latest tech news. You can visit her personal blog here.

optimize customer service

4 Ways To Optimize Customer Service

Guest Blog Post By: Elaine Bennett

Customer service has become a crucial factor for business success in recent years. Consumers have become more aware and tech-savvy which emphasized their needs, demands and preferences. Businesses that are unable to cater to those needs will soon lose both their relevance and their competitive edge, which might result in business failure. 

In other words, the market is competitive enough that if you cannot meet your customers’ needs, they won’t hesitate to abandon you altogether and move over to the next business in line. That’s why focusing on customer service is of the utmost importance these days. The fact of the matter is that you can’t always predict what your customers will want but you can, however, be there for them and resolve any issues on the spot. 

Furthermore, consumers are no longer interested in only doing business with companies that can provide them with exceptional quality products or services. In fact, they want companies to provide them with exceptional experience, and customer service is an integral factor in that experience. That being said, here are a few ways to optimize customer service for ideal results.

Understand customer needs

As mentioned before, being unable to cater to customer needs can be very bad for your business. However, you can’t cater to their needs if you don’t know what they are, to begin with. This can be remedied with a bit of research.

Understanding what your customers want or need is essential in optimizing your customer service. Therefore, try to learn as much as you can. For instance, you can survey your customers and ask them directly for feedback. This method has two major advantages.

Firstly, consumers appreciate the fact that businesses ask for their opinions and they prefer when you act upon their feedback.

Secondly, you get the opportunity to learn what customers need from customers themselves which a much more reliable approach than any other source of information.

Be available to your customers

One of the most important aspects of customer service is your availability. In today’s digital world, consumers expect from businesses to be available at all times, as well as to be available at multiple touchpoints. For instance, if you only have a landline as a means of providing customer service and support, you can expect that your customers won’t be too happy about it. Today, with the help of technology, your business can improve and optimize customer service to meet or even exceed customer expectations.

As an example, reliable cloud call centre solutions can help you integrate customer service across multiple channels. That way you can provide support to customers through their preferred method and be available to them whenever they need to contact your customer service and support.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms have become an integrated part of our everyday lives. People simply got used to using one or a few of these social networks every day. The main reason is that you can find pretty much everything on social media these days. That being said, a lot of businesses have started providing customer service and support via social media platforms their customers are most commonly present at. These platforms are convenient to consumers and businesses today are building their social media presence anyway. 

However, if you’re about to add social media as one of your customer service channels, you’ll have to do it right. For instance, 32% of social media users that are contacting customer service expect a response within 30 min while 42% of them expect a response within an hour. Moreover, if you’re considering using automated responses for most common questions, don’t overdo it. After all, consumers prefer to contact a human representative they can interact with.

Consider live chat

Live chat has become one of the most popular customer service and support channels recently. As a matter of fact, 79% of consumers who prefer live chat do so because they claim they got their issues resolved fast. What’s more 46% of consumers state that live chat is one of the most efficient methods of communication. One of the main reason live chat became so popular among consumers is that its, in fact, quite convenient. 

While browsing the company website, consumers can contact customer service and support on the spot and as soon as they run into any difficulties. Moreover, the issue can be resolved straight away without any delays or inconveniences. That said, live chat is one of the best ways to optimize your customer service. Aside from providing help to customers straight away, you can also gather feedback from them so that you can leverage that information to further improve and optimize your customer service efforts.

Summary

Customer service has become vital for not just business success but also for the overall customer experience. Optimizing customer service depends on your business, as well as on the needs of your customers. That’s why it’s important to determine which is the best way to optimize that will suit both your business and your customer needs.

More about the author

Elaine Bennett is a blogger, currently writing for Bizzmark Blog. She’s a digital marketing specialist, passionate about helping small businesses grow. Follow her on Twitter to find more of her articles.

business cloud migration

Checklist for Migrating Business Operations to the Cloud

Guest Blog Post by: Joe Peters

The cloud has become the quintessential way to manage a business in 2019.

Offering flexibility, scalability, and consistency, the cloud allows businesses to get complete access to their data faster, without compromising on performance or security.

cloud business
Picture source: Pixabay

Depending on the kind of business you run, you can rely on the cloud for many different purposes.

Some companies use the cloud for automated online appointment scheduling and customer messaging.

Other brands might rely on the cloud to collect data from multiple touchpoints with customers and translate that information into useful insights that they can use to make business decisions.

Used correctly, the cloud will give you more agility and power than any on premise system.

The question is; how do you move to the cloud with as little stress and downtime as possible?

The following checklist will help:

1.  Plan and Prepare for Your Migration

Before you begin your migration into the cloud, you need to know why you’re making this transition.

Do you want to make it easier to connect with your customers across multiple channels, and improve your brand reputation in the process?

Are you looking for an easier way to manage critical business and consumer data without having to rely on on premise data centers?

The cloud can offer endless benefits. If you want to map out an effective migration journey, you’ll need to start by knowing what your end goal is going to be. Ensure that all of your employees and shareholders are on the same page too. This will reduce the risk of confusion when you begin to move portions of your data and processes over to the cloud.

2.  Choose Your Cloud Environment

Once you have an idea of why you’re moving to the cloud, you can begin to explore the kind of cloud model that might be best suited to your business.

Remember, there are different kinds of cloud solutions available.

A single cloud environment is what you get when you use one provider to serve all the applications and services that you’ve chosen to migrate into the cloud.

Today, many companies are beginning to take a different approach, using a multi-cloud environment instead.

In a multi-cloud space, you access a variety of different cloud solutions from multiple providers to create your own best-in-class solution. Here, you can use the various cloud in your portfolio for different services and requirements. You may have one cloud to manage reporting, and one for contact management, etc.

3.  Get the Right Support

Moving into the cloud requires more than just the right technology. You’ll also need some expertise and guidance too.

The first step here is choosing a vendor that you can rely on to deliver all the cloud features you’re looking for.

If you need to use a multi-cloud environment, then your vendor should have a cloud system that integrates well with other solutions and applications.

It may also be worth bringing cloud experts and developers on board to help you implement the tools and functionality you need. Fortunately, there are ways to access multiple features and functionalities in the cloud without having to invest in a developer too. All you need is the right platform.

4.  Keep Security and Resilience in Mind

Whenever you’re implementing new business strategies, it’s essential to keep reliability and security in mind.

For instance, when moving into the cloud, it’s worth thinking about where your data is going to be stored, and how you’re going to protect that information in the long-term.

Many cloud vendors offer encryption at-rest and in-transit to help with this.

However, you’ll also need your own security standards in place among your employees.

For reliability, the best way to make sure that you don’t lose any crucial data in your transition to the cloud is to create multiple backups.

Copy your critical systems into drives from Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and other similar storage facilities. You can also set up automated backups for protection in the future too.

5.  Know What Doesn’t Need to Move

Some companies will benefit from moving all of their operations directly into a cloud environment. Other organizations might find that it’s safer to keep some of their solutions on premise.

This is usually the case for businesses that have specific industry regulations to consider.

To make sure you know what needs to stay off the cloud, and what needs to be migrated, do your research before you get started. It’s easy to get carried away during a cloud migration.

Remember that although many cloud applications may be exciting, not every business will need every solution.

For instance, most companies will need email tracking tools in the cloud to help them nurture their leads, but not everyone will need in-depth data analytics and machine learning tools. Examine your options carefully and only choose the tools that solve problems for your business or deliver significant benefits.

6. Manage Each Step of the Process

Finally, remember that moving to the cloud is a big step – and something that can have a substantial positive impact on your business.

However, such a significant change also comes with various risks. It’s not as simple as just flipping a switch and making the change all at once.

You’ll need to learn how to properly manage your new cloud environment and take advantage of the benefits that are available.

Ask questions about your cloud technology and get to know the solutions and services that you’ll be using in the years ahead. This will also make it easier for you to identify and eliminate any single point of failure in your architecture that could lead to unplanned downtime and lost revenue in the future.

More about the author:
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters

Related Blog Posts

Benefits Of Hiring Virtual Assistants Using The Cloud

Why Your Business Should Use Cloud

4 Advantages For Moving Business Operations To Cloud

become an online tutor

How To Become An Online Tutor

In this blog post, we explore the qualifications you need to become an online tutor; which free platforms to use, how to price your services and how to market your online tutoring business.

The tutoring market has grown exponentially over the year and is continuing to move its presence online. Online tutoring offers students and tutors flexibility that you wouldn’t necessarily get with face to face tutoring. Check out our blog post on the benefits of online tutoring.

become an online tutor

Although it isn’t a legal requirement, you should also consider obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, particularly if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18. Many clients may ask for this before allowing you to tutor their child.

The types of DBS check are as follows:

  • a basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
  • a standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  • an enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
  • an enhanced check with a check of the barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the adults’ barred list, children’s barred list or both

For a demonstration of how online tutoring works, check out this video from UK tutoring agency TutorTutor:

Online tuition makes it easy for students to learn when and where they want. Also, tutors are able to work in much the same way, working from home, with time saved by not having to travel. Nevertheless, it can seem overwhelming to know where to start with online tutoring, so here is a list of top tips on how to become an online tutor.

1. Decide which subjects and levels to teach

Whether you’re already a face to face/in-person tutor, or you’re completely new to private tutoring, the first step is to decide which subjects and levels to tutor. In the UK, you don’t need any specific qualifications to become a tutor, no matter the subject. Although the more qualified you are (teaching qualification (B.Ed. or PGCE), degree, TEFL…), the more valuable you’ll be to potential clients.

First of all, consider what subject you hold as your highest qualification. The subject that you are most qualified in is probably the most obvious one to tutor.

For example, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Maths, then this would be the most obvious subject to specialise in. Maths and Sciences are in fact subjects in high demand. By having studied the subject at length, you’ll already have solid understanding of the discipline and will be familiar with most of the content that you’d need to tutor students.

In theory, you should be able to tutor up to the level of your highest qualification. However, most academic online tutoring takes place at GCSE and/or A-Level. One subject that’s always popular with students of all ages and abilities is English as a Second Language (ESL). Whether tutoring foreign students, who have moved to the UK, or adults needing good standard of English for business, tutoring English online can be a varied and rewarding career choice.

2. Research skills needed for online tutoring 

The skills you need to become an online tutor are similar to the skills you need for in-person tutoring. You’ll need to be knowledgeable in your subject area, have a varied teaching style and good one-to-one teaching skills. Beyond these, for online tutoring, you’ll also need:

IT Skills – you don’t need to be an IT expert but it’s important that you’re able to use online teaching platforms confidently, schedule appointments online, share documents and share your interactive screen with students. Most of the skills you’ll need can be learned easily. There are lots of guides online to help.

Business Knowledge – As an online tutor, you’ll be self-employed and will automatically become a tutoring business owner – whether as a sole trader or limited company. It’s therefore important that you familiarize yourself with business aspects such as tax and marketing.

3. Choose the right teaching platform and equipment

Once you’ve decided on the subjects, you’ll need to choose the platform that you’ll use for your online lessons.

It goes without saying to teach online you will need a good computer or laptop that has excellent internet connection. The last thing you need is your lesson to be cancelled because you have poor signal.

There are lots of free services available for video conferencing. The most popular include:

All these offer similar services. However it is a good idea to try them out with a friend or family member before deciding which one works best for you. Make sure you know how to navigate your way around the platform as well as carry out tasks such as file and screen sharing.

You can also consider if you want to invest in additional equipment, such as speakers, headsets or microphone. You can easily teach with just a computer and a reliable internet connection.

4. Set your pricing right

Research the pricing for your particular tutoring services carefully. Check what the average industry rate per lesson is and/or how much your competitors are charging.

This post will help you clearly understand what to charge for online tutoring.

Some tutoring businesses will be charging really high prices. You should be realistic.

Pricing lower than your competitors may make your services more attractive to prospects. However it is important to note that it is your high quality teaching that they are paying for.

Offering an online service may mean you don’t need to charge for travel expenses but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t charge for your experience or expertise. Some subjects such as Maths or Sciences are high in demand and if that is your specialist area, think about this when coming up with a pricing strategy.  Every parent wants their child to succeed academically. If your sessions are high quality and they see a progress with their child’s learning and confidence in the subject, they’ll end up staying with you. They will then join the long list of satisfied clients who can become your brand ambassadors.

5. Have an online presence

Marketing your services as an online tutor can be one of the most challenging aspects of tutoring.

No business owner can think of running a successful business these days without having an online presence. There is still a place to list and advertise your services in local couriers and newspapers. Sending out flyers is still a successful marketing method too.

However, nowadays, potential clients find it a lot more convenient to use a search engine, such as Google, to find a service in their local area. So that you can be found easily during this search it is important to think about the following:

  1. Make sure you have a user-friendly, easy to navigate website which clearly explains what services you are offering and how you can be contacted easily.
  2. Make sure you have a mobile friendly website as majority of searches are carried out through mobile internet. A more recent study by Stone Temple Consulting earlier this year suggested that 55% of all traffic is now coming from a mobile device.

Have business social media accounts set up, again explaining clearly what you offer and have your contact details clearly visible. Prospects are looking for social proof and there is no better way of displaying it other than client’s positive reviews. FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn are the best for marketing your online tutoring business. Although Instagram is the most popular social media platform amongst the younger generation so in order to increase your reach to the younger clients, then it is worth setting up an Instagram business account too.

6. Get listed on tutoring directories

As well as having a professional website and being present on social media sites, there are other ways to make it easier to be found. In order to maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should think about signing up to tutor directories.

You can submit your business information on tutoring directories, such as tutorzHome Tutors directory and Tutorpages.com. These directories are ranked higher on search engines and enable clients to search for tutors based on a subject of their interest or by geography, if you offer home services too.

7. Prepare for your first session

As with any type of teaching, you need to plan your online lessons, check you have the resources and they are age and level appropriate.

Before lessons begin, it is a good idea to arrange a free online consultation with your student/their parent so that they get to know you and are comfortable using the chosen platform and that they know their way around it. It’s important that you both have a good grasp of the platform’s functions and what the following sessions will entail. Having a cloud based appointment and invoicing software such as Grow in Cloud will allow you to arrange, schedule, reschedule appointments online, without going back and forth on emails to arrange dates and times. Check out our detailed blog post on how to use and schedule bookings online.

become an online tutor

Also, with the software you can send invoices online with ease before sessions as well as receive payments online too. This avoids the hassle and awkwardness of chasing payments and leaves you to focus on the task in hand; tutoring!

become an online tutor

As additional preparation, you may want to email over worksheets, or learning materials, so your student can familiarise themselves with the lesson structure and content. This can also be done using Grow in Cloud’s document sharing feature. Even though you can screen share on your online video conferencing platforms, enabling students to print a hard copy of learning materials can help with written work, note-taking and future revision.

become an online tutor

Summary

Some students/clients may find that they work best with face-to-face tuition, but overall online tuition can be a very flexible, interactive and an effective way to learn, which works well for tutor and student alike.

If you have good subject knowledge, competent IT skills and the flair for teaching (as well as patience!) then why not seek a rewarding career and become an online tutor.

Related Blogs on Tutoring:

6 Benefits of Starting An Online Tutoring Business

Why Tutors Need To Switch To A Cloud Based Software

Schedule Tutor Bookings Online 24/7

6 Ways To Use Social Media For Your Tutoring Business

9 Tips For Starting A Home Tutoring Business

6 Tips To Develop and Grow Your Online Tutoring Business

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