Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions from Childcare Ninjas about how to find the perfect location for your childcare business. And it’s made me realize that actually it’s much more complicated than you might initially think.
When it comes to seeking out the ideal space and a location that suits my business needs, I’ve got a lot of experience. And it’s not merely about the place on the map! So, I’m going to share some tips with you here about how to find a place for your day care center.
Location, Location, Location!
I bet you’ve heard the phrase “location, location, location” at some point as it seems to float about a lot when someone’s opening a business. And sometimes these cliches are said often because they’re true! Yes, location really is key!
So you need to be thinking about where you’ll open your daycare. When you’re choosing a location, you’ve got to consider whether there’s a need in that specific area. Do you want it near a school or positioned in a community that serves a lot of young families? Make sure you do your research. Have a look at the shops and facilities offered in the area. Who do they cater for? Are your perceptions correct? After all, it’d be a poor business decision to locate your daycare center in a location where the older generations reside.
And while you’re contemplating a map and thinking about the socio-economics of the area, you need to simultaneously factor in your budget. Can you afford the outlay of a building in that area? Will it put strain on other elements of your business? Would it be better to rule out some of the higher end possibilities and give yourself breathing room for repairs and alterations? I’ve written more about opening your childcare on a budget here.
However, as important as the placing of your childcare setting is it’s not the only thing you’ve got to think about…
It’s not just the location that matters
The environment isn’t the only thing you ought to be thinking about when choosing a place for your business. Because when you’re running a daycare there are so many additional things you need to take into account. You can’t just choose an area you like and put down the deposit, collect the keys and expect it to be perfect. You’ve got to think about the building itself. Trust me! Because what works for one business doesn’t always work for a childcare based one.
And to find the right kind of space, I’ve found that it’s often best to start with the end in mind. So take some time to consider what you want your daycare to be like. To feel like. To look like. Create a vision. Actually sit down and map out – draw or cut and paste – a picture of what you want.
Without overthinking, trusting your intuition and gut feeling, answer some of these questions to get you started:
1. What age group do you want to serve?
2. What kind of ‘feeling’ or mood do you want to set?
3. Will you be hosting ‘courses’ or activities?
4. What ethos or values will you have and model?
Take some time out to reflect on these prompts and journal around them.
So what I’m suggesting is that the location for your childcare business isn’t the only thing to consider. Getting clear on your vision will help you to understand what kind of property you’re looking for.
A space to reflect your business
Once you’ve got clarity around what your values are and your vision for the space, you can start to look in a more logical way. For example, if you know you’re looking for an open plan space, then you can rule out properties that only have smaller rooms. If your vision includes access to an outdoor space or garden where the children can help you grow their own lunches, or explore outside, then you can eliminate the buildings that don’t have that kind of facility.
Don’t forget that the way a building is laid out has implications for ratios and the number of adults you’ll need. And the size of the rooms and total area of the floor space will impact how many children you can facilitate at one time.
There’s no right or wrong answer for what the space should look like. I know you don’t want to be a cookie-cutter daycare center. You want to stand out and let your Ninja personality shine through.
The choosing of space is as unique as you are! And no one but you will know when you’ve discovered the ideal spot for your daycare. I know that when I’ve gone hunting for the perfect daycare location and building, it’s been a whole lot quicker and less painful all-round when I’ve had a clear vision! You won’t waste time umming and aaahing about properties, and the realtor will thank you for that (and so will your family!).
Remember: Location is important, but so is the inside space!
I’m going to be talking a lot more about this in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group, so please come on in and join in the conversation! I wanna know if you’re finding it hard to seek out the perfect spot to open up your daycare.
If you enjoyed reading this and would like to get more involved, we’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
This week in Childcare Ninjas, we’re shining a light on finance again. It’s a subject that we’re not going to shy away from, because it’s vital that we feel confident discussing finances! And I want to support you as a Childcare Ninja in this area as much as any other. If you’re new to the industry, you’ll want to read this blog post!
When it comes to initially setting up your childcare business, you might not be ready to go all in just yet. You might need to spend some time raising funds so you can open up the daycare center of your dreams.
What I want to emphasize here is that you shouldn’t be letting finances get in your way. It might take you a little longer to reach your goals, but you CAN get there. I have seen financials hold so many women back from starting a business and I don’t want that to happen to you.
So, in this blog I’m going to share a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. I’m going to get you flexing your resourcefulness muscles!
What are your needs?
First things first, you’ve got to take a look at how much you need to actually get set up. This might seem minimal to begin with, but once you take into account the rent, the health and safety aspects, the registration, the licences, the insurance…it all adds up. So be honest with yourself here. Keep it real: are you currently in a position to set up immediately?
Maybe you’re beginning in your home, which will reduce the cost in the short term. Even so, there’s the equipment you’ll need, the additional costs of utilities (amazing how those little kids use up all that extra electricity and water!)…
But I’m not saying this to get you to stop! Far from it! I’m asking you to take a good long look at your needs in a financial sense, because I want you to succeed! I want you to know exactly what you’ve got to have in place before you can launch into your childcare business. And if you’ve got any questions or don’t know where to start, please drop me an email! After 14 years in the business, I’m happy to help!
So how can you raise the money to get started?
We’ve established that you’re likely to need more cash coming in before you can really dive deep into your childcare ownership dreams, so how are you going to do this exactly?
Honestly? This comes down to how much money you have and how much time. Finances play a part here too because there are some income streams that require a little investment before you can get going and others that you can just jump straight into with out much thought!
Become a representative
Not in the House (one day, maybe…!), I’m talking about buying into a scheme where you’re the representative of a brand. These roles offer a range of opportunities, from flexible working and franchises, to direct selling and party planning.
There are a number of these that can be lucrative for people who have time and a small amount for buying the products for demonstrations. Beauty companies like Avon, Mary Kay or Arbonne have a fairly low investment requirement to become a representative.
So those are options for you if you have a little cash to reap rewards with. However, I’ve got a few more ideas if you don’t!
Everyone has something that everyone else needs!
This is what I tell the women I coach. They’ll often say, “But Nyckie, I haven’t got anything to offer. How on earth can I have a side hustle going on?” And I am quick to remind them that they certainly do have things to offer. Whether that’s a resource that their community is lacking (like reliable transport) or a skill they can see a need for (gardening!) each and every one of us has something that their neighborhood needs.
Take an audit of your resources
Take a look around your home and figure out if you have resources at your fingertips that could earn you some of the funds you need for your business.
Perhaps you’ve got a car and are happy to be driving to make some side hustle money. You could do some Uber driving in the evenings when your partner gets in from work. Or perhaps if you know there’s people in your community who’d rather pay you than Uber to drive them to and from appointments, then get driving! Drum up interest and bring in those dollars!
Have you got furniture that could go to a new home, or a ton of dresses sat unworn in your wardrobe? Kids finished playing their consoles or moved on to the next craze? Why not have a yard sale?
Start something from scratch
If you’ve got skills that you could utilize, then why not put them up on Fiverr or Upwork? If you’ve got admin capabilities or can write, or maybe you’re handy with a camera, then put up a page and watch the requests come rolling in. When you’ve got skills other people need, you’re valuable and it will help your finances!
Perhaps you can offer tutoring for local families, or teach piano? Know how to grow vegetables? Maybe you’re a whizz with a chainsaw? Think about the dormant skills you could put to good use!
Make the most of what you’ve got!
I’ve mentioned skills above, but it really is about making the most of what you’ve got and flying with it! Take a look around your local community and look at what’s missing. What are people moaning about? Have you got friends with elderly parents who need healthy meals but can’t cook anymore? Could you cook them nutritious food and charge for it? You could start a small take away service. (Don’t go crazy here! It’s a childcare business we’re aiming for, right?! Not a restaurant!)
Choosing a way of bringing in some extra money means you can rest easy knowing that you’ll raise the dollars you need. Thinking about your finances and making some cash in a side hustle is a sensible move to avoiding stress.
I’d love to help you more with ideas that’ll solve the gaps in your finances, and I’m so excited to see you achieve success, so why not head here and you can download my FREE Side Hustle Checklist!
If you’d like to see more like this and chat with other childcare business owners, I wonder whether you’d like to head over here: Childcare Ninja Facebook group! Join us for more tips – not just on finances! – on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
While you’re here, are you in the Childcare Ninja membership yet? We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! It’s full of exclusive resources and support to help you grow your Childcare Business.