5 Things to do NOW to Prepare Your Test Prep Business for Summer
In the Northeast, there is still snow both on the ground and in the forecast. However, test prep businesses should already be thinking about the sunny summer days just around the corner and the challenges that come with them. Are you ready?
Here are five important steps you should be taking now to help your business avoid a disappointing summer season:
Make one last run at school presentations
The two best times to get in front of large school audiences is at the beginning and the end of the school year. Rightfully or not, these are the two times where parental involvement tends to reach its peak.
Some audiences to target should include:
- Junior high students being offered the opportunity to take the PSAT
- underclassmen looking to start the college search process over the summer
- sophomores gearing up to take the ACT or SAT in the fall of their junior year
- parents seeking remediation and enrichment advice to stave off a summer learning slump
Remember, schools aren’t going to open their doors to a test prep infomercial. Create presentations and pitches that are both informative and actionable rather than simply hawking your wares. Use subtler nods to your business like branded handouts and follow-up conversations to attract new clientele. This way, you are respectful to both your hosts and audiences and increase the odds that you will be welcomed back in the fall.
Prepare vacation-friendly packages
Summer is vacation season. Even the most dedicated students need a break, and odds are they are more willing to miss summer test prep than school days.
When planning for summer, create test prep packages that take this into account. You can build in flexibility with features like drop-in sessions or online tutoring so that students can keep up with their test prep efforts when they have the time and access to do so.
While this is far from an ideal test prep experience, it can help keep students’ test prep experiences going (or even get them started) instead of putting on the brakes until fall.
Get your online tutoring up to par
Online tutoring continues to become a more popular and widely accepted option for students preparing for the ACT and SAT. It is no coincidence that both tests have now gone all-in with their own digital test prep options. That said, these free options aren’t comprehensive or personalized enough to compete with tutor-led test prep options.
If your company has not dipped its toes into the online test prep pool, summer is a great time to start. By employing a fully-featured, custom-branded test prep package like the offerings from Clear Choice Prep, you can open up your business to new customers and markets.
Shore up your staff
Many companies experience their most drastic changes at the end of the fiscal year. For those of us in the education world, the school calendar tends to mean more. Not only does it dictate when students (our clients) are available and seeking help, but it also impacts the availability of quality tutors.
Most tutoring companies rely, at least in part, on some combination of teachers and students to work as the tutors and instructors in their courses. Just as your clients look forward to summer vacations, odds are your staff does, too. Find out what staff you will have available through the summer months and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, be prepared for larger staff shakeups. Summer is when teachers tend to make their major career moves. Your college (or college-bound) students will also be most likely to making large transitions of their own in June or July. Regular conversations with your staff members can help you keep tabs on the likelihood of these big moves, but always be prepared for a blindside from a tutor leaving on short notice.
Make Overdue Repairs
Even if you make all the right moves to prepare for a busy and prosperous summer test prep season, slumps happen. Rather than wallowing in lean times, take advantage of the lighter schedule.
Summer is a great opportunity to dive into the tasks that are just too difficult or time-consuming in the midst of your busy times. Before summer arrives, consider lining up some of these types of activities so that they are ready to go when and if slow times hit:
- Pilot new programs
- Train staff on new curriculum
- Schedule renovations or facility upgrades
- Upgrade your company’s web presence
- Roll out improved test prep software
- Start a test prep blog
- Reinvigorate your social media presence
Not only will these types of projects help keep your test prep offerings fresh and competitive come the fall rush, but they also will make it easier to retain quality staff who may need productive things to do when the clients are on vacation.
The calendar says summer is coming even if, for some of us, the weather report doesn’t. Get ahead of the game by starting your summer preparations now and set the tone for a prosperous and productive season.
Looking for more help? Schedule a quick demo to see how Clear Choice Prep can transform your company in time for summer.