You have a business idea to start an out-of-school program. Now, do you need to write a business plan if you are planning to start small and not thinking of seeking external investment? Many small business owners tend to dismiss business plans as documents that do little more than take up space on their office shelves, and consider them unnecessary if they have no plans to look for funding.
Although it’s not a mandatory requirement, writing a business plan is a great way to get a clearer perspective about the nitty-gritties of transforming your hazy business idea into an actual plan. It can draw your attention to practical road-blocks and legal requirements, and get you thinking about market realities that you might not have considered otherwise.
In this article, we will take you on a step-by-step journey to write a business plan for out-of-school programs.
Writing A Business Plan For Out Of School Programs
This is the section that sums up your entire business plan. The important details to include in this section is a quick overview of what your out of school program is all about, how you plan to operate it, and what your forecasts are for its future. If you are planning to seek funding or external investment, you can include a summary of your growth plans and financial information and any graphs or charts to support your data. However, remember to leave this section for the last as this would be the summary of the rest of the sections in your business plan.
This is the section where you provide insights on the foundation of your business – your motivation to start the venture, your experience, skills and vision for the future of the business. List out your goals and objectives in such a way that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART).
- To have 80 sign-ups in the first six months
- To add a Holiday Play Scheme to my services at the end of year one
Also include the ownership details of your business, the legal structure of your company (Partnership, Limited Company etc.) and the number of staff you expect to employ.
Give an in-depth description of the services you will offer in your out-of-school program. Will you operate as a breakfast club, after-school program, holiday clubs or provide a combination of all three services?
Will your program focus on a specific area such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), martial arts or craft? Or will it be a multi-activity program aimed at providing childcare support for parents?
Provide details of your location, opening hours, expected staff: children ratio, the age range of children you will be catering to.
Carry out a study of your competition and market demographics. Consult reliable Government databases for recent statistics and information about the demand for out of school care in your area. If possible, conduct visits to other out of school clubs and childminders in your area and do your own bit of research to size up your competition.
Use this section to create a detailed pricing plan. Will you keep your prices at par with your competitors or will you offer competitive introductory pricing to gain entry into the market? Decide on whether you will offer a single session or if you will offer more flexibility to parents by offering multiple session timings? (For example, will you offer a single after-school session from 3.15 p.m – 5.45 p.m at £12 Or offer an additional option of 3.15 p.m. - 4.30 p.m at £7)
Provide details of where you plan to operate your club from. Are you planning to buy, rent or lease the building or will you operate from within your local school premises? If you are renting or leasing, will it be a shared premise like a community hall or Scout hut? Provide details of safety and security considerations and legal compliance requirements that you will need to meet.
Sketch out a clear plan on how you intend to market your after-school program. Will you stick to word of mouth marketing or do you plan to get the word out by distributing fliers, going for sponsorships and digital marketing? You can check out our article on Marketing Tips for Out of School Clubs for more ideas.
Create tables of your start-up budget ( costs for furnishing, fit-out, books, toys, computers, tablets, billing and invoicing system, office supplies, policies and procedures, staff salaries, rent/mortgage, staff training, insurance etc.) profit and loss forecast and cashflow forecast using the estimated costs and the projected fee structure.
Regulations and Compliance
Provide details on the compliance requirements and regulations that you will need to fulfil such as health and safety regulations for the premises, staff vetting procedures, criminal record checks etc.
This brings your business plan to an end. This is the section where you include documents that you cannot fit into the other sections such as legal documents, licenses, reference letters, credit histories, permits, and resumes.
You can download our free business plan template for after-school programs to help you get started.