Sometimes work at home doesn’t mean starting a business, but rather taking on contracts. Sometimes it means having a work at home job (yes! they do exist!). Amylee proves that you can be successful, and help support a family, doing just that. Over the years, she’s had a variety of home businesses, and currently works with the popular ESL company VIPKids. Amy shares her experiences in this interview:
1. Tell me about your yourself.
I am a married, homeschooling mom of three girls. I was a military brat so you could say I have Roots everywhere and nowhere and I currently live in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. Before starting my family, I worked at a few dot-coms before the dot bomb. Since getting married, I have had several home businesses, from web design to weddings to childbirth classes. Currently, I have a work at home job with VIPkid.
And if I could only have one dessert for the rest of my life, which would be super sad, it would be chocolate chip cookies!
2. What is your business?
I teach English to children in China, one-on-one, with VIPkid.
3. How long have you been working with your business?
I started my work at home job with VIPkid in the fall of 2017.
4. Why did you want to work from home or work for yourself? What is your “why”?
Of course, supplementing our family income is a big motivator. But I work from home for almost the same reason that I homeschool: I realized right away how quickly my kids would grow up and wanted to be there for that growing up as much as possible.
5. Why did you start this business? Did you look into any other business ideas? Have you tried any others before this one?
As I mentioned earlier, I have had several at home businesses. I’ve been drawn to them for different reasons. Sometimes I preferred contract work or a work at home job, as they guarantee a rate per hour, which definitely has an appeal. This teaching gig does offer of that. I also like teaching online because of the hours. Some people work overnight, but I work in the morning before my kids wake up and in the evenings. The start-up costs were minimal, as well. I already had a computer, high speed internet connection and a few of my kids toys as teaching tools. It’s also incredibly fun! The students are adorable and amazing.
6. How many hours do you work every day or per week? What kinds of things do you do to make money?
There are many people who do this full-time. I work an hour or two in the mornings and an hour or two in the evenings. I just can’t manage too much more with the stage of life I’m in. In the summer I will be able to add more hours. I make money simply by teaching a pre-planned class. The teaching slides and lesson is already outlined for me. I may grab a few extra tools, but preparation is minimal. There are other teachers who also do teacher trainings, but I do not do those.
7. How long did it take to make a profit?
This is a contract position and there is a hiring process. You can expect about 2 weeks, depending on how much time you need for the various stages. I took a little longer myself. After that, it can be slow to start booking classes. That experience really seems to vary. But after a few weeks, you should be getting some bookings, even if your teaching slots are not all filling up. But know that this is not a pay-to-play type of work at home job. There will be a few weeks between your initial inquiry and earning. And you will get paid by the 15th of the following month for your work the previous month.
8. How do you help your customer? Why would they buy from you or work with you?
While we are teaching the children, the parents are really the paying customers. They want to see their children learning and improving in their English language skills. Each teacher has something different to offer and connects with students and parents in different ways. The parents are able to choose teachers so that you can build up a clientele of regulars.
9. What do you like best about your business?
It’s fun! Classes are about 25 minutes long and they fly by.
10. How would someone start with your company?
Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in any field and any kind of teaching experience, whether that be state certification, homeschool Co-op, teaching your own children, Sunday school, Etc, can apply. I am able to offer mentorship to those who apply under me.
There are several stages to the hiring process for this work at home job, from an interview to teaching mock classes to a mentor from the USA. We will walk through those together, as well as through teaching those first classes until you get comfortable.
11. What do you do to help your new team members succeed?
Most people have a lot of questions about the hiring process and the mock classes. I will help answer all of those as they arise. You also need to sell yourself a bit to the parents and I can help in some of that decision making. And there are several types of classes and sometimes technology issues that I will help you navigate.
12. What kinds of expectations should someone new to working from home have?
This work at home job is very straightforward in that the number of classes you teach equals the amount of money you make. And sometimes there are additional bonuses, as well! You do need to expect to go a little overboard in your teaching style to get hired, to put together a pleasant backdrop behind you, and to spend a few minutes between classes evaluating the student for the parents. But this is different than most work at home jobs in how straightforward it is.
13. Anything else you would like someone to know about you or your business?
My personal experience with this growing company is that they try very hard to communicate with the teachers and give them the tools they need to do a good job. This company has goals of growing and offering classes in other parts of the world, which increases the teaching opportunities for the teachers. I have found them to be forthright and their expectations are very clear.
14. How can someone connect with you?