Operating a business involves many aspects—from hiring capable employees and effectively promoting your product or service, to keeping proper finance records and dealing with customers’ concerns. Managing a school is no different, if you ask the educators and entrepreneurs who run one.
A school is, after all, a business enterprise. It provides students a venue for learning under the guidance of licensed and skilled educators and staff. Parents pay tuition fees in exchange for the students’ use of these spaces and their participation in the school’s learning program.
Here are more insights on how running a school is similar to running a business.
Hiring the right people is a challenge
Businesses are always looking for responsible and hardworking workers to perform various duties. Similarly, schools are on the lookout for capable and experienced teachers with a relentless passion for molding young minds. Aquino-Cuenca explains the challenge in finding these kinds of educators. “Most teachers who have gained experience or taken up masteral units normally opt for greener pastures, such as public schools or bigger schools here and abroad. Since we have lower tuition fee compared with bigger schools, it’s difficult for us to provide competitive salaries to all our teachers,” she shares.
Reputation is priceless
How parents would talk positively about their child’s school can be likened to how a satisfied customer would recommend a certain restaurant to their friends. Aquino-Cuenca says an educational institution’s reputation depends on how parents perceive the school. Are they happy with what their kids learn and achieve? Are they content with the facilities and services provided to them? If so, then parents will most likely spread the word and provide credible testimonials based on their experience.
Profit is crucial
In order to run a school successfully, directress Meg Aquino-Cuenca of Schola de Vita in Las Piñas says, “It takes passion and people skills, plus a stable source of funds to secure the school’s finances.”
As with any organization, generating funds to finance the operation of a school is very important. According to Richard Estuesta, member of the board of directors at Mindbuilders Preschool in Las Piñas, “If you are unable to generate funds, then it is likely that you will have to close down your school. A school needs to achieve a certain level of profitability in order for it to deliver its basic promise: to provide quality education and an environment conducive to learning.”
Commitment is a must
A business owner can’t just quit and close down the business at the first sign of challenge or failure. The same is true for a school: if it doesn’t make as much money as initially expected, the administrators and owners can’t just cease its operations in a snap. Apple Cruz-Santos, president and administrator at Expressive Minds Early Childhood Center in Quezon City, considers this an added advantage: “Our aim is not only to build ourselves but also our students and their families.”
“You think of your students first,” adds Aquino-Cuenca, “so in some cases, regardless of profit, you have to deliver as a true educator.”
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