Starting and continuing an in-home child care program can be expensive. You must pay for cleaning supplies, toys, educational tools, employees, and all the other added normal expenses for your house. All of this can add up. We are here to help!
If you are like many people, you want to save as much money as you can. Below we talk about ways you can save money for your business.
Keep Inventory and Create a Budget
When you plan on what you are going to have for dinner this week, you take inventory what you have and what you need, then you create your grocery list. Keeping inventory and creating a budget for your child care, is just like planning what you are going to have for dinner this week. You don’t want to spend more money on food you already have, and you want to save on what you do have to buy. These two go hand in hand, the inventory will help you keep track of what you need for your budget. If done right, these can be an easy way to keep track of your money and save it. It requires some work to get started, but after it’s started, all you need to do is keep it up to date weekly, or monthly depending on your budget. To start tracking your inventory, write down (or create a spreadsheet) everything you use and how much you have of it. The basics of keeping a good budget is to jot down all your expenses, anything you spend money on for your child care (cleaning supplies, food, employee costs, etc.) and all your income (i.e. how many kids and how much you charge per kid). Then you want to track the amount each thing contributes. This will help with many of the other ways we have to save money.
Save on Supplies
Supplies are generally a smaller expense but finding ways to save here can make a big difference. There are many ways of saving money on your supplies. You can save a bunch of money putting in a little extra work by doing research, finding coupons, or even going to stores that sells in bulk. For example, if you find yourself having to buy large amounts of cleaning supplies, try to find a store that will sell to you in bulk. Then you don’t have to worry about buying them for a while and you saved money in the long term. You can find deals for everything, whether it is finding coupons or seeing if another store sells the same product for cheaper. Just by doing a little extra work and research, you can save money each time you buy which will add up. Another way you can save on supplies, is to see what the parents can provide. The more a parent can provide, like diapers, the cheaper it’ll be for you. It could be one less thing you have pay for.
Getting used equipment can be a great way to save money. Just like buying a used car or thrifting for clothes, used equipment, like books and toys, are cheaper too. You can ask your friends and family for children’s books and toys they aren’t using anymore. Some families would love to get rid of their children’s toys and books that their kids have outgrown, usually for FREE. Likewise, going to thrift stores or the return sections of a store can save you a lot of money. Sometimes you will find some cool things at a thrift store too!
Save money on other Expenses
There are many things that are expenses other than toys, books, cleaning supplies and food. There is insurance, licenses, staff and even taxes. Finding ways, you can save on each one of these is just as important as saving on the kids’ toys. Putting in a little extra work and researching insurance plans that fit your needs and are affordable is a great way to save. Accidents happen and you want to make sure they will be covered. Liability coverage is a requirement, so why not try to save money on it (if it still covers everything you need of course). You can also find what you can deduct from your taxes. There are multiple things that an in-home child care provider, like yourself, can deduct from your taxes and get more money back. In addition, you could require your employees to have their mandatory licenses, like CPR, before they get hired so you don’t have to pay for it.
Going green saves too! Just by turning off or unplugging electronics that you aren’t using or reducing the amount of water you use can save you big bucks. Not only saving on electricity and water, but also using reusable silverware and plates, if you provide lunches, will save money. Using less paper towel, napkins, single-use plastics and paper will keep you from having to keep buying them. There are many ways to make your business greener and environmentally friendly. It also looks great that you care for the environment, bonus for the parents!
Save Money on Employees
Employees can be a large expense, especially if you are hiring professionals to work for you. Good employees are crucial for running your business but there are a few ways to save on them too without sacrificing talent or hard work. Think about hiring young adults such as students. Many students and young adults would love the opportunity to work with kids especially over summer break. Also, many schools have child care classes that you could reach out to and offer opportunities for the students in the class to come and help you watch the children. It provides them with a good educational opportunity and could even be incentivized by the teacher as extra credit all the while providing you with an opportunity to save some money and give a good experience to the students in your community.
Advertising is one of the most important parts of any business. There are many free ways of advertising through social media. In our day and age, social media is the biggest way to reach people. If you do not have an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn, you need to get one! Social media can be a great way to reach other parents and promote your service. They are free and you can do it yourself. You can partner up with other people or business on social media to reach more people. There are also paid advertising methods on social media platforms, which can be cheap. Social media is the quickest way to get information, so use it to your advantage.
We understand saving money requires some effort and time, but it can pay off in the long run. Many of these tips can also be used in your personal life too! We hope our tips help you save big.