A daycare business offers the perfect opportunity for an entrepreneur. This is especially true if you enjoy taking care of children. There are franchise opportunities for child care businesses. Or you can start yours from scratch. You can focus on a specific niche or age group. Or accommodate a wide range of families. But before you go down any of these routes, you need a daycare business plan.
This type of plan can help you determine where you stand in the market and help you get the financing you need to get started on the right foot. If you’re considering starting a daycare business, here are helpful tips on how to create a daycare business plan that will make your dream come true.
What should be in a daycare business plan?
With any business plan, the first section should basically explain what the business does. It’s not enough to say you want to start a daycare business. You should also include your mission statement, brand positioning, and anything that sets your daycare apart from others. For example, if you plan to focus on teaching STEM subjects to children, this could be a major differentiator.
Many child care centers have a niche that would require them to narrow their target audience beyond that of young families in general. Your differentiators can often help you determine your target audience. For example, if you offer a fully personalized experience for people with learning disabilities, you could target families with children with special needs. If you offer flexible hours, you can target parents who are busy professionals. You can also refine your target according to age groups or geographical area.
Once you have an idea of who you’re targeting, it’s important to look at what other businesses serve those customers and what the general market looks like in your area. This section should look at your competitors and the major players in your industry. And it should also look at the size of your potential customer base. This should help you really figure out where you fit in the chart and make sure there are enough families in your community looking for what you have to offer.
There are several ways to organize the management of your child care business. As Molly Hansen of BayState Business Brokers explained in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, some child care centers are owner/managers, with the owner being the same person who handles day-to-day operations. Others are owner/non-manager, where the owner hires a separate manager to manage these day-to-day operations.
If you want to control more aspects of your business and are a certified child care professional, you can choose the owner/manager route. However, if you want to grow your business quickly or even sell it to another operator one day, an owner/non-manager model may make more sense. From there, you can also consider having an assistant director or two and organize the rest of your team from there.
How will you reach your target customers with the message you have defined in your mission statement? Will you advertise in local publications, focus on online search marketing, or sponsor local events? With a daycare business, you can also benefit from focusing on referrals. You can connect with other businesses that serve young families in the area or offer incentives to customers who tell others about your business.
This section is essential for business plans in any industry. This should explain the legal structure of your business, whether it’s a corporation, LLC, or partnership. You should also work with your state’s Department of Education to ensure that you have all the appropriate licenses to operate a daycare. And lay out all of those details in your business plan so any potential investor or partner knows you’ve covered your bases.
Find your location. Get your team and other details nailed down. Then you should have a pretty good idea of your center’s operating expenses. This section is where you outline these expenses. The money you expect to bring in is based on expected signups. Do you plan to seek funding from outside sources? This is also where you should include exactly what you are looking for. And what will this funding be used for?