What do I do when things aren’t working in my education business?

What do I do when things aren’t working in my education business?

Have you ever started something, invested loads of time and effort into it, realised that there is something not quite right with it but carried on anyway because you’d already put so much of yourself into it? Or have you ever started something and felt you couldn’t stop, even though the evidence is telling you that you’re wasting your time because of what people around you might think?

I know I certainly have. I have poured my time and effort into tasks that I thought might serve my business and then they really haven’t. I’m getting a lot better at working out what tasks will have the most impact or money-making ability and I’m getting better at giving myself permission to stop something when I realise it is not working for my education business. 

That’s what you need to do when things aren’t working for your education business: give yourself PERMISSION to stop, which isn’t easy.

What is stopping us from giving ourselves permission to stop in the first place?

I believe there are two things that stop us – perceived judgement and pride. I’ve spent far too much time going over comments made to me by people who don’t actually know anything about business or education. That time would have been much better spent working out whether the things I was doing would actually benefit my business.

My advice here is, you know 100% of your situation. Others may know 10% of that situation. Only you can decide what is important to you and your business. You are coming from a place of knowledge whereas most others are not. When you’re struggling, I’d suggest you turn to other business owners (you’ll find plenty of education business owners in the Club 😉) because business owners know you cannot just turn your business on overnight.

What have I stopped in my education business?

You might be wondering what I mean by ‘stopping’ because I certainly don’t mean giving up on your business.

Back in the day, I thought it would be an amazing idea to send personalised pencils to all the primary school teachers and TAs in the Calderdale area. The teachers would talk to their teacher friends in other areas about this wonderful personal gift Classroom Secrets gave them. Great idea, right? Wrong. It took SO LONG. I had to get names of teachers from school websites, then I made the pencils, then I delivered them! It took me months! And, the real kicker is, it wasn’t even going to lead to sales because the schools in Calderdale get free Classroom Secrets subscriptions anyway.

I realised 3 schools in that this was a dreadful idea, but did I stop? No. What a waste of entrepreneur time.

Another example, one where I actually gave myself permission to stop, is with our Classroom Secrets Kids platform. We wanted a website where children could log in and carry out tasks set by teachers. Due to the pandemic and schools closing, we poured a lot of time and effort into this to supply it quickly but didn’t take any time to reflect on what we were creating. As a result, the site is not what we set out for it to be and so we have stopped selling it.

Why should we give ourselves permission to stop?

Things change and evolve over time. What your customers needed last academic year may not be the same as this year for a variety of reasons. What gained engagement and traction on social media one month will not be the same the following month.

It’s easy to keep trundling along, doing the same thing we’ve always done because it’s comfortable and easy. But if it’s not making you money, why are you doing it?

Give yourself permission to stop when things aren’t serving you in your education business.

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