A school business plan lays out the main aims and objectives of the school. Not just this, it also lays out the strategic ways in which your school is going to operate and succeed. It’s a crucial document that is fundamental to the overall growth and success of your organisation.
School business plans allow the headteacher, governors and other stakeholders the opportunity of seeing what challenges and obstacles that they’re going to have to overcome. Plus, it sets the benchmark for the different targets that are set annually and quarterly for a school.
So, how do you write the perfect school business plan? Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. Follow the tips and guidance included in this post and you’ll have the complete plan outlined.
- The Executive Summary
- Your Marketing Approach
- The Main Business Model
- Sources of Finance
- Where to Locate Your School
The first part of your school business plan should be the executive summary. This section is a summary of the whole strategic plan. What you outline here will determine whether the reader carries on through the plan or puts it down – so, you need to be clear, concise and shine your school in the spotlight.
After reading your executive summary, investors should feel inspired to invest in your school. Some people prefer writing the executive summary after they’ve completed all the other parts of their business plan. Once you’ve completed the full plan, it’s easier to summarise your business and not forget any crucial parts.
The way you market your school is vital to its success. You may think that marketing campaigns are just for businesses looking to profit, but if you don’t market your school properly then how will parents know it exists? They won’t, which means that they won’t even consider sending their children there.
The marketing of your school sparks interest. Your school may be filling a void in an area that’s massively in need of one – it may replace struggling or closed down schools. So, in your marketing, you need to show that there is a need for your school in your area and showcase why it’s a better organisation than the current ones.
Marketing efforts are a way of sparking a conversation with the local public. Even if they don’t have kids, they may have questions about your school. And then one day if they do have kids, they’ll know exactly what you’re all about. It’s your chance to get into the mind of the adults in the local area, so make sure that you answer all their potential questions with your marketing.
Think about what questions you’d have as a parent if you were to send your child to your school. So, questions about the curriculum, organisational approach, staff members, facilities and industry standards are likely to be popular.
If there’s one thing that investors will mainly want to see, it’s your overall business model. When talking about your main business model, you should include information about your budget, tuition approach, facilities, equipment, school supplies and the workforce that you’re going to recruit – or how you’re going to recruit them.
In this section, you should also talk about how you’re going to enrol students. This is the main part of your overall business model as if you don’t have any students, you don’t have a school to run. Are you going to distribute flyers to local residents? Put adverts out on the local radio? However you’re going to approach it, make sure you explain it in as much detail as possible. A multichannel approach to recruiting the right students for your school will carry more weight and is more likely to be more successful than just using one method.
You can’t afford to miss anything out in this section. If you do, the whole thing falls down. For example, one missed factor out of the budget will knock it all out of sync, which will have a collateral effect on the rest of the plan and proposed business. We recommend that you include a proposed cost for any supply teachers that you may need to hire – even though your workforce will all be present on the starting date.
Like any organisation, financing your school is important. Securing enough money to ensure that everything runs smoothly if any unexpected expenses occur is crucial. You’ll need to outline your “seed funding” source in this stage of the school business plan.
If you’re not sure what that is, this is the initial source of finance that funds the business. Whether that be out of your pocket, a government grant or a bank loan.
You need finance to make your proposal actually happen. Capital is what takes the plans from this plan and turns them into reality. Your finance pot will be stocked up by investors and potentially other loans and will allow you to secure a building, buy equipment, supplies for teachers and students and also pay the salaries of your employees.
Unlike a lot of businesses, schools are eligible for a lot of grants and funding from the government – providing that they spend it in the right way, of course. So, in this section, you should outline any grant and financial schemes that you’ll be applying for.
The more stable that your finances appear to be, the more positively investors will look at your school. If they see any financial risks or instability, they’re unlikely to invest their money into your organisation, right? We urge you to be as transparent and honest about your finances as possible. If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun.
The location of your school is massively important – you wouldn’t want to put the safety of your pupils and staff at risk each day, would you? And more importantly, parents won’t want to send their children to a school if it’s in a dangerous location. So, make sure that you assess the area thoroughly before making a decision.
We recommend that you consult a focus group that you trust and that are experienced in choosing a suitable location. The perfect site for a school should be reasonably priced, environmentally friendly and meets public health and safety standards.
When choosing your location you should account for growth and expansion. There’s no determining how many children are going to be attending your school each year. Obviously, you’ll have a maximum capacity, but if it’s a larger number it’ll mean more funding and more financial stability.
You should also consider the available transport links. And the available parking facilities too. Don’t try and cut corners with your location, it’ll come back to haunt you later down the line – the investment is worth it in a quality location and building.
Is a Uniform Shop Incorporated in Your School Business Plan?
It might not be at the top of your list when creating your school business plan, but have you thought about running your own school uniform shop? There are various benefits that your school can reap the rewards of by selling its uniform – financial, personalisation and control, to name a few.
If you’d like to know about why your business should sell its own uniform, download our free guide below. It describes the various benefits in detail and provides you with top-class advice and tips.