Start a homeschooling products and services business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your homeschooling products and services business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a homeschooling products and services business?
The costs of starting a homeschooling products and/or services business will depend greatly on exactly what type of business you want to open. For example, developing and manufacturing real-world products — like a new type of desk for homeschooling students — can cost $10,000 or more at the low end. In contrast, developing a curriculum on your own or offering consulting services can cost as little as a few hundred dollars to get started.
What are the ongoing expenses for a homeschooling products and services business?
If you operate a single-person business you can manage with your laptop and smartphone, such as a consulting business, you could spend as little as $2,000 to $3,000 per year on business expenses. If you instead run something more involved, such as a curriculum development company, you may need to pay for employees, curriculum development from qualified professionals, and possibly product manufacturing costs. All of this can add up to $100,000 a year or more in ongoing expenses.
Who is the target market?
The target market for this type of business includes homeschooling parents and their kids. This larger market also includes several submarkets. For example, multiple homeschooling companies focus on Christian-oriented materials. You may choose to focus your business on a specific submarket or you could try to target all homeschooling families.
How does a homeschooling products and services business make money?
Product sellers make money by converting interested homeschooling families into customers through the sales process. The more products those families buy, the more money the business earns. Service providers also can make money by selling individual packages — such as a week of consulting services — or they may choose a subscription model. Subscription models might charge less per transaction, but could possibly earn more income in the long term.
How much can you charge customers?
How much you can charge your customers will depend on what you plan to sell. A popular homeschooling curriculum business sells a yearlong curriculum for the first grade for around $399. Homeschooling tutors may charge between $20 and $50 an hour, depending on the subject.
How much profit can a homeschooling products and services business make?
A single-person, homeschooling consulting business might make $50,000 to $100,000 a year, depending on the market and the exact services it offers. A curriculum development and sales company could earn much more if sales are good. For instance, if such a company sold 1,000 curriculums at $400 each, it would earn $400,000. Once that company subtracted $100,000 for its annual operating costs, it would then have $300,000 in profits. While these numbers are estimates, they demonstrate the point that product development and sales could prove quite lucrative.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Expanding your customer base is key to boosting the profitability of homeschooling product and/or service businesses. A consulting service might need to hire more consultants to meet additional demand, but it also would be able to earn considerably more due to the increase in work hours available. That same company that sold 1,000 curriculums in one year would earn significantly more if it sold 5,000 the next year.
Growing your customer base will require continued marketing efforts and community outreach, but it’s definitely possible.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your homeschooling products and services business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Check out the Top Business Formation Services from our friends at StartupSavant.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Read our Best Banks for Small Business guide to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Recommended: BlueVine is an online bank with free business checking and no hidden fees. Great for businesses who do not often deal with cash.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a Homeschooling Products and Services business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market a homeschooling products and services business
You can reach the homeschooling community in a variety of ways, including through social media platforms and homeschooling blogs. Marketing your business effectively will require identifying the specific channels used by your ideal customer. If you can get involved in homeschooling social media circles, you may find a receptive audience for your product. Some popular homeschooling blogs also may be willing to showcase products and services if you reach out and ask them. Because they cater to homeschooling families, these blogs offer a convenient way to reach that audience.
How to keep customers coming back
The quality of what you sell will play a big part in whether or not customers keep coming back. A high-quality product or service that meets or exceeds their expectations is more likely to generate repeat business than a mediocre one. The better you solve your customers’ problems, the more likely they are to share your offerings with others in the community as well.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Start A Homeschooling Products and Services Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
People with a passion for education make ideal candidates for this kind of business. You may have experience as an educator in a public or private school — or even in a homeschooling setting. Or, you might know a lot about a specific product or service that can help homeschooling families. Whatever your background, starting a homeschooling products and services business may be right for you if you believe homeschooling families deserve every opportunity for success.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a homeschooling products and services business?
A typical day will depend a lot on the types of products and/or services you sell. For example, a typical day at a homeschooling curriculum business might consist of curriculum development, sourcing curriculums from other developers, and marketing existing curriculum products to potential customers. A homeschooling consultant business might instead focus on meeting clients to discuss learning objectives, writing summary reports, and updating social media profiles for marketing purposes.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful homeschooling products and services business?
A personal homeschooling experience is a big selling point for homeschooling businesses. Many of the parents shopping for these products and services seek like-minded people and gravitate toward those with homeschooling experience as either a parent or student. Legitimate education credentials, such as a teaching degree, also can serve you well by promoting trust with potential customers.
What is the growth potential for a homeschooling products and services business?
A homeschooling products and/or services business can offer significant growth potential. With 2.5 million potential customers — a population NHERI expects will continue to grow — your business could flourish if you can provide a product or service that meets the needs of most (or all) homeschooling families. If you offer curriculums for grades K-12, for example, you could potentially have recurring customers for 12 years in a row.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a homeschooling products and services business?
Knowing your market and building rapport with potential customers is important — particularly when it comes to homeschooling. It takes a high level of commitment to their child’s education for a parent to take them out of school and teach them personally. Some families do it for religious reasons. Others do it because they believe they can do a better job than the school system. You’ll need to market your business in such a way that you attract these families and avoid alienating them.
How and when to build a team
Some homeschooling-related businesses, such as a consulting service, can operate fairly easily with just one person. Others, such as curriculum development companies, usually require multiple people to stay on top of everything. If you want to develop and maintain curriculums for multiple subjects across multiple grade levels, you’ll need to hire some employees to help with the process.
A simple way to tell if you need to build a team is to examine your schedule for the past month or more. Have you been able to keep up with demand? If not, your business likely will benefit from a few extra hands.