If you enjoy working with children, you might be thinking about starting a business that involves caring for them, teaching them or maybe entertaining them. Although they say you should never work with children or animals, running a child-focused business can be very rewarding. Whether you turn your home into a daycare, work as a party entertainer or start giving math tutoring, you could create a successful business and enhance some children’s lives in whichever way that you choose. If you want to start a business working with children, there are various things you might consider doing to get set up.
Create Your Business Plan
To create a successful business, you first need a business plan. Of course, you need to start by thinking about what sort of business you want to run. You could do a number of things, based on teaching, childcare, children’s products, entertainment, recreation and various other possibilities. You might already have a skill or experience that you want to make use of. Maybe you’re artistic and you want to start a business offering face painting at parties or selling handmade home accessories for children. You might have childcare experience and want to run a daycare, be a nanny or just do some casual babysitting work. If you have specialist knowledge, you might offer tutoring or other teaching services
Some of the things that you might consider doing include:
- Kids’ party planning
- Kids’ entertainment acts for parties and other events
- Selling toys, clothes, home accessories and other products for children
- Tutoring for academic subjects or classes for other skills
- Daycare and other childcare
Assessing your skills is an important part of planning your business. As well as your skills and experience that help you come up with your business idea, make sure you consider the qualities and skills you will need to work with children. For example, it’s useful if you have a lot of patience when you’re working with children. Being creative and flexible is sure to help you a lot too. Good empathy and a good sense of fun will make it easier for you to relate to the children you work with too.
Your business plan should lay out all of the details about how you plan to grow your business. You can consider your startup costs, where you will carry out your business, what qualifications or licenses you might need, and how you’re going to develop your business over the next year or even several years.
Developing a budget for your business is an important part of getting set up, no matter what type of business you’re running. Some businesses working with children won’t have a huge number of costs. If you want to start as a party entertainer, you might only need a few supplies and perhaps a modest marketing budget. Others might find that they need more funding for things like business premises or equipment. You might be able to fund yourself if you don’t need much money to get started. However, if you need a bit more money, you might want to look into different funding methods. You could take out a business loan, borrow money from friends or relatives, or use an alternative form of funding such as crowdfunding.
Find Premises If Necessary
Some businesses focusing on kids might not require official business premises. You might run your business from home or perhaps visit children and their parents in their homes or in other settings. However, you might need somewhere to base your business right away or you might need to consider moving into an official office or other premises as your business grows. For example, if you want to offer kids’ fitness classes, you’re going to need somewhere to host the classes. Finding the appropriate place for your business can take some time. You need to think about safety, facilities, location and perhaps whether you will be able to customize the space to your liking. You need to keep your customers in mind when choosing a space.
Having references is obviously very useful when you’re trying to build a business. It can be even more important if you want to develop a kid-focused business because you’re asking parents and guardians to trust you with their children. It’s helpful if you already have reliable references for previous work you have done with children, even if it’s some babysitting you did while you were younger. Of course, if your business isn’t working directly with children, this might not be as important. But you still want to build testimonials and reviews from customers to create a good reputation for your business.
Get Further Training
While you might have some useful existing skills, it’s also worth considering whether there is any training that you should undertake to put yourself in a better position to run your business. If you’re going to be working with children, gaining skills in first aid and getting a pediatric CPR certification can help you to keep the children safe. You might also want to consider skills in leadership or education. Perhaps you have a skill, such as dance or artistic ability, but you’ve never taught before. Learning how to be a teacher or instructor will put you in a better position. You can also learn more about what it takes to run a business and how to keep your new business going.
Follow the Law
Make sure that you do everything legally when you set up your kid-focused business. Do you need to do anything to demonstrate that you have a clear criminal record, for example? You might be required to take out insurance. Even if you’re not, it’s still a good idea. Register your business properly and check to see if there are any licenses that you might need or professional bodies that you are required to sign up with. Don’t forget to do everything by the book where your finances and taxes are concerned too. You need to pay the right amount of taxes and keep records of your finances, as well as keeping business finances separate from your personal money.
Marketing Your Business
Being able to market your new business to the right audience is vital. You need to get the word out, and you might not know how. If you’re lucky, you might already have a network of parents to tap into. However, you could be starting from scratch and trying to find a brand new audience to tap into. One of the important things to think about is whether you want to aim your message at adults or at children, or perhaps as mix of both. If you choose to advertise to children, the aim is to get them to ask their parents about your products or services.
There are many ways you might market your child-based business. Some methods might be online, while others could be more traditional marketing methods. Start by thinking about the type of product and where you might find your audience. Do they read the local school newsletter? Perhaps they’re regulars on parenting forums. Maybe they use Facebook groups for local parents or they’re more likely to search for what they need online. You might find that passing out flyers in some key locations and at events could be helpful for you. Or you could discover that focusing your marketing efforts on online advertising and social media is the best thing to do.
It’s certainly a good idea to make sure that you have an online presence. Even though many more traditional marketing methods are still useful, people want to be able to find your business online. It can be especially important if they are trusting you with their children for any amount of time. They want to see that you’re a real person and that you’re capable of taking good care of their kids. You should build a website or at the very least have a professional social media presence that allows people to contact you.
Another thing to consider is listing your business on directory sites. This is especially useful if you are offering a service such as babysitting or nannying, party entertainment, tutoring or other things working directly with children and families. When you’re getting started, it can be a good idea to use these sites for the protection that they can offer both you and your clients or customers.
If you want to show that you are trustworthy, build a secure website that keeps all personal customer information safe. You might also want to see if there are any professional bodies that you can join, which have badges or logos you can display on your site. These will show that you take your business seriously. Memberships with these organizations can often come with benefits too, from insurance to networking opportunities. Some might also have directories or advertising opportunities within their newsletter or on their website.
If you’re going to build a business that focuses on children, being trustworthy is key. Focus on creating a brand that people feel they can trust, and don’t let them down.