Competition Destroys Value

You increase your parochial school’s value for your students and community when you take the necessary steps to avoid competition.

When two organizations compete for the same students, they destroy value. When two organizations are in competition with each other, it is because they are offering the same services (at least the families and other stakeholders perceive the services as confusingly similar). Therefore, the only way the organizations can differentiate themselves from each other is through pricing or cost of services. At some point, lowering the cost means diminishing the services in some way. As soon as the services are diminished, value is lost. When your community recognizes that the value has diminished, your support from the community will decline. That is the beginning of an unhealthy spiral.

There are hundreds of unmet and under met needs in every community. There are probably 2 or 3 in your community that fit your mission, organizational strengths, and student needs. Select one of those needs and add it to your portfolio of activities whenever competition arises. Better still, add it to your portfolio now.

When you add the under met or unmet need to your portfolio in advance of the competition, your offer of a more complete solution makes it less attractive for someone to compete with your mission. Lowering the desirability of competing with your Christian school increases your school’s sustainability.

Next Step:

Avoid competition

Find ways to meaningfully and measurably differentiate your school when competition arises

Create value for your community and your students in everything your school does

When you broaden your solution, remember to capture some of the added value you have provided to your community. Some of the ways you can capture the value are by adding donors to your donor base, using the increased revenue to improve cash flow, using the broader offering to build a stronger staff and deeper skills base, and using the community recognition of your breadth or depth of services to attract highly qualified board members.

In short, use the lack of competition to build strength that will discourage competitors.

Take It Further:

Seek out board and staff members who are passionate about your school’s potential to serve all of the needs related to your mission

Develop a process that will uncover ways to identify emerging community needs related to your mission


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