Kid's Community College® will focus on two subdivisions: 'Lake St. Charles' and 'The Villages of Lake St. Charles,' which are new upscale community developments within a 2 square mile radius and boast over 900 new homes.
The target customers are dual income, middle-class families who value the quality of education and child care provided for their children ages 4 months to 12 years.
Kid's Community College's® value proposition is quite clear and quite easily distinguished from others in the market. We offer uniquely premium child care services, as measured by the curriculum and activities offered, experience and educational level of the instructors, community involvement and community college theme.
We start with a critical competitive edge: there is no competitor in our market that is offering our concept, quality of educational program and child care services. Our educational approach is unique and we have a resource with over 25 years of child care expertise and over 17 years of technology savvy. Our positioning on these points is very hard to match, but only if we maintain the focus in our strategy, marketing, business development, and fulfillment. We should be aware that the tendency to dilute this expertise with bargain shopping could weaken the importance of our competitive edge, but we must continue to bolster our value proposition.
Marketing in the child care industry depends largely on reputation and referral. At Kid's Community College® that reputation will start within our community bolstered by our involved commitment to those we serve.
We will depend on client referrals, community exposure and direct mail campaigns as our main way to reach new clients. As we change strategies, however, we need to change the way we promote ourselves:
1. Advertising--We'll be developing our core positioning message: "A community college for kids!" to differentiate our service from the competition. We will be using direct mail campaigns, pre-enrollment drives, and local community newspaper advertising to launch the initial campaign.
2. Sales Brochure--Our theme and curriculum will help sell the college to prospective clients.
3. Direct Mail--We will send quarterly direct mail campaigns to the housing developments in a 10-mile radius of the campus. We will also offer monthly calendars for parents and the Lake St. Charles community, noting weekend family days and other open house approaches.
4. Community Involvement--We will be active in the Lake St. Charles community, sponsoring events at the community center for families and residents.
Catered open houses, parent survival days/nights, clubhouse pool parties and weekend movie matinees are but a few approaches we will utilize to reach out to our community. We will also develop and maintain partnerships with local businesses that cater to the needs of children.
Our pre-opening effort will include an application fee waiver, free children ID cards, T-shirts and a community block party sponsored and hosted by Kid's Community College®.
For families who value the importance of higher education and quality child care services, Kid's Community College® offers a great alternative to traditional child care services and specific interest based programs. Unlike those programs, KCC combines child care services with a modified collegiate level curriculum, just for kids!
Kid's Community College® must charge appropriately for the high-end, high-quality educational and care giving services we offer. Our revenue structure has to support our cost structure, so the salaries we pay to assure quality services must be balanced by the revenue we charge.
We will be price competitive in the market we serve; however, we will not subscribe to the "low price leader" concept. The quality of our service will support the prices we charge.
Kid's Community College® will sell its community college theme, services and offerings, separating itself from traditional daycare-only offerings.
We will be a one-stop shop for child care services, advanced learning and specialized program offerings. We will also be active in the community, building a solid reputation with parents and the community. By succeeding in these areas, we expect to begin seeing an operational net profit in month nine of the 1st year, while increasing enrollment by 32% monthly for the first 8 months and gradually thereafter, until our maximum allowed capacity is reached.
The following table and chart give a run-down on forecasted sales. A detailed spreadsheet is also included in the appendix of this business plan.
For the first eight months of operation, Kid's Community College® has assumed a conservative enrollment due to the fact that school, aftercare and child care placement has already taken place for the school year and most parents will be comfortable with their current arrangements. Consequently, we expect initial enrollment to be far less than anticipated future year levels.
A sales increase of approximately 32% each month is expected until the start of the next school term, in August. While this forecasted increase seems large by industry standards, it is a good estimate based on initial enrollment. Going into years 2 and 3, we expect that our presence will be known, convenience factor considered and we will then be a considered as a choice in August 2003. In fiscal years 2004 and 2005, 80% and 90% of full enrollment is assumed respectively.
We expect to be open for business on January 1, 2003, starting with an initial enrollment of 13 students:
7 Full-time students at $115 each per week. 6 After-school students at $60 each per week and Drop-in revenue of approximately $100 per month.
Sales programs will include incentives for obtaining quarterly financial and enrollment goals, probationary period completion, passing county inspections and maintaining perfect attendance.
Customer service awards will be provided for those employees who best exemplify the mission of Kid's Community College® and exceed customers' expectations.
The accompanying table highlights important start-up milestones, with dates, completion status, responsible parties and budgets for each. The milestone schedule indicates our emphasis on planning for implementation.
What the table doesn't show is the commitment behind it. Our business plan includes complete provisions for plan-vs.-actual analysis, and we will hold monthly follow-up meetings to discuss the variance and course corrections.
As mentioned previously, Kid's Community College® will form professional alliances with Impact Fitness to offer Drop-In child care services while parents work out. We will also partner with Family Pediatrics to provide referrals of their existing customers. A discounted rate will be offered in both cases.