Check out these five fantastic business ideas for teachers. Whether you’re working on that side hustle or hoping to flip it into your new full time gig, these small business ideas will kickstart your motivation, build confidence, and supplement your income while you’re teaching.
Why small businesses work for teachers
You might be doubting if you could open a successful small business. Not to sound like a self-development guru, but you do have the power within you to create your own success.
As a teacher, I know that you have a creative mindset. But do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? What about the tenacity and grit to follow through on your goals? If you’re feeling unhappy in your role as a teacher, starting a small business can be the perfect, positive change.
Business Ideas for Teachers
Starting a business will help motivate you to learn new skills, branch outside your comfort zone, and become your own boss! My favorite thing about creating a small business is you don’t need to quit your day job to get started. You can use your natural teaching skills to make extra money while you figure out your correct path.
If you are interested in starting your own business and want to dig a little deeper… Sign up for my free newsletter about side hustles and freelancing for teachers! You’ll get great ideas and solid advice sent straight to your inbox. It might be just the nudge you need.
Time to get to the good stuff. What follows are my top five business ideas for teachers. These side gigs start small but have the potential for big growth. In fact, any one of these start-up side-hustles can grow into a complete, full-time job – if that’s what you want.
1. Business Ideas for Teachers who Create Educational Resources
You’ve heard the rumors of so and so earning millions on Teachers Pay Teachers, but is that really true? Yes. Will you earn millions? Realistically, probably not. But don’t discredit how much income you CAN bring in.
If you love curriculum writing and are tech-savvy, Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent way to bring in additional income. Quality, original resources will continue to sell all year long and bring in passive income for years to come.
This business idea for teachers comes with a bonus! Most TPT sellers start out designing resources for their own classrooms. All those extra hours you’re putting into creating your own resources will pay off outside the classroom as well.
My personal experience:
I started my TPT store, and within two years was making enough passive income to pay my mortgage. I enjoyed creating the resources and it taught me a lot of copywriting, design, and sales.
Later, I was able to leverage my Teachers Pay Teachers store as curriculum writing and content design experience to land a full-time job as an instructional designer.
Opening a Teachers Pay Teachers store could make you a bit of pocket money or add up to much more. A good business ideas for teachers to consider, especially if you’re looking for a no-pressure solo-gig with flexible hours and no start-up costs.
2. Freelancing Ideas for Teachers with a Second Skill Set
Do you have a special skill set outside of education? Freelancing might be the best side-hustle for you. Freelancers are independent contractors who work for themselves on different size projects of various time frames.
The benefit to starting a freelance business for teachers is that you decide when to work, with who, and where. Many freelancers work from home at their own pace. Most teachers are natural writers, so copywriting, editing and blogging are popular avenues to start as a freelancer.
Freelancing business ideas for teachers are also a great way to gain knowledge and experience. You can build a portfolio in a specific field while working during the hours that fit your needs.
Your freelance business might lead to a full-time gig or prepare you for a transition out of the classroom . Many different types of companies hire freelancers. Companies are often looking for those who have experience in accounting, administrative work, customer service, design and creative, legal, mobile development, sales and marketing, and web development.
Getting started with freelancing:
Online freelance companies, such Upwork, Fiverr, Verbilio, LinkedIn Profinder and Flexjobs make the process easy. You can get your business started with little to no fees. These sites will help you build a strong clientele and an opportunity to get repeat business.
Check out our podcast interview with Jay Clouse: How to Start Freelancing
3. Online Business Ideas for Teachers
The type of business you start depends on what you are passionate about. How you start your own business depends on how much you can put into it. You probably don’t want to start something that will make you unhappy.
So what is your passion? If you have a crafty or creative flair, online platforms like Etsy and Shopify are a great place to market your creations. Crafters sell everything from giant, chunky knit blankets to hand-crafted home décor, fancy phone cases to funny t-shirts.
Physical product side-hustles are more complicated, but turning your dream into a job might be worth the extra hustle. You decide how much time to dedicate by taking more or less orders when the time is right for you.
Many mid-size companies started out as a simple, small online business. Your small, successful shop could expand in years to come – partnering with other businesses or growing on your own.
4. Brick and Mortar Small Business Ideas for Teachers
If starting a brick-and-mortar small business is dream of yours, you’re not alone. Unlike freelancing, TPT, or online businesses, what you create depends on how much time and money you can afford to invest.
But brick-and-mortar doesn’t necessarily mean renting out a store-front in town. Many community businesses are run from home, rent meeting space from time-to-time, or even meet in free spaces like reserving the meeting room at your local library.
Think outside the box when you’re thinking about your business. Your new company might require an outside office space or you might be able to work from home. You might be mobile or only set up a few times a year at craft or pop-up fairs.
Whether it’s a non-profit, bakery, photography, summer camp or in-home child care, whatever you do, be enthusiastic and your authentic self. These brick-and-mortar ideas for teachers must motivate you every day. You’ll be putting in a lot of your time, money and energy into making your business grow.
Be aware of getting swept away with the trendy and popular. If you are not passionate about your business, chances are you won’t find great success. Long-time success, especially at the local level, depends so much on creating relationships, positive customer experiences, and word of mouth.
5. Affiliate Marketing for Teachers
If you’ve created your own website, educational blog, or Instagram – affiliate marketing is a great way to earn additional money. Affiliates use a specific link on products they endorse and earn a percentage of the sales from that link.
If you don’t have a website, you may have already bought from an affiliate marketer and not even realized it. Connecting with affiliate marketers is one ways that brands promote their business. Do you already love something and want to talk about it all the time? Affiliate marketing may be a good place to start!
Look for affiliate marketing companies that will help you find businesses that align with your content, or go directly to your favorite sites and search “affiliate program.” You may even find that you’re using products with affiliates in your own classroom. This makes affiliate marketing one of the best business ideas for teachers.
Most successful affiliate marketers have a few streams of revenue – blog, Instagram, and other social media channels. Setting up a website is not as hard as you think. A WordPress site is very user-friendly and comes with many prepackaged themes for you to choose from. Once you are set up, sharing about your favorite things can start earning income 24/7.
Affiliate marketing is also a great way to get started earning an income if you’re thinking about blogging. Blogging alone won’t pay the rent. However, hooking up with some fantastic affiliate programs will help as you learn the blogging ropes.
Ideas for Teachers Starting their own Business
Learn the basics
Want to start your a business or learn to manage your own business better? Here are some courses I recommend:
- Teachers Pay Teacher Business School
- Entrepreneurial Thinking
- Business Foundations
- Start Your Own Business
- Start Your Own Business – Ideation
Know your goals
Consider your long-term goals. You may be starting a side hustle for extra spending money. Or firing up a TPT shop to build your resume. You might have dreams of building a business that will support you and your family long-term. You will be dedicating time and resources to your business, so make sure to get clear on your ultimate goals right from the start.
Transitioning out of the Classroom
If your ultimate goal is to transition out of teaching and into a new career, you already have highly valuable skills. Starting a business can add versatility and desirable experience to your resume. But there’s more to landing your dream job than just a great resume. You’ll need to find a position, focus on networking, and hone your interview skills.
These are all lessons I explicitly teach in my course, The Teacher Career Coach Course. I designed this resource specifically for teachers transitioning out of the classroom, and it has helped thousands of teachers take the next step in their careers.
See how Claire landed a job as an educational consultant with an Ed Tech company after completing the Teacher Career Coach Course.