Selling an Education Niche Business

Jun 7, 2017

Most people are familiar with the phrase “Knowledge is Power”.   This phrase conveys the time-tested fact that people who are educated traditionally perform at a higher level than those that have less relevant knowledge.   This fact also creates market demand that has long been satisfied by entrepreneurs as the providers of knowledge in exchange for payment.   IBA has a long history of successfully representing business owners in the sale of their education niche businesses with the unique knowledge & experience necessary to facilitate the transactions smoothly for the best possible market value.   In addition to the traditional transactional elements found in all business sales, education niche transactions often require business broker knowledge of accreditation, licensing, classroom capacities, curriculum usage & licensing, and/or tuition and deposit proration methodologies.

The types of education businesses run successfully for profit by entrepreneurs are almost as numerous as the stars in the sky.  The following are some examples of education businesses that have been successfully sold by the business brokers of IBA:

Vocational Schools – Teaching adults technical & vocational occupations is a responsibility often delegated to entrepreneurs in the United States.   The education can be provided in a classroom setting, online, by correspondence, or a combination of the three.  In the vocational school niche, IBA has worked with business owners on the sale of as diverse a set of vocational school businesses as a bartending academy, beauty school, floral design school, nursing assistant training program, truck driving school, and mold inspection & remediation training program.   All the businesses offered our clients and their successors with a financially rewarding environment where they had the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives by creating a pathway to increased income in the workforce.

Language Schools – Unfortunately, the citizens of the United States, unlike the rest of the world, often only speak one language and foreign language is often not found in the curriculum for our youth until high school.  Studies have shown that people who speak more than one language use more of their brain and have better cognitive development.   This knowledge and the resultant consumer demand generated for foreign language study has created a robust entrepreneurial market for language study programs that has been embraced by the entrepreneurial community.   IBA has successfully sold language schools that teach Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, French, & German.  We have also sold multiple language translation services that serve a business community that is increasingly becoming more and more global in nature.

Preschool & Kindergarten –  Demand for preschool & kindergarten programs greatly exceeds the supply offered by our public institutions to families.   This market dynamic has resulted in a large percentage of children receiving their pre-elementary school education from private providers.  The form the education takes depends on the needs of the child, desires of the parent(s), location, and financial ability. The good news is that there is likely an entrepreneur that offers a program that is right for each child & parent(s).  IBA has successfully represented the owners of a spectrum of preschool & kindergarten programs during its 42-year history as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest.  Our representation projects have included branded schools like Goddard & Montessori, independent schools like Americhild Academy, and schools where the package included both the school & real estate.

Fitness Programs –  A balanced life includes exercise whether you are a child or adult.   Exercise needs to be done on a consistent basis to achieve results.   One of the best ways to insure participation is to make a financial commitment to fitness.   This consumer demand to make a financial commitment fuels the entrepreneurial community resulting in a spectrum of fitness offerings.   IBA, with a large group of former athletes on its brokerage team, is often the business broker of choice by the fitness community.  Our representation projects involving fitness programs have ranged from child oriented programs like Little Gym & Great Play to personal training programs that come to professionals’ homes & offices to large scale franchised & independent gyms.

Alternative Education – An emerging option for education is online & virtual education.  The entrepreneurial opportunities in this area are almost limitless.   As is often the case, the experienced & knowledgeable brokers of IBA are frequently asked to provide guidance to business owners in emerging industries related to business valuation and timing of sale.  Alternative education is one of the industries we are currently being asked to provide seasoned counsel.

As the son of a teacher with a specialty of dyslexia, it gives me great pride when my firm represents and sells an education niche business for the sale has three beneficiaries; the business owner who sells their business creating a succession plan for the school & being financially rewarded for their effort; the acquiring party who gets the opportunity to receive an excellent return on their investment while making a positive contribution to society, and the students of the school who get to continue improving themselves through the pursuit of knowledge.

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”.