The Storybook SchoolThe success of Jacquelyn’s partnership with Alex has had a tremendous impact on The Storybook School — they now operate at 100% capacity.
Jacquelyn Coo and Marianne Lam dreamed of opening a school that helped children develop trusting and supportive relationships, as they believe that it’s through these relationships that children gain the confidence and willingness to learn about the world around them. That dream became a reality in 2016 when The Storybook School opened its doors.
When Pacific Community Ventures’ Business Advising team first spoke to Jacquelyn two years ago, she let us know that her main goals were related to the business’ finances. Jacquelyn explained that her first priority was getting their enrollment numbers up from 50% to full occupancy, which would also raise their monthly revenue.
With Jacquelyn’s goals in mind, we paired her with Alex Long, President and Co-Founder of Environmental Software Providers. Alex had four successful advising partnerships in our program previous to working with Jacquelyn. He volunteers in our program helping small business owners with accounting, budgeting, and financial planning and reporting. These skills, as well as his entrepreneurial experience, made Alex a great fit to help Jacquelyn and Marianne with their finance-related initiatives.
With Alex’s help, The Storybook School was able to make great strides towards tackling their financial goals. Alex put together a visual QuickBooks report and a clean budget sheet on Excel, which helped Jacquelyn compare where she was with previous years data. The pair worked to figure out how to move forward financially with the business and pay Jacquelyn and Marianne a decent salary, which was an issue while they weren’t at capacity.
Even though their problems seemed difficult to work through at first, Alex’s experience was a guiding light. Being local to The Storybook School, he went above and beyond to make sure they would succeed. Jacquelyn explained, “Alex had a company and experience and he didn’t stress out about anything. He helped me keep an eye on the big picture. We had board meetings and I wasn’t sure how to prepare for that. Having Alex there to help was huge — he was there in person for board meetings. I really appreciated the face to face time because Alex was local as well.”
The success of Jacquelyn’s partnership with Alex has had a tremendous impact on The Storybook School. They now operate at 100% capacity, and the future is looking bright. So bright, in fact, that the Business Advising program wrote a nomination letter on behalf of the Storybook School to receive a San Francisco Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund award. After submitting their application and doing a live presentation, the judging committee unanimously approved the grant proposal and sent $5,000 to The Storybook School!
The Storybook School used it for several parts of their business like getting iPads for teachers so they can document milestones in student development. They also used the funding to purchase speakers to play music in the classroom, a printer, and other accessories. In the training area (which they also use as staff lounge and parent meeting room) they used to have a small screen, which is now being upgraded to a big screen with a projector. These upgrades have improved the learning experience for students and teachers alike.
We at the Business Advising team are grateful to have been a part of the story of The StoryBook School!