How Do I Turn Teaching Skills into a Home Business?
Help! I need advice on how to use my teaching skills in a home business!Question:
You're smart to think about tapping into skills you already have when launching a business. In the research for our book, we found that about 70 percent of the mompreneurs we interviewed had converted their former job skills into lucrative home businesses. And a number of these successful work-from-home moms were former teachers. Here are some of the great business ideas they came up with, plus several of our own:
Book Fair Organizers
Two moms partnered up to start a company that arranges book fairs at schools and religious institutions. They contract with distributors and publishers to deliver age-appropriate books to the school, church or synagogue and split the profits from the sales with the PTA or committee that is running the book fair as a fundraiser. It's a win/win situation for everybody, and perfect for teachers who know just the kinds of books children love to read. These same two moms have a side business creating gift baskets for new babies and young children filled with favorite storybooks and small toys or stuffed animals that relate to characters in the books.
Busy parents are flocking to services that find day camps and overnight camps for children. Former teachers are trustworthy and knowledgeable for this type of business. The idea is to establish a relationship with camp directors, so they will pay you a fee every time you place a child in their camp. Your goal is to find out from the parents as much as possible about their child, then send literature and videos on several camps that would make a good fit. The parents then would narrow down their choices, so you can set up personal meetings with the camp director or visits to the camp.
College Prep and Placement Services
With college admission becoming more and more competitive, parents are seeking help with the whole process and are very willing to pay for it. College prep services may offer SAT tutoring, match a student with colleges that meet his needs, assist with the application process (especially those essays!) and even arrange visits to campuses. Those running these types of businesses charge anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour, depending on where they are located and what the demand is.
After-School Enrichment Programs
Parents are not only looking for after-school programs -- they want ones that offer more than arts and crafts or day care. Mompreneurs have been very successful in operating these out of their homes, teaching the children in small groups and offering everything from "Fun with Science" to French lessons to computer animation to drama workshops to creative writing. Fees are usually charged per 8- to 10-week session, and may range from $150 to $500 per child or more.
Children who are lagging behind or have a learning disability often need more attention and help with their homework -- and working parents don't always have the time to accomplish this. Setting up an after-school "club" that provides a comfortable, nonthreatening environment for children to gather and get help is a wonderful alternative to one-on-one tutoring (another business option for former teachers!) But parents might prefer the group atmosphere and lower price of a homework club. For tutoring, the charge can range from $15 to $100 an hour (again depending on your location). But for group help, you might charge $10 to $50 a child per two-hour session. The one advantage of tutoring is that is can be done in the child's home if you prefer, which works out better for some mompreneurs.
Personal Organizers for Children
Poor grades are sometimes a result of disorganization rather than failure to understand the subject matter. Personal Organizers charge from $25 to $100 an hour to get a child back on track by organizing everything from his backpack to his homework to his workspace and room. This type of business may take a little more than teaching skills to get off the ground -- you have to know some of the tricks and tips professional organizers use, such as color-coding homework folders and categorizing clutter. But if you are a former Special Ed teacher or have classroom experience that you've learned from, this might be the field for you -- it's growing by leaps and bounds.
Adult Ed Classes
If you left teaching because you were becoming impatient and cranky around kids, perhaps adult education is the way to go. Senior citizens are especially willing to pay for these activities, and are interested in classes including computer education, landscape gardening, literature and photography. However, seniors are usually on tighter budgets, so you would probably have to charge less than you would for an after-school program.