Tips for Writing a Daycare Business Plan
According to Wikipedia, “Childcare, otherwise known as daycare, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from two weeks to eighteen years.” Operating a daycare can be a rewarding personal and financial undertaking. Typically, profit margins are high, making it easy for owners to scale and grow their daycare operations. According to Canadian labor statistics, approximately 60% of children under six participate in formal or informal daycare. Each Canadian province and territory establish legislation and regulations around daycare businesses, so doing online research or chatting with a savvy business plan consultant is an ideal place to begin defining your small business strategy. A business plan will help to shape and focus your idea of running a daycare. It provides direction, and if you’re going to seek out an investor or a financial institution, a business plan is an absolute necessity. Writing a business plan demands time and research, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Numerous business plan writers in Canada are available for hire, and the cost of employing one is considered a business expense – a wise one. Here are a few tips on what to include in a daycare business plan.
Daycare is an all-encompassing word for many distinct types of services, so you’ll want to spend some time defining what your niche is. Your description is an “elevator pitch” – a short, impact statement that gets investors excited about the business. Describe what sets you apart from other caregivers. This could include touching on your unique location, philosophy, approach, curriculum, quality of staff, neighborhood needs, and how your business meets them. Professional business plan writers are absolute gold and can help mine your ideas and develop a professional business plan.
Business Needs Assessment
While you’ll want to introduce general trends in daycare, the most salient point is to narrow the focus to trends in your locale. Who is your target market? Real estate websites are a wealth of information about neighborhood demographics. What is the median age of the neighborhood? Will your daycare be in a bedroom community of a larger city? Is the area one in which the population fluctuates due to seasonal employment, potentially affecting business income? Who is the competition, and what are the differences that will attract customers?
Starting a business requires a great idea, but a successful business is built on sound financial planning and assessment. This is the section where the rubber meets the road. Having a solid handle on the numbers is, of course, necessary for investors or lending institutions, but it’s also an invaluable tool for you, the small business owner. You’ll want to demonstrate that the business will reach a breakeven point and begin to turn a profit in a reasonable period. Outline income and expenses and design a realistic contingency plan for unexpected operating costs. Your investors will want to know how many children will need to be enrolled to breakeven. Also, rough estimate of bills and expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, wages, equipment, licensing fees, etc. When writing this section, it’s vital to be realistic and conservative.
Operating Policies and Procedures
Include the daycare’s policies and procedures handbook here. Outline that your business complies with your region’s staff-to-child ratio. Furthermore, you also undertake extensive background checks, including fingerprinting and rigorous verification of references and education. A daycare center should have a clearly outlined disaster and crisis management plan.
Who Will Run Your Daycare?
Your investors will need to know who is going to run your daycare. Who are your managers and staff? If you have employees on board, provide a polished resume for everyone and a detailed job description for every position. This is also the section to identify directors, a board, other investors, partners, etc.
The marketing plan is the tool you will use to attract customers. A business consultant who specializes in marketing is a terrific resource and a legitimate business expense. The plan outlines how potential customers will understand that you are different from your competitors. You must demonstrate that you understand the needs of your target market and how you’re going to meet them.
The value in hiring a small business consultant or a small business plan writer can’t ever be overstated. Their services can vary from taking on the entire writing plan to providing experienced and thoughtful feedback on what you’ve crafted yourself. No matter what avenue you choose, your plan will be based on three to five years of business. Remember that it takes the average business two to three years to begin turning a profit, and your plan should reflect that.
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