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How to set up tuition agency in Singapore

How to Set up tuition agency in Singapore

Are you a young founder and wanting to start a business but have no idea what to go into? 

Some businesses are easier to set up than to wait for the next big idea that is going to take the world by storm.

Starting a tuition agency may be a good way to start off your entrepreneurship journey because of the low cost of starting and also the ease of being able to set up one almost instantly, not forgetting that you can operate it from home and run it till a certain size before you start commercializing the business. There are several things that you do need to take note of if you are keen on starting this business and we will be providing a quick guide for you to know what to watch out for and also what you should be doing on How to start up a tuition agency in Singapore.

Set up Tuition Agency Step 1 - Naming and Website URL

Decide on a name for your business first, it should be a name that is able to be branded, it should also be easy to remember and recall (Since you dont want to waste marketing money) , you should at the same time check that the name of your choice is available when it comes to the URL since a tuition agency has a strong online presence for you to gain tutor profiles. Do remember .com websites are cheaper to register than .com.sg websites, but at the same time .sg websites are more targeted for the local market, so make a choice and balance the pros and cons of each choice. Don't forget to check if they rhyme with any weird sounding or foul words, you won't want a business name that might come off as vulgar to others. 

Set up Tuition Agency Step 2 - Registration of business entity

Register your business before you start on anything, even though this sector is not regulated, there has been quite a number of self regulation going on, you might get questioned by concern parents who may try to locate the registration number of your business and may contact you if they do not find one. If you are a first timer, our suggestion is for you to start a Sole Proprietorship first, you can register directly with ACRA , this will give you a registration number which you can place on your website to prove authenticity of your business. As there has been quite a number of cheating cases and also non-fulfilment when it comes to services, many in the industry has been grilled to ensure that they have a license to operate. If you are looking to formalise your business , you could also incorporate a private limited company. Private limited companies have more tax incentives and are more recognised but they are also more costlier to run. They are also better in terms of raising funds when there is a need to. There are more cost involved when it comes to private limited companies, such as financial reporting and tax filing. This needs to be taken into consideration.

Set up Tuition Agency Step 3 - Registration of Website and Understanding Data Protection Act

Register the website for your business and get someone to start working on a simple website design singapore, do note that there are two main things you want to take note of, collecting tutor details and collecting requester details. When it comes to collecting sensitive data, do read more about the data protection act of Singapore. Also when it comes to collecting and using the data for example the phone numbers of the tutors or the requestor, do make sure that you have factored in the use of their data in your privacy policy and do not ever go against the law when it comes to the Do not call registry. There has been quite a number of tuition agencies who have been fined for violating the rules set forth so do watch out. Always ensure that you have the safeguards in mind before you go ahead. Read the act closely so that you do not flout the rules. Certain tutors and parents are ready to pounce on such rules flouting and may sue you before you even know what happened.


Set up Tuition Agency Step 4 - Marketing your business/website

Once your website is ready, start to work on the marketing. You could take up traditional marketing methods such as flyers distribution, road shows, calling those you know (careful if you are not close to them, do not call registry!)  or through word of mouth. There are also better methods for you to reach out to your intended crowd such as search engine optimization services which can help you to optimize your website to rank better in Tuition related keywords, this can bring you high traffic and high returns. Google ads and facebook ads could also be one of the methods that you could try to work out. Cost per clicks can range for few cents up till few dollars for some keywords so do calculate your cost and returns before taking the steps. Twitter could also be a good way to spread awareness on your new startup, tweeting your tuition assignments can attract more attention to the available work and lead to higher chance of closing the deal.

The most important thing is to have your tutors in place when there is demand, if there are no tutors even with demand you can't do the match up then there is no point for it. Contact friends who are current tutors and see if they want to join you and through your network, grow your tutor base first. 

Set up Tuition Agency Step 5 - Employ part time coordinators 

Employ or work with part time coordinators. Make sure you sign a contract for them to not steal or misuse your database (do not forget the data protection act that we talked about in step 3). Some coordinators have a good base of students or tutors on their hands already so working with them could cut your closing time to half and that will be very effective for you to kick start your young business. Most founders will be the tuition coordinator for the start and work on it until the business grows to a certain size. Founders will also be able to realise trends in the business that they could follow or make pivots to. Remember , coordinators are the one doing the coordinating but they most probably will not be the one sourcing for more businesses for you. As the founder your job is to find more business for the coordinators to do their job. This comes through more targeted marketing and marketing through various means to reach your intended market. 

Set up Tuition Agency Step 6 - Safeguard your tutors database

Always remember that your database of tutors is your biggest asset, work to build it or to keep it intact and also update it every half a year or one year so that your database is kept up to date. Engage them with recent activities and also using EDMs to update them about new tuition assignments that are in place for them. You could also SMS them to keep them updated but do reflect that when you are setting up your rules and privacy policies so that you do not contravene any laws in place. You could also give incentives to current tutors to introduce friends or assignments to you and offer them some form of commission if they do lead to a closing of your deals. 

Set up Tuition Agency Step 7 - Payment Arrangements

Once you have matched up the tutors and the tuition assignment, do not forget to keep in contact and arrange for payment of the services when the time is up. There has been rampant cheating cases where tutors will try to work with the parents to undercut the agencies, so this should also be noted when you want to work with parents/students whom you are not familiar with. You won't want to be cheated of your hard earned money. There has been a push within the industry to collect payment upfront before work is carried out. There are also a push for increasing in fees but the typical ways of tuition arrangements mostly still exist. 

Set up Tuition Agency Step 8 - Revamp and upgrade your systems

When your business is doing better, it is always good to have a proper and strong database / search based website development singapore for your tutors or requester to navigate with. In this respect you would make the search much more enjoyable for them and in this process retain more potential customers and also generate more interest amongst potential tutors. You should also start to have a better registered office address that commands better trust from customers and also if you are able to grow to a certain size, employ staff to act as call centre staff to make quick responses that will help you to grow service standards.


Accounting Notes: 

Do note that every sale needs to be recorded properly and kept with an accounting book, this is for accounting and tax purposes. If the business fails to record their books properly or fail to declare the proper amounts of taxes as per the income made, the company is chargeable under the Singapore tax laws. IRAS is very strict on tax cheating cases so do watch out for that. You can read more about the tax obligations of the tuition agency operators here.   If you require accounting services for your business do contact us. 

Social Media Notes:

With the advent of social media, you should take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to share the news of new assignments so that you can keep tutors constantly engaged about latest assignments leading to higher close rates. Facebook could also act as a make shift website before you have an official website, and twitter with its 160 characters is perfect to share tuition assignments. Other social media like Instagram or Pinterest may not be that useful in such cases.

Special notes: 

Do note that since this industry is low cost and easy to start, you are faced with almost 60~80 competitors, this firms are either well established (good branding) or they can be one man shows (with low cost) and the competition is tough, find your own niche (eg. Math, Science, Language) and focus on growing your brand and market your business service standards. You should also be prepared that a big chunk of early earnings will go towards marketing and building a brand and that the whole marketing process is a long term thing. Most tuition agencies  Watch out for cash burns and do no over stretch your finances. 

If you require financial consulting, do contact us to find out more about our services.

Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship annd figuring out how to startup a tuition agency in singapore. If you do have any queries when it comes to accounting or tax related help , you could contact our specialist to assist you on your business journey.  

Find out more about how to startup business in Singapore

Koh Management (previously known as S.H. Koh Secretarial & Managament Pte Ltd) was founded by Director Koh Swee Hock in the Year 1983. Over the years, under the guidance of Mr Koh, it has since established a reputation for quality and professionally accounting and secretarial services for SMEs and young start-ups. With 30 over years of experience and also a young team working with him to expand his business within the startup circle, Koh Management has grown from strength to strength.

Koh Management takes pride in the work assigned to us and always goes the extra mile to ensure that our clients are provided with utmost quality services and solutions for their businesses. Should you require any assistance about your business process, administrative matters, feel free to contact our friendly staff at Koh Management. We look forward to serving your business needs.

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