There are around 2,000 Independent schools in the UK, with 8% of the country’s school population being educated in them. Any child from the age of two to nineteen can attend an independent school, and students come from many different backgrounds. The independent school offers many benefits to students, including small classes, high teacher to pupil ratio and a focus on academic success.
The business plan for the independent school needs to include certain sections which communicate the background, history and strategy behind the idea, to name but a few.
Reasons for the Plan
The first section of an independent school business plan will be the sales pitch. It will explain the reason you are creating the plan, and should be no more than six paragraphs long. This executive summary should contain key points from your plan, and cover areas including your plan’s purpose, financial projections, track record details if applicable and the market opportunity, among other items.
A Brief History
You’ll want to ensure that you’ve included some kind of background information which illustrates not only when you formed your idea, but how it has changed over time. This could include anything from personnel changes to key actions you took to implement a change to your strategy.
What you want to Do
What are your objectives for your independent school for the next three years? These will need to be stated in your business plan. For example, you may have an ideal level of occupancy for your school, or have a set number of places available for particular educational levels that will exist within your school.
Local Area Knowledge
Another thing that any plan for an independent school should include is demonstrated knowledge of the local area which will surround it. This section is one of the most important in your plan, as it will allow you to show how your school will succeed in your desired neighbourhood. This section will need to include your key findings regarding the childcare demand, the factors which will contribute to your school’s success (facilities, service quality, etc.), and the advantages and disadvantages of the school’s location.
The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding your school should also be included in your plan. This analysis may take some time to complete, and will require an ability to look objectively at your school idea, especially where the weaknesses and threats may lie. In this section, it will be vital to look realistically at all aspects. This can be difficult, however, and so this section may benefit from the input of an uninvolved third party to ensure all aspects have been covered.
Promotion and Sales
You will need to raise awareness about your school and market it to parents. There are several areas which may need to be considered here, such as whether your school will offer high quality at an affordable cost to parents, what kind of marketing you plan to do, where your profits will come from, and a detailed description of each of the services your school will offer.
You’ll also need to include information with regard to how your school will be managed. This should include details about your management team, as they will be the ones who will ensure that your business plan is carried out and that you achieve all of the objectives your plan contains. This particular section will require clear statement of all of the skills your team possesses. Summaries are best for this section, with any CVs being referenced and then made available in the appendices of the plan.
The independent school business plan does have special requirements that many business plans do not. Thus, in order to ensure that all required elements are in place, it can help to obtain the help of a professional.