Whether you need to apply for a loan or just want to articulate and organize your ideas, creating a business plan is essential for starting a day-care business. This business plan will communicate all of the essential information about your business’s operation, such as its customer base, the competition, your marketing strategy and financing, and how you plan to meet the day-care needs of your community.
A business plan should be organized into the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- General Company Description
- Products and Services
- Marketing Plan
- Sales Forecast
- Operational Plan
Before you begin writing, however, you must do thorough research of the local day-care needs and other day-care businesses to inform the services you will offer and your marketing.
You have to formulate precisely what services you will offer. Will your center be large and cater to a large number of children, offering a range of activities? Or will you run a day care only suited to care for a handful of children? Most centers will include some sort of physical and educational activities as well, so be sure you think carefully about these. Consider you goals: what do you want to provide for children beyond just basic chaperoning? For example, you may believe it is especially important for children to develop dedicated health and fitness habits at a young age.
The services you offer will depend on your local market as well as your goals. What services would local parents like you to offer during day-care, and what would the children enjoy and benefit from?
Researching the local market will involve finding out about the local population’s ethnicities and income so you can align your services with the population’s needs. You should also research other childcare centers to see how you can make your services unique among the competition.
Running a day care center creates unique financial costs such as special classroom equipment and supplies and infant rooms. You will also have to higher specially trained employees and obtain local licenses. The logistics of looking after children may also require a uniquely designed building.
Like other businesses, you will also have to consider the costs of renting premises, paying employees, food, as well as supplies for physical and educational activities.
Carefully and realistically plan all of your monthly expenses and expected monthly revenue so you can make your business viable and attract investors if needed.
Writing the Plan
Organize all of this information into a written plan. Use a summary to broadly describe your business, then provide your analysis of the local market for childcare, including your competition. Next, describe your business’s services in detail and how they are unique, and how they will fulfill the market’s childcare needs. Then, include a detailed financial analysis of your business operations and how it will be operated (employee hierarchy, etc.).