NNBA Featured Expert
The 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a CNA School
By Victoria Randle, NP-C
If you are new to entrepreneurship, you are destined to make a mistake. Mistakes can be costly, time consuming or even steal your confidence. I have personally learned from every mistake I have made along the way and each mistake has undoubtedly made me a better business woman. When it comes to CNA school start up you no longer have to make costly mistakes. That is why The Secret Cocktail™ was born.
We help start CNA schools all over the nation. Starting my own CNA school and working to help those who are already in business grow their school, I have seen a lot. Here I will highlight The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a CNA School.
1) Investing money to start a CNA school and have no idea what all is required. CNA Schools are regulated by the Federal Government. Anytime something is regulated by the government there are always specific requirements that have to be met. Although CNA schools can be pretty much owned by anybody, every CNA school MUST have a Program Coordinator as this is a Federal requirement.
- The program coordinator must be an RN with at least 2 years of experience and one of those years must be in a nursing home. Some states may add on additional requirements but this is the Federal standard.
- Your location must accommodate the number of students you plan to have per class in both the lab and classroom. There are no square footage requirements. And speaking of location the lab MUST have a hand-washing station with in close proximity or in it.
2) Forgetting to do the math! Do not get so caught up in the process of getting started or being an “school owner” that you forget to do the math. You know, the profit vs cost math. You have to know how many students you need every month to pay for the overall operation and to bring home the bacon. If I asked you how many students you need to enroll per month to break even, you should be able to answer immediately! If not, my suggestion to you is the following:
- During your planning phase, be sure to calculate how much each student will actually cost your business (books, uniforms, lab supplies, etc.)
- Also calculate how much money you will make off of every student based on your tuition and estimated student enrollment. Always add a little extra for the student that may drop out of the program, the month of decreased enrollment, the month you offer a sale on your courses, etc.
- Calculate your company overhead costs and be sure to subtract that from the income you plan to make. These costs include rent, staff, internet, website etc.
- You NEED a business plan! If you are going into the business of starting a CNA school without a business plan, you are planning to fail. I don’t want that for you. You must have a business plan that is specific to your business niche.
3) Scared to invest in marketing! If you are starting a business then you have to let go of the fear of investing in marketing. Your business will not thrive if people do not know you exist. How do they know you exist? By meeting them where they are online and off line.
- Do not be afraid to invest funds to make eye catching brochures that will be posted at local community spaces, with referral partners or handed out at community events. People need to know you exist and learn about what you offer. Even if they don’t need it, who knows, they may refer somebody that does.
- Find a digital marketer you can trust (or learn yourself) and invest in online ads. Your customers are on Google, Facebook and Instagram and if you are not there, they do not know you exist. Consistent marketing grows your business.
4) Thinking you can do it all by yourself. Yes there are stories of CNA school owners who have made it through the beginning phase as a one man show but I would not recommend it. You are starting a brick and mortar business. Without help you will be the:
- Instructor/ Teacher
- Program Director
I highly recommend finding a partner or someone who can at least learn the basics of the business just in case you have a down moment and you can’t. If you don’t find a partner these are the people, I HIGHLY recommend you hire to help.
- A Secretary: If potential students are calling or stopping by and no one is answering the phone or meeting them at the door because you are teaching or at you 1st job, then that student is lost and will enroll somewhere else. Please, please, please, hire a secretary.
- A backup Instructor: If you get the flu, are in a motor vehicle accident or have to have emergency surgery, who will pick up where you left off at? It is best to have a backup instructor just in case and as a matter of fact, many states require this in order for you to get approval.
5) Being Cheap in the wrong places. I am all for saving money but somethings are worth the money. For example, website development, SEO, and quality consultation. These things do cost but the results will help you make the investment back and then some almost every time. Do not be afraid to invest in your business!
I hope this these 5 mistakes help you make an education decision along your journey. Starting a CNA School is hard work but you can do it! Just take your time and get it done right. If you would like help along the way, just let us know. Check out our services tab HERE or email is at email@example.com and we can help you learn about the different options we have.
Victoria Randle NP-C
The Secret Cocktail Owner