Q : I want to start my own nursery. I have worked as a deputy manager for two years and have funds behind me but don’t know where to start. Can anyone help?
A: You have already jumped a few important hurdles for a start-up business. You know the sector you want to start in and you have finance. You also have previous experience in your chosen sector so you should be able to avoid some of ìthe learning curves issues usually associated with a new business. So you are off to a good start.
Now the next steps you need to think about: Buying an existing nursery or starting from scratch? Buying an existing nursery has lots of things going for it. For example, you can get started quicker. If you need to get finance, buying an existing business should be easier as the market for the product – in this case a nursery – will have already been demonstrated. You will have an existing customer base and existing employees. On the other hand you will need to buy out the existing owner. Some businesses for sale have been neglected by their owners and have been allowed to run down. Once you think you have found the right business make an offer in writing and include any conditions you want, such as the owner working in the business for an overlap period of, say, a few weeks.
If you do decide to start from scratch you have to do research on the potential demand for a nursery, the best location (facilities and cost wise), as well as having to equip the chosen premises and to find any staff you require and train them. Once you have acquired the premises and employed staff you have to create an awareness of your business by advertising it from leaflet drops to local media. Starting a nursery from scratch will take time. Many new business owners underestimate the length of time it will take to set up, begin trading and get the business into profit.
During this process, you need the help and advice from two people: your solicitor and accountant. If you have not already got both you should appoint them as soon as possible. Find advisers who are experienced in starting and buying a business. There are websites where you can find appropriate advisers. You are, hopefully, going to have a long-term relationship with both your solicitor and your accountant, so you need to find advisers who are interested in you and will help to make your new business a success. Getting an accountant on board early on is a good move. They can help you prepare a business plan, which apart from being necessary to raise any finance you need, will be a tool to help you compare your business performance once you start trading.
Advice originally supplied by Andy, Business Link