How to Start a Healthcare Training School and Not Go Broke.

Starting a healthcare training school can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, as with any start-up, there are many costs and hurdles to overcome to get a healthcare training school up and running. If you already own and operate a business, you may be familiar with these less than pleasant realities. For many of my clients though, entrepreneurship is new and unfamiliar territory. They are unaware of the costs to expect and the requirements that they must fulfill  in order to be approved by the state. Lack of knowledge in these areas results in wasted time and money. It’s so common in fact, that these are the top two things I list in my article, The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a CNA School. They bear repeating now though, because despite the fact that the information has been available for a few years I still see these mistakes being made over and over again AFTER the decision to start a school has been made. I see the look of horror and disappointment when their original idea projects out to be a $50,000 loss in the first year of operation due to course hours that don’t facilitate enough students to meet the budget or incorrectly anticipating overhead costs and thus under charging for tuition.  These are just examples of how a budget may be off. I have also seen clients realize that they have to bring on a whole other staff member because they don’t meet the requirements by themselves. No, that is not an exaggeration, and yes, I have seen it multiple times. I DO NOT WANT THIS FOR YOU. Spending a little time before you get started will keep you from going broke starting a healthcare training school. With that said, here are the four actionable items for you to do before deciding to start a healthcare training school:

  1. Research the requirements in YOUR state. Each state is different in what they require to start a healthcare training school and there may even be different requirements depending on the program you are offering. CNA, for example, is particularly regulated. You can find links to your state’s approving body on our State Requirements page. Review the requirements and reach out to the department if you have questions. 
  2. Make a business plan. Once you know the requirements you will have a basis for what your business has to have to operate. You can then build your business plan around that framework. The Small Business Administration has lots of free resources related to business plans. Make sure your plan is thorough. It should not only include information on the businesses key players and services, but also have a market analysis and financial projections. The market analysis should be local, and the financial projections should be broken down by month and consider both fixed and variable costs. 
  3. Devise a business budget. This does go hand in hand with a business plan. Creating an anticipated expense budget for at least the first 3 years of business is the prudent thing to do. This will help you understand how much capital you need to start the project and maintain it as well! It will help you determine service costs and ensure you are creating the appropriate tuition cost for your students. 
  4. Revise the plan. Your business plan and budget are not “one and done” documents. Use them to experiment with different business models on paper before you put your own money at risk. Did your numbers not look like you were hoping? Try making some adjustments. What would happen if you found a space with lower rent? Or added another program? You can test it out by using your business plan and budget. Adjust the plan until it works and remember that if you can break even in year one you are doing well. 

If you do these things before deciding to start a healthcare training school you can prevent costly mistakes through the start-up journey. Our School Ownership Determination Package helps you do all the things stated above and more before you jump into the trenches of ownership. Just a little time and attention will help build the foundation of a successful school. So go get planning! 

Need a little help with planning? We have several options to help support you at this stage of your journey. You can book consulting time with us during any stage of healthcare training school start-up. We also offer a Healthcare Training Program Operating Budget Course and Business Plan Writing Course to help you complete these specific items on your own.  If you are in need of a managed experience for the planning phase, you want our School Ownership Determination Package which was mentioned above. This is where we will work with you directly to help you determine if school ownership is right for you early on. 

We wish you the best in your healthcare school ownership journey and The Secret Cocktail® hope to be a part of the process as well!