Start a new parent school by following these 10 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your new parent school. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a new parent school?
A new parent school is relatively cost effective to open and operate. You’ll need to have insurance and all necessary business paperwork and filings. You’ll also want to check to see what licensing and certifications you may need through state and local governments.
Some schools operate out of a home or a community center. This reduces costs for a rented space. Utilities, internet, and phone services will be necessary, as well as a website and web hosting. If you are traveling to clients, you should include fuel and maintenance costs for a vehicle in your expenditures.
What are the ongoing expenses for a new parent school?
Most ongoing expenses will consist of insurance, travel costs, phone, internet, and web hosting. If you are a large enough business to need rental space, that cost (as well as utilities) will be included in your monthly bills.
Who is the target market?
New and expecting parents will be your target market.
How does a new parent school make money?
A new parent school collects fees from attendees of their seminars and classes.
How much can you charge customers?
Rates for consultations and classes may vary, but hourly rates for various childhood consultations can range from $150 for online or phone consultations to over $300 for specific one-on-one meetings.
How much profit can a new parent school make?
Most consulting jobs charge by the hour. If you charge $200/hour and average 30 hours of consultations per week, you’re grossing $6,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Create free, pre-recorded general information sessions, as well as expanded informational videos for existing clients to post on your website and online. Not only can you inform customers of your business, but you can make access to your expanded premium content part of a new parent consultation fee.
Offer to inspect homes to ensure the space is in baby-ready condition. Many new parents may overlook certain areas of their environment.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your new parent school is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market a new parent school
A new parent business focuses on helping new and expecting parents prepare for common and unusual newborn situations. Your marketing and advertising should focus on how you’ve positively impacted families. You also want to show your level of experience and knowledge in your field. Your company website should be a hub of information, which includes:
- Testimonials from past clients.
- Available programs
- Information on scheduling in-home consultations for expecting parents
- Online trainings and schedules for in-person learning courses
- A way to connect with other professionals in related fields
You’ll also want to advertise in maternity stores and baby stores, or network with clients and other professionals to expand your reach. Additionally, be sure to maintain a presence on social media to build brand recognition.
How to keep customers coming back
Clients in this kind of atmosphere are looking for a mix of compassion and professionalism. Strive to get to know your clients as whole people, not just new parents. Those interactions and your overall demeanor will go a long way in building your reputation.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
Start A New Parent School In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
Previous nannies, au pairs, nurses, and even experienced parents can structure learning seminars to cover a wide range of new parent questions, concerns, and needed skills.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a new parent school?
As the name implies, a new parent school works with parents of newborns to help ease into the amazing world of parenting. The focus of this business is to educate new parents on as many aspects of parenting that they may need to learn, as well as some they didn’t know they needed. Daily activities will focus on the classes and seminars being taught.
Class scheduling, updating calendars and a website, posting to social media accounts, registering new students, and general office maintenance will also fill up the days.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful new parent school?
Since you’re teaching new parents about newborns and early childhood, your experience level should be substantial. Someone with prior work as a neonatal nurse, an au pair, a nanny, a home daycare owner, or a parent with exceptional experience and a background in teaching or public speaking would be an excellent candidate for this job. You’ll need to be a bit of a natural communicator, capable of speaking to crowds or just individuals. You’ll also want some experience organizing and hosting events.
What is the growth potential for a new parent school?
Somewhat of a new concept, new parent schools are gaining popularity for better preparing parents for the difficulties of early childhood. As science and medicine become even more advanced, we are able to understand human development processes with greater insight. Preparing parents with this knowledge leads to stronger families. The possibility of seeing these schools become standard institutions is significant.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a new parent school?
Many people won’t be aware of the existence of a business or service like this one. Therefore, you’ll need to create a market for your services. Advertise in maternity stores and baby stores. Seek out new mother support groups, and look for forums or groups online where you can network.
Maintain a focus on what you can do to improve lives before thinking about your initial profit margin. You’re working to build a culture as well as a business. You may want to start with some free seminars or consultations. Your client's word-of-mouth recommendations will be as powerful as any advertising.
How and when to build a team
In the beginning, a new parent school is often a one-person endeavor. Most of the scheduling and consultations will be done by you. Although you can build powerful relationships with clients, there aren’t necessarily a lot of return customers. Once you have spent time developing a reputation for your expertise, though, you may be able to open a clinic or spend more time giving advice to full classes of new and expecting parents. At this point, you’d want to bring in staff or assistants.