Author Topic: Selling highly-profitable tech summer camp in Silicon Valley  (Read 802 times)

LifestyleDeflation

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Selling highly-profitable tech summer camp in Silicon Valley
« on: October 31, 2016, 01:43:34 PM »
Hey all, for over half a decade, the company I founded has been establishing itself as a well-known and well-loved brand of tech-themed summer camps in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. This summer we served over 750 campers across 26 Bay Area locations from San Jose to Petaluma.

Our awesome programming, strong branding, efficient management, and high profit margins have allowed us to nearly double in size each of the past two summers. Multiple tech CEOs (including the CEO and founder of a billion dollar tech giant) have endorsed us and sent their kids to our programs for years.

The best part of the arrangement is that in the off-season, the workload is minimal and mostly doable remotely. For perspective, I have been out of the country since the end of August, and will not return to California until early April. My assistant and I will average 8 hours a week each until early April. Despite that, we will likely double in size once again to serve over 1,500 campers in the coming summer.

I'm in zero hurry to sell, but I do have some other projects I'd like to pursue which would require my full attention and presence outside the US. The price I would consider selling for would represent 3-5x net revenue from 2016 plus replacement cost of inventory (approximate net for 2016: 140k, projected net for 2017: $275,000). That multiplier would vary based on the terms and timing of the sale, and the total price would likely come out somewhere between 450-800k .

Business Model:
We partner with schools and recreation/community centers to bring our specialty programs to their communities. To each of their residents, Community Center X sends out their "Summer Program Guide" describing their offerings like swimming camps, cooking camps, sports camps, and STEM programs like ours. Parents sign their kids up via the Community Center, which takes a cut of the enrollment fee (usually about 30%) in exchange for the publicity, the handling of enrollments, and also the use of their space. The beauty of the model is that if we don't meet our minimum enrollment numbers to reach profitability, we can cancel camp at any time and do not lose a penny, but we still benefit from the advertisement in the rec guides (parents often google us if they see us in a guide, and find programs in neighboring towns that better fit their schedule).

What I am Selling:
Everything (potentially including myself as acting CEO during the transition). You get the brand name, the customer list (25 partners last summer and tons more leads we're pursuing for 2017), returning staff (approximately 50% retention rate of our seasonal staff), our curriculum, and our equipment. This is a rare opportunity as camps like these are not frequently for sale-- you can get a jump on a booming market with our existing partners, programs, and brand. Starting a STEM camp now is quite difficult as everyone and their mother is trying to get in the business but most potential partners will only work with well-established and proven programming like ours. It's also worth noting that we typically have 2-3 times the enrollments of similar STEM programs in the same locations.


Here are some stats:
Business Location: California Bay Area (programs spread from Petaluma to San Jose, highest concentration in Marin County)
Years in Business: 7
Years Profitable: 7
Type of Business Entity: S-Corp (I am the sole shareholder)
Campers Served 2015: Appr. 430
Campers Served 2016: Appr. 770
2015 Gross/Net/Profit Margin: $115,951 / $74,353 / 64%
2016 Gross/Net/Profit Margin: Appr. $210,000 / $140,000 / 66%
Inventory Replacement Cost: Appr. $35,000
Administrative Staff: Myself + 1 part-time administrative assistant. That's it.
Seasonal Staff: Our roster grows every year with approximately 50% of employees returning annually. You can approximate staffing needs by dividing projected enrollments by 120 for full-time lead instructors, 240 for part-time lead instructors, and 250 again for part-time assistant instructors. In other words, we had 6 full-time leads this summer and 3 each of part-time leads and part-time assistants.
Additional Staff: We occasionally contract out certain elements of our marketing materials and curriculum design. We also have a handful of volunteer staff who assist instructors at camp.

Potential Risks:
-Competition is growing. Our strong brand, consistent track record, and excellent endorsements make us stand out in the crowd, however, a buyer of the business would need to be alert and careful about maintaining the company presence. If the company begins to fade into obscurity it may be difficult to recover.
-Some corners have been cut in terms of compliance. In many cities we operate without a business license. This has primarily been done not as a cost-saving effort but as a calculated risk to save administrative effort. To bring the company into compliance would likely cost an additional 1-2% of gross.

Competitive Distinctions:
-Strong, established presence and excellent track record in the market
-Unique and well-refined curriculum that approaches STEM in a highly engaging but atypical manner.
-Well-established practices to minimize administrative effort and maximize results. I'm all about efficiency & optimization.

For obvious reasons I am avoiding identifying the company at this time. Non-identifying clarifying questions on the forum are more than welcome of course. Serious inquiries please send me a message via the forums.

Cheers!

-LD
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 04:35:07 PM by LifestyleDeflation »

arebelspy

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Re: Selling highly-profitable tech summer camp in Silicon Valley
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 01:16:48 AM »
What terms are you looking for?

(FWIW, keeping the name out when you give plenty of Google-able information is silly.  Your tax ID is xx-1xx0xx5. I can edit and remove this if you want, just letting you know--trying to give info while being secretive is probably fruitless.)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 01:20:54 AM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

LifestyleDeflation

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Re: Selling highly-profitable tech summer camp in Silicon Valley
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2016, 04:40:04 PM »
What terms are you looking for?

(FWIW, keeping the name out when you give plenty of Google-able information is silly.  Your tax ID is xx-1xx0xx5. I can edit and remove this if you want, just letting you know--trying to give info while being secretive is probably fruitless.)

Nicely googled! I'm assuming you discovered us from the quote so I edited that out. Let me know if there was anything else obvious. It's not the end of the world if individuals figure out who we are. Mostly I don't want my staff to be nervous if this thread comes up on Google for instance.

Terms of the sale are fairly flexible- I'm willing to consider seller financing for very well qualified buyers, and in terms of making the transition, I'm flexible as well. I'd be open to arranging an earn-out as well as a transitional period of some sort (I stay on as CEO or a consultant for X months).