Childcare is a $47.8 billion dollar industry and one with many franchise options to choose from. Whichever franchise you choose, there’s enough out there for everyone to have a piece of the pie.
When choosing a daycare franchise, you should take into consideration things like start up costs, your personal business goals, and the competition you’ll face. Although it will take a lot less money to start a daycare on your own, finding a daycare franchise you can work well with is very possible and has many positive benefits.
The big question in your mind is which franchise? How do you choose? I assume you love children and the idea of working with them, providing a stimulating environment and watching them grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
Are your own children in daycare? If so, which one? If this is the case, the franchise you choose may be one you’re already familiar with. Think about what went into your decision to choose this particular daycare. Make a list of the pros and cons that you used to decide which daycare to put your children in. If you don’t have children in daycare, you may have friends who do. If so, find out why they chose the daycare they did and what they like and don’t like about it.
If you have an interest in childcare and want to be your own boss, a franchise could be the way to go. As parents climb the success ladder in their chosen professions, a daycare will become increasingly important to them.
Look for a franchise with which you can become strategic partners with. This relationship is key to your daycare’s success. Look for a franchiser that will support your daycare with marketing, training, and business advice. Couple these with an environment of respect and collaboration and your success will come easier.
Consider the Pros and Cons
Go for a daycare franchise that has a proven track record. It’s great to know that the daycare you choose has already proven itself in the marketplace. Think of the time and money an established daycare can save you.
A daycare that has a good reputation will sell itself; your clientele won’t have to be sold on how great you are. There will be less need for advertising; in fact, word of mouth may be all you need when you choose a daycare franchise that has an established name.
Starting a daycare franchise can be costly, so make sure your savings are adequate. You’ll need start up capital enough to purchase equipment, business licenses, and to hire and train staff.
The franchiser you choose might be a financial source for you; This is one option you should definitely explore. Ask your franchiser about financing before you turn to a bank or finance company.
Friends and relatives may also be an income source for your daycare franchise. If this is the case, be sure to draw up a contract and keep to your payment schedule so that you don’t put your daycare and your own reputation in jeopardy.
Check into an SBA loan. The Small Business Association has helped many small businesses get off to a good start. You can use SBA money for anything that your daycare franchise may need, like expansion, equipment, and working capital to name a few.
The minimum SBA loan is $75,000 and the interest rate can be as low as 8.25%. To find out if you qualify, your credit will be considered, and your business and personal income documents will be used to establish your business’s monthly cash flow.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Does a daycare franchise suit your personality, skills and goals? If you’re sure about that, then make a list of your strengths and weaknesses so that when you find a daycare franchise that you like, you can know your strong points and where you may need help. Discuss all of this with your chosen franchiser.
Ask yourself how a daycare franchise can help you achieve your business goals. Discuss all of this with your preferred franchiser too, it will help you decide if this particular franchise is the one for you.
Understand the Market
Can your daycare franchise succeed in your local market? You probably already have a feel for this if you’re planning on opening your daycare in your local area. But you should supplement your instincts with data.
- Some good sources of market data include government agencies like the Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration.
- The business school at your local college is an untapped source of knowledge as well.
- Also contact private market-research firms for up to the minute market information.
Since there are more than 3,000 franchises for sale, a great resource is the International Franchise Association’s Franchise Opportunities database and the Entrepreneurs.com’s Franchise 500 rankings. You can also hire a franchise consultant for some valuable information that will get you going down the road.
Write a Business Plan
A detailed business plan will help you organize your business ideas and keep you on track. A business plan is the document that will detail the goals you have for your daycare business. It’s a roadmap of how you plan to attain these goals. Your business plan can also include background information about your choice of daycare franchise and the people involved in your company.
Include problems and solutions, your target market, and local competition in your plan. How you will market your business should also be included, as well as any milestones you have set for yourself and the metrics of your business. Metrics are a type of data that will help your daycare business measure certain aspects of your success.
Metrics will show the progress of your company’s business goals. Things like sales revenue, net profit margin, cost of customer acquisition, monthly website. Discuss all of these with your chosen franchiser and get help understanding how to measure them.
Questions to Ask
Ask the franchisor if any of their daycares are involved in litigation. Find out if there is a significant number of franchise failures and if the franchisor is involved in a bankruptcy.
Ask if you need to have a background in education to own and run a daycare franchise. What is the application and approval process? What kind of training will they provide and how much is it possible to earn with this daycare franchise?
What About Competitors?
Who are the biggest competitors, especially in your local market? How do you address them based on market analysis? Market analysis is the activity of gathering information about conditions that affect a particular marketplace.
- Some effective marketing strategies for a small business include using social media, attending local events and working on public relations. It also helps to start by creating a marketing budget and using a variety of different marketing materials that the franchisor should provide you.
- Some marketing materials you can use for a small business include brochures, flyers, business cards, signage and a business website and blog. Going to local events, including trade shows, networking events and charity functions are good ways to market your business. Get involved, instead of just making an appearance. Have a booth up at a local trade show or help with a local charity to get the community involved in your new business venture. Check what type of marketing material your franchise will be providing for you for such events.
A Cutting- Edge Marketing Program
Does your daycare franchiser have a marketing strategy? Look for a franchiser that will help you define your ideal client and help you find ways your daycare will stand out. Your franchiser should also suggest ideas on how you’ll compete in price.
Look for someone who will help you discover how to find ideal prospects that will trust you enough to bring their children to your daycare. This will mean repeat business for you and happy customers.
The franchiser you choose should coach you on creating intentional content to get your name out to the public. Helping you learn to focus your content, both on and offline, is a huge part of your marketing strategy. Your online and offline presence is one integrated whole and the franchiser should view it this way to help you drive effective advertising.
Question your daycare franchiser about lead generation. What is their plan? Ideally, they should use a mix of advertising, public relations and referral generation to supplement their marketing strategy. This will help to create the right awareness with the right prospects.
Traits to Look for in Your Franchisor
The franchisor you choose for your daycare franchise should be one that you feel comfortable with. Good communication skills are vital, as is marketing experience, leadership, integrity and flexibility.
Is the franchisor’s business approach similar to yours? Look for someone that closely matches your business profile. Good communication and access to training will be an important part of your franchise success. Good support from your franchiser will also be very valuable.
Whan a problem arises, you should be able to go to the franchisor and work out a solution. That’s part of the reason they are there. They should also be able to analyze trends and make necessary adjustments when needed.
Starting a daycare without the help of a franchise is something you should also consider. If you try to open a daycare without a franchise you’ll need to register your daycare with the state and apply for a daycare permit. Find out what the minimum requirements are for your state so that you can get off to a good start.
The hardest part of starting your own daycare is that all the responsibility will rest on your shoulders. It will be up to you to fund and market your business. It will also be up to you to attract and keep clients. That’s why it’s so important that you get out into the public and present yourself as someone parents can trust with their children.
You can lease a space for your daycare or open it in your own home. You’ll also need to hire and train staff and market your daycare. Advertise online and in person with flyers, community news boards and by attending local events to get your name out to the public.
Taking the time to satisfy all legal requirements and developing a business plan will make sure you have a solid foundation for your self-starting daycare. Once you’ve done these things, you’ll do a better job of providing the children in your care with what they need to grow and prosper.
Choosing a daycare franchise as opposed to starting your own daycare may be a big project, but there is a wide array of specialists available to guide you through the process. You should also do your own homework to ensure your specific goals are met. Also, by starting your own daycare you have more control over your own message as well as retaining more of the profits.
- Are there any grants or funding for a daycare business?
This depends on whether you plan to be a non-profit or a for-profit daycare. If you’re going the non-profit route there are lots of funding choices. If you will be a for-profit daycare the only thing you can count on is the Child and Adult Food Care Program.
- What can I expect to pay for a daycare franchise?
Daycare franchises can range anywhere from $59,000 up to $3 million. The childcare industry is booming, so it might be a good idea to aim monetarily for somewhere in the middle when considering startup cost.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
After you have chosen your franchise then you will be ready to checkout our startup course and documents.