SmileTutor Blog Tutors Career Advice 6 Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Singapore Tutoring Business

6 Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Singapore Tutoring Business

Being a tutor is a tough business, especially if you are just starting up. You need to be careful about how you reach to potential clients, schedule your classes and ensure that you are an effective tutor.

However, there are times that some of our actions can jeopardize our tutoring business. And you may not even be realizing it! Whether you’re just about to begin your tutoring journey or you’re a seasoned tutor, it is likely that you are making one of more of these mistakes that are hurting your tutoring business/career:

1. Failure to manage your time

As a tutor, it is imperative that you manage your time wisely. With effective time management, this means you can schedule more classes and take in more students.

If you are late, it will cause your students and parents to doubt if you can keep your appointments. You want to leave a good impression and not appeared rushing for time. This may affect your reputation as an efficient tutor.

Use time organizing apps on your mobile phone to sort out your schedule. Give yourself half an hour buffer time before and after each session so that you will not be caught out in a traffic jam or an MRT breakdown.

2. Failure to specify a scope

Many tutors made the mistake of casting their net too wide by teaching every subject, becoming Jack of All Trades and Master of None. A good example is a primary school tutor teaching English, Chinese, Math and Science.

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This might seem like a good idea at first but let’s be honest – everyone has strengths and weaknesses and rarely is someone truly good at all subjects! Having a specialization subject means you can charge more since you only focus on that particular subject. However, this means you really need to be very good in that key element.

Tutors can be clear with their students on what subjects they could teach. But, if they do not say where their tutoring limits are, it can affect how well they teach the student.

With this in mind, make sure that you tell your clients what subjects you can teach them and up to what level. For example, if you can teach math, be clear if you can only tutor up to secondary school math.


3. No marketing

For tutors to get clients, they must do their best to market their services to their intended market.

You can advertise online or volunteer your services to family or friends to spread the word about the service. You can even join agencies to help you reach out to your intended clients.

Without marketing, it would be quite difficult to get clients in the first place. It will also disable you from getting positive reviews to get more clients.

Before you even think of working as a tutor, consider what marketing strategies you can apply. You can use social media, word of mouth, news ads and many others. Of course, you need to also consider how you will advertise your services.

4. Misuse of Social Media Platforms

Talking about social media, as you try to advertise your services as a tutor, it is ideal that you get your past and current students to review your service. Their reviews can help you reach out to new students who wish to avail your service. However, if you get poor reviews, it will affect your reputation as a tutor.

If you get negative or rude feedback, do not stoop to their level and trash talk back. Do your best to maintain a professional image. Prospect clients will also feel more at ease in hiring you because you are a professional despite negative comments.

Do also take note to separate your personal social media account from your business one. I don’t think you will want your students and their parents to scroll through your drunken photos or bikini shots. Let’s leave those to your personal friends, shall we?

5. Lack of materials

Like teachers in school, tutors must have materials ready to help their students with their school work. Sure, these students have books which they need to use for their classes. However, these books are not enough to help them master the subjects.

As their tutor, it is up to you to prepare supporting materials to help students master the subject they are studying. Without one, you can disrupt your student’s progress.

When you first meet your student, ask for their course syllabus to check what resources are needed. Once that is done, you can use a mixture of the student’s school books and the ones you found to supplement their studies. Of course, only use credible sources such as National Geographic and TED when creating your materials.

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6. Overpricing

When making a business, it is important that your prices are affordable but competitive. It must also be reasonable based on the services you are offering.

If you overprice your tutoring service, people will say your prices are unreasonable. This will definitely happen especially if you will only teach general subjects.

Make it a point to do some research on how much your fellow tutors charge. If you have a specialization, consider how much is charged for such services before offering it.

You should also get the right certification to prove you can offer such services. If you will only be offering your services near your area, you shouldn’t charge for travel fees. If your sessions are longer, you can charge for a meal fee if it is warranted. If your clients are far away from your home, you can also consider travel fees.

Make sure that you present your computations to your clients so they know where their money is going. You can also charge for materials, but as much as possible offer this for free.


There are many things that can affect a business, especially when it comes to tutoring. Before you sort out your tutoring business, make sure that you come prepared and sort it out before offering your service.

Take extra care to avoid making the above-listed mistakes and in time to come, you will be getting students more than you can handle!

For more insider tricks on how to grow your student base, here are some tips:

10 Actionable Ways Singapore Tutors can Market Themselves to Get More Students
How to Increase Your Online Presence as a Tutor

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.