How can an afterschool vendor expand in the education space?

As schools look to make their afterschool hours more engaging, enrichment providers have become key players in the student’s educational experience.

Vendors in the enrichment space provide courses that run the gamut from astronaut training to Zumba, for students of all ages. But gaining a foothold into schools can often be tricky, and once established, the vendor seldom has time to seek out opportunities for expansion.

Some vendors are finding that a well-respected business partner is their key to success. An afterschool program manager can not only deal with details like registration, student attendance and billing, but help that vendor expand into other schools and districts as well.

For nearly 100 vendors in four states, Flex Academies is that partner.

Joshua Chernikoff, founder and president of Flex Academies, tells us that his company was formed to handle the business side of afterschool programming. “We take care of details so that vendors don’t have to,” says Chernikoff. “And the added benefit for vendors is that we can also introduce them to potential new client bases. That helps them expand their businesses.”

Matt Hale is Program Coordinator for Overtime Athletics. He says his partnership with Flex has helped free up his time to focus more on his programs and the children who attend them. “It’s amazing what Flex does for us with the registrations, with setting up our programs, promoting our programs, telling parents what we do and how we work,” says Hale. “It has taken, I’d say, a couple of hours off my plate where I’m not reaching out to parents or school or working with the registration site.”

Hale works with Flex to offer afterschool athletic programs. Once the programs are determined for each school, he trains his coaches and awaits information on where to be and when. Flex takes care of the details, including student rosters, program times and locations.

“All of that is already taken care of for OTA, which is not only a huge help for myself but my directors in the areas and also my coaches,” Hale says.

Kathy Chattoraj, founder of Future Picassos, agrees. She says that her company’s partnership with Flex Academies helps her focus on sharing her passion with students -- her love of art.

Chattoraj says, “The partnership with Flex has brought so many different advantages for Future Picassos because I’m able to go out and teach my classes without worrying about going out there and hooking up to new schools. It gives me more time to focus on my work rather than selling my business constantly.”

Chattoraj and Future Picassos have seen real results from the Flex partnership. “Flex has definitely grown my business tremendously. It’s put me out there in so many more schools,” Chattoraj says.

“Before Flex, I focused on getting more schools but not at the level I am now, so I have to say it was harder. It was harder to imagine my business being as big as it is now without Flex. I’m in a totally different place than I was 12 months ago.”

Chattoraj has now quit her other jobs to focus on Future Picassos. She says, “All I do is run Future Picassos...I couldn’t be happier.”

Both Matt Hale and Kathy Chattoraj have been able to shift their attention to sharing their passions rather than filling out paperwork, thanks to Flex Academies. To learn more about what vendors have to say about Flex, click here.