Starting an early childhood education center can be an overwhelming task and probably one of the largest investments that you may make in your lifetime. Therefore, the diligence and market research that goes into starting your preschool should be as thorough as any other business investment. Many aspiring preschool owners often pursue a passion without consideration of the business consequences that come with establishing a preschool. These consequences may turn out to be advantageous, but quite often result in preschools failing. One in three start-up preschools will fail and this statistic is similar to that of other businesses.
Preparing an in-depth business plan and feasibility study will help determine whether your preschool is likely to succeed. As part of the IPC’s initial services package, the IPC can prepare a customized business plan which is based on market research provided by premium market research firms. For a sample of an IPC business plan, please click here.
Effective branding is one of the most overlooked aspects in establishing a new preschool. An effective brand instantly communicates the type of product or service that is available to members of the public. Memorable brands are those that are represented with a professional logo and that brings the brand to the “top of the mind” of its audience. Therefore, branding should be at the forefront of any start-up daycare business.
The IPC’s design and branding service, headed by Jorge Roldan and Patricia Goodwin who have years of design experience with Fortune 500 brands. They will work with you to develop and customize a unique brand that may be co-branded with the IPC for further reinforcement. Brand Identity Manuals may also provided as part of the IPC franchise.
Once feasibility studies have been completed, premises have been identified and personnel statements and other forms of working capital have been calculated, you will need to consider the amount of financing required to get started. As is typical with most start-up businesses, aspiring childcare owners should consider setting aside at least six month’s worth of working capital aside at the day of inauguration. Should an owner require start-up capital, there are a range of debt and equity forms of financing.
The IPC offers 0% financing over a maximum period of 12 months for its franchise program. The program includes a range of initial service benefits and ongoing benefits that are designed to support the business needs of preschool owners.
The licensing phase often requires expert assistance. In most parts of the world, a preschool license is required in order to start your operations. The licensing procedures are required to ensure that your building is suitably safe for young children and that personnel are suitably qualified and screened. Each state and country has separate licensing rules and it is vital that you familiarize yourself with the requirements before signing lease agreements or purchasing property.
The IPC provides licensing support and representation. For more information, please contact us.
Childcare centers are sensitive institutions where hiring and firing can very quickly impact the perceptions that parents and members of the community have on your school. Recruiting staff for a preschool should be done diligently and every attempt at obtaining suitable references, police clearances and conducting thorough interviews should be made. It is important that prospective staff provide proof of qualifications and that personality differences are identified at an early stage to avoid possible conflict in the future.
The IPC provides a limited, but complimentary staff placement service as part of its packages. The IPC will also conduct initial background checks and initial interviews on the school owner’s behalf.
Ensuring that teachers receive ongoing professional development and training is both imperative to the development of the preschool as a whole and very expensive. Traditionally, state required professional development would involve annual conferences, workshops hosted at luxury hotels and community college courses. Internationally, the practice often requires foreign travel at the expense of the preschool owner. Preschool owners more often than not are either lacking in sufficient business training or posses an adequate business background, but no educational or teaching background.
To better ensure that all IPC schools benefit from world class teacher training, IPC packages include access to the IPC’s College of Teaching, an online based teacher training and professional development platform. Varying from a 6 month certificate course to individual continuing education units (CEU’s), the IPC provides a range of engaging courses for owners and teachers designed by an ex teaching fellow of Harvard University.
Marketing and PR are two important business promotion tools that are required to reinforce your brand and advertise your services to the local community. PR is especially effective if you establish local press outlet connections and provide them with newsworthy content. This is often driven by events such as a fundraising gala or something that is so unique to your preschool that it is newsworthy.
Once you have become an IPC school, you will be assigned a dedicated marketing & PR manager who will represent your school on your behalf. A customized marketing plan and strategy will be developed to your needs.
Once you have taken possession of suitable premises, obtained your necessary licenses and permits, recruited staff and conducted a pre-launch marketing campaign, you are probably ready to open your doors. Many start-up preschools prefer to open with an unadvertised soft launch, which will give you time to iron out any potential issues before accepting enrollments en masse.
For information on how the IPC can help you start your own preschool, please call us on +1-888-844-3911 or email us.