Drawing up a business plan for your daycare business is mandatory, even if you intend to operate a small home based daycare. Business plans are key decision making tools. It sets the goals which the business hopes to achieve, reasons why it is achievable and the specific plans for reaching the goals. Most of the goals in business plans lead to financial goals such as profitability and / or turnover. Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines such as finance, human resource management, operations management, and marketing and sales, etc. It may sound like a mammoth task but if you were to break it down into smaller parts, it is actually fairly simple.
Here are the elements which you should be addressing in your business plan:
1. Regulatatory affecting daycare businesses
You will need to find out from your local authority about the legalities of operating a daycare facility such as licenses and safety regulations. In some instances, there are regulations on the maximum number of children you can provide care for as well as mandatory certificates which the owner would have to possess such as Degree / Diploma in Early Childhood Development or First Aid, CPR.
2. Managing human resource issues of your daycare center
You’ll need to think about human resources issues to determine how many staff you may need, what sort of qualifications you would like them to possess and how much you intend to pay them.
If you are opting for a home based daycare business and will be the only person running the daycare operations, you will need to ensure that additional help is available on days when you are sick or if there is an emergency.
3. Day-to-day operations of your daycare
Next you need to think about how you intend to operate your daycare center. You’ll need to workout operational issues such as operating hours, the services you intend to provide, curriculum development, course materials, the children’s meals, contracts and agreements etc.
If you are operating as a home based daycare, you need to determine if there are any configurations to be made to your existing property such as gaps, fire extinguisher, sharp edges, non-slip bathroom tiles etc? You should also consider purchasing liability insurance to protect your property against accidents.
4. Marketing your daycare business
You’ll decide how you intend to market your daycare services. The pricing strategies, the venue selection for your daycare and how you intend to promote your daycare services. Will it be through flyers, brochures, banners, website listings, etc. It also details how you intend to use the internet to promote your services with the rage in internet advertising.
5. Managing your daycare business finances
You will need to decide what your revenue model is. You need to sit down and list down your estimated expenses. Then, based on your intended charges, calculate how many children you will need to provide care for to breakeven. Anything more than that is profit.
Each of the plans should have a short term, medium term and long term duration. Developing a business plan not only helps you to be clear about the direction of your business, it is also very stimulating as you will know what your business will be like 3, 5 or even 10 years from now.