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Starting a Private School – How Much Does It Cost?

Do you want to know exactly how much it cost to start a private school? If YES, here is a detailed cost analysis for starting a private school and raising finance.

As an aspiring entrepreneur who is tinkering with the idea of starting a business, you should ensure that whatever business you intend to start is located at an appropriate place. For instance, if you want to start a private school, it will be wrong business judgment to site the school close to an industrial area or market.

Having provided you with a:

  1. Industry Overview
  2. Market Research and Feasibility
  3. Private School Business Plan
  4. Private School Name ideas
  5. Licenses and Permits
  6. Private School Marketing Plan
  7. Cost of Starting a Private School
  8. Marketing ideas & Strategies

Industry Overview

It is a known fact that the demand for private schools is driven by the fact that most public cum government owned schools cannot accommodate every student or potential student in a given geographical location. In some cases, students with special needs cannot cope in public schools hence the need for private schools.

Private schools which is also known in the United States as independent schools, non-governmental or non-state schools are schools that are not administered by either the local, state or the federal government, hence they have the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition fees, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public (government) funding.

Some private schools have structures in place that offer scholarships to exceptional students which makes the cost cheaper for the student, depending on the talent; they have sports scholarship, arts scholarship and academic scholarship.

The Private Schools industry comprises of (primary- that is kindergarten through sixth grade and secondary that is seventh through 12th grade) educational institutions that are predominantly funded through enrollment and tuition fees from students and of course from other private sources.

It is important to state that the barriers to entry into the Private Schools industry are high. As a matter of fact, the private school industry is an industry in which it is pretty difficult for new entrants to establish themselves. The reputation of the private school is equally of utmost importance as private schools that have a good history of getting students into prestigious colleges often have the best reputations hence good enrollments.

With this, it is obvious that a new entrant in to the private school industry cannot offer this. Reputation indeed is imperative to parents’ decisions when shopping for private school for their wards. This is so because the quality of education cannot be assessed until well after it is complete. As a major marketing tool, schools need to show parents a track record of admission to elite colleges and universities.

Even though this might seem like a saturated industry, the industry is still pretty much open to aspiring school proprietors and proprietresses to come in and compete. As a matter of fact, if you conduct your research and feasibility studies very well before starting your own private school, coupled with the impressive profile of your faculty members, you are likely going to struggle less to make headway in the industry.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Private School?

If you intend to start your own private school, it will be in your best interest to conduct a detailed cost analysis first before officially launching the business. The truth is that if you are able to conduct a detailed cost analysis before starting your private school, you will have a good idea of how much it will cost you to start and run the business. It makes it easier for you to raise the estimate of the start-up capital because you already know beforehand the required start-up capital.

When you carry out cost analysis before starting your private school, you will have an idea of the gains of starting the business, the risks you will be exposed to and the potential challenges that you will encounter. The truth is that, the cost analysis as it relates to starting a standard private school business in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia is almost the same except for few variations.

For instance; the basic things needed to operate a private school could range from getting a license to even getting certification. Some countries consider these as the basics, whilst in some other countries you could get a waiver for them if you are able to meet other criteria.

In starting a private school, you will be expected to have a standard facility with the required ambiance for learning, computers and learning aids, boards, labs, library, flat screen TVs and DVD players, projectors, tables and chairs, first aid kits et al and they are same prices in any of the countries listed above, especially when bench–marked against the US Dollars.

Other factors that may be slightly different in terms of costing when it comes to starting a standard private school business in any of the countries listed above are cost of labor, cost of transportation and logistics, local tax, insurance policies, branding and promotion, business incorporation fee, permits and license, rent/leasing amongst other factors.

Over and above, when it comes to starting a medium scale private school business, you should be prepared to either rent or lease a standard facility designated for such business; this is going to be one of the areas where you are expected to spend the bulk of your start–up capital.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Private School in the United States?

These are the key expenses you are expected to make when starting a medium scale but standard private school business in the United States of America;

  • The total fee for registering the school/business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits (Health department license and business license) and permits (Fire department permit, Air and water pollution control permit, and Sign permit et al) as well as accounting services (CRM software, Payroll software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $15,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the private school in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring business consultant (including writing business plan) – $2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, theft, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,400.
  • The cost for leasing a standard facility in good, centralized and serene location – $350,000
  • The cost for remodeling the facility/class room and administrative offices – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – ($6,500).
  • The operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory and equipment (Stocking with makers, pens, crayons, toiletries, books et al) – $50,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $5,500
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (computers and learning aids, boards, labs, library, flat screen TVs and DVD players, projectors, tables and chairs, first aid kits, telephone, fax machine, and printing machines et al) – $150,000.
  • The cost for building and hosting a website – $600
  • The cost for opening party – $8,000
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

You will need an estimate of one million Dollars ($1 million) to successfully set up a medium scale but standard private school in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff/teachers for the first 3 months of operation and a private school with the potential of owning more than one school facility in key locations within same region.

Starting a small scale but standard private school business that can only accommodate a minimal number of children per–time in just one location in the United States of America will cost about three hundred thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars ($300,000 to $500,000).

When it comes to starting a standard and large-scale private school with several facilities in key cities in the United States of America, a private school that can accommodate students from kindergarten to high school level and a private school with the intention of selling franchise, then you should look towards budgeting well over three million, five hundred thousand dollars ($3.5 million).

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Private School in the UK?

These are the key expenses you are expected to make when starting a medium scale but standard private school business in the United Kingdom;

  • In the United Kingdom, Online applications are usually registered within 24 hours and cost £12 (paid by debit or credit card or PayPal). Postal applications take 8 to 10 days and cost £40 (paid by check made out to ‘Companies House’). There’s a same day service costing £100.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits (Health department license and business license) and permits (Fire department permit, Air and water pollution control permit, Sign permit et al) as well as accounting services (CRM software, Payroll software, P.O.S machines and other software) – £13,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the private school in the amount of £3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at £0.04 per copy) for the total amount of £3,580.
  • The cost for hiring business consultant (including writing business plan) – £2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, theft, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – £28,400.
  • The cost for leasing a standard facility in a good, centralized and serene location – £345,000.
  • The cost for remodeling the facility – £47,800.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery (£300) and phone and utility (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – (£1,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – £60,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory and equipment (Stocking with makers, pens, crayons, toiletries, books et al)- £148,500
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – £9,500
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – £4,500
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (computers and learning aids, boards, labs, library, flat screen TVs and DVD players, projectors, tables and chairs, first aid kits, telephone, fax machine, printing machines et al) – £147,200.
  • The cost for building and hosting a website – £600
  • The cost for opening party – £6,300
  • Miscellaneous – £8,000

You will need an estimate of nine hundred and thirty thousand Pounds Sterling (£930,000) to successfully set up a medium scale but standard private school in the United Kingdom. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first 3 months of operation and a business with the potential of owning more than one school facility in key locations within same region.

Starting a small scale but standard private school that can only service/accommodate minimal number of children per–time in just one location in the United Kingdom will cost about two hundred and forty five thousand to four hundred and eighty thousand Pounds Sterling (£245,000 to £480,000).

When it comes to starting a standard and large scale private school with several facilities in key cities in the United Kingdom, a private school that can accommodate students from kindergarten to high school level and a private school with the intention of selling franchise, then you should look towards budgeting well over two million, five hundred thousand British Pounds Sterling (£2.5 million).

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Private School in Canada?

These are the key expenses you are expected to make when starting a medium scale but standard private school in Canada;

  • For federal incorporation of business in Canada, the cost to incorporate is $200 if filed online through Corporations Canada’s online Filing Centre ($250 if filed through other means).
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits (Health department license and business license) and permits (Fire department permit, Air and water pollution control permit, and Sign permit et al) as well as accounting services (CRM software, Payroll software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $15,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the private school in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring business consultant (including writing business plan) – $2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, theft, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,400.
  • The cost for leasing a standard facility in a good, centralized and serene location – $350,000.
  • The cost for remodeling the facility/class room and administrative offices – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – ($6,500).
  • The operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000.
  • The cost for start-up inventory and equipment (Stocking with makers, pens, crayons, toiletries, books et al) – $50,000.
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750.
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $5,500.
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (computers and learning aids, boards, labs, library, flat screen TV and DVD player, projectors, tables and chairs, first aid kits, telephone, fax machine, printing machines et al) – $150,000.
  • The cost for building and hosting a website – $600
  • The cost for opening party – $8,000
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

You will need an estimate of one million Dollars ($1 millionCAD) to successfully set up a medium scale but standard private school in Canada. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff/teachers for the first 3 months of operation and a private school with the potential of owning more than one school facility in key locations within same region.

Starting a small scale but standard private school business that can only accommodate a minimal number of children per–time in just one location in Canada will cost about three hundred thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars ($300,000CAD to $500,000CAD).

When it comes to starting a standard and large-scale private school with several facilities in key cities in Canada, a private school that can accommodate students from kindergarten to high school level and a private school with the intention of selling franchise, then you should look towards budgeting well over three million, five hundred thousand dollars ($3.5 millionCAD).

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Private School in Australia?

These are the key expenses you are expected to make when starting a medium scale but standard private school in Australia;

  • In Australia, the fees to register your business name with ASIC include: $34 for 1 year. $80 for 3 years.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits (Health department license and business license) and permits (Fire department permit, Air and water pollution control permit, and Sign permit et al) as well as accounting services (CRM software, Payroll software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $15,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the private school in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring business consultant (including writing business plan) – $2,500.
  • The cost for insurance (general liability, theft, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,400
  • The cost for leasing a standard facility in  good, centralized and serene location – $350,000
  • The cost for remodeling the facility/class room and administrative offices – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – ($6,500).
  • The operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory and equipment (Stocking with makers, pens, crayons, toiletries, and books et al) – $50,000.
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750.
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $5,500.
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (computers and learning aids, boards, labs, library, flat screen TVs and DVD players, projectors, tables and chairs, first aid kits, telephone, fax machine, and printing machines et al) – $150,000.
  • The cost for building and hosting a website – $600.
  • The cost for opening party – $8,000.
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000.

You will need an estimate of one million Dollars (AUD$1 million) to successfully set up a medium scale but standard private school in Australia. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff/teachers for the first 3 months of operation and a private school with the potential of owning more than one school facility in key locations within same region.

Starting a small scale but standard private school business that can only accommodate a minimal number of children per–time in just one location in Australia will cost about three hundred thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars (AUD$300,000 to AUD$500,000).

When it comes to starting a standard and large scale private school with several facilities in key cities in Australia, a private school that can accommodate students from kindergarten to high school level and a private school with the intention of selling franchise, then you should look towards budgeting well over three million, five hundred thousand dollars (AUD$3.5 million).

Estimating Start–Up Cost for Private School Based on the following factors;

  • Specific Location

In this kind of business, the location of your business means a lot. The best to do when searching for a location for your business is to consider where other thriving private schools locate their businesses. If you do your research properly, you will realize that most private schools are located in a serene and secured environment; an environment with the right ambience and demographic composition of the group of people you want to reach out to. Make sure you locate yours around any of these areas.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as private school, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your private school.

  • Staff/Manpower

When it comes to starting a standard private school on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;

  • Head of The Private School (School Proprietress)
  • School Administrator
  • Tutors for Various Subjects – Secondary (seventh through 12th grade)
  • Tutors for Various Subjects – Primary (kindergarten through sixth grade)
  • Accountant/Bursar
  • Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
  • Cleaners
  • Security Officers

Can a Private School be Bootstrapped on a Lean Budget Right from Home?

If you are you are looking for a small scale business that you can successfully bootstrap on a lean budget right from your home, then you should not consider starting a private school business.

This is so because the facility, capital and human resources required when it comes to running a private school is much. Besides you will be required to meet certain requirements before you can be issued a license from the education board of your country. Hence you cannot successfully bootstrap a private school on a lean budget right from your home.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Private School Franchise?

In the United States of America, the Average Cost of Purchasing a Private School Franchise is $50,000. Examples of 3 Well – Known Private School Franchising Companies in the United States of America are;

  • America International Schools Franchise
  • Omega Learning Centers
  • Cresco Montessori School

In the United Kingdom, the Average Cost of Purchasing a Private School Franchise is £45,000. Examples of 3 Well – Known Private School Franchising Companies in the United Kingdom are;

  • The Durham International Schools Franchise
  • British International School System | BISS Franchise
  • Bales Private School in the UK

In Canada, the Average Cost of Purchasing a Private School Franchise is $55,000 (Canadian Dollar). Examples of 3 Well – Known Private School Franchising Companies in Canada are;

  • Evergreen College – Canada
  • Maple Bear Global Schools – Canada
  • The Liaison College Franchise – Canada

In Australia, the Average Cost of Purchasing a Private School Franchise is not established because there are no known private schools that are into franchising in Australia.

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