I hope you had a good weekend. I was casting my mind back and came up with this memory that I wanted to share. A few years back a neighbour asked if I could help his daughter with her maths.

At the time I had just put my prices up and was feeling nervous/bad about doing it. So, when he asked if he could have a discount without a second thought, I dropped it back down to the original price.

How foolish was I!

He was terrible at paying. He would wait until about half an hour into the lesson and then take the dog for a walk saying he would give me my money when he got back. Inevitably his dog walk always took him longer than the half an hour remaining so the lesson would inevitably continue until he got back (at my expense).

He would then want to catch up on what we had been doing and how I felt his daughter was doing. I would normally do this as a matter or course (but not half an hour after the lesson should have finished…)

My takeaways from this:

  1. If you accept cash payment, make sure it is ready for you as you arrive so if the parents do have to leave you’re not kept hanging around waiting for them to come back with your money.
  2. If someone asks you for a discount, say no. In my mind when he asked, I felt I could justify it because I didn’t need to travel (his house literally faced ours). But I have learned that those people who question the price are normally the worst at paying.

Know your worth, you have chosen that price for a reason.

I always ask myself now can I justify potentially missing time with my family (should they pop back) for £x. If the answer is no, I politely decline. I don’t give reasons I just say I can’t reduce it and that I feel I already offer great value for money.

At first, I was worried I wouldn’t get any work if I had this sort of an attitude, but actually, the opposite has been the case. By clogging up your time with someone who is poor at paying, you are depriving someone else the opportunity that would have paid. Furthermore, why should that person be more deserving of a discount over the others that you tutor (if you have a justifiable reason, there is often a grey area…)

If you are thinking about becoming a tutor and need support in getting started, this introductory course may be just the thing to help:

Become a tutor: an introductory course

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