Education as an Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Jun 16, 2015

One of my favorite quotes of all time is Maimonides, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

A corollary quote for an entrepreneur could be “teach a man to fish and you will be paid handsomely for the time you invest in the individual”.

This corollary quote can be easily applied to two situations in an entrepreneurial context.

The first situation relates to the ownership of a school or education business. Society needs a broad spectrum of teachers and many education niches are best served by privately held companies. IBA successfully facilitates the sale of profitable schools in the Pacific Northwest on a regular basis to entrepreneurs who recognize that these service niche businesses if managed prudently provide an opportunity to make a positive contribution to society, receive an excellent return on investment, and grow a business model to a size only limited by the entrepreneur’s desire, capital, and management ability.

Education businesses fall into four basic groups. The first group of businesses educates children. Transactions facilitated by IBA from this group have included basic education schools (preschools and kindergartens) and supplemental education programs (language schools to physical fitness & motor coordination programs). Business models in this group can be independent schools or franchises. The second group of businesses provides vocational education. Companies represented by IBA from this group have ranged from bartending schools to medical training programs and from certified inspection programs to schools that provided technology or software use education. The third group involves schools that educate for personal enrichment or improvement. Examples from this niche include driving schools and schools that teach subjects ranging from Tarot to painting and from cooking to photography. The fourth group is a hybrid of the second & third group where classes are offered for both vocational education and personal enrichment. A prime example of this type of school is a floral design school where career track individuals often learn their trade side by side with individuals wishing to bring a little more “Martha Stewart” into their homes. All four of the groups can employ business models that teach “live” classes, provide virtual material online, or provide educational material in a CD or book format.

The second situation where the corollary quote can be applied relates to the training & mentorship of employees & staff. A company that has a strong training & mentorship program is setting itself up for future success. As the President of IBA, it fills me with great pride to see my team of brokers achieve professional & financial success facilitating the sale of privately held companies with integrity, professionalism, skill, and knowledge. It is also wonderful to have a network of former IBA associates in multiple states still utilizing the knowledge & experience gained during their tenure with my company in the business brokerage profession. The entrepreneurial community deserves to have quality representation and any contribution I can make to improve the industry is a positive professional achievement.

I encourage entrepreneurs to look at educational & mentorship programs as both a business opportunity and a means to enhance the performance of their companies.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation in terms of successfully negotiating transactions that are “win-win” in an environment of full disclosure between the parties.