Growing market | Your own barrier to entry | Simple marketing | Oh and don’t forget relatively high margins…
- Conversions still surging
- Re-brokered schools at over 100 per annum
- MATs forming and looking to grow
- Re-tendering. Early adopters are re-tendering uncompetitive contracts. Many suppliers entered a market buoyed by government funding. The margins achieved were very high and in many cases fixed for 3 years. Much of this is now being re-tendered.
Barrier to entry
- Academies require specialist advice. As with most sectors, your specialist knowledge adds real value. The decision makers in academies and trusts almost entirely insist on specialist knowledge.
- Depth and range of service. In the last 5 years we have seen a huge shift in the range of services offered by professional service firms. In effect this is leading inevitably to full outsource. Winning a MAT or Academy is now seen as a very long term and in some cases a considerable client. Making it very difficult for an academy to contemplate moving supplier.
- Although across the sector decision making processes are not homogenous, academies do all, by and large have the same issues and requirements within an identifiable life cycle.
- A conversation with a Head/Principal, Head of Finance or facilities will quickly allow you to understand their flight path and who is responsible for what. This information can go right the way down to when contracts are due for renegotiation etc. They are not like normal SMEs, they are far less whimsical about their direction and requirements.
Relatively high margins
- Re-brokered schools, conversions, clients insisting on specialist knowledge, tomb stones etc coupled with the work actually being predictable, repetitive and highly valued but moderately uncomplicated are all leading to high margins.