Your School’s Business Model: Re-constructing Profitability in Times of Change | Simon Holzapfel | 5 Min Read

March 5, 2024


Most school leaders didn’t get into the business of independent schooling for the business. They got into it for the mission, for the students, for the sense of adding something valuable to the world, for the community that so powerfully grows in schools that change lives. 

At the same time, someone has to mind the cash register at each school if it is to deliver its mission, create value for its community, and so on. Luckily, for school leaders without past experience in business management and development, there are ways to acquire proficiency about what a school’s business model is in general, and what your school’s business model is in particular, in about an hour. This article shows you how to complete a rough draft of your business model that is visually clear and easy to communicate to a team, a division, or a whole community. 

If you remember the parts of a cell from high school Biology, you are ready and able to grasp this approach because any business, for profit or not, exists as a system of parts, functions and relationships that can be drawn out and intentionally adjusted.

Current condition

The winds…

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Simon Holzapfel

Simon Holzapfel is an award-winning educator, thought leader, innovator, and writer. He is a co-founder and CEO of the L-eaf Lab, as well as a former Head of School, former Director of Studies, and current Board Chair of The Montessori School of the Berkshires. Simon was in the initial cohort of leaders trained at NAIS’ Innovation Strategy Lab and spent time on the Executive Board of Boston University’s Agile Innovation Lab. Simon is a certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified ImprovementKATA (LIK) & WorkFLOW (LWF) and a member of the Berkshire Innovation Center. Applying four years of experience on the New York State Association of Independent Schools [NYSAIS] Commission on Accreditation, Simon has spent years helping organizations and their teams improve their outcomes by applying lean system thinking and the agile mindset. He lives in Williamstown, MA, and spends as much time as he responsibly can each day on his skis or mountain bike.