Best Home Business, 2014: Start a Daycare Business

Demand will always be there.

The idea behind starting a daycare center in your home is letting other people go to an office to work.  For a wide variety of economic reasons, more and more women are going to work. This ensures demand for child care.  And what can help a business you start in your home is that many parents are skeptical of established day care establishments.

A report from the data collector Sageworks shows that from ’08-’12, sales for daycare businesses increased 6-7 percent annually.  From Summer of 2013 to this Summer, it was 9%.

In fact, there have been instances of friends who run day care centers putting their friends up to starting their own.  In other words, rather than being afraid of the competition, they saw it as a way of relieving them of excessive demand.

Business Plan

Whether the business is in your home or not, you still need to draw up a plan for it.  You may need to take out a loan to get started.  You’ll have to be prepared for the transformation your home will make once it becomes a daycare center.  Your electricity bill will skyrocket; you’ll almost certainly need to invest in kids’ desks and other furniture designed expressly for children; similarly, you’ll have to buy toys and other supplies.  There will also be the question of any food you may provide.  There’s really too much in the way of these expenses for you to approach them without mapping them out and developing a plan for laying out the capital to leverage their costs.

Where are all the Kids?

If you’re considering day care as a business, you probably have a way with kids and experience with them.  You may have a reputation in the community as a babysitter, the soccer mom who drives around a bunch of kids, a school volunteer, etc.  You should have a reputation in the community as a dynamic and trustworthy person with great children skills.  However, having a large social circle filled with parents with young kids will work too.

Once you have these conditions established and are getting started, you’ll essentially market your business as you’d market others.  One issue specific to daycare is that you have to be clear on your capacity.  If you start picking up business to some moderate degree, that will allow you to keep marketing efforts equally moderate—the last thing you can do is go over capacity.  And it may be best to pull advertisements when applicable rather than turning people away, a practice that might lead to some bad word of mouth.

The daycare industry has a few great benefits not readily available in other businesses.  One of the biggest comes from the first syllable in its name: “day.”  It’s probably possible and maybe advantageous to hold some after hours care for the second-shifters, but the demand is light there.  So for the most part, your day ends at the end of the standard business day, which we can’t say for most entrepreneurships.  Being able to be off when you’re off is one of the draws of this interesting line of work.  The convenience of being able to spend time with your own children if you have them is yet another draw.  Being the boss and being outside of office politics is yet another.