The Secrets to Opening a Successful Nursery
The first thing to consider before committing to full time childcare and the stresses and strains that come with employing staff, sorting premises and offering a facility that is likely to open pretty much all year round is that other options may exist. You may want to ease your way into the childcare industry by setting up a playgroup or offering a childminding facility from home before taking the big step that is setting up a nursery. However, once you have made the initial decision and have decided that running your own nursery is what you want, you really need to start to look at the financial implications involved.
The truth is that setting up and running your own nursery is not going to be an instant route to riches. In fact, if your motivation for running a nursery is based purely on the financial returns that maybe possible, then it might be worth considering if the childcare industry is right for you at all. Owners of nurseries and other pre school facilities are rarely solely motivated by money and are more often driven by their desire to provide quality childcare. By doing this you may well reap the rewards that a successful nursery can bring but it is important to remember that hard work, patience, enthusiasm and even more patience will be required time and time again long before you start to see any noticeable return on your investment.
On the subject of costs, your first task once you have decided to set up a nursery is to find premises. This search for suitable premises is likely to involve doing some market research to see if there is actually a need for a nursery in the area you are looking to set up in. The nursery and childcare sector as a whole is, like most other industries extremely competitive so you need to make sure there is suitable gap in the market for you to establish your new nursery in the face of competition from more established nurseries.
And once you have decided that an opportunity does exist for a new nursery in a particular location, you then have the choice of renting, buying or indeed building suitable premises for your nursery. Add to this the costs of toys, equipment, staffing, getting regulated and utilities and soon the task of setting up a successful nursery looks pretty daunting.
The 2 main secrets to setting up a successful nursery are therefore to do a thorough job when it comes to researching your market. This will involve doing a full competitor analysis of other nurseries, pre schools, childminders and playgroups that exist in your area. This process will involve finding out where and who they are, how much do they charge, how many children do they have, how much do they make, how many staff do they employ, how much do they pay their staff and no doubt numerous other questions.
If after this extensive market research you feel an opportunity does still exist then the second secret to running a successful nursery is to use marketing better than your competitors to make sure parents and other people know about your nursery for all the right reasons. You could have the best nursery in the world but unless your potential customers know about it then your time, money and hard work could all go to waste. And when it comes to marketing your nursery, you do not necessarily have to spend a great deal of money doing this.
Generate word of mouth in your local area, get the media involved so they report on your progress every step of the way, set up a website so you can promote and showcase your facilities and make sure when parents are faced with the very difficult question of what childcare facility should I choose, your nursery is number one on their list, or certainly amongst the front runners.
Setting up a nursery takes time, hard work and effort and setting up a successful nursery takes all of these things plus a little bit of lady luck. However, in the hardest of financial climates, it is still possible to fulfil your dreams and be successful. If you intend to make 2009 the year when your nursery dreams become reality, then do your research, become great at marketing and all the very best of luck.