NCCET July Webinar - CE Entrepreneurship – Walk the Talk


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Every continuing education division is capable of engaging in entrepreneurial ventures. The latitude that you have to be entrepreneurial, according to Dr. Patty Pool, starts with you! This session focuses on how you change the college conversations to include revenue generation to cover your division.

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  • Speak in terms of generating revenue that leads to contributions to overhead. It is difficult to ever claim the level of profitability of any CE division. Most are not responsible for utilities, rent, and other overhead expenses. Figure out how to get information from the college Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)/data base systemTake time to learn the rules and regulations that impact continuing education in your stateDon’t leave it to what is sometimes called the collective memory of administrators past and present.
  • In a few minutes, we will look at a pricing model that helps support the go/no go scenario.
  • You may have an ERP that works well with continuing education. Our current system is limited in the data and format available for analysis. So, what do you do without an ERP? You get resourceful. In our case, we capture our revenues and expenditures in QuickBooks and reconcile monthly with the college budget.
  • Entrepreneurship focuses on meeting needs by developing solutions from all of the resources at your disposal. Separate the solution from the payment method. The best grant management person may not be your best person to sell courses. Identify the skill sets required to get your work done. Put the right people in the right seats on the bus!
  • Pricing can be one of the most complex aspects of entrepreneurship in continuing education. Some states have specific guidelines on pricing. Others are more flexible. Most colleges have requirements for approval of prices by a governing board. This is one of those areas that you need to research to make sure that you can accurately answer the question, “Can we charge that?”Pricing is part of your brand image. The prices you charge speaks to the type of organization you are and the quality of services that you provide. Too often consumers look at the cheapest, lowest price as the provider with the poorest quality. Pricing courses too low can lose you business. The bundle referred to here includes all of that your organization brings to the table.– Your facilities, or perhaps delivering at a location more convenient to your client, use of college learning management system/Blackboard. Don’t underestimate the value that your experienced team of training professionals brings to your clients. It is an intangible. You cannot grow programs if all you are doing is covering your costs. That does not help to meet the mission.
  • We have a golf course at our college. They sell expense golf clubs there. It is difficult to forecast how many sets of clubs they will sell in a year, but they have a good idea. So, they submit their budget just like the English department and the Business department. What do you think happens when Titelist introduces a new driver? ….Sales go up! Expenses go up! Aren’t CE divisions the same? However, the expenses of the drivers are covered by the markup on the clubs.
  • The target price came to $2,331 and we rounded up to $2,350.
  • Accountability = Credibility Your Go/No Go scenario will be a direct reflection of the your expected return.A range of acceptable ratios can be established as pricing checkpoints. ROI is valuable when the program you are considering can be added without increasing other operational expenses– during normal operating hours or utilizing existing resources. A range for the gross margin percentage can be established for various types of programs. So that for your open enrollment you may be satisfied with prices closer to breakeven on a minimum number of participants 10-15%. Whereas highly customized courses can command prices that yield GM% between 45-60%. The checkpoint would be when a member of your sales team wants to propose prices that fall beyond your established range.
  • Good projectionsAllow for time to growSome programs/projects are only marginally successfulWork your plan
  • What is your market known for? Build customized courses on your college resources. Skills checks for home health nurses. Professional CEUs from your credit programs/labs– Pay instructors and price the class to contribute to overhead. Dental assisting example. Patient Safety, evidence based practices, and other needs to help local hospitals.Local needs solutions—Developed an industrial maintenance technology program –bundled the prices, local employer commitments for scholarships/internships. Spin-off targeted courses to satisfy local needs. Welding certification—No one licensed to perform certifications? Include instructor certifications in your course expenses. Robotics /
  • NCCET July Webinar - CE Entrepreneurship – Walk the Talk

    1. 1. CE EntrepreneurshipWalk the Talk!<br />Presented by<br />Patty W. Pool, MBA, PhD<br />Grayson County College<br />Denison, Texas<br />
    2. 2. Today’s Program <br />Entrepreneurship –<br />What is it? <br />How risk tolerant is your college?<br />Can You Walk the Talk? <br />Techniques that move your division forward<br />
    3. 3. Today’s Program <br />Learn to Think Like a For-profit<br />A pricing model that works<br />Ideas to Bank On!<br />Transform your strategies to focus on revenue instead of expenses <br />
    4. 4. An entrepreneur is….<br />one who starts a business or <br />other venture <br />that promises economic gain, <br />but also entails risks. <br />(American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy,<br /> Third Edition, 2005)<br />
    5. 5. Entrepreneurship inContinuing Education<br />The practice of undertaking new ventures, ideas, services, promotions and/or practices that promise economic gain for the college based upon an acceptable risk tolerance.<br />Patty Pool, 2011<br />
    6. 6. Survey question<br />
    7. 7. What is the level of risk tolerance at your college?<br />a. High – We have a very entrepreneurial culture that encourages risk taking.<br />b. Moderate – We actively seek new ventures with moderate risk.<br />c. Low – Only the sure-thing is tolerated.<br />d. No tolerance – We focus primarily on reducing costs at all cost.<br />
    8. 8. Risk in Entrepreneurship Requires Administrative Support<br />
    9. 9. 3 Ways to Assure Administrative Support<br />1. Know more about your business than anyone else at your college<br />2. Make informed projections<br />3. Be accountable<br />Accountability = Credibility<br />
    10. 10. Know more about your business than anyone else at your college!<br />Know your state guidelines<br /> Take time to learn<br /> Be able to answer the question, “Can we do that?”<br />College budgets are about expenses <br />Build your foundation on revenues<br /> Learn to use the college ERP<br />
    11. 11. Make informed projections<br />Know who you are dealing with<br />Tell the story of how the new venture fits the college mission<br />Be able to satisfy the analytics <br />Show revenue versus expenses<br />Demonstrate improved cash flow<br />Give Go/No Go scenarios<br />
    12. 12. Accountability = Credibility<br />Work from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) perspective<br />Keep track of RESULTS<br />
    13. 13. Survey question<br />
    14. 14. How is CE organized at your college?<br />Clear lines between open enrollment (scheduled classes), community ed, and corporate/business training.<br />Depends on who is paying—private pay or grant-funded.<br />Small staff doing it all!<br />Other<br />
    15. 15. Organize to Maximize Talent<br /> Do you have the right people on the bus and in the right seat?<br />Jim Collins, Good to Great<br />
    16. 16. Deliver Solutions<br />Open Enrollment – Scheduled Classes<br />Customized Training<br />
    17. 17. Survey Question<br />
    18. 18. How do you price courses and class offerings? <br />a. We use a fixed hourly rate similar to the credit programs. (May or may not add fees)<br />b.We use a formula that covers expenses.<br />c. We cover expenses and include a markup.<br />d. Other method<br />
    19. 19. What is a Price?<br />
    20. 20. Bundle of Attributes<br />Training and Education = Services<br />Tangible Attributes <br />Workbooks, textbooks, handouts<br />Binders, jump drives, tools<br />Intangible Attributes<br />Experienced instructors<br />License required for curriculum, equipment<br />Web access to your division<br />
    21. 21. What is Price to CE?<br />Price of the Class = Revenue<br />Costs Associated = Expenses <br /> Price – Expenses = Contribution to Overhead<br />
    22. 22. Pricing Considerations<br />Breakeven Pricing<br />Competition<br />Markup for Retail <br />Bundle Pricing<br />
    23. 23. The Pro Shop Model and Continuing Education Budget<br />Increase sales and <br />expenses increase<br />Do you stop selling when your budget is at zero? <br />Do you close the pro shop?<br />
    24. 24. Worksheet-Expenses & Variables<br />
    25. 25. DirectExpenseCalculations<br />Total $1,413<br />
    26. 26. Price<br />
    27. 27. Price &Check PointRatios<br />
    28. 28. Caution! <br />Use micro-analysis sparingly<br /> Look at your offerings as a group rather than “by the each.”<br />Potential to grow?<br />Potential to feed into other programs?<br />
    29. 29. The Worksheet Will Work for You!<br />Track your business:<br /> Sales Revenue<br /> Expenses by Category<br />Contributions to Overhead<br />State Funding/Reimbursement Contributions<br />Calculate Financial Ratios<br />Overall Return on Investment<br />Gross Margin Percentage<br />
    30. 30. Ideas to Build On! <br />Certifications<br />Healthcare professions<br />Technical Needs<br />Local needs<br />Renewable Professional CE Credits<br />Partnerships with for-profits—split tuition<br />Host conferences & events<br />
    31. 31. Entrepreneurship Starts with YOU! <br />Understand the level of risk tolerance at your college<br />Become the expert on CE<br />Use a pricing model that sustains growth<br />Build partnerships everywhere<br />
    32. 32. Questions? Other ideas?Dr. Patty Poolppool@cwlgcc.org903-463-8765Visit<br />