Child Care Business Plan Basics
When starting a child care business you need to write a child care business plan. The first step to starting anything is a plan. Whether it is a trip across the state or life's
journey, a plan is needed. Without one you will get lost. The same hold's true when you
start a business. Why is a child care business plan important? It is the blue print of your business.
Every aspect of your business should be written out so you can follow it. Many people
believe that business plans are for investors and lenders. The truth is that the business
plan is for you. It is your vision, your map. Investors and lenders want your business
plan so they can see your vision and make a sound business decision based on what the
map of your vision shows them.
A good child care business plan has several key elements. The first and probably most important
part is your vision. This is explained in the executive summary. Describe your business.
What are your products? Why are your products so special? Who are your customers
and why will they buy from you? Discuss the future of your business. What do you want
your future to look like?
You have your product or services. You have a good idea who your customers are. You
now need to know how you plan on connecting your products or services to your
customers. This is where the marketing plan comes in. It is very important to be clear
about how you plan reaching your customers. If you don't get this right, how do you
expect to be successful? Give this part 100% of your attention and effort. I guarantee if
you do not properly invest the time and necessary money to create your marketing plan
and use it you will suffer. No customers equals no money.
Many believe without risk there is little to no reward. When you are gambling that may be true. When
you are in business, you are not gambling so the risks to your venture should be assessed
early. The risks you take should be understood and a plan should be devised to mitigate
them. Your risks and how you plan to work through them should be outlined in detail in
your plan. If you are realistic, then you should be able to start your business with little to
no risk. There are obviously risks that cannot be completely planned away. Know what
they are and enter your venture with those risks in mind. Knowledge and planning are
your best chance at keeping your risks from destroying your business.
Money and Budget
What is next? You guessed it…. Money. This isn't the money you are borrowing. This
is a discussion on how money flows through your business or the cash flow. What is in
your budget? You need to figure out startup costs, regular expenses, pricing, cash flow
analysis, and profit analysis. You need to know how much money you can anticipate
making and you need to know realistically how much you need to get your business off
the ground. If you are starting your business from scratch, you will need to forecast. Be
realistic and conservative. If you are over zealous, it will only hurt you in the end.
Your plan is for you. Use it to begin and use it to grow. Dedicate serious time and effort
to your child care business plan. If you need investors or you need to go to a traditional lender your
efforts will not go unnoticed. Your investment into putting together a sound document
will take you far in your business. If raising money is your primary focus, you need to
understand that no matter how much time you put into your plan, some people may not
see your vision. Others will but will want to make changes to suit their risk tolerance.
Listen to what they have to say. Don't take it personal it is business. Their suggestions
could help you make a better document.
Business Plan Resources
Great resources are available to creating a sound child care business plan. The first place you
should visit is the Score website at www.score.org
There, you will find a great template for you
business plan as well as templates for the financial section of your plan.