People & Planet
This business makes a positive difference by...
- Helping non-technical people keep in touch with the modern world.
- Making life much easier for people by introducing them to computers and the Internet
- Helping people save money by offering a lower fee than the professionals.
- Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business and computing skills.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- Do you know how to effectively use your computer?
- Do you sometimes have problems with your computer and have no idea what to do?
- Have you ever wished that you could get help without paying an arm and a leg?
This will give you a clear idea on how your business will perform - but rest assured there's definitely some people in your neighbourhood who needs a computer tutor!
Get Yourself Sorted
Before you actually do a job, make sure that you KNOW HOW TO DO IT!
If you have been using a computer for a while, you should have the knowledge to at least teach the beginners.
If you want to improve on what you know, get on an online course or join a local IT institute that teaches you what you want to learn (Sometimes it's free!).
Generally, what most computer beginners want to learn is:
- How to use their operating systems (i.e. Windows or Macintosh - make sure you have experience with the one that they are using)
- How to use the word processor and other desktop publishing programs
- The basics of surfing the Internet.
Things You'll Need:
- Your experience with computers
- A computer at home for practice and for creating flyers
- Look at your own backyard! There are a lot of people who don't know how to use their computers!
- Start with your neighbours and friends - You have the advantage that they already know and trust you.
- Have a creative and convincing flyer to give to interested people
- You could put flyers in your local computer stores and maybe make a deal with them to recommend your tutoring services and in turn you will recommend their store to your customers
- Put flyers in your local library too
- Advertise in community newspapers
- Once you're more experienced you may want to create a lesson plan by gathering the most interesting topics from your past customers. This will especially help beginners who do not know where (or how) to start
Pricing: Get to know the business by finding out how much professionals charge for their services. Then set a price that you think is reasonable. Remember: you are not a professionally certified computer tutor - which is why you shouldn't be that expensive!
Like professionals, sometimes you might not be able to answer questions that your clients may have. Consider offering a money back guarantee for circumstances where you can't find a solution to their problems.
- Whenever you're visiting the house of any client, always have an adult present, and always make sure that your parents know where you're going. You can trust most people but it's better to be safe.
- You need to be at least 16 years of age to be able to be in the house of a non-family member. It's just to be safe!
- Do not use the computer when there is a storm or lightning - it may fry the computer or even worse: you.
Get on with it
There is an endless list of topics that may be covered in your tutoring session. We recommend that you ask your customers, before you visit them, what topics would they like to learn. Then, if you feel unprepared to teach them that area, do some research online and practice it on your computer before heading over there.
Here are some links to good basic computer tutor sites:
http://www.thirdage.com/features/tech/booster/ - A great Quick Reference guide for PC users
http://www.macoptions.com/os85/ - A good starting point for Macintosh users