Prospective Employers. I’ve built a few school locations at this point, and we thrived the most early on when we were extremely aggressive in getting to the people working in the trade first (before launching the school or enrolling students).
Locate the potential employers in your area. You have to do it anyway to get approved to operate (at least in most states), so you might as well start networking.
Ask what these professionals know about the local area. From where are they hiring their present new employees, what would they prefer your school teach to make their new employees better?
You MUST get to know the real community who will be giving your former students jobs. Remember that they not only offer jobs, and can help you improve your curriculum, but they met and network with a lot of other professionals involved in the target industry (especially if its a trade that is prone to internships), and therefore can give you lots of word of mouth student referrals.
Have an open house just for potential employers, develop your advisory board to get their ideas. Interact with the industry employers.
Embed yourself with the industry. The more they know you, the more students as word of mouth referrals you’ll get coming out of the woodwork.