The Gig Economy: Should Tutoring Agencies Hire Freelance Tutors?

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 Paula Antalffy
customer service feature sales technology

We live in a world where we can access anything at the touch of a button. Phones and computers allow us to connect with anyone in the world, order our shopping or a taxi to our door whenever we want and run our business without being fixed to one place.

One of the main reasons this has become possible is the ‘gig economy’. This business model is a free market system which gives employers and contractors the ability to connect for short-term projects or contracts. Some of the main examples of gig economy workers include freelance workers, project-based contractors and temporary hires.

You can find out a bit more about what the gig economy is by watching this useful video:

The Gig Economy and the Tutoring Market

The gig economy is huge! As of 2019, there are almost 5 million self-employed workers in the UK alone.

Arguably, the tutoring market is slightly behind when it comes to this business model. Many agencies still chose to continue with traditional billing turnaround times and slower service. While the benefits of this bespoke tutoring service should not be forgotten, it is difficult to ignore that many potential clients want faster, more instant tutoring services. This demand is reflected in the recent development of 24 hours-a-day tutoring services.

Switching to a more gig based model does not have to jeopardise quality of service or tutor-student relationships. In fact some companies have already taken it upon themselves to adapt. By using quicker billing methods or more efficient tutor-student matching, agencies are able to keep up with the rapidly changing world we live in.

Person lounging on sofa with laptop
Person lounging on sofa with laptop

The TutorCruncher team is also working hard to make this transition simpler.

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a number of new updates:

  • Easier billing: Our invoicing and billing communications are becoming more streamlined. We are going to be creating four universal billing email definitions, to replace the existing ten. This allows clients to receive less notifications about billing, meaning agencies can accommodate those who demand the set-and-forget nature of today’s world within their tutoring service.
  • Less paperwork: You will now have the option to choose whether you want invoices attached on a person-by-person basis. This is helpful for those clients who don’t need detailed outlines of charges. (Don’t worry, these invoices will still be accessible to clients through their login, if they want to get further details.)
  • Simple customisation: We understand that for some clients a more traditional business model is more comfortable. This is why we are making sure that customising notifications is made more simple for each user, by creating impossible-to-miss checkboxes.

The Benefits of Transitioning to a Gig Economy

The gig economy has become the foundation for many huge and successful businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo. Here are just a few benefits that you and your tutors can look forward to, if you wish to transition to a more gig based business model:

1. Quicker turnaround time

When you take a taxi using an app like Uber, the payment turnaround time is almost instant. As soon as you finish your journey money is taken from your account and moved to the drive’s. You are able to go about your day, never having to think about whether you have payments overdue.

Instant billing means everything within your business is able to happen faster. With TutorCruncher’s ‘Auto Invoice’ and ‘Auto Pay' functions you can take a back seat and let TutorCruncher do the work. If a client doesn’t want to think about billing, you will be able to take money from their account without ever having to disturb them.

2. Easier to keep track of Finances

Businesses who choose to bill clients in arrears rather than instantly will run into issues with delayed payments, or even worse, clients who fail to pay their bills all together. This means business owners end up having to waste time on reminding clients to pay invoices, chasing down any outstanding payments or having to pay tutors out of their own pocket.

Instant billing is a simple solution to this problem. This easy switch means you can make sure all your payments are processed quicker, and you can focus on the more important aspect of running your business.

3. Lower Costs

A gig economy business model will save you money! Paying contractors only for the hours they are working, means you can run your business more cost effective. This model can also help you avoid many of the issues of traditional employment, such as time theft.

4. More Freedom for Tutors and Companies

Did you know 1 in 6 workers want to be independent contractors? For these people, the freedom to choose when and where they want to work in an exciting prospect.

This benefit of more freedom also applies to businesses. A short-term contract business model gives companies an opportunity to scout a wider range of tutors. This helps both parties stay motivated and productive!

Person sitting in coffee shop working on laptop
Person sitting in coffee shop working on laptop

Addressing the Elephant in the Room

While there are huge benefits to transitioning to a gig based economy for all businesses, it is important to acknowledge that there has been some very heavy criticism regarding this model. The gig economy system can easily be taken advantage of, therefore it is important to maintain certain checks and balances to keep all contractors happy.

Here are a few things you can do to avoid the mistakes made by many businesses:

1. Understanding the flaws of the system

One of the key issues of the gig economy is that many workers end up making less than a liveable wage. Since employees are only paid for a certain job, workers can often end up making under minimum wage.

In order to run an effective and ethical gig based business model it is important that your tutors make enough money and work enough hours. This is also key to keeping contractors productive, and avoiding burnout.

2. Keeping in touch with all contractors

Having a motivated and well functioning work force means keeping in touch with everyone who works for your company. Whether someone is a full time employee or a one-time contractor, giving them a place to express their needs and complaints will make sure that anyone working with your business is happy and productive.

Happy contractors also means they will likely apply for more just in the future!

3. Providing the right resources

Self-employment often means workers have to deal with lots of paperwork, such as taxes and billing. If you are able to provide bills on a tutors behalf this will make life much easier for them. Making sure your workforce is educated on their rights and responsibilities as a contract worker will ensure a healthy work environment.

Here are just a few resources you could include in your welcome pack:

Conclusion

The gig economy can provide businesses with a large number of unique benefits. Furthermore, it can give freedom to workers who want more flexibility in their employment. Whether you choose to completely overhaul your business model or simply update certain parts of us, this change can benefit everyone!

Want to learn more about the latest TutorCruncher features? Click here to read some of our other feature blogs!

Want to make running your tutoring businesses easier? Try TutorCruncher today and never worry about billing clients again!


We build business management software for tutoring companies. Whether you are a small team or an established company, we can help you give your clients a 5-star service while spending less time on administration.


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