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Category Archives: Growing Your Childcare Company or School

Starting a Professional Montessori School

 

Starting a Montessori School begins with hiring the right mix of professionals. Montessori teaching methods are proven and effective, but a Montessori school is also a business. You have to have right professionals to ensure that your school will have a long and successful life instead becoming a statistical business norm and closing in the first five years.

1. Be Honest About Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses. By being candid with yourself, you identify the spaces where you need help. For example, you may be brilliant but not particularly assertive so you look for a more assertive director, administrator or attorney.

2. Hire the Right Attorney. The most common mistake in this area is hiring an attorney because you know them. They’re a friend or you have a mutual friend or you go to church with them. There’s nothing wrong with working with an attorney that you already know, but make sure the attorney is well versed in the areas you need like lease negotiation, employment law, real estate acquisitions…etc.

3. Hire a Good CPA. If you’re going to make money, you need to be able to account for it and protect from inappropriate taxes. A good CPA will save your money from taxes, and those savings compounded over years in business can determine the decade in which you retire.

4. Hire a GREAT Director. If you’re not going to be the director / administrator of the school, then this position will be the most important operational staffing decision you’ll make. Great directors can make a school, bad directors can bankrupt one. Beyond the normal Montessori certifications, look for directors who have genuine belief in Montessori. You want the kind of director that will be loyal to the ideology. This type of director is not only driven for your school, but she is also far less likely to jump ship to go to another type of school.

5. Engage Multiple Bankers. If you’re going to borrow money, you need to have one reliable banker for knowledge and insight and another 15 or so to make sure the first banker is giving you the best terms possible when you borrow. Failing to provide a competitive environment for your banker(s) can be extremely expensive to you. A difference of a quarter percentage point on a million dollar loan over 20 years costs you and extra $34,793. The U.S. has a lot of banks. It’s a competitive business. There’s no reason not to use them correctly.

6. Use Real Estate Transaction Professionals. If you’re buying property (land and / or buildings) and you’re not experienced in transactional work, get professional help to ensure that you won’t miss important factors in the transaction. Help can come in the form of your CPA, a real estate attorney and/or an experienced broker.

7. Hire an Internet Marketing Consultant. In today’s environment, you must have an internet presence. The good news is that social media allows you to leverage your advertising dollar more than ever before. Make sure your marketing person is a talented SEO (search engine optimization) person. Have them explain how the process works. Don’t settle for a list of the results the consultant says he can produce. For good examples to share with your SEO person, see many tested, successful marketing options like videos, e-book, blogs, newsletters…etc. at http://bfsinc.net/.

8. Hire a Dependable IT Professional. You will have computers. You will need an IT professional. Starting out, it’s better if this person is not part of your staff as some of the information exposed during the work may be sensitive.

9. Use a Professional Payroll Company. If you’re starting out with a tight budget, it can be tempting to think about doing your own payroll taxes. There are several good payroll companies. None of the major companies should have any problem managing your payroll. They’re not terribly expensive, and they are worth every penny.

10. Hire Teachers. If you’ve come this far, you probably already know what kind of teachers you want to hire. Hire the best teachers you can afford within a reasonable payroll budget, and don’t be afraid to dismiss and replace one if you pick the wrong one. It’s much better to remove a problem teacher from the school before they infect the others.

The early education industry is a great industry. It provides significant financial returns for doing genuinely important and rewarding work.

As always, I hope it helps.

Brad Barnett, President
BFS®

(Legal Disclaimer: Always consult the proper professionals before taking action. By and before the use of the information provided herein, reader agrees that BFS® is not responsible for viewer’s actions related to said information.)

Connecting With Parents In Your Early Education Company

  Relationships are at the core of any successful childcare center, preschool, Montessori, special needs or private elementary school. This includes the interaction you have with parents, teachers, children and your vendors. Engaging the members of each of these four groups will help to ensure that your center or school is more successful. Today, we’llContinue Reading

Embracing Technology In Your Early Education Company

  When Henry Ford created the first Model T automobile, he was asked about the input he received from other people.  His answer was…’If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.’  The car like refrigeration, antibiotics, the computer and the smart phone changed the way our society works.  People weren’t prepared for the change,Continue Reading

Using Pinterest To Improve Your Early Education Company

  Pinterest is a social media platform that allows you to create virtual boards and pin items on the boards. People spend more time on Pinterest that any other social media platform with the exception of Facebook so it’s a great marketing platform. It is also a great way to build brand loyalty by engagingContinue Reading

Expanding Your Early Education Company

  OK, you’re on your way. If you had trouble in the not-so-great recession, it’s behind you now. You want to expand and do everything bigger and better, and that’s great, but do it the right way. The bankruptcy dockets are full of companies that we’re expanding. When you consider expansion, make sure you haveContinue Reading

Promoting Your Teachers and Your School Through Curriculum and Confidence

  When parents visit your childcare center, preschool, Montessori school or private elementary, they want to be confident that the teachers in your center or school are providing an interesting learning environment.  For a parent, leaving their child at “school” is far better than leaving their child at a “care” facility.  It gives meaning andContinue Reading

Why Should I Take The Time To Create A Monthly Newsletter For My Childcare Center or School?

  Because, if you do it right, then you will take the time to write the newsletter one time per month, and each newsletter will work for you on-line 24 hours a day seven days a week for the next two to three years.  You’re not actually taking time.  You are leveraging and saving time. Continue Reading

Hosting An Open House

A great strategy you can use to gain more exposure for your childcare, Montessori school, special needs school, preschool, or private elementary is to host an open house. This is a great community outreach strategy and allows you to connect one-on-one with your target audience. It allows you to showcase your center to prospective parents,Continue Reading

Why Parents and Their Children Love Montessori

  Across the U.S., there are approximately 200,000 early education facilities including childcare centers, preschools, learning centers, day care centers, in-home centers, church-based centers………AND there are about 4,000 Montessori Schools. If you talk with anyone who believes in the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori you will quickly understand that this person believes without reservation thatContinue Reading

Using Twitter To Market Your Childcare Company

  Twitter is the most misunderstood and underutilized platform of all the social media tools we have available to us. Everyone wonders what they could possibly do with Twitter that could benefit their childcare company. You can only use 140 characters or less, so there’s not much room for a long informative post…and who isContinue Reading