COVID-19 Impact: how to get your preschool business back on track?

COVID-19 Impact: how to get your preschool business back on track?

Last Updated:- 2020-07-04

So we’ve seen in the previous two articles on the Impact of COVID 19 on preschool franchisees in India, how this once in a lifetime tragedy is affecting business for preschool owners. The important question to ask therefore – How to fight back?!

Embrace the digital age

The most important change is going to be in your approach to preschool education. Preschool education has been slow in incorporating digital enablers and not without good reasons. It is often commented that technology in the early years is in many ways detrimental to the cognitive development of the child. This is also a reason why international educators such as Teeny Beans has stayed away from tablet-based learning for kids as learning as part of a peer group through social interaction is often ignored in such cases. 

However, the answer in life is seldom binary in nature. While assignments may or may not be digital-first or digital-only, the mechanism for delivery can certainly be digital. In the post-COVID reality, digital platforms will most certainly be used with gay abandon for reaching out to students. Skype, Watsapp, Google Classrooms, Big Blue Button and the list keep growing.

Teeny Beans is partnering with institutions to help them deliver online classes using the Teeny Beans International curriculum. We work with our partners to educate and get them started on holding online classes on any platform that works with them and their preschool parents. Most importantly, making that transition to run classes online is a big step forward. We share our practical experiences with you to make things work. To see how online classes worked at Beanstalk International Preschool, visit their page. You’d see how beautifully this transition was managed and how engaged parents remain even when the lock-down is in place.

SPARSH - Preschool Parent App

Having a Digital Curriculum

Holding online classes is not synonymous with having a digital curriculum. Both are very different things. Neither do we mean having some fun applications on a tablet that will hold the attention of your students for only some time. Without a holistic approach that ties those specific digital inputs to your daily, weekly, and monthly calendar, it is relegated to being just a fun app that offers nothing beyond incidental usage.

A digital curriculum would imply that all elements of instruction delivered to children in class must be made available to the relevant stakeholders to replicate preschool learning at home. With a digital curriculum in place, not only will you be able to direct children’s learning from an online platform but also be able to retain the trust of parents. 

SPARSH - The Parent App

At Teeny Beans, we’ve launched the Sparsh – Preschool Parent App in record time to do exactly that. Unlike other parent Apps dangled by the Tier A franchisors (others do not have such a product in place) that assists schools to just manage communications and administration of the school, Sparsh actually has all the critical requirements for the conduct of an effective preschool online class. Parents and teachers have unfettered access to 

  • our workbooks as printable for parents,
  • our curriculum books available for viewing by parents and teachers
  • curriculum videos mapped to the daily curriculum,
  • a detailed daily planner for teachers to conduct the class and for parents to reinforce the lesson delivered that day
  • Rhymes

Teeny Beans makes its entire curriculum available for both teachers as well as parents as both are conjoined with one objective in mind – how do we enable our children to learn despite the lockdown from home? It is this partnership that is vital to ensure the success of the preschool curriculum being delivered. And it is also exactly the reason why we believe, Sparsh can be an outstanding success for any preschool that wants to deliver online classes. No franchisor makes their curriculum so easily available. In fact, they go at great lengths to disable digital access of content books and workbooks to preschool owners and teachers. Parents seldom get any kind of access to the curriculum. And here, parents are also given access to detailed lesson plans. Because learning should never stop!

Turn Challenge into an Opportunity

So, COVID has come and completely disrupted your plans. You had sat on that excel plan for months and by now you should have been sitting on 20 admissions and on the right trajectory to hit 50 admissions before the close of the year. You can still do that! Read on…

What is the biggest limitation when you set up a preschool?

That you can only offer your services to cater to the local community till 3 km or thereabouts. What is the limitation now??? If there were 100 kids in the right age group in your locality, 25 of whom were coming to your preschool, imagine how many kids there would be in your city. And with a conversion ratio of 5% how many digital learners you can work towards getting onboard. 

It’s not as easy as it sounds. It needs perseverance. It needs you to pitch with a digital solution otherwise your solution is as good as the next-door tutor who wants to take classes on skype. This is where your partnership with Teeny Beans will help. With our trained tutors who are already delivering our content online, we can assist you in turning this challenge into an opportunity like no other. Teeny Beans also helps you market yourself like a brand. So you’re not just pitching for an online class, you’re pitching your brand to parents with preschoolers at home. Remember, this is not the same as another national preschool franchisor asking their franchisees to deliver classes online. They are limited by their ability to cater to just their parenting community. Here you are turning the tables by aggressively pursuing students from geographies far away from your catchment area by leveraging the power of social media.

And if you’re able to market it well in your local community, once the tide turns, you would have access to parents who had not heard of you earlier. With Sparsh parents can get a feel of the curriculum you are offering. They realize that it’s a remarkably different preschool curriculum on the lines of EYFS. They get to see your institution as a partner offering such a curriculum for delivery – first at home and then subsequently in your own preschool.

Businesses will shut down – Yours must survive it

The fundamentals of the preschool industry are robust and haven’t changed. The demand is genuine and the growth story is not inflated. The times are turbulent and it is inevitable that businesses will be run to the ground. But what it also means is that the market is going to turn rosier for those who can survive this. The number of kids in the core preschool age group in the neighborhood will keep going up year on year. Your preschool could be the one they turn to once the dust settles down. The lack of options around you can make your position even stronger.

So what can you do to survive? Cut corners, reduce expenses, pool in all resources possible to fund your way out of this. The well-funded start-ups with multi-billion dollars across multiple seed funding rounds are laying off thousands of employees – to survive. Not that one should regard them as the poster boys or role models as their profligacy has ultimately led them down this path, but the will to survive is the takeaway from their current disposition. That’s what is important. 

Most important steps you can take to survive –

  1. Renegotiate rentals– If you’ve gone through our previous article on Impact of Covid-19 on preschool franchisees in India: A case study, this forms nothing short of 40%-60% of your Cash Overheads. You are not prudent if you don’t renegotiate your rental contract. The business climate is poor. It’s probably not going to be easy for the landlord to find a new tenant either. So it is in both your interests to renegotiate and find a middle path that helps to ensure your business's survival.
  2. Rethink your human resourcing strategy – When times are tough, sometimes tough decisions are better taken early than later. When your admission projection has gone for a toss you would have to have a rethink on the number of teachers and helpers you would require for the rest of the year. You have to also introspect if you can do away with an administrative and managerial role and have a senior teacher managing that role. As unpopular as that decision may be, it’s still better than giving up on your dream of running a successful preschool business.
  3. Renegotiate contracts – If you have any current liabilities on your balance sheet, negotiate better terms and credit periods with vendors. Be ruthless in your approach. Your business needs you to be so.
  4. Ramp up your digital presence – There are no other discovery platforms except the online platform left in the post COVID world. Constantly update your website with articles. Keep posting on social media. Learn how to make a website if you haven’t yet got one. Take a digital marketing course to learn how to make your business more discoverable.

How can Teeny Beans Help

It is surreal to imagine but it seems our solution was tailor-made to help businesses survive this. If you are running a preschool franchise, this is the right time to make the switch to your own brand. Teeny Beans is a dependable solution partner for you in normal times. Right now, there is no better solution at all!

Teeny Beans helps you deliver a fully digital curriculum and access to the Teeny Beans Preschool Curriculum through our preschool parent APP Sparsh without any royalty or franchise fee! 

We sign a contract for the implementation of the curriculum with curriculum support chargeable on a per-student basis post the lockdown is over. In the meanwhile, your students can be registered for online classes on Sparsh Preschool Parent APP. We train you to take the classes online thereby helping you to continue to remain relevant for your parents. That is most important at the moment.

No parent APP designed by national preschool franchisors can meet with this requirement because their design has been to shield partners and parents from their curriculum. On the contrary, we make it all explicitly available for parents to co-create learning experiences for their children along with their preschool teachers. Through Sparsh, our partners are trained to deliver well-planned lessons online. 

While this deals with the here and now, our marketing communications team gets to work from the day the contract gets signed to begin the transformation for your preschool completely into an individually branded preschool. From Zero to One and from One to Infinity – go through the links below to know more about these services. 

In summary, the COVID 19 situation in India is obviously unnerving and the inevitability surrounding business closure for SME’s is not misplaced. Preschool businesses in India have a good future but the present is uncertain. More so for preschool franchisees that are running on a rental model and incurring huge cash overheads with minimal cash flows in the short to medium term. A zero royalty and non-franchise preschool model espoused by Teeny Beans International Preschool Curriculum works like magic. Our fully digital curriculum and a preschool parent APP that delivers daily preschool content to parents for collaborating with teachers for online classes work like a charm in times like these.

Go through our blog section to know more about the preschool industry. Contact us for any queries.

Published By:- Teeny Beans