Consider the business plan that you must create for your new child care business as a persuasive, logical argument that uses a specific, formal structure. The business case you must present includes a description of the opportunity, the means you have to take advantage of the opportunity, the methods you will use, and the results you expect to achieve. Each piece is geared towards supporting the case for the business’s success and, therefore, for investors or lenders to put money in.
Opportunity: Industry, Customer, and Competitor Analyses
Detailing the opportunity includes three key sections. The overall situation and child care industry forces you will have to deal with are covered in industry analysis, the intended customer demographic and need is covered in the customer analysis, and the weaknesses of current and future competitors serving that need is the competitor analysis. Together, the data and analysis you include in these sections should show a reader that you understand the job at hand won’t be easy, but have nonetheless spotted a true, specific opportunity for a new child care center.
Means: Management Team
The management team you describe, including yourself, should provide readers with confidence that the skills, experience, and drive needed to succeed are available to the company. The means to fill all of the key functional roles (staff training, administration, sales and marketing) should be either covered by the skills of the management team or explained with a plan for strategic hiring. Biographical descriptions of team members should focus in on the skills and experience that is relevant to the business opportunity only.
Methods: Operations and Marketing Plans
You must next detail what tactics the company will use when launched. The operations plan should describe the major functional areas of the child care business and specific ideas you bring to the company to be more efficient than the competition. The marketing plan should bridge the gap between your child care center’s proposed services and the customers’ needs by showing how you will make parents aware of your business and win their confidence.
Results: Financial Plan
Finally, the financial plan shows what the results will look like in numbers such as children cared for, revenue brought in, operating cost, and net profit. Within these numbers, investors need to see enough profit to either fuel future growth to new locations, position the company for a strategic sale, or to allow for significant dividends to be paid out over time. An opportunity that cannot be acted upon profitably is no good for a business plan or an investment and you must show how this will work within your financial model.