Making Money During the Back to School Season and Beyond 


Transform the back-to-school season into a veritable source of income. Filled with shopping and excitement, the start of the school season is one of the busiest times of the year. During this season, parents and students face numerous challenges in order to get back into a stable routine. Creating ways to reduce the stress and burden of preparation can make you an invaluable resource to these students and their families. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 55.6 million students attend public and private school each fall. In addition, over 20.5 million students enroll in college. With the right business idea, you can provide a much-needed product or service to these individuals and earn a steady revenue stream in the fall and throughout the rest of the year.

Sell Digital Organizers, Planners, or Chore Charts
Help students and parents de-clutter their schedules by selling digital planners and charts. These digital organizers can help families manage appointment times and lessons, keep up with homework assignments and deadlines, and monitor the progress of hobbies and chores. As a business owner, you can sell either printable digital downloads or third-party electronic digital planners.

Selling printable downloads is a great opportunity due to the low startup and overhead costs. Using design programs such as Adobe Illustrator or In Design, you can create printables based on everything students need to manage in their daily schedules. You can also use a subscription design service such as Adobe Creative Cloud to create your own custom printable downloads unlike anything on the market. Once you have developed your line of planners or charts, brand or watermark your product photos and set up shop. You can open a store on an online marketplace such as Etsy, or you can sell goods on your own WordPress website using an e-commerce application like Shopify. If you wish to sell manufactured electronics, you can contact a wholesaler or supplier such as Alibaba to market products on your online storefront.

Create an Educational Game
Make the learning process fun by creating an educational game. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, students spend up to seven hours each day on entertainment-related media. Creating a game can capitalize on these existing habits and make it easier for students to learn subjects such as math, science, and language arts. If you enjoy industrial design, you can create a physical game such as a board game, strategy or building blocks game, or card-based game. After you build the physical prototype, contact a game publisher to pitch your game for release. Alternatively, you can simply create a print-and-play digital game using Adobe Illustrator or In Design. Game ideas include everything from “hangman” to original word puzzles. You can then sell these printable games on a WordPress website. In addition, you can develop a mobile game app using a program like GameSalad and sell these downloads on your online store.

Make Healthy Lunches for Busy Parents
Help families eat nutritious meals by selling healthy lunches and snacks. A local food business allows you to choose from a variety of niches, including selling meal kits, meal planners and recipes, or fully prepared fresh meals. Selling meal kits enables you to focus on food prep and allows you to market your expertise as a meal planner. If you prefer to focus on the writing side, you can sell recipes online individually or in e-book form. Making ready-to-serve meals is a great option if you enjoy cooking. However, be sure to check your local business permit or commissary laws for preparing and selling meals.

For whichever niche you choose, consider local advertising opportunities such as posting on Facebook or Google Business. In addition, you can create a YouTube channel to demonstrate recipes, gain subscribers, and promote your business. Besides the video appeal of food tutorials, top-rated channels can earn money through advertising and influencer sponsorship.

Start a Homework Hotline or Tutoring Service
If you enjoy teaching, you can make a sizeable income with a homework hotline or tutoring business. Tutoring enables you to capitalize on any subject that you know well, including school subjects like math, science, essay writing, and reading comprehension. Focusing on a niche subject like SAT test preparation or college admission essays can help you obtain a reliable stream of clients who need assistance at specific times each year. For academics, you can offer individual sessions as well as discounts for group packages and courses.

In addition to academic subjects, you can also teach a musical instrument or a foreign language. Tutoring format options include phone service, online, and in-person tutoring. For phone tutoring, consider investing in a headset and a professional phone system such as RingCentral. This allows you to keep a timed log of calls and teach without technical interference. For both in-person and online tutoring, you can list your services on match sites such as Wyzant and Angie’s List. Furthermore, maintaining your own tutoring blog allows you to post testimonials and gives clients a central online location to request repeat services.

Provide a Transportation Service for Kids
Help families with the daily commute by offering a transportation service for kids. In the beginning of the school year, required transportation can include the morning school drop-off, daycare drop-off and pickup, and transportation to after-school clubs or athletic team practice. Since working parents may find it nearly impossible to meet these obligations, your transportation company can provide much-needed assistance. To start your business, you may wish to begin through a transportation platform such as Uber. If you prefer to start your own brand, you can purchase a modified van with secure seat belts and the necessary child safety equipment. Some transportation vans also come with automatic door openers for easy entry and exit. If you run your own brand, be sure to comply with your state’s business insurance laws for transport drivers.

Sell Products or Services to a Local School or School District
If you have developed an educational app, product, or service, you can consider marketing your business to a local school or school district. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average school district spends over $12,000 per student each year. With the right product or service, you can help schools meet their goals in preparing students for the real world. To reduce barriers to entry in marketing to public schools, hire a design firm to create a professional catalogue of your products or services. Next, contact an authorized education reseller or partner network to help you pitch and distribute your product or service to school districts. You can also attend education trade shows and conferences to make important business contacts. Sign up for the Trade Show News Network to stay updated about the latest local education trade shows. For private schools, you may pitch proposals directly to the school coordinator or executive board.

Start an After-School Program
Provide a safe haven for students to unwind by starting an after-school program. Because parental working hours often extend past school hours, an after-school program is a great way to ensure adult supervision. These programs can focus on any area of interest, including drama programs, gardening projects, STEM clubs, and homework help. Since federal budget cuts have halted many public programs, experts expect private after-school programs to soar in popularity. For additional tips and resources, you can contact organizations like the Afterschool Alliance or the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

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