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Feedback on a few business ideas wanted please

(6 Posts)
mathsgeek Tue 02-Jul-13 14:17:10

Also posted in Freelance as not sure what traffic about here!

I have been SE for about 6 years now, working as a maths tutor. I love the work, but realistically most of the work is after school/weekends and I would like to try and up my income with work during the school day (when my children are at school). Any ideas would always be a complement to the tuition.

Idea 1- to run some sort of 'maths' based fun group for preschoolers with parents attending. Lots of 'doing' activities like any group- e.g. investigating with scales, painting, counting sweets out to decorate biscuits, board games, songs related to numbers and shapes. The idea behind the group would also be to support and inspire parents with them supporting their own children- many parents I speak to are very nervous when it comes to their own maths learning.

Idea 2- As a slight deviation from idea no.1, to run courses/drop in sessions for parents to support their children in maths. I could cover topics such as the different methods now used in calculations, ideas for them to support with homework, help with their own confidence etc.

Idea 3- some sort of online shop which sells maths resources for homework.home education etc. The kind of things I use in my tutoring but on a small scale for parents to buy enough of for their child/children rather than having to buy class packs. Possibly offering packs suitable for different ages, e.g. a number square, number lines, multilink, small set of money, to also being able to buy standalone items- e.g. fraction items.

I have some experience with idea 1 and 2, but 3 would be a completely new area. I have no idea about using a ecommerce website or about wholesalers, or what extra costs might be occurred, like having the ablity to take credit cards for example! To some extent the ideas could overlap, and for example I could link my tutoring website with the shop one.

So, what are your thoughts, given the current climate? I know some people who run preschooler groups ATM and they have noticed a general decrease in numbers as more parents find work and children go to nursery. I don't have a huge amount of money to invest (but have time and energy), and what worries me more about idea 3 is that I think it would take a lot more capital. It's probably the idea I'm most interested in as it's so different to what I have done so far. I need the warts and all feedback, as I am quite risk adverse.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 02-Jul-13 18:54:26

Idea one appeals a lot....but idea 2 does not. As a maths hater that sounds like my ultimate nightmare. That might just be me though. Idea 3 not sure...but I think I would just go to Amazon for teaching aids.

If you're worried about the numbers for the pre school group, advertise in the better off areas. It's an original idea I think.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 02-Jul-13 19:05:53

If you want some work in school hours could you find a part time teaching job or do supply work? You can mix se work with employed work and it might be easier to earn that way than get established with another different se job.

mathsgeek Tue 02-Jul-13 20:06:24

Thank you for the feedback- I cross posted in freelance and another poster there also talked about the better off areas for idea 1. I am not really in a 'better off' area grin nor an area where people are that bothered by the schools. My philosophy would also want it the group aims to focus on activities which are maths rich and enjoyable with parents becoming more confident rather than an attitude which says 'your child will only be intelligent at maths if they come'. And this part is tricky as it's part of the marketing.

I have tried finding teaching work, but there's a) not much about and b) I'm rather expensive in comparison to recently qualified teachers. And I quite like being my own boss, I guess I have got too used to it.

tigerlilygrr Wed 03-Jul-13 08:46:51

I wouldn't necessarily say the better off areas would be best actually. When I was a kid I went to a very deprived area for extra maths lessons - all the 30 or so children there bar me were Asian. I think some non-white British communities do prioritise out of school learning more (very anecdotally) and are prepared to sacrifice their Saturday mornings etc (I know some children whose parents aren't GB born who go to language lessons and also religious ed as well on a Saturday). So I wouldn't write it off if you don't happen to live in an obviously posh area. However these children were primary school age so maybe bear that in mind for a target group as well.

OP, your first idea sounds heavy on time but not on cost. Why don't you run a trial session? Rent a church hall, or a space in a community centre/library, put up some posters at school and in the town and see what happens. It should give you at least some indication. If you get more than four or five replies I'd say it's a goer (bear in mind as the class continues you'd pick up children through word of mouth).

Justine202 Sun 14-Jul-13 17:29:12

I live in what would be termed as an affluent area and the after school tuition consists of Explore learning and Kumon but nothing for pre schoolers. I think there could be a real gap for this - rich people are dying to spend their money on 'bettering' their kids and if nothing else this would give them the kudos. I say go for it!

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