Is It Better For An Economics Tutor To Operate Independently Or Collaborate With Other Tutors?

Economics tuition in Singapore is provided mainly at the pre-university level, and to a lesser extent, at the ‘O’ level. This is because although all junior colleges in Singapore offer economics, only a handful of secondary schools offer the subject. Due to the rising popularity of economics tuition, many people have entered the economics tuition industry in recent years. However, a decision which an economics tutor has to make is whether they should operate independently or collaborate with other tutors.

Independent Operation

Operating independently as an economics tutor has several advantages and disadvantages. When an economics tutor operates independently, they will have the whole use of the economics tuition centre. This advantage is particularly great if the economics tutor conducts many economics tuition classes. As an economics tutor operating independently, they will not need to consult with any partners. In today’s business environment, fast decision-making is of paramount importance. In some cases, the speed of decision-making will determine the chances of success to a large extent. Nevertheless, it is important for an economics tutor to ensure that fast decision-making pertaining to economics tuition is done with due diligence. A major disadvantage of operating independently as an economics tutor is that they will not benefit from any cost sharing. Furthermore, having partners to exchange ideas can sometimes produce more desirable outcomes. In contrast, making decisions independently can sometimes lead to less desirable outcomes.

Collaboration with Other Tutors (High Level)

An economics tutor may collaborate with other tutors and this can be done in several ways. The high level of collaboration that an economics tutor can form with other tutors is by setting up a tuition centre and marketing their tuition services under the same brand name. In such a collaboration, the tutors will conduct a concerted marketing campaign, share revenues and costs and therefore profits. This form of collaboration, however, may pose a serious problem if the tutors consistently have very different numbers of students. The tutors who consistently have more students may feel that such a collaboration is unfair to them and this is particularly true if the tutors put in the same effort in conducting the marketing campaign.

Collaboration with Other Tutors (Medium Level)

The medium level of collaboration that an economics tutor can form with other tutors is by teaching at the tuition centre but operating their tuition businesses separately. In such a collaboration, the tutors will share costs but not revenues. Such a collaboration provides greater incentive for the tutors to put in more effort in running their tuition businesses which will increase their revenues. Furthermore, the tutors can share the rental of the premises and the costs of marketing such as flyer distribution, writing pad distribution and newspaper advertising. Given that profit is total revenue minus total cost, a fall in total cost and a rise in total revenue will lead to an increase in profit. Accordingly, many people consider this form of collaboration the most ideal for tutors. Economics Cafe Learning Centre, which is a reputable economics tuition centre specialising in A-level economics tuition in Singapore, collaborates with two other tuition providers in this way.

Collaboration with Other Tutors (Low Level)

The low level of collaboration that an economics tutor can form with other tutors is by interlinking their websites. This form of collaboration enables the tutors to automatically cross-refer students. The main advantage of such a collaboration is that the tutors are able to operate independently and therefore not constrained by the views of any partners which may differ from theirs. JC Economics, which is a less reputable economics tuition in Singapore but which nonetheless has a significant number of students due to its immense marketing effort, collaborates with other tuition providers in this way.

Benjamin Tay

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Principal Economics Tutor: Mr. Edmund Quek