Are you a teacher who wants to leave the classroom, but you don’t know what to do next? I'm sure the question "how to start a business with no money" popped in your head at some point or else you probably wouldn't be here. Well, I have some ideas for you! And, it’s not surprising that they’re all online. Did you know that there are over 4.5 billion people online today? That’s a lot of potential customers! Plus, there’s more good news. As a teacher, you already have a ton of transferable skills that you can use to start your own online business. Be sure to get myfree Transferable Skills Checklist because it’s a really helpful tool when it comes to deciding on the best online business model for you.
Making the decision to leave teaching can be scary when you don’t know exactly what comes next. It’s the fear of the unknown, and it stops a lot of teachers from leaving the classroom when they’re no longer happy there. This is where I can help. I want to give you 3 key pieces of information that you need to make the decision that’s right for you. You don’t need to be scared; you just need to be informed! (By the way, if you haven’t taken The 5 Freedoms Quiz yet, that would also be time well spent.)
#1 An Online Business Can Replace (and Exceed!) Your Teaching Salary.
Yes! Many teachers, including me, have replaced and then exceeded what they were earning as a teacher. This is encouraging news, right? It definitely is, but you need to be aware of the realities that come with it. Here are a few things to consider:
It takes time. Every business’s timeline is unique, but it can easily take a year or more for the revenue to start coming in. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s a shame, but there are a lot of people who quit just as they’re on the cusp of seeing results. That’s why it’s so important to get your business foundation right. A business coach, like me, can help you do this in a way that saves time and money by reducing the number of mistakes you make (been there, done that!).
You have to want it.You have to want it badly enough to make sacrifices. For example, you may have to skip watching tv to work on your business. If starting an online business was easy, everyone would do it. You have to be an action-taker and not an excuse-maker. Starting a business takes some serious time management, too, because time management is really purpose management. Some teachers decide that they want to move faster on building their business and quit teaching to spend more time on it (that’s what I did). But, they’ll likely need savings, a partner for support, and a plan. Others choose to work on their business while they’re still teaching and collecting a paycheck. You have to decide what’s best for you. My blog post, Job Exit Strategy for Teachers, can help.
#2 Teachers Are Well-Suited for Online Business
There are a lot of teachers out there who think the only thing that they are capable of doing for a living is teaching. NOT TRUE! So, many teachers have left the classroom to start (or continue) working on successful online businesses. I’m one, and you can be, too! Think about this...
There’s less investment.If you were to start a brick and mortar business, there would be a lot of overhead costs. Likewise, an MLM requires you to buy a lot of products upfront. An online business is a lower investment. For instance, the software you’ll need is cheaper than ever before. Plus, there are business coaches, like me, who can help you avoid costly mistakes (check out my one-on-one coaching program, Bridge to Possibilities). Teachers can also use after school, weeknights, weekends, and summer break to work on their online business. They don’t have to leave their job to get started.
Teachers already have transferable skills. You do! And if you don’t know what they are, be sure to get my free Transferable Skills Checklist. You can start an online business with the skills you have. It’s not necessary to go back to school for an expensive degree or sign up for some pricey training. With that said, there are some affordable courses and coaching programs out there that will definitely pay for themselves. I offer Educator 2 Entrepreneur which is a course that focuses on building the framework and foundation to start an online business sooner rather than later. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Bridge to Possibilities is private business coaching that I offer to teachers. Of course, you could try going it alone, but that usually ends up being costly anyway. It makes more sense to get advice from someone who has been in your shoes and can show you the way.
Teachers exhibit entrepreneurial traits. Educators are typically described as being hard-working, dedicated, smart, and quick learners. Heads up, these are the same traits exhibited by successful entrepreneurs. If teachers were more aware of this, we would see a lot more businesses popping up.
#3 There Are 4 Online Business Delivery Methods Best for Teachers
Before I fill you in on those 4 best delivery methods for teachers, let me explain the difference between a business model and a delivery method. A business model is all-encompassing. The delivery method is one of the parts of the business model. Typically, when starting a business, the entrepreneur will first figure out who they are going to serve and what they are going to serve them. Then, they will decide how to serve them. So leading with the delivery method is like putting the cart before the horse. So, why do it? Because choosing your delivery method can be inspiring and motivational. Just don’t forget to go back for the horse! Here are the 4 online business delivery methods that are best for teachers:
Online CoachingKnowing how to start a tutoring business can go a long way. This is the fastest, cheapest, and easiest delivery method for teachers. They can easily use their transferable skill-- listening, (to find out the other two, get the checklist!). Plus, it’s expected to be a $25 billion dollar market by 2025.
Online CoursesTeaching, (to find out the other two, get the checklist!) is the top transferable skill for this delivery method. It’s the second-fastest, cheapest, and easiest method to use, and it’s predicted to be a $325 billion dollar industry by 2025.
Profitable BloggingIt is slower than the previous two delivery methods and there is a learning curve to it, but it still is a cheap method. Teachers can use their transferable skill of writing (to find out the other two, get the checklist!) with this delivery method. The profitable blogging market is expected to hit $23 billion by 2025.
E-commerceThis delivery method also is slower and has a learning curve to it, but it’s cheap. Teacher entrepreneurship has a nice ring to it as well, and rightfully so, a teacher has an arsenal of entrepreneurial skills they can use to sustain business management. Online marketplaces are the way to go.
The e-commerce market is expected to be at $24 trillion dollars by 2025. Teachers can use the transferable skill of project management,(to find out the other two, get the checklist!) with this delivery method.