Tutoring - I can't put my fees up, can I?

(10 Posts)

Hi

I started doing some English tutoring last year after leaving secondary teaching to be a sort of SAHM. As I was an inexperienced private tutor (although I am a very experienced teacher) I set my fees quite low, with the intention of raising them once I had some experience.

All fine, except the students I have lined up for September are almost all siblings or close friends of existing or previous students and will know what I have been charging. In some cases the work has come about as a direct recommendation from an existing student. Plus it doesn't seem fair to put the fees up for the same parent who has been paying the lower fees, or to charge one friend more than the other.

I haven't explained that very well! Sorry! In a bit of a rush!

Am I just being soft? I have form for such behaviour. grin

frogs Wed 16-Jul-14 17:41:24

Yes, you can put the fees up, both for existing and new students. As long as the rise isn't exorbitant and you give them plenty of warning.

Obviously they won't be thrilled because no one wants to pay more money. But it's not unreasonable.

rollonthesummer Wed 16-Jul-14 20:29:19

Reasonable, as long as you give them notice. September 1st would be a sensible rate. What are your current/
proposed rates?

profpoopsnagle Wed 16-Jul-14 20:36:24

I raised mine by £2/hour last year for everyone- new and old clients. Like the posters have said, give notice and state a date, I also did from 1st September. No-one said anything (to my face grin ). The only downside was that it made my accounting a pain as I do all that on a spreadsheet. Next time I might consider doing a change with the new tax year.

Clobbered Wed 16-Jul-14 20:38:52

Definitely not a problem. Let them all know now, and then they can decide whether to come back or not.
I remember once reading that if no-one complains about your prices, you probably aren't charging enough!
Can you get some idea of what other local tutors are charging in your area? Might be useful if challenged. You are just bringing your rates into line with the going rate.

Thanks for the advice. I'm charging £20 an hour at the moment, which I know is a fair way under the going rate for this area. I am SO BAD at being assertive! I'm tempted to wait until the GCSE results come out and see if my students do well or not so I can say I have a 'proven track record'!

toomuchicecream Thu 17-Jul-14 06:48:44

Notify them now (in writing so you don't actually gave to say it to their faces) that your annual increase from 1 Septrmber will be...

When I was a child minder I put my fees up by a small amount every year so no one ever got a big shock with a large increase.

The parents have 2 choices - pay the increased rate or go elsewhere. If you give them maximum notice then they can't grumble that you've sprung it on them at the last minute and given them no chance to go elsewhere. It sounds as if you aren't struggling for tutees so there's obviously room to charge more.

Phineyj Sat 19-Jul-14 20:19:45

I can tell you don't teach Economics grin. You ought to be putting your fees up by the rate of inflation at least - otherwise you're giving yourself a real terms pay cut. Also, ime you actually get more respect in that line of work if you charge more (within reason) - people assume you are good/in demand.

OK, so made up example.
I have 10 kids, all with one school year between them
I'm planning on sending them to you for tutoring for the final year of GCSE. Are you going to be still charging me £20/hr when DC10 comes to you?

I agree that you'd be better going for a smaller rise now, and another in 12 months time, rather than a bigger rise in 12 months.

Think waiting til end of Aug to announce a price rise in Sept is too late.

profpoopsnagle Sat 19-Jul-14 21:51:31

If you do want to wait for the results in August, you could look to put up for fees for January.

When I did mine I also wrote a general newsletter anyway, and included the price increase as part of that. Don't apologise for it, and don't even justify it. Just say, 'Please note that with effect from the 1st of blah blah, a session fee will be....'

I started with £20/hour for the same reasons as you and I agree entirely that you need to charge the going rate or people might think why is she so cheap? I am super flexible (offer fortnightly lessons if people want, don't charge for missed lessons so long as no-one takes the p1$$) and I feel I offer good value- my overheads are low so feel I can pass that onto my customers, this is reflected in my hourly rate.

IME, anyone that moans about the price is probably best avoided too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now