With the New Year upon us, it’s time to think about a marketing plan that will be effective in retaining existing students and recruiting new ones. One of the most effective ways to create long-term strategic objectives that work is to devote some time to a SWOT analysis to organize information about your private school’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Prepare a SWOT Analysis for your private school in a matrix format by creating four boxes. The Strengths and Weaknesses will be side by side on the top, and the Opportunities and Threats will be side by side below. You will notice that the elements that are helpful toward achieving your goals are on the left side, and the elements that are harmful to achieving your objectives are on the right side.
On the upper left side of your SWOT Analysis matrix, label the Strengths box. Jot down all the characteristics of your private school that provide an advantage over your competition. You may list your academic programs, staff, innovative initiatives, a long tradition of excellence, and/or extracurricular activities. Label the upper right box Weaknesses. These are the elements of your school that place it at a disadvantage in relationship to other private schools. Note that the Strengths and Weaknesses are of internal origin and are attributes of the school.
The bottom two boxes are for Opportunities and Threats to your private school. Label the bottom left box Opportunities, and list all the initiatives that your school can implement to give it an advantage over competing schools. Threats are external situations that may cause problems, like a shrinking target market or a new private school in the area.
When your SWOT analysis is completed, you can go on to formulating a mission statement that describes what you envision for your private school a few years down the road. Lay out your business objectives in broad terms, and use these brief documents to come up with key strategies and action plans to achieve the goals you set for the school.
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