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Guide to selling a tutoring and private tuition business

Running a private tuition or tutoring business demands strong leadership due to market competition, student turnover and national curriculum changes. To successfully exit from your company, you may consider selling your tutoring business to ensure business continuity and to secure a new owner for your tutoring agency or tuition centre.

The business sale process consists of finding a buyer with an active interest in the tutoring field, and the desired skill set to execute a robust operational structure and an effective marketing strategy to attract new students throughout the academic year and in the run-up to exam season.

There are many reasons you may wish to sell your tutoring business, such as retirement, to cash out on your investment or to start another business. To prepare for the sale of your education and teaching business, you may appoint a business transfer agent, also known as a business broker, to provide professional guidance, source a buyer and negotiate a competitive sale price.  

How to sell my tutoring company

To successfully find a suitable buyer for your tutoring business, you will need to prepare your company for the sale process and for the viewing of interested parties looking to buy a tutoring business. After preparing your private tutoring company for sale, you will need to find out how much your tutoring business is worth through a company valuation.

The typical process to sell a business can be broken down into 8 steps, as follows:

  1. Appoint professional business broker
  2. Prepare business for sale
  3. Arrange company valuation
  4. Produce sales memorandum
  5. Advertise business for sale
  6. Negotiate best offers and perform due diligence
  7. Confirm final sale price, deal structure, contracts and agreements
  8. Complete deal and handover

An experienced business broker and business valuer can help calculate how much your company is worth, supported by real-life data on similar sales. Many valuation methods can be used to find out how much your company and business assets are worth, including an EBITDA valuation or industry rules of thumb.

Preparing your tutoring business for sale

By driving efforts to enhance the appeal of your business in the run-up to the sale, you can maximise value and increase the sale price. Bring your financial records up-to-date to enable prospective buyers to accurately assess investment value. An efficient business operating at full capacity and generating tangible results is likely to reflect the efforts of the management team and make a long-lasting impression.

For example, if streamlining company operations can result in reducing expenditure by a fair percentage, this can increase the efficiency of the business. If your business appears as a popular search result when looking for a ‘tutor near me’ or ‘tutoring services near me’, filtered by subject, education level or location, polishing your online presence ahead of the planned sale by attracting recent reviews can add value.

Preparing for the sale of your business in advance can give you more time to achieve ambitious financial targets and finetune company operations.

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"Working with a broker who had in-depth knowledge of the private education industry was instrumental as the buyer was a highly sought tutor in my area with a group of tutoring businesses already under his ownership. "

Hannah, GCSE & A-Level Maths Tutoring Services, Essex

How much is my tuition business worth?

A tutoring business can present a flexible route through which private education services can be delivered, from home tutoring where tutors travel to and from students, or where students travel to and from the tutor. Your tutoring company may provide a bespoke tutoring service that is widely accessible to students at different academic levels through a tuition centre. Alternatively, an online tutoring and mentoring option may be available to expand the geographical reach and increase student capacity.

The operational structure of your tuition business will influence market value, growth potential and the type of buyers you are likely to attract, amongst other factors, such as:

  • Tutoring business model: Single tutor/multiple tutors, employed/self-employed/agency, freehold/leasehold premises
  • Operational hours: Before school, after-school, evenings, weekends, school holidays
  • Offering: Home tutoring, online tutoring, tuition centre, education level of students (key stages, secondary education, university education), national curriculum, niche subjects
  • Specialisms: Experience with children with learning difficulties, children with behavioural problems or additional needs
  • Educational standards: Tutor qualification criteria (GCSEs, A-Levels, Degree, Masters), experience with exam boards and minimum tutoring experience
  • Reputation: Online reviews, DBS checked tutors, professionalism, safe environment
  • Recurring revenue: Service agreements with public education providers, referrals through recommendations

Starting a tuition business, private tutoring company or home tutoring business can present a cost-effective route to deliver one-to-one tutoring or group tutoring services to students at a minimal start-up cost, making buying an existing tutoring business desirable. To list your business for sale, find out how much your tutoring business is worth by arranging a free tutoring business valuation.

Value my tutoring business

Valuing a tutoring business is one of the first steps that you will take as part of your exit strategy. By calculating how much your business is worth, you can financially plan for life post-sale and price your business accordingly to generate a healthy return. During the business sale journey, your company valuation report will be used as a benchmark to confirm that the final sale price is an accurate reflection of market value.

To value your business, the Selling My Business team of business valuers will require three years' worth of company accounts. We will liaise with your accountant to request additional financial records that could support the sale of your business. Our business transfer and company valuation firm offer a free tutoring business valuation and can run through how to value a tutoring and tuition business.

How did Covid-19 impact the private tuition sector?

As the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdown restrictions and school closures, demand for private online tutoring and homeschooling services rocketed to unprecedented levels, resulting in an additional £2 billion boost. Business owners seized this opportunity to promote the sale of their business as online private education businesses became high in demand.

The Covid-19 pandemic presented and continues to provide a wealth of opportunities to private tutors and business owners looking to sell their tutoring business.

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  • Will all potential buyers for the business be approached?
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