1. Set up the physically infrastructure for the classroom.
As it is now, I've already set up a separate room from my new old flat. That would be the place to work for the next couple of years - an home office if you will. The class room has a wall and a half full of cabinets and shelvings, so I think that's enough space to put in the stuff and I needed for my work, perhaps with extra for my personal stuff too. It'll look something like this, but not quite, because the flooring is of a darker colour then shown in this realistic computer rendered picture from my interior designer.
It should look bright and energetic. The green colour is specifically selected as a sort of colour therapy in education. I've read up some of this pseudo science regarding colours - orange and yellow is mainly for kids, green can be for teenage students (which is the bulk of my students) and blue is for hyper active students. I think green is the right colour to choose. A tad too neon bright for me, but still good. Keeping fingers crossed.
What needs to be done are the furniture for the room. I think a group size of 4-6 is big enough because I don't think I want to have so many students in one group. It's not going to be very efficient because everyone's learning pace is different, so I got to personalize the tuition for everyone in the group. Going to be kind of difficult if the class size is too big. Let's stick with that for now and adjust on the go a few years later. I'll be checking out Sungei Kadut very soon to see if there's suitable furniture for a group of 4-6 students. Not yet decided on whether to have a big table where people around it or individual small tables. Got to think it through.
2. Revamping my website.
I've a rather neglected website for tuition purpose. Neglected because I didn't really put in much effort to either promote it or utilise it properly. That's going to change. A few things needed to be revamped:
a. Logo - that can come a bit later. Eventually going to start getting some notes/guidebooks/assessment books on my own, so a logo should be a good place to start on. That's just too many things that needed attention, so this would not be the main priority for me right now. The main focus is to get things started, and I can adjust from there onwards. I simply cannot wait for conditions to be perfect before I begin, otherwise I might never begin.
b. Getting testimonials from parents / students. Since I do my business from word-of-mouth alone, testimonials are important to me. But I haven't been pursuing them! Got to start getting written testimonials from existing and past students. Nothing fanciful, just a short paragraph detailing their experiences (both good and bad) with me. They can write their results if they want, but I'm not going to insist. I don't want to go into showing statistics on how many percentage of my students get A1. You can force a student to get A but they might hate the subject forever. Nah, it's too much of a burden to bear for their lifetime hatred for any particular subjects that I teach.
In the past, I am rather fearful of getting too many students because I only have limited time to work. I don't like to disappoint people by rejecting them, so I didn't go all out to market myself. In truth, I didn't market myself at all. It's through the much appreciated support of students and parents that I manage to find students every year. Now that I've got the capacity to take in more people, it's time to go aggressive in the marketing of my business. I got to print out some name cards to distribute. A small batch of maybe 200 to begin with might be a great idea. Eventually when I've the time to design a logo or ask someone to do it for me, I'll begin a larger print. Sourcing out some quirky designs from websites online. I found something nice for SGD 100 (inclusive of shipping), so might go along with that. Perhaps I'll check out local shops too. But the problem with local shops are that their designs are pretty sucky (forgive me, I've been to a few and they disappoint). Perhaps someone might recommend me someone trusted?
4. Read up on marketing
I've no background on marketing before. But after reading Adam Khoo's book, "Secrets of Building a multi-million dollar business", I've an inkling. Probably need to read up on some of the marketing strategies and techniques. No point being a good teacher if nobody gets to know about it right?
Many many things to do in the coming few months. Firstly, I've got to settle this batch of students. Their exams are drawing nearer and nearer and the drums of war are already beating hard. After that, I'll take a short break to clear my mind for the new year ahead and begin working on all these. Lots of work to be done.
After much research following the various comments, I confirmed the 'maximum 3 students' rule given by URA/HDB. Here's the verdict:
Ok, so be it. 3 students max at any one time. Shouldn't be a problem at all, as I do not intend to make the class size big anyway. For all other people who's following my pathway, there you go - the official statement.