Opening any new business can prove far more difficult than predicted; this is especially true of opening a preschool, because you, the owner, are often being driven by a desire to work with children. However, after the initial excitement, the owner can be swamped with stress and steep learning curves in terms of licensing requirements, staffing, finances and marketing. As a result, there may be little business growth which further exacerbates the problems.
Stress
A new preschool owner may not be prepared to handle the daily stress brought on by a new business. The pace is often much more hectic than imagined and is complicated by dealing with difficult situations such as discipline and unhappy parents or staff. Money concerns and steep learning curves in terms of administrative duties can truly leave owners feeling like they are in way over their heads.
Licensing Requirements
Licensing requirements can be one of the most difficult things to master and can have the most dire consequences if the owner fails to be thoroughly knowledgeable in this area. The process is often very complex and varies from state to state. Failing to follow the guidelines can result in a preschool being sanctioned or even shut down. As a result the preschool can lose the trust of parents or even be sued if a child is hurt while attending the preschool.
Staffing
Managing staff can also be much more difficult than imagined. First, you have to attract and retain highly qualified staff members, because this is the most important factor in attracting and retaining parents. You must also make sure that background checks are performed and must deal with a variety of scheduling conflicts. You must also learn to delegate so as not to be totaling overwhelmed – not an easy task for those who like to be in control.
Marketing
Those owners who attempt to open a preschool without some understanding of marketing will see very little business growth. It is true that word of mouth is the most effective tool in a preschool’s arsenal. However, that is not true in the beginning and you must be prepared to aggressively market using a variety of tools such as mass e-mailing and Social Networks like Facebook. As an owner, you must also understand how to track marketing results in order to make informed decisions.
Finances
Ultimately the success or business growth of any preschool is measured in terms of finances. This too can come with a steep learning curve and managing finances may require the help of an expert or the need to learn special software. Then, there are cash-flow problems. Start up costs can require almost three months of operating cost without any incoming money. Also, deadbeat parents must be dealt with, which is often hard for those who are tender-hearted.
As a result of these issues, it is simply not enough to be passionate about children. Preschool owners, like yourself must be knowledgeable about licensing requirements and must be able to handle staffing, marketing, and financial issues. Unfortunately, these are often underestimated by owners who are experiencing the thrill of opening a new business. However, failure to get a handle on them can result in a great deal of stress for you, the owner and perhaps even ultimately failure.