If you are considering buying a preschool in Florida, here are a few tips that can help you through the process. Buying a preschool or childcare center is a great investment, but as with buying any business, there are a few steps that can help make sure the process is successful.
1 Start with a reputable broker — Using a business broker, ideally one with significant experience in the childcare industry, is a smart move. A broker will be focused on making the transaction a win-win for all involved and will have access to childcare businesses for sale that may not be public knowledge.
2 Be open minded — Many prospective business owners have preconceived idea of exactly what they want. However, local market conditions or unique opportunities may mean there isn’t an exact match between preschool businesses for sale and what you want to buy or own. If you can stay flexible and open to new ideas, you will be surprised at how many more options are available.
3 Know the license requirements — Childcare businesses and education facilities have specialized license and certification requirements that are different from other business-to-consumer industries. Particularly in Florida, it’s important to learn about the regulations, or work with a broker or service (like Kids Depot Realty) that can help you through the process. A great purchase price can become a nightmare if you have to spend the next year with the doors closed while you get the correct licenses.
4 Empty seats matter — Empty seats are excess inventory and are not necessarily bad things when you are buying a business. While a full center with a waiting list is ideal for cashflow and business growth, empty seats are opportunities for new owners to grow the business and often a new approach creates new energy among employees and parents. A change in business ownership can be positioned as a very positive step and lets a new owner quickly tap into the center’s potential.
5 Its’ not just about the numbers — Staff expertise and longevity, curriculum, brand awareness and other intangibles are important not only in considering the purchase price, but also in evaluating the ownership transition and operations. Try not to focus just on the sale price — think also about the management team, marketing and sales potential, and time required for operations. This is another area where an experienced child care center broker can identify hidden costs and opportunities based on years of work in the preschool arena.
If you are considering buying or opening a childcare center in Florida, be sure to call the preschool experts at Kids Depot Realty, (561) 575-9700. We will be happy to talk with you about your goals, your industry experience, our expert network, and our current listings of preschools for sale, most of which are not listed publicly. Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation.