From the continuing conflict in the Middle East to the missile threat posed by North Korea to the U.S. government shutdown, we’re blue in the face hearing about our tough times ahead. Given all these economic and political uncertainties, is it the right time to start a daycare business? Should you start a daycare business now, or wait when the economy is good and everything is peaceful?
Honestly, this could be a great time to start your new child care business. Tough times for many can be a golden egg for some. Certain ventures will flourish in the toughest of financial times – because they research, identify a niche market and service the need of that market.
People will always require some form of childcare because people will always need to work to make ends meet despite all talk of downsizing and tough times. They may look to change aspects of their child care arrangements due to changes in income and job rationalization. Sadly, one of the first areas to get hit by cost cutting measures is the area of child care – and a recession is sure to see many people re-evaluating their cost of living. More affordable options will benefit due to the exodus from bigger, expensive day care centers.
How can you make your day care one of these affordable, more recession friendly options…how can you service this niche market? Opening a big, state of the art day care center is essentially a money pit however; starting a home day care can be done with your savings. Equipment can be obtained from your kids old stuff, charity shops, recycling sites and persistent calling around to everyone you know who has kids and will be offloading toys and equipment, save on your taxes by offsetting your daily expenses, no more gas bills due to no more work commute and minimize wage costs by staffing it yourself with a friend or family member as an assistant. Your fees can therefore remain very affordable if you pass on these savings to your clients.
Thorough, market research is vital. Your goal is to make your day care supply a service for which demand is high and provision is scarce in your local community. A structured, quality educational curriculum in a home day care will make you stand out from the competition. A quality learning environment in a home day care is not something ex large day care center clients have been conditioned to expect. You will most likely gain them as clients because you have pleasantly surprised them, you have an edge and you are addressing their needs.
Could the niche in your area be shift work – are there factories, hospitals or industry where people are required to work odd hours? This tends to be a hugely under supplied area of care. Is there a large community of foreign nationals locally who may require a bilingual day care? Most towns have a substantial demand for overnight care which is also generally under supplied. Could this be your gold mine? Parents can find it very difficult to find quality, convenient before and after school care so if your day care is situated close to schools you may have found your niche.
Recession or not, there is always a demand for certain types of child care. Your job is to figure out what the needs of your locality are, what gaps are in the market…. and fill them. Clever research and due diligence are the keys to getting it right from the outset. If you really want to start a day care then you will start a day care – pure and simple!