Lower operating costs
The ongoing operating costs of running an online tutoring business are also lower than traditional tutoring. Some of the eliminated costs come in the form of building leases, phone, transportation and marketing. Online tutors can do everything from their home, they can use free or low-cost online phones like Skype for communication and they don’t have to spend money driving to the tutoring office or to clients’ homes.
Many of the advantages of online tutoring can also pose challenges for tutoring companies. We’ll look at the disadvantages below one at a time.
Lower barriers to entry
Low barriers to entry make online tutoring attractive to new tutoring companies, but for incumbents this is a negative since it makes it easier for new companies to enter the market and compete with them. This ultimately leads to more price competition and lower profit margins.
Competition from other markets and other countries
Online tutoring overcomes the geography barrier which is also a disadvantage for existing tutoring businesses. This means that instead of facing competition only from tutoring companies in their immediate market they now face competition from tutors in other parts of the country and in other countries all-together. Many online tutors are from countries like India 補習老師 where the cost of living is much lower. Thy can teach American students online and charge a rate that is still much lower than standard rates in the United States, yet still well above the rate they would earn for tutoring in their own country.
Technology limitations of students
While most people have a personal computer at home and internet access, many students who need tutoring do not have the required technology to receive online tutoring. In addition to a computer, a high-speed internet connection is ideal, a headset and microphone are needed for talking with the tutor, and hardware such as a writing board may be required depending on the subject. This means if your business wants to provide only online tutoring there will be many students that you cannot reach.
While online tutoring can be effective, there are certain subjects where face-to-face communication and explaining concepts on a sheet of paper are more effective than communicating online. It can also be more challenging to keep students engaged when tutoring online, which can have a negative effect on the student’s progress.
Online tutoring creates both opportunities and challenges for tutoring businesses. By understanding and evaluating these challenges, tutoring companies will be better prepared to respond to them and adapt their business strategies to the changes it brings the industry.