(Biz tool Kits)
BY BRIDGET OLOTU
With a population estimate of about 150 million, Nigeria offers a huge market potentials for different kinds of businesses. For instance, educational services will do, and are doing well because of the huge market for quality education and tuition, and when operators of these services meet certain metrics for success in that industry.
Nigeria’s population is estimated to be growing close to three per cent yearly. This means more children are born here than in most nations of the world. Rather than see this as a disadvantage either as a government or a business owner, it can be turned into a big advantage.
LET me share this story with you. In the estate where I live, getting one’s child into a secondary school is a tug of war, as there are few available spaces, while there are several thousands of applications to these schools every year.
This does not reduce the fact that the fees charged in most of these schools per session can pay the entire cost of university education for so many of students in public and even private institutions.
There is no doubt, need for more schools in Nigeria. There is need for well-built, well-planned and well-structured schools for the country.
With the decline in standard of education since government took over schools from missionaries and faith-based organisations, the educational sector has been deprived of the same quality manpower, dedication, attention and funding it actually requires to meet the human capital needs of the country in this century.
Our public schools are a shadow of themselves. Dilapidated buildings, roofless classes, classrooms without basic teaching tools e.g. furniture, blackboards, relevant texts, etc, all represent the picture of modern public schools in the country.
This explains why we have many half-baked and not well trained graduates from our public primary and secondary school institutions today than we had two or three decades ago.
THIS piece is meant for individuals who have a passion or desire to go into school business in the country. School business will sell when you keep to the following metrics:
Develop a strong vision of what educational services you want to offer and identify the market you want to serve.
Go all out to give impact. Set high standards in your school. For instance, by Primary 3 or 4, your pupils should be able to read and write intelligibly even if it means writing short notes.
Make your environment very inviting. Your school doesn’t have to be expensive to have a picture of excellence. Make sure classrooms are neat and tidy and free of dirt and dust.
Have a business plan for your school business. Your business plan will help you capture your vision and set targets for the growth and destination of the business.
Work with a bank or banks to grow the school. Take advantage of the opportunities that our banks are giving to entrepreneurs/business owners to grow and develop your business.
Make sure your target market is aware of the existence of your school. This of course will be highlighted as part of your marketing and promotional plan in your business plan.
Look for ways to develop back-end businesses that will fetch more money for your school.
Invest in your students. Build them up. Help them discover, harness and develop their potentials. Help each child become a better citizen morally, academically and socially.
Look for ways to continuously give added value to your students, the parents and your community.
Olotu is the CEO/Lead Consultant, DEAIM Innovative Resources Ltd., email@example.com