More than just money
The children's services market is quite diverse, including child care, tutoring, sports, leisure and entertainment. It is also a highly regulated industry, which brings its own challenges.
How are franchise businesses tapping into this diverse market?
Sweet Dreams and Goodnight
A children’s services business that specialises in organising sleepover party experiences, Sweet Dreams and Goodnight is headed up by Mel Jacobs.
“Client referrals have been extremely important in the growth and success of the business,” says Jacobs.
“Quite simply, mum’s talk to one another and pass on anything that makes their life easier. If something is good, they will tell everyone they know and you reap the rewards, especially on social media.
“But if something is overpriced and/or under-delivered, you can almost guarantee your phone will stop ringing.”
Customer growth in the model depends on:
Prompt and regular communication with customers
Attention to detail during the set-up
Local area marketing
Staying abreast of trends in the community so they can be included in packages
Overheads include a reliable vehicle to carry the equipment, as well as equipment wear and tear. Jacobs says the maintenance is minimal, however, with replacements inexpensive and easy.
“At the moment, the main challenge is not being able to meet demand,” she says.
“Like all child-service businesses, dealing with an over-anxious parent can sometimes be interesting, but communication is key. Once you speak to them and explain how it works, reassure them that you know what you are doing, keep in regular contact and show up on time, everything usually works out well.
“The only other challenge would be keeping up with the latest trends that kids are interested in, and seeing how they can be incorporated into the parties,” says Jacobs.
Initial investment starts from $40,000, including initial franchise fee. The franchisor provides ongoing regular support (online and face-to-face).
“You have to be prepared to put the effort in at the beginning to build your reputation as a great party provider,” says Jacobs.
“The model allows you to embrace your creativity and have some fun … in somebody else’s house!”
Rock-a-Bye Baby Hire
The Rock-a-Bye Baby Hire franchise offers hire and professional installation of baby capsules.
Franchisor Danni Guerreiro says franchisees do not need any certification as full training is provided.
In terms of overheads, she says that initially franchisees will be able to run their business single handedly, “though with time and organic growth of their territory, we would presume that some will need staff as well as suitable premises to warehouse their stock fleet”.
Guerreiro says a benefit of the model is that margins are significantly higher than retail as franchisees can achieve good return on investment on all their stock items.
“Franchisees can also easily run their business from home, eliminating the need for high rent and the accompanying wages and utility costs that come with having commercial premises,” she adds.
However, buyers need to keep in mind that as the baby equipment is designed to save a baby’s life in the event of a car accident, items must be clean and safe to meet customer expectations.
The initial investment is $14,990, including training, new equipment for hire, marketing (no fund), accreditation as a restraint fitter, and an exclusive territory.
Check out the children’s services category.