Preschools are increasingly important to parents who are concerned about preparing children early for long-term school success. Consequently, the need for preschools is likely to grow, making it a great business to start. Like any business, to start a preschool you will need to know how to write a business plan. Your business plan is the company resume you will use to show lenders and other professional business contacts that you know how to make your preschool successful.
Research the demographics of the target customers for preschools in your area. According to PowerHomeBiz.com, working parents generally prefer preschools closer to the home, so local parents will make up a large portion of your market. To find information on your local demographics, AllBusiness.com suggests checking the most recent Census data in the “Country and City Data Book. This will help you understand how many people have children in your area, as well as the income level, occupations, and educational levels of those parents.
Develop the marketing section of your business plan. Find out how many preschools you have in your area and compare that to the number of potential customers you calculated via demographic research. Develop a plan to attract new and competitor customers to your business. For example, if preschools in your area have inconvenient hours, you could plan to attract customers from your competition by offering hours better suited to working parents. Explain your marketing plans, demographic information and pricing in the marketing section of the business plan.
Use your marketing research to develop the financial section. The financial section will explain your estimated profit projections for at least three years. Develop a cost analysis for starting and running your preschool, including lease costs, equipment purchases, monthly utilities, advertising expenses and taxes. Estimate income based on the number of potential customers and the amount your preschool will charge, per child, for services. Each state has childcare licensing fees, and strict rules on how many children each preschool is allowed, per number of employees, so make sure you understand the regulations when assessing costs.
Describe your preschool and its organizational structure. Give details on each person in a management position, including the previous experience that qualifies that individual for the position. (reference 2, organization and management) Use this section to describe the legal structure of the business as well. For example, is your preschool a sole proprietorship, or is it incorporated? Consult an accountant if you are uncertain which kind of structure to choose; this can have an enormous impact on your taxes.
Write an executive summary for your preschool business plan. According to the Small Business Administration, the executive summary is essential as an introduction to the plan and an opportunity to sell your business idea. Write a mission statement for the summary. For example, your statement could briefly explain how the addition of your preschool to the market will increase the number of children who have access to early education resources, proven to increase their chances of success. Explain how your preschool will improve the childcare market in your area. Think of the executive summary like a cover letter for your resume. Use it to direct readers to specific points of interest and sell your qualifications as a preschool business manager.