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Success is one of the most admirable words in human vocabularies and every entrepreneur aspires to succeed in whatever business he ventures into.

A private school proprietor as an entrepreneur will most definitely desire to succeed in his efforts at providing qualitative education for the society with the view to stemming ignorance and illiteracy, molding to produce people that are competent and conversant with the global trends as well as possess the deliverables requisite for twenty- first century global business and leadership success. To achieve this, proper understanding and appreciation of the essential ingredients for school business is of absolute importance.

Statistics show that 33% of the newly established businesses of which private schools are included fail within the first 3 years. And it does not matter the building and other infrastructure that may be in place, they fail as a business. What can be done to prevent being in this failed percentage?

Here are the 7 Cs for school business success, pay attention to them and succeed immensely.

1st C – Cash.

Cash, sufficient cash with good cash flow management is of utmost importance in private school business. A private school cannot be shot down for two or three weeks (as it was the case with a public school not too long ago) for whatever reason without significant negative consequences. While it is true that many businesses can be started and run with little or no capital, the same cannot be said with absolute certainty with regards to private school. Lack of cash can spell the disaster for any private school. In fact, most private schools fail, either directly or indirectly as a result of insufficient cash than any other reason, so, cash is crucial. Your ability as a school proprietor/CEO to generate enough cash kept in the bank to pay your immediate and future bills – salaries, rents and so on – and a good cash flow management is vital to your success in private school business.

2nd C – ‘Can Do’ Culture.

Can do’ culture has to do with the attitude of positivity that permeate your school community which come as a result of engaging people that are a good cultural fit right from the beginning. People that you know are competent to do the job and are highly self-motivated. People that know their job and are excited about it. These set of people will create a good positive culture that will result in high productivity and success in your school.

If the leader who is the owner is not self-motivated you cannot expect much from the led. The leader determines the speed of the followers. So, in creating a ‘can do’ culture, you as a leader/owner is an important factor to factor in success in this regard.

3rd C – Customers (Parents and their Children).

The first two Cs will be of no consequence if the third C is not in place.

Necessity, it is said is the mother of invention. An invention its value from the amount of needs it meets or the amount of problems it solves. Hence, an invention the needs it meets or the problems it solves, is of little or no value. Your school business is not different. For your school to succeed as a business entity, it must have the specific need/s it meets, the problem/s it solves and the pleasure it gives to the parents and pupils who the customers. Every legitimate things must be done to attract these customers. In the actual fact, your customers (parents and indirectly, the pupils) are the real kings. Without them you don’t have a school, you only have a building. Without them you don’t have the cash. Satisfied parents bring money from their pockets to pay you and keep your school running. Satisfied parents who have the ability to pay, and more of such are very crucial to any private school business success.

No parents – no cash

No cash ̶ no school

All summed up; No paying parents, no private school.

4th C – Competition

In this 21st century, monopoly is becoming a thing the past. Why? The world has become a global village where internet is the village square, as such, there is nothing you do, that others cannot venture into. You may be the first person to start a school in an area, but be very sure that sooner or later some other people will float their own and become your competitors. Where then is competition an ingredient to your success? You have to be very observant. Learn as quickly as possible from your competitors whenever possible. See all the good thing they are doing and make sure you are doing them also. But most importantly, see that your offering is better than theirs by providing a unique offer that will differentiate you and attract your prospective parents to your school.

5th C—Communication

To run a successful private school, the art of good communication is one that everyone in the school system must master and the school proprietor or C.E.O must take the lead. Many problems are created within a lot of private school as a result of poor or no communication at all. A private school that would be successful must communicate to staff at all levels. In such school, the lowest level staff will be just conversant with the school’s mission, its services, culture etc., as the most senior staff.

Good communication is a two-way traffic where the management sees an opportunity to get the views of staff at all levels and staff have the chance to make their own contributions and express their views. It is not unusual for junior staff in the school to have a better idea of what is going on within a school, and its problems, than management staff. A better idea of a junior staff of a particular school led to the amazing growth of the school. Cases abound.

6th C—Cost Control

One of the key factors militating against private school business success is inability to control cost. An average school proprietor is known to be an impulsive purchaser. He purchases what he feels is good for the school without recourse to budge (if any) or critical evaluation of the profit potential of the item whether directly or indirectly. This affects the overall profitability of the school.

Cost control for school therefore is the practice of identifying and reducing school expenses with the view to increasing profits which has its root in budgeting process.

It is the experience of many proprietors that they spend as much as they earn. It is not how much you make that matters but how much makes your bottom line. If your school must succeed, as a proprietor, you must take cost control serious as this is an important factor for maintaining and ensuring growing profitability of your school.

Outsourcing is one of the frequently used measures to control cost, apart from this, there are at least six other identified areas where measures should be taken by private school owners to control cost and thereby ensure tremendous profitability and success of their schools.

7th C—Continuous Cultivation

Success is not a one-off thing. Successful businesses remain successful because they continuously cultivate the above Cs that make for success and as a result stay successful.

Continuous cultivation therefore is the continuous and consistence polishing and refining of the factors that brought success in the first place, through the continuous education of the school owner, the management team and the entire work-force in new and improved ways of doing school business in line with current realities of this age of internet of things.

If you are going to succeed in school business therefore, you must take care of the ‘Cash’. Let your school community be permeated with Can do Culture, treat your parents (who are your customers) as kings and multiplying the number of satisfied parents. Annex the benefits of competition by adding any good things they are doing to your own but differentiating yourself and keep your school community working synergistically by ensuring good communication. Cost must be uncompromisingly controlled and your whole school systems constantly fine-tuned and polished.

The truth is, what you know today is already outdated. You must move ahead of time. How much you know determine how far you will go. Regarding your school success, how much do you know, and how far will that knowledge take you? The above 7 Cs can be of immense help, pay attention to them and succeed phenomenally.

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