A tutoring franchise can be an excellent investment

A tutoring franchise offers a way to start up a small business with the support of a larger organization.

It's certainly true that marketing can be a challenge. When you're part of a franchise, however, a lot of the marketing is handled for you.

On the other hand, when you are part of a larger organization you will, to some degree, have to follow their rules. My advice: find out what they are and what your financial agreement with the company would be.

Money talks. How much will you invest?

You'll need a nice chunk of change to get started with a tutoring franchise--or any other business, for that matter. Here are some guidelines, using the popular Sylvan Learning Centers as an example, courtesy of franchisechatter.com:The total initial investment to open a Sylvan Learning center ranges from $179,000 to $305,000, depending on the location selected.

The initial franchise fee ranges from $42,000 to $48,000 depending on the size of the territory. The ongoing royalty fee is 8 to 9% of gross sales.

The minimum net worth requirement to open a Sylvan Learning center is $250,000, of which $75,000 must be in liquid assets.

Successful franchisees have the potential to generate revenues ranging from $200,000 to $1 million (These figures are based on existing corporate centers.)

Sylvan Learning Centers spend $40 million per year on marketing.

Comparison shop before you decide

Most of the other major tutoring centers offer similar programs, and you may find better terms lower initial investments.Rely on your own sense of how effective that marketing is. See what strategies are in place and evaluate them yourself. Yes, $40 million is a lot, but only you can decide if the marketing would be effective for your business. Kaplan and Princeton Review also spend a lot on marketing for their branches. (In fact, Kaplan sends me a postcard nearly every week--I have no idea why.) Mid-sized franchises, such as Kumon, may spend less--but they offer specialized services (Kumon in reading and math) in high-demand subjects.

Tutor training for you and your staff

You'll handle the business end of running your center, but you and your staff will need specialized knowledge in tutoring. Even if you are an experienced educator, you may not have taken courses in working with students one-on-one.I hope my book, Be a Great Tutor: The Inspiring Guide to Tutoring All Ages will be of help. It's quite affordable--just $15 per copy--and offers the broadest student-centered tutor training available.

Praised by Harvard-trained educator Dorothy Dyer, MA, it's the right tutor training guide to start your business off with successful sessions.

As a learning center owner, Be a Great Tutor is the best business investment you'll make. Buy your copy in paperback or read a free chapter in Kindle now.

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