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Opening a private school in Pakistan has over the years has gone difficult with so much competition in the market. However the population growth at-an-all-time-high & rural to urban migration at an all time high, it is the right time to invest in education.
First thing to know about the education business:
"Its a long term investment" & if you are here to make quick money better open a shop. Hence, you would need to develop patience and more importantly, invest to get return.
Decide your target market:
1. Pre-School / Kinder garden: Its a great business to be in Pakistan today with parents wanting to invest early on their children to create 'base' for their children.
Target Market: Young Parents
Fee Range: From Rs.1500/month to Rs.24,000/month depending on area
2. Primary/Secondry: Its a challenging field. I would suggest opening primary and kinder garden in a new area since a lot of parent's would not want their children to change schools in primary.
Free Range: Rs.2000/month to Rs.15,000/month depending on area
3. O/A Levels: Niche market or specialty schools are a great demand. Nixor in Karachi is a great example of how specialty schools had done well. Its a very competitive market since parents trend due to failure of matriculation system are favoring O/A Levels. Fee Range: Rs.8000/month to 25,000/month
4. Niche Schools: Well this is the area for the big boys and who understand the market well. Niche school is a high-risk investment with over 500% returns if your idea works.
Fee Range: Rs.25000 to 75,000/month
Here are important factors to consider before planning a school business:
1. Budgeting: Budgeting is a very important phase even how much money you have. For example, if you want to open a kinder garden school you must factor in the following factors before making your budget. The budget should depend on the above category of your school to many other factors. Let us try to help you:
a) renting vs buying - more easier is to start with renting a school premises (suggestion in urban area - size: 500 yards or 1 kanal for primary & kindergarden) b) curricular designing & consultancy - keep Rs.250,000-300,000 for it - depending on school type c) hiring of teachers & staff d) class room interiors & designs e) furniture f) projectors, smart boards, office equipment g) cash flows h) marketing budget i) reserve money (should be one year expense in account)
2. Location, Location & Location: One of the biggest challenge is to find the right location for your school. Factors involve economy of the area; competition in the area; a short survey of schools and fee structures and population density (most important). You need to factor in area economy before opening since your school fee to whole business plan depends on it and this decision could break or make you.
3. Hiring Staff: Hiring the right-staff is essential for operating your school in both short & long term since it's the teachers, staff which would be interacting to parents and be your marketing team. Interview them in detail and hire only those who are passionate about education and teachers.
Tip: Your school principal should be the captain of the ship and trust him or her in over all academic side while you run the operations and marketing.
4. Marketing Ideas for Schools in Pakistan: This is a huge challenge for any new entity and while marketing and establishing your school remains one of the biggest task, it's important to understand now as a parent showing some empathy as to why would a parent want to come to experiment with his/her's children future and come to you?
1. See's value (fee structure, location
2. See's standards (facilities, building, curricular) which are better than competition
3. Word of mouth
4. Teaching Staff makes a great influence
In this piece, I would help you understand the precise marketing needs:
Some of the ideas:
1. Free Open House
2. Free Summer Camps
3. Advertising on Local Cable
4. Outbound Marketing Campaign to target parents
5. Engaging Community Leaders & Influencer's.
There's more to open a school however, we hope you liked the article and it helped to understanding the business of school.