How to Create your own Nursery business plan
Starting any business can bring its own set of challenges and rewards, and a nursery is no different.
Nurturing children as they grow in your environment is a fulfilling and enjoyable prospect for those with a passion for teaching and there is certainly a market for childcare with so much demand!
However, there are a lot of challenges and regulations to ensure you take of as well. This is what makes a business plan crucial.
With a detailed and focused business plan, you can look forward to starting your business in the best way possible.
The importance of a business plan
These are the top 4 reasons why you need a business plan:
1. It will steer your business
A business plan works as a guide as you navigate starting your business through to managing it. It details all the key information you need for running your business.
2. Its not a difficult task
Your business plan will detail how you project your business will grow and develop over the next few years including how much money you plan to make.
3. It will help you achieve your goal
Having a focused business plan will ensure you stay on track and know the path you are taking in each area of your business. In turn, this will help you achieve your goal, whatever that will be.
4. It will help with funding requirements
When you want to apply for funding for your business, a sound business plan is essential. The detail within the plan will help investors understand your business, where it’s going and how it will be run. They will decide on whether they want to invest based on this business plan.
How to start the business plan
Writing your business plan will require a focused, structured approach.
It is important to remember, as mentioned above, that the document will be used not only for your own purposes but for outside parties to review, for things like funding applications. If you create a robust business plan at the outset, you will have more chance at success.
We have outlined the key sections of a good business plan below:
Outline in this section what you hope to achieve, your objectives and goals. This should act as a summary of your overall business.
A complete description of your business including what exactly you hope to achieve and how. This is a chance to include an overview of why you have chosen to take this route and the background to you as a person, giving some personality and context to the journey you are going on.
Products and Services
Within this section, ensure you include all the detail of what you are offering and what makes you different to other suppliers/businesses. Your unique selling point (UPS) will be your key element when promoting to potential customers and potential investors.
It’s time to outline your market, being sure to include in your analysis your competition and target market. You will be able to start to create a picture of the kinds of people who will be your customers, the amount you will charge and firm down an accurate business approach.
Where you will be running your business is key to your plan with many factors to consider such as geographical location, size and property rules / compliance. Many buildings have restrictions on how many individuals are allowed to access them as well as rules on whether you are allowed to run a business from them. Lay out your plans in this section being sure to include relevant associated costs.
Organization and Management Team
You have your product, premises and target market. Now you must outline whether you will be employing staff and how your business will be run in terms of management. This can address the early stages as well as how you see your business growing over time, employing more staff as you grow.
Financial plan and projections
This section should include comprehensive information on all elements of your finances. Forecasts for profit, loss, cashflow and your starting budget to get going will need to be addressed, as well as information on on-going costs such as staff wages and building costs. It’s important to address how you will be funding your business in the early stages. This section will be particularly key in giving potential investors the confidence that you have done your homework and know your numbers.
Sales and Marketing
Every business needs to ‘sell itself’ and a nursery is no different. In this section you should include how you plan on filling the nursery with ‘customers’. This could include anything from online marketing, printed collaterals, local publicity, newspaper advertising or social media promotion. Providing tours of your nursery will provide a beneficial first look to potential customers, enabling them to see the environment and meet the staff who work there and will look after their children. Afterall, they are going to be leaving their children in their care. Try to think about ways you can reassure potential customers, provide them with the daily routine the children will follow and what settling in processes will take place.
Starting up a nursery will involve many legalities, rules and regulations. Afterall, you will be looking after children. Within your business plan, ensure you make it clear that you understand and have addressed these rules and regulations. You will also need to be registered with Ofsted. The Early Years Register will be your first stop in your ability to look after children with 2 initial steps:
- a DBS which assesses your suitability based on any previous criminal convictions
- health declaration booklet where you will list any health problems and medications you take
Confirming with Ofsted that you meet their strict criteria is your next step. These include staff training, group sizes, staff-to-child ratios, welfare needs, education quality and fire safety. Be sure to leave yourself enough time for your application to be processed as Ofsted checks can take a considerable about of time to process due to the nature of the checks. Going forwards, you will need to factor in routine checks as Ofsted conduct regular checks every few years to ensure you are still compliant with the rules and regulations.
Starting any business is a slow but rewarding process. A nursery provides the added element of enhancing little lives. You couldn’t get more rewarding than that!
The process may be time consuming with a lot of red tape but if done properly and to the required standard, you will be looking forward to years of successful business growth.
Collect payments with London and Zurich
One more consideration is how you are going to collect your payments. If you are collecting lots of frequent payments, Direct Debits could be the way to go!
London and Zurich are Direct Debit providers – we offer businesses that are too small to gain their own Service User Number (SUN) access to Direct Debit payments. It’s quick and easy to set up – to get started, contact us today!