Teaching is a lifelong profession that provides valuable education for both children and adults. It is also a job that requires the mastery of many different skills, from the fundamentals of the subjects being taught to the managerial proficiencies necessary to keep a classroom under control.
Unsurprisingly, many of these skills have useful applications outside of the classroom. Indeed, if you are a teacher looking to make some extra money in your spare time, or start an entirely new business from scratch, there are many different opportunities for you to explore.
Business Ideas for Teachers
To help get you started, here are seven great business ideas:
1. Curriculum Development
If you are considering a new venture as an educator, it can be helpful to think about what kind of resources were in demand in your original position. Then, think of what your business could do to facilitate the creation of those resources. How can your company make a difference in the field you know best?
As an initial suggestion, consider that teachers invest a lot of time every month coming up with new curriculum material to distribute to their students. Creating a business that develops this and sells it to educators is a great way to provide a valuable service and turn a profit.
Begin by looking at the subjects that you are familiar with, and then consider how you have customised them to appeal to your students in the past. Ask yourself: how can you translate those specifics to a larger audience while retaining their original educational message? Specialising content for specific geographic regions is a great starting point in this regard, while any other education niche that you can meet will help to set your company apart, too.
This idea also represents a good business plan because of its scalability. As an entrepreneur with a teaching background, you can start by selling your lesson plans to other instructors within your own network, expanding the company's reach as you are able to provide more diverse material.
Tutoring has been a side gig for teachers for decades, but that does not mean you can't finetune the idea or offer something different. After all, the competitive nature of higher education has created an intense demand for capable tutors with a qualified background, while the rise of online education represents an ever-growing potential customer base.
Individual tutors with the appropriate skills can demand high prices from the right clients, while a business that can promise to connect students with competent tutors – essentially a platform-based model – can potentially access even higher price points.
This is another business that can grow dynamically, either through the network you have in your community, or by utilising the aforementioned reach of the internet to approach prospective partners and clients.
You don't always have to reinvent the wheel to be successful in business, so why not simply capitalise upon your existing skills? Freelancing is a great way to create extra income using the skills you already have, bolstered by the professional experience you have earned as a teacher.
This doesn't just have to mean freelance teaching, either. You can explore writing, for instance; there is a high demand for professionals with extensive experience in education to help create content for curriculums and test preparation organisations. In addition, the specialised skillset of your subject may be relevant; a science or mathematics teacher, for example, might find side gigs that they had not previously considered.
Once you have built up a network of collaborators and established a steady inflow of work, you can then brand yourself and turn your part-time business into a full-time one. For any teacher that has ever dreamt of earning a paycheque while lying on a beach, this is a great – and viable – way to do so.
4. Home Schooling Service
With recent school closures and general confusion about the security of traditional education arrangements, homeschooling has never been more important. For that reason, it is now a great time to offer your professional teaching skills to supplement parents' homeschooling plans.
A business that provides homeschooling services can help overextended parents whose attention is stretched thin by the demands of their career, not to mention the challenges of homeschooling their children. Your company can either offer your services in specific subjects or provide an enhanced curriculum for entire age groups.
Web conferencing tools have made this business even more viable in recent years. Just giving homeschooled children an opportunity to see problems solved by a teacher can be incredibly helpful and is a service parents are willing to pay for. This is a business that can be an opportunity for your current or former co-workers as well, whose work lives may have been upended by the rapidly shifting educational landscape.
5. Corporate Training
The organisation and leadership skills that are required to be a teacher make a business that focuses on corporate training a natural shift. Many companies depend on corporate training to build new skills and promote team building, and are willing to pay reliable providers very well for the opportunity.
While there is a lot of money to be made from corporate training, professional clients generally have high standards for the educators performing that training. This means that you may need to put together a team of individuals with high-level, specialist qualifications in areas such as learning cognition before you can make your business competitive with other corporate training services.
Another avenue to pursue if you are considering creating a corporate training business is the option of implementing a corporate retreat. An unconventional setting can command even higher fees from clients, so if you have access to a unique piece of property that can accommodate for the demands of a visiting group of people, then you may have an excellent opportunity to develop a lucrative business.
6. Teaching Languages Online
Another traditional side job for many teachers is teaching languages online, and learning new languages is a pastime that is in high demand from a wide spectrum of prospective students, from the professional level all the way down to grade school.
If you are specialised in teaching a language, then you may have a wide variety of opportunities available to you. This is also a great business idea for teachers with a diverse background. If you can bridge a cultural divide and connect with students from a specific country or ethnic background, then you can provide a specialised experience that many students will be happy to extra for.
Again, once you have established a sound reputation and built a network, you can brand yourself and take your services full time.
7. Online Retail
Another great business opportunity for teachers is to operate an online retail store. Even a simple bookstore or clothing retailer can turn a profit if managed well, and if you have specialised skills to curate a collection or ensure quality, you can find your market online.
If you have a niche product that you can create, Etsy is a useful place to get your product into the hands of people who want it. It is easy to set up a page, and the company provides valuable support to facilitate things such as money transfers.
Etsy is an excellent choice for beginners, but it is not the only avenue to create an online retail presence. It's easier than ever to create your own eCommerce venture using sites such as WordPress, allowing you to sell your products and develop long term relationships with customers.
Of course, these are just some of the start-up ideas that a teacher looking to make the transition to entrepreneurship can consider. The big difference lies in how you would be willing to approach your venture; what model you would adopt, how you would implement technological development, and how well you could market your wares. Alternatively, you may have stumbled across the next great business idea – and the world could be waiting for you to release it.
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