If you are considering opening a private school business, it is important to spend time researching the various components of a private school, the costs associated with each alternative, and the sources of financing available to you. Each of the following factors will affect startup and operational costs.
Private schools vary according to age group, academic focus, admittance requirements, accreditation, and other factors. The age group of your students will determine the type of furnishing and resources you will need. Academic focus, special services, and admittance requirements will determine your needs for special equipment. For example, a focus on the arts will require equipment to meet the artistic expression needs of your students.
Location is a determining factor for success and impacts the costs of startup and operation. A more affluent location may require more operational capital, as the facility and land may demand higher lease payments or higher asking price. However, a less affluent location may require upfront capital to make repairs and modifications to meet the needs of the staff and students.
Whether you decide to lease or buy an existing facility or construct a new facility, this will impact the cost of starting a private school business. Leasing or buying an existing facility can include remodeling costs to suit the design plan of your school. New construction costs vary due to the size and location of your school and the amenities you will offer, such as sporting arenas, performance halls, etc.
Aside from the basic facility, the way you choose to furnish your school will affect the aesthetics as well as the cost of the school. Although top of the line equipment may be more expensive, it will positively impact student enrollment decisions. For example, a state of the art science lab is likely to entice students looking for a career in science, while a state of the art gym is likely to attract athletic students.
The number of students you plan to admit will affect the size of the staff and faculty as you ensure an appropriate teacher/student ratio. The size of the student body will also affect the resources required, which, in turn, will affect cost.
Hiring professional experts, such as an education consultant, business consultant, and an attorney, may be beneficial to your success. Experienced professionals can make sure you meet all requirements in each area of the business, offering expertise in education best practices, business systems, and legal expertise.
Branding, promoting, and marketing your private school will increase the possibility of success. Prospective students and their parents need to become familiar with your institution, so they can trust that your private school will provide them the best education opportunities.
Several legal requirements must be met before you can start a private school business. For example, insurance coverage is required and will impact the cost of opening your private school business. Other government requirements, such as inspections, registrations, and certifications, will also impact costs.
Operational expenses include daily expenses and consumables, such as books and educational support materials, toiletries, and food supplies. These are ongoing costs that must be met upfront and will continue throughout the school year.
Recruiting and training staff, both certified and uncertified, will require startup and operational funding. Staff funding will vary by person based on experience, credentials, education, position etc.
In general, private schools are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition fees rather than government funding. Private schools may be able to cover operational costs using student tuition, as well as other sources of funding, such as grants and private donors. If the school meets certain accreditation requirements, you may be qualified to accept student vouchers. Offering student scholarships may also be an option.
Take some time to examine each factor and decide how each one will meet the expectations within the private school business that you envision. Research the details in your area and how each option will affect startup costs and operational costs. For example, research the realty market in the area you wish to start a private school business and compare the prices to rent, buy, or construct a facility that will house the number of students you wish to serve. Check out zoning regulations, licenses, and permits in the area to find out what you will need and the cost of each requirement.
After considering your options and making some decisions regarding each of the preceding factors, performing a cost analysis will uncover the risks, requirements, and potential for gains and losses when opening a private school business. Understanding the costs and requirements to start a private school business will prepare you to find funding sources to meet your long-term plan.