In Part 1 of setting up a new Nursery we looked at how important researching the Nursery market was along with making sure you get your finances right from the very beginning.
This next instalment will deal with 2 further issues that anyone looking to open their own nursery, Pre School, kindergarten or day care centre needs to know. They are Business Plans and your Competitors.
1. Nursery Business Plans
Your Business Plan really goes hand in hand with market research and finances. Do your research so you know how many children your new Nursery is going to have as this will have a direct effect on how many staff you need, what size premises you need and how much you can charge parents. And ultimately how much money you need to borrow.
When it comes to writing Business Plans many people over forecast what the first year is likely to bring. You have to be realistic in that if this is your first venture into owning and running your own nursery it will take time for people to become aware of what you have to offer. Work hard in the first 12 months and you could well have a full nursery at the end of year one. Don’t assume you’re going to full from day one though and make sure this is reflected in your Business Plan.
And how are you actually going to get children into your Nursery?
Include in your business plan a simple marketing strategy like a SWOT analysis to show people how serious you are about your new venture. A SWOT analysis looks at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Your strengths might be your location or your vast experience of the Nursery World. Your opportunities might be that having checked the census you know there will be a real demand for Nursery places in your location.
Your weaknesses might include that you’re a new start business whilst your threats are likely to include other nurseries, pre schools, kindergartens and day care centres.
Ultimately your goal with be to turn your weaknesses and threats into strengths and opportunities and on that note let’s look at one of your main threats – your competitors.
2. Your Competitors
Unless your extremely lucky you’re likely to have other nurseries, pre schools, kindergartens and day care centres in the area all wanting the provide a service to the same children and parents as you.
So what can you do to make your Nursery stand out from crowd? And what shouldn’t you do? Here are just a few tips:
Make sure you:
a. Focus on the benefits not the features of your Nursery and tell parents and anyone with an interest in your new Nursery how they would benefit from using you. If you have a new purpose built Nursery then explain exactly what this means – your children will be safe and secure and will benefit from the latest learning tools.
b. Have a unique selling point (USP). As a new start nursery standing out from your competitors will be vital. Your USP might be your location, it might be the quality and qualifications of your staff or it might be that your have extremely competitive rates or low staff to child ratios. Whatever it is – tell everyone and make sure you constantly tell them.
And when it comes to your competitors:
c. Don’t tell people how bad your competitors are. Instead just focus on the positives of using your new Nursery and let the people decide.
d. Don’t forget that you can learn from them. If they do something well then do it as well – but do it better.
e. Remember that to stand out from your competitors you can join trade associations, become involved with the local community, chamber of commerce or make sure the service providers you use are experts in their fields.
One such nursery expert can be your Insurance Broker. They can provide you with risk management advice and make sure your new nursery, your staff and your children are protected and have peace of mind.
A fact of life is that accidents can and do sometimes happen. Make sure you get Nursery Insurance that is tailored to your new nurseries needs. Business Insurance for nurseries (even new nurseries) doesn’t have to complicated so get advice and guidance from a nursery insurance broker and make sure your new nursery, pre school, kindergarten or day care centre starts as you mean to go on.