Study up on this article and you'll soon be ready to open your academic specialty school.
Defining the Niche for Your Academic Specialty School
An academic specialty school is simply a school that has an intensive focus on a given area. For example, there are court reporting schools, music schools, fashion schools, nursing schools, schools for autistic children, military schools, driving schools, online schools, schools for children with social or emotional difficulties, religious schools, math and science schools and many other schools that focus on specialized learning. In some cases, these schools are for-profit businesses and in others they are nonprofit organizations. Age levels of the students will also vary, depending on the type of school.
As you can see, this is a very broad category. But regardless of which niche you choose, your school will be judged on some very basic criteria. For example, do you provide an exceptional learning environment for students? Is your staff qualified? Does the program have a strong reputation?
Depending on the type of school you are opening, there will be various regulations that you must follow and licenses that you may need to apply for. In almost every instance, non-public schools must comply with state and local standards in the areas of compulsory attendance, student records, zoning, health and safety, fire codes and building codes. Contact your state Department of Education and your local agencies for the specifics.
In addition, you will want to mitigate any potential legal exposure, and do this just because it is the right thing to do, by doing thorough background checks on all of your staff.
Business Plan Mechanics for Academic Specialty Schools
If you haven't written a business plan for your new academic specialty school, it's time to get started.
At Gaebler, we advise new business owners to keep your business plan simple. Ultimately, your business plan is intended to be a resource for you, the business owner.
If your time is limiting, outline the essentials of your academic specialty school's business plan now and make a commitment to come back to it later.
Long before you open an academic specialty school in your town, it's worthwhile to determine what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors in your city. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of academic specialty schools near you.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
Once you've finished assessing the competion, you really ought to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an academic specialty school on the other side of the country can be a great learning resource for you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Do you know how to find somebody who runs an academic specialty school who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Advantages of Buying an Established Academic Specialty School
It's no secret that entrepreneurs have a strong impulse to build companies from the ground up.
However, a business purchase is nearly always the smarter ownership option.
Existing academic specialty schools are proven operations with dependable revenue streams. And that's not to mention the fact that a purchase let's you avoid the trial-and-error mistakes that are common in startups.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Your odds of thriving in your new business are much greater when you choose to franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
If your goal is to start an academic specialty school, it's worthwhile to determine whether buying a franchise could be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing academic specialty school, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to academic specialty schools, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.