Are you a private school owner or school administrator? Are you experiencing a declining enrollment in your school? Then this article is for you. Learn the strategies to turn around your school’s declining enrollment.
Enrollment is the backbone of a private school and its operations. A decline in enrollment affects all segments and operations of your school.
With schools springing up every day at almost every corner, the private school sector has become more competitive than ever. While that may not be the only factor responsible for the decline in school enrollment, it is an essential factor.
Parents place a high value on providing quality education for their wards. And they are becoming pickier in choosing a school that they think will give their children a better chance for a great future. More reasons, you have to set your school apart from the crowd.
You cannot control or stop the competition. But with the right strategies, you can beat the competition and make your private school attractive to potential and current clients.
The TreNova School Growth Academy has done all the groundwork to produce a comprehensive guide to run a successful private school.
Some of the strategies are outlined in this article.
Develop your unique value proposition
Your school is just another private school until you clearly state why your school is better than the rest. Your school has no edge over the others if your value proposition is not known.
Parents have pain points, desires and dreams for their children; they are expecting your school to fulfill these needs. Craft your unique value proposition along this line, and you will capture their attention.
Your unique proposition should be intrinsic. Modern laboratories, sports facilities, and conducive classrooms put your school in a good light, but you need to do a lot more to capture parents’ attention. Facilities only become valuable in the minds of the parent when connected to a value or benefit.
Have you put the best resources in place to make your school stand out in mathematics or science? Do you have a strong Information and Technology department? Is your school following a British or American curriculum? Have you invested in conducting coding and robotics programs for your students? Is your school great at developing talents?
All these are your unique selling points. Promote it as your brand.
Use every opportunity to tell and show the audience the unique value and solutions your school provides. Craft it in all your marketing messages, branded items, in your school anthem, and on your school website.
A visible online presence
It is amusing when some schools that claim to be modernistic don’t have a functional website. A school without an online presence is missing out on a lot of marketing opportunities.
Traditional Marketing such as radio, TV commercials and billboards are good, but you need to do more. Your school needs to be visible online and stand out as a progressive place of learning.
The first thing a prospective customer does when they hear of your school is to search for it online. Have an up-to-date school website, social media pages, and forums, etc. where you showcase your school facilities, students’ achievements, and talents.
Also, make your school more visible with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to increase your school enrollment.
Participate in school competitions
Seize opportunities to position your school as a great brand and a great place for learning. Showcase the best your school has to offer by entering into local, national and international competitions.
Some of these competitions include science and technology competitions, sports competitions, debates, robotics, and mathematics competitions, and so on.
Apart from the publicity your school gains from this approach, you are also building your students’ confidence and giving them valuable life experiences while challenging them mentally.
Showcasing the best of your students’ talents will boost your school brand and increase enrollment.
Follow up on Your Prospects
As mentioned earlier, the private school sector is getting more and more competitive every year. Every contact and inquiry you don’t follow up on is a missed opportunity to gain new clients and increase enrollment.
Provide excellent customer service always. Respond promptly to every enquiry about your school and use that as an opportunity to promote your school. Follow up on all inquiries and issues and make sure they are fully resolved.
Create a lead generation system, both online and offline, to collect the email addresses and phone numbers of everyone that came into contact one way or the other with your school.
Though some parts of the follow-ups can be automated, creating a human connection works better. Contacting your prospects through phone calls and personalized messages usually has a positive effect and can increase the number of enrollments fast.
Testimonials and referrals
Social proof is one of the oldest marketing strategies. Humans naturally attach credibility to words of acquaintances, friends, and family about a product or service. You can use this “word-of-mouth” marketing strategy to turn things around positively for your school.
Encourage parents to put out the right words about your school to their friends, family members, and acquaintances.
Also, satisfied parents will readily give positive reviews about your school.
Capture these testimonials and reviews on video and place it on your school website, post it on social media, and put them in your school newsletters. Also, encourage these satisfied parents to share their good experiences with your school in all your school events.
Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Not having an impact in your host community is not great for the image of your school. Engaging with the community is a straightforward strategy to increase your school recognition and enrollment in a short time.
Examples of CSR include getting your students to clean and trim the grass within and around their school compound, partnering with companies to create a grant or scholarship program for low-income families in your community, partnering and serving alongside recognized NGOs in community events is another way of engaging your immediate community.
The strategy will improve public perceptions of your school and increase enrollment significantly.
Whatever the stage of development your school is in at the moment, there is always room for growth. The simple but highly effective strategies in this article will turn around the decline in your school enrollment.
How we can help you grow your school enrollment
The Private School Growth Guide is a comprehensive school growth guide for school owners and administrators. It explains, in detail, strategies for building a leading private school.
This book outlines how to build, market and run a private school for growth and success in Nigeria.