ArchForKids (archforkids.com) has been a profitable educational venture since its beginnings in 2013, but has traditionally generated less than $200K in gross revenue. We would like to grow the business as in-person instruction resumes. The pandemic hit us hard, but we pivoted to doing virtual programs and were sustained by two PPP loans. We could use coaches in best practices in marketing, small business strategy, financial forecasting, etc.
Actions I’ve taken so far
ArchForKids has just hired an experienced sales person to help generate new clients (we are primarily a business to business/institution model - our primary customers are schools, libraries, municipalities & museums). We completed a business plan. We are creating new systems for training employees, managing the work flow. Our Communications Director has created a vibrant social media presence for ArchForKids, primarily on Instagram and Facebook.
My future goals
At this point in my career, I would like to transition of of day to day management as Executive Director to become Director of Special Projects. This would free me to pursue larger contracts with the NYC Dept of Ed, get official WMBE status, seek more grants, fundraise (we are sponsored by a nonprofit), etc. We need to plan for this transition.
My motivations to work with a mentor
As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to position ArchForKids as a leading provider of STEAM programming in the NYC metro area. Our short term goal is to double our revenue, which we feel is entirely possible with the addition of a person dedicated to sales and marketing.
About my venture
Through engaging learning programs grounded in architecture, design, engineering and urban planning, ArchForKids spurs young people to explore how the built world around them affects who they are and how they live. As young designers create parks and dream houses, go on “I Spy” architecture walks and construct skyscrapers and sustainable cities, they apply academic concepts to real world situations. In addition, they gain a deeper understanding – and appreciation – of their own communities and the wider world. ArchForKids programs include in-school residencies, afterschool studios, library and museum workshops, all-day design challenges and more. ArchForKids has ongoing partnerships with the Brooklyn, Queens, New York and Westchester Public Libraries; City of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau, Irvington Recreation department and Tarrytown Summer Arts Camp. ArchForKids has served as artists/educators in residence for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Hudson River Museum (Yonkers) and the High Line in Manhattan. ArchForKids works virtually with the nonprofit LEAD Coalition and the City of Panama City FL, leading charrettes in which teens re-imagine their community.