Establishing a Business Plan
Your business plan is the most important document you will ever put together. It provides a road map to help guide your business as it grows. In it you establish benchmarks and a set of checks and balances to keep your business under control. It will safely guide you through the turbulent waters of constant change.
If your operation is to succeed, you’ll need a sound budget, i.e., a plan that provides a realistic projection of actual estimated expenses and income. Before your doors open for you to first begin caring for children, devise estimates of start-up costs and an operating budget. Preparing both a start-up budget and an operating budget will tell you what you will spend, now and in the future, and where the money for starting and operating your center will come from.
Different types of insurance are required for different types of child care businesses. Requirements vary by state. Starting and operating a business involve a degree of risk. It is important to consider all insurance options, even if they are not required by your state. If you are not sure what type of insurance is best, discuss coverage and rates with several insurance agents before making a final decision. It is important to consult with a professional insurance agent when choosing a carrier for general liability and accident insurance. Some agents specialize in locating policies for child care centers.
A marketing plan is an important part of your business plan. Marketing informs families about your program and why they should choose your program for their children. It includes advertising and creates a sense of identity, or “branding,” of your program. How you market your center may make the difference between its success or failure. Like any other business, a child care center provides a service that consumers want and are willing to purchase. Therefore, you will have to sell your service to the consumers (parents). Your marketing plan can help you achieve this goal.
Licensed child care providers, like all business owners, are required to meet certain tax obligations, such as paying federal and state taxes. The legal structure of the business will determine the amount of taxes you will pay and the forms you will use.
Planning Guide for Starting a Child Care Center