These are the 5 things that you'll need in order to start your own school. But before we get started, there's something you need to know. Having a student information system is the single most crucial piece of technology that you will need to get your school running. However, if you are just in the planning stages and don't yet have any employees, students, or classes to worry about, that can wait until these five things are taken care of. On the other hand, if you are past these things and are looking for a great SIS, you need to check out our SIS guide here.

1 - Domain Name

When starting a school or business, many people neglect this vital part. They come up with the name for their school and might even start working on a logo, but they never take the time to see if a domain name that matches their school name is available. You can use tools like XYZ or ABC to see if the domain name is available. You want to choose something short and that people can associate with your school. Avoid long domain names. Remember that your domain will be what goes after the @ sign for all your email addresses. So if you pick a domain like, people will need to type that whole thing to get to your website or email you. You can instead try something like,, or even Lastly, it’s important to note that .edu domains have been reserved only for colleges and universities since 2001.

2 - Email Address

It’s normal when you are first starting out to begin conversations with partners, prospective employees, and vendors using your personal email address. You’ll quickly notice that you’ll outgrow this in just a few months. That’s why it’s best to set up your official email address from the beginning. It’s a minimal price to pay for the benefit of looking official and keeping your conversations and contacts organized from the start. Another reason to do this early on is that you will use your email address to sign up for different services throughout your planning stages. So having things registered to your school email account is a best practice rather than with your personal email.

3 - A Technology Plan

Sooner or later, you are going to need a technology plan. You don’t need to worry about the details right now, but at least you need to have a vision of how you want technology to be used and included in your school. Typically, most accreditation bodies will ask you to provide a 5-Year Tech Plan, which includes how you plan to fund and use the equipment in the classroom, how technology is included in the curriculum, and the different types of software your teachers are going to use. As you can see, this could get a little complicated, but knowing your vision and your ultimate goal will help you draft a perfect 5-year technology plan.

4 – A Technology Budget

Before you reach the next point, you must develop a budget for all things technology. This will be one of the hardest things to do because you will not have a fixed dollar amount for each piece of technology until you get quotes for what you need. However, in the many years we’ve been doing this for schools, we’ve come up with a list of average pricing for equipment typically found in a classroom. You can use that list to get an idea of how much you need to budget per classroom in the future. Another thing to remember is that quantities and contract terms matter and will significantly affect the pricing you get when it comes to licenses for software. For example, if you need to buy 120 licenses for an antivirus or an Adobe application, paying upfront for 3 years could save you up to 30%. That can add up to thousands of dollars when you add everything you need. If you are working with a loan to pay for the startup costs of your school, you might benefit from paying for licenses for a 3-year term and not have to think about renewals or yearly fees until the 4th year.

5 – List of Vendor and Suppliers

How do you know who is giving you the best price or upselling you on things you don’t need? Do you just trust reviews, or are you simply basing your choice on an ad you saw? We have successfully worked with numerous vendors and suppliers throughout the years, and we will gladly introduce you to them after our FREE Initial Guidance Call. However, ensuring you have a budget before purchasing is essential because things will add up quickly. You also want to ensure that the must-haves are taken care of first, and then worry about the things that would be nice to have but could wait till next school year.

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