Should I Start A Day Care In This Economy?
The experts are very forthcoming with their doom and gloom, the recession is constantly in our faces and fatigue sets in at the mere mention of economics or downturns. Should you start a day care business in spite of all this you ponder? Quite frankly, the right day care business could flourish at a time like this. Tough times for many can be a golden egg for some. Clever entrepreneurs who have done their homework, identified gaps in the market and filled those gaps not only survive a recession, they profit quite nicely.
There will always be a demand for some form of childcare because people will always need to work to make ends meet despite all talk of downsizing and tough times. Their income levels and conditions of employment may change so they will in turn be looking to make changes in the day care department. 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. Expensive, fancy day cares will see clientele trickle out in search of more affordable options.
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.
Clever local market research is essential. What are the needs of your local community and can you address those needs in your day care thus making it unique and in demand. If you have a home day care make it stand out from the competition by being very professional and having a structured curriculum. People moving from larger day cares won't be expecting to find a quality learning environment in a home day care. So, this is your chance to add the 'wow' factor and convert them into your clients.
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.
Downturn or not, there is always a demand for certain types of child care. The undersupplied niches are out there waiting to be discovered, the gaps waiting to be filled and it is up to you to find them. Clever research and due diligence are the keys to getting it right from the outset. Start your day care the clever, recession proof way.
Fiona Lohrenz has 10 years experience running a day care and has launched a child care website directed at providers and parents. She has also produced a 'Start a Daycare Business' DVD guide: How To Start A Daycare. Fiona can be reached at her Day Care focused website.