Struggling Teacher in Search of a Side Business? Four Things You Should Definitely Know

Jun 30, 2017 by

Whether you’re looking to do something productive beyond the classroom or just want to keep more cash in your pocket, there’s no shame in at least exploring the possibility of a side gig as an educator.

That being said, many teachers, especially those fresh out of college, have no idea where to start when it comes to entrepreneurship. Thankfully, there are endless opportunities for educators to make some sweet side income to help supplement their salaries without totally giving up the profession. Also consider that many experts consider teachers to be natural entrepreneurs.

The problem that most teachers face is finding a fine balance between their classrooms and their entrepreneurial ambitions. Even so, starting a business as a teacher is probably much easier than you think. If you’re looking to get started yourself, consider these  tips before you get in over your head with your business.

The Border to Entry is Lower Than Ever…

Making side income as a teacher does not have to mean breaking your back at some menial job over the summer. Thanks to the opportunities afforded by freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr and online marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy, just about any business is fair game online.

Looking to sell your writing services? Fashion and knick-knacks? Products related to education? It’s all out there for the taking, granted you learn the ropes of Internet marketing. Don’t think of entrepreneurship as an exclusive club: something as simple as a website and social media presence is enough to sow the seeds of a business.

…But Be Wary of Potential Headaches

Although starting a business may indeed be easier than ever, there are a whole slew of headaches that come with being your own boss. Between customer complaints, spammers and scammers, you need to be vigilant in terms of protecting your business before it gets off the ground. By talking to a lawyer and investing in professional indemnity insurance, you an ensure that you don’t gamble with a legal battle.

Pick a Teacher-Friendly Field

Some niches and industries are much friendlier to teachers than others. For example, when brainstorming business ideas you should consider picking a business idea that…

  • Can operate online and without physical inventory (at least in the beginning as you get your footing)
  • Isn’t time-sensitive in terms of dealing with orders and customer concerns: after all, it’s difficult to handle real-time communication when you’re in the classroom for half the day
  • You can focus on over the summer which eventually drives passive income and puts itself on autopilot (think: an affiliate marketing site)

There is no “right” or “wrong” business idea; however, picking something that ticks the boxes of these bullet points will ultimately make life easier on you.

Tread Lightly on Social Media

Social media can be a potential treasure trove of business and exposure, but bear in mind that you should be careful as an educational entrepreneur.

For example, you obviously want to keep from saying anything inflammatory or controversial on social media to avoid problems with your co-workers and students. Your administration might get the wrong idea about your intentions to keep your business as a side gig if you’re constantly talking down your classroom or school. While many teachers understand the need to be tactful on social media, this tip is just something to keep in the back of your mind.

There’s no reason why modern teachers shouldn’t be willing to experiment with entrepreneurship if they have the time on hand. Rather than let your dream of a side gig slip away, consider what you can do to start your own business beyond the classroom.

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