|Money, Taxes & Small Business
There is a lot of work attached to opening a daycare business. The list of things to do will seem overwhelming and unending. You have your research, your business plan, designing an area, acquiring staff, obtaining clients and countless other tasks. However, it is equally important you lay the groundwork now for the effective management of your day care business once you are up and running. This article provides some tips on how to do just that.
It goes without saying that you have designed your area with the children in mind. You designated an area where the children would be watched over, where games and activities could take place, where the children could eat, and where the children could rest if they so desired. Did you stop you think about incorporating a specific area where you could work with no distractions. In order to manage your home based daycare business, it is important to have a small work area designated specifically for where you can conduct the operations behind the business. This is where you deal with taxes, staff paperwork, regulatory issues, advertising etc. This is your control center.
Remember, your day care (whether home based or otherwise) is a business and needs to remain separate from your personal affairs. Try to have a separate telephone line and email address for your daycare. Open a bank account specifically to cater for the business and use it to purchase all business related items i.e. office supplies, art supplies, food, cleaning equipment etc. Your business office space should be just that and not used for anything else. I would go so far as to suggest having a separate space in another room with a PC for personal use. This will ensure effective management of your business.
Keep firm tabs on your time management especially if your business is attached to your home. People who do not manage their time effectively find that the overall management of their daycare business is greatly affected.
If you are not fastidious about organizing your time you will become disorganized, inefficient and frazzled with little pieces of you spread all over. You may wish to create schedules about the activities that occur during the day in the daycare, assign family members certain responsibilities to keep track of the chores around the house, dedicate time to handling the operations of the daycare center, and to take stock of supplies and such.
Don't forget to factor in breaks and relaxation time for you too. Childcare is a tiring business and you need to keep yourself in top form.
One of the disadvantages of working for yourself especially if you are home based is the tendency of friends and family to assume you are always free for visits. This can be detrimental to your time management system thus your business. Speak to all concerned and explain that between the hours of 8am and 2pm you are working and unavailable.
Explain that you are a professional and as such need to dedicate yourself completely to the task at hand during these hours. Then put your answering machine on your personal phone and don't give them your business number.
Remember, there are many ways that you can effectively manage your daycare business. You can effectively manage your daycare and family life in tandem, it just takes a bit of thought and a lot of discipline. You must carefully evaluate your needs and concerns and approach them with a business perspective. Policies and procedures take a little bit of work to put in place but once there they make for the smooth running of any business.
Fiona Lohrenz shares her 10 years experience of running a day care on her website where you'll also find her 'Start a ChildCare Business' DVD guide. She can be reached
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