Selling an Education Business

Mar 28, 2019

The 2018 Childcare Aware of America Report found Washington was one of the most expensive states for childcare. The average costs in the state for childcare per month were $1101 for infants, $936 for toddlers, and $832 for preschool age children according to the report.  King County & Snohomish County early childhood education expenses were significantly higher than the state averages with average monthly costs of $1499 for infants, $1339 for toddlers, and $1122 for preschoolers in King County and values of $1382, $1148, and $975 in Snohomish County.  The market dynamic resulting in the higher costs in the Seattle/Everett metropolitan area is straight forward supply & demand resulting from a scarcity of space & teachers. These high early education costs can be a financial burden on working families, they also create an opportunity for entrepreneurs.

The business opportunities for entrepreneurs wishing to provide education services & products are as varied as the ice cream selection at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. IBA, as the premier education industry business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, has successfully facilitated the sale of privately held companies & family owned businesses in most education niches. The following is a diverse set of examples of education businesses sold by IBA to illustrate the spectrum of opportunities available to entrepreneurs wishing to work and generate a return on investment while positively contributing to society:

Education traditionally starts with a daycare or preschool experience for a child.   Privately owned & operated daycares & preschools come in a wide array of business models.  IBA has successfully sold independent schools like Americhild Academy and franchised education institutions like The Goddard School.  IBA, as one of the top 20 commercial real estate firms in the Seattle metropolitan area in terms of brokers, has the ability to sell the business & real estate in a comprehensive representation package when both are owned by the same party.

Supplemental childhood education is BIG BUSINESS. IBA has successfully sold foreign language immersion programs for children including Sponge & Zoom Language Center. We have sold art schools, including the historic NEO Art School in Seattle.  IBA has also facilitated the sale of childhood physical development franchises like The Little Gym and Great Play.   If entrepreneurship in childhood athletics is of interest IBA is presently representing a successful business with growth potential for sale.   Stephen Cohen, one of IBA’s Education industry transaction specialists, is the lead business broker for this opportunity.

Entrepreneurship opportunities in education are not limited to children.  IBA has also represented businesses for sale in a spectrum of vocational training niches including bartending, mold remediation, continuing education for teachers, and nursing assistance.  Business models in the vocational training niche have had both online & classroom components.

Provision of classroom instruction is traditionally the first area people think of when they think about education as an entrepreneurial opportunity.   However, education is a large segment of the economy needing products & services to function.   Many companies IBA has represented for sale in the service, distribution, and manufacturing sectors had strong customer concentrations in the education industry.  Specific examples include CPC Equipment, which sold & installed lockers in schools, Sketch for Schools, which manufactured high quality sketch books, Solid Vision, who did the millwork associated with the Seattle University Law School, and EnviroVogue, a company which manufactured reusable bags that were sold by schools as a fundraising activity.

If you are an entrepreneur with a business that teaches or supports the education industry, we would welcome the opportunity to learn about your business, exit strategy objectives, and provide an overview of the services we offer our clients.  100% of IBA’s fees are payable on performance at completion of the project when we hopefully receive a grade of “A” for our work. All information provided to IBA is held in strict confidence.

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 based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.