As we come to the end of the year, thoughts naturally fall to plans for the new year. This post-Christmas week is one of my favourite times of year for that very reason. There are no expectations, schools are closed, students are on holiday, and my time is entirely my own. It’s the perfect time for some thinking and planning.
In this blog I share my annual planning process for my tutor business, and some resources to help you with your annual tutor business plan.
What is your financial goal?
When it comes down to it, we all need to pay the bills. Tutors aren’t generally in it ‘for the money’ as there are many more affluent online business models, but there’s no shame in having a financial goal.
Do you know much money you need to earn this year in order to comfortably pay your bills, and take yourself on holiday, plus whatever else you want to do? Spend a few minutes jotting it all down, and perhaps check your monthly bank statements to work out how much you’re spending each month.
Don’t forget to make a note of your regular business expenses here. They’re often overlooked when it’s one off software costs, or a stationary top up. But note them all down because they all add up to wondering where your money went.
Bear in mind also that costs tend to grow as businesses grow, so if you’re making big plans this year you may need to upgrade your software or bring in new staff to manage it. This will also add up to more spending, so make a note of it.
When you have your total income goal here from all of these elements, we need to consider tax. I tend to add a third of this entire amount on again to account for tax. Of course it varies, but that’s a reasonable rough estimate.
How many hours are you hoping to work?
If you were to generate this income by one to one tuition, would this be possible? How many lessons are you prepared to sell each week? The chances are this would be more than you are hoping to work each week. Especially when you consider planning, admin, marketing, and development time.
In order to achieve this financial goal, do you need to add in some passive income options?
Do you work with others, as an employment business? How many hours do you need to sell through this business to meet your goals?
Spending the time setting out a plan to include all of these elements will give you a much better chance of achieving that financial goal. You may need to set aside some time up front to develop resources to sell, but that time investment will lead to a stable source of income down the road, and so is well worthwhile.
Will you need to seek out help to achieve this? It is best to factor that in early too, as you may need to budget for it. If you are recruiting tutors, that can take some time too, so start early and set up a rigorous training plan for them.
Prioritise your projects
You may well have lots of ideas for ways to boost your income in 2023. How do you know where to start?
I start by sorting all of my ideas from most passive to least passive. Passive options require the least time for money earned. This is a valuable way to secure regular income without committing yourself to working lots of additional hours. It makes sense to start with these and give your income a boost, so you have more flexibility to invest in future plans.
Are there any costs associated? Will you need to invest in software or manpower for this project? What will it cost? Factor that into your expenses to make sure they don’t make a dent in your income. This can also help you with setting the price for your product or service, as that can be difficult with passive income projects.
What income goals can you predict achieving with this project? Once you’ve set a price, how many sales will you need to make to achieve your goal? When you break that down monthly and/or weekly does it feel achievable? It must not be overwhelming, so you may need to make adjustments. The idea is to make progress and not to burn yourself out.
Break it down into high level steps
When you have picked your first project, consider the tasks you have to schedule to deliver it. What timeline can you deliver them on? Consider these at a high level initially, to plan them into your timeline. You can add the details later when it comes time to deliver them.
How much time are you planning to work each week? Are you planning to take a holiday? Don’t overcommit your time. Factor this all into your calculations so that you don’t fall behind schedule, or take your laptop on holiday with you!
With all of this considered, do you have time to fit these in? If not, perhaps you need to stretch out your timeline, or seek support to deliver it.
Consider your wellbeing
With all of these elements you need to consider your wellbeing. Your plans should make time for work, rest, and play each week. Life is not all about working and you will soon lose interest in your goals if you are not also supporting your health, and spending time with your loved ones.
If you’re not already planning a holiday, perhaps you should schedule something for 2023.
Do you have family commitments? Are you hoping to attend the school play, or football matches at the weekend? Schedule them into your diary and make work fit around them. Last minute panic may push you into decisions that you’ll later regret. Schedules help to prevent this.
I hope this helps you to feel better about 2023. If you are working on your annual plan, you can get a copy of my spreadsheet template here so you don’t have to start from scratch.
I’d love to see how you use it! Let me know how you get on with it.