Here are the common themes of the big school/small school attitudes and activities:
Big schools: Spend 80% of their time and attention on getting new students. Their focus is on their marketing campaigns, actively working on them, every week.
Small schools: Only shift gears to marketing for new students when the season slows down (too late) and there are no new students coming in. And then they feel like they are “forced to do it.”
Big schools: Are working to be everywhere. They are working to be in front of everyone, everywhere, every magazine, every radio channel, every internet location, every billboard, etc.
Small schools: Are hoping to discover that “magic” marketing spot. That perfect marketing tactic that they read about on some internet forum from some guy they don’t know whose business “exploded from doing it.” And they neglect everything else.
Big schools: Are extremely persistent. They keep at what marketing tactics are doing, they don’t just try one thing and then move on to the next, move on to the next, etc.
Small schools: Are sporadic. They try a marketing plan here and there but do not stick with any activity really long enough to make it work.
Big schools: Always seem to be focused on the future. They are working on expanding fast, to avoid any “what ifs” in the economy.
Small schools: Get complacent where they are. When enrollments are good, they don't think about the future, until the season slows down, then they worry, but it's too late.
Big schools: Hire the right people, and fire the wrong ones. They know that their school will only grow if they have A players that aren't afraid of growth. Business is business and people will either seek growth or they won’t. These schools aren’t usually staffed with family and friends.
Small Schools: Don’t hire enough people, and don’t fire enough people. They stick with people they are uneasy about because they are afraid to fire them (for whatever reason) – people that don’t try to raise their production in the company. Some even fill their company with family and friends who aren’t productive, or worse counterproductive, complicating firing them even more and making the business a dramatic family event.
Big schools: Track their statistics, cash flow and growth. They know how many inquiries they got and from where, they know how they're doing this month compared to last year and they have very organized software to see all of it.
Small schools: Fly by the seat of their pants. They have no idea where their new leads are coming from for sure (although they say they do), they are running the whole school out of a single bank account that is a mess and any growth is unknown except for “How much money did I make this month?”
Big schools: Delegate. They hire people to do the easy stuff so they can focus their efforts on making more income – marketing and sales.
Small schools: The owners typically try to do everything themselves to “save money.” And keeping busy “saving money” because their not hiring people, they now have no time to spend on sales and marketing and never grow as a result.
Big schools: Stay very optimistic. They try new things knowing they will work and maintain a "do what it takes to get done" attitude once they’ve decided to do it. When things didn’t work, they still gained important lessons and realized new opportunities out of that “failure”.
Small schools: Often become pessimistic. They start with how something will fail first, before jumping into it, and then, if it does, they were "right in the first place.” But that is only if they decided to do something in the first place, which they often don’t. Which means they don’t learn the valuable lessons from those losses and don’t see any new opportunities either.
Think and act like a big school, become one of them. Think and act small, stay small.
Stephen Epstein, Founder and CEO