Here are just a few reasons why teachers have the prerequisites to become successful business owners
It’s no secret that teachers are leaving the profession, either through battling with years of underfunding, the stress of the last few years of COVID or simply because they want to put their skills and talents to a different use.
What many teachers may not realise is that their experience in the classroom makes them ideal to run their own businesses. Here are just a few reasons why teachers have the prerequisites to become successful entrepreneurs.
1. Growth mindset
Teachers understand the importance of always learning new things because they are constantly helping their students navigate the challenges that come with pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. As an entrepreneur, the willingness to embrace new things is imperative to achieve success. Whether it is new technology or learning different marketing and PR techniques, business owners must embrace a growth mindset.
2. Excellent communicators
Teachers know how to take information and break it down to help students understand it. This requires finely tuned communication skills. Teachers must also be astute at gauging different situations and are required to communicate effectively with parents, colleagues and in sometimes highly charged difficult situations.
For instance, at children’s services franchise, Razzamataz, one of the most important skills is for franchise partners to communicate its message of building children’s confidence through performing arts. This is through written communication, videos, social posts and one-to-one conversation.
“It doesn’t matter what your background is because Razzamataz will give you all the training you need, but it is important that you like working with young people, and that you are a good communicator. You also need to be self-motivated and have a love and passion for the arts,” said former teacher at a school and college, Lauren Bill, who is now principal of Razzamataz Weymouth.
3. Being a problem solver
The joy of being part of a franchise network is that everyone supports everyone else, which is hugely beneficial to every franchisee at every level of their business. Teachers’ desire to help others succeed is what gives them the drive to find solutions to problems, something that entrepreneurs will need to do daily.
“It is lovely to speak to other franchisees, learn from them and just bounce ideas around. We keep pushing each other out of our comfort zones and explore ways to take Razzamataz to the next level providing even more great opportunities,” said former Razzamataz teacher Debbie Mitchell, who is the principal of Razzamataz Carlisle and Razzamataz Dumfries.
Being problem solvers and committed to helping others will give teachers an insight into what is needed to be successful. Their natural leadership will mean they also empower their teams to do the same; giving them the knowledge they need to be the best they can be in their role.
“My background in education has given me an insight into the bigger picture of today’s modern learning experience,” explained Ranvir Fennell, a course leader of IT at Bradford College and Tutor Doctor Bradford Huddersfield franchisee. “Being a franchisee of Tutor Doctor has given me the chance to step up in my career – I’ll genuinely be able to make a positive impact on education provision in the community that I’ve been a part of for my whole life.
“My mission is to ensure students have access to a well-rounded and enriching education – and to make them feel as though they aren’t just a number.”
4. Pivoting when needed
Effective teachers have a sense when students are not getting the attention they need to change things, and quickly. This skill can be a superpower in the world of business. As an entrepreneur, you can’t be too proud to pivot if things are not going the way that you envisioned. Things happen completely outside of your control, which means sometimes the thing that you had planned won’t work in its current guise. Being able to recognise that and make changes can mean your proposition can be even better but if you don’t, you could lose a lot of money and time.
For instance, during the start of COVID-19, Jo Fisher, a fully qualified teacher and the head of Footlights, had an immediate response to the first lockdown in 2020, drawing up her COVID-19 master plan in conjunction with one of her key educationalists.
When further lockdowns meant that live classes were once again curtailed, the team returned to Zoom to ensure all students had access to their usual “Footlights fix” of fun and creativity.
“In this unusual situation, we wanted our students to continue their learning with minimal disruption, as they have enough changes going on in their lives,” said Jo. “Each session includes the separate lessons of acting, singing and dance that our students love, at the same time as their face-to-face classes would be and with the same level of instruction and feedback.”
The template for online classes was rolled out across the Footlights franchise network, offering an immediately workable solution to the situation and enabling each franchisee to continue to trade during an uncertain time.
5. Understand the power of positivity
Most of us remember that one teacher that gave us the confidence to do something that we thought was impossible. Teachers have an incredible skill, which is to understand how to make others believe in themselves. Being able to harness the power of positive thinking can be the difference between success and failure.
“The last few years have been challenging for many people, but we have been fortunate in that we could continue to teach music online and in person – a real lift for everyone’s mind, body and spirit,” pondered Flick Moorhouse of Monkey Music Oxford, who has been involved with the brand for 15 years – nine years as a teacher in Cardiff and then six years as a franchisee.
While Razzamataz has taken it up a notch, dedicating its first three-day conference to the core message of the power of positivity and why it must start with everyone. With challenges, talks, workshops and practical guidance, it plans to equip its franchisees with the understanding of how their actions, thoughts and feelings can directly impact their business.
Teachers perform daily miracles with their students, making them the most inspiring people to run their own businesses.
“Razzamataz is about providing performing arts training for young people to develop their confidence, health, and fitness. I want to be a positive influence in their life and that is my driver on why I want to be successful,” said Matty Aitchison-Rayson, who started out doing work experience before moving on to become a teacher, manager and then franchise partner and principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria.