Before I delve into all this I want to talk about something worth noting. First off, do not lose sight of what a product is – a product can be goods or services. In this article, I will be cognisant of that because when someone hears “supplying products” they might think it is the tangibles only i.e. goods. The other thing, by “schools” I am referring to any academic institution from primary to tertiary level. I am going to let you in on how you can make some money supplying goods or services to schools. Never mind we are still under lockdown conditions; the ideas I shall be discussing herein can be tried now or later.

Fresh Farm Produce

Farm produce spans from crops to livestock that schools normally use. This is particularly applicable to boarding schools or schools that prepare meals for their students. Locally many farms produce items are regularly needed at schools. Some of them are fruits and vegetables; then there are also grains. The best approach is to enter working agreements with learning institutions so that you become their regular supplier.

Outsourcing Services

This refers to a broad spectrum of service-based businesses. There are certain processes that most schools outsource as opposed to having them done in-house. An example can be security services, medical services or auditing services. Ideally, you have to consider what you can offer as a service that schools normally or would want to outsource. One of the most strategic services that schools need nowadays is information and communication technologies. Career guidance, grooming and life coaching services are other areas that schools can outsource. Event management services are also another domain – the possibilities are endless.

Branded Apparel Design

Learning institutions are brands so it is the norm that students and staff have branded apparel. So if you have the equipment you can enter agreements where you design and supply various branded apparel to learning institutions. Imagine a scenario where you become the exclusive suppliers of student uniforms to a particular school (or even several schools). You will know that during intakes you will be supplying countless items.

What is good about this type of business is that it is possible to get down payments before you supply. This can ease the pressure of mobilising funds – just mentioned this to give you a strategy. For example, 100 students have just been enrolled at a school and they need branded uniforms. You can require that half of the payment be forwarded to you before you deliver and then the rest is paid on delivery. This means you can use the down payment to cater to some production costs.

Branding Services

The idea I have just been discussing is specific but does have an element of branding. Here I am now talking about branding services in general. Usually, branding services involve clothing items (e.g. t-shirts, caps – literally any clothing item) and consumables (e.g. stationery, utensils, vehicles and so on). Learning institutions needs such things from time to time. If you can do these things you can make good money from schools.

Grocery Items

Earlier I spoke about fresh farm produce; there are also grocery items. There is a gap I have somehow noticed when it comes to procurement of groceries by most learning institutions. Most learning institutions source groceries themselves. How about you come into the source and deliver to those learning institutions. I believe that is a business idea worth exploring. Especially now with the proliferation of e-commerce you can receive orders online, process, source and deliver seamlessly.

ICT Consultancy

Information and communication technologies are now central to the education sector locally. There are so many businesses that you can start in this domain. For example, you can supply hardware items such as computers and related accessories. You can also focus on web development and bespoke software. You could even come up with e-learning kits that you can sell to schools. So many schools are still lagging in terms of the fourth industrial revolution – basically the uptake of technological approaches. You can leverage that to supply schools with hardware and software items.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)

As we move along it is apparent schools will be opened. They will need an assortment of such equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can strategically position yourself you can end up being a sought-after supplier of PPEs. Imagine the unique value proposition you can introduce by branding PPEs to suit a respective client school.

Times can be tough for many but now is the time to consider business ideas. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said, “When confronted with difficulty, a person has two options: to stop and admit defeat, or to innovate and triumph”. Let the latter be your option as you explore money-making ways I discussed herein.