My mom owns and operates a pre-school ever since I can remember. Technically since I was third grade. That's er... some 31 years now! And yes, it still operates til date! Hers was the first one in our neighborhood. In the early 80s, when my youngest brother started going to school, my mom decided it was high time she quit her demanding job and be a stay-at-home mom. This is the best way she can attend to all four of us! I have three sisters (each of us 'just' a year apart) and a brother (our youngest). My mom opened a pre-school with chairs and tables that her dad (my grandpa) put together. He has always been handy with wood work.
The school had very few students on its first year of operation. My mom took her time in testing the waters and did not want to plunge too soon. Of all businesses, the business of dealing with little kids is one of the difficult ones, because of the high-accountability. My mom waited for the proper time and when things were ready, she planned a massive campaign. Her sister and brothers, were a huge help. My uncles made hand-painted posters on plywood that went to the front yard of our house. They hanged smaller signs around the neighborhood. The posters and signs did wonders. The enrollment rose up and filled up mom's small cozy classroom. After some time, mom had to hire another teacher to accommodate the growing enrollment. The other teacher, Ann (technically employee, practically family) has been in our school for over 20 years now.
In the mid-90s, other pre-schools and daycare centers started to pop up like mushrooms all around the village. More and more parents recognized the value of sending their kids to school at an early age. The competition got stiff. Sadly at that time, mom's hand-painted posters were already fading and her signage have long been gone. She is a very good teacher, but she is not very good with advertisement. Luckily, her other teacher, Ann, (30ish) had better plans. She introduced my mom to the beauty of business cards and flyers. It was all new to my mom then, but she agreed to do it. This innovative type of advertisement worked! I even brought back a magnetic calendar with my mom's school on it. Thank you, Ann! Their dwindling enrollment rose up again.
Bricktown Kindergarten School has been serving our town for over three decades now. Most of my mom's students are the children of her former students. All my three nieces went to grandma's school too. Thanks to good advertisement, mom's school is still on top of its game!