If you have a genuine love for children, a lot of energy, and a good dose of business acumen, there’s money to be made in the burgeoning Kids’ Market, as being small has never been so big.
And this is good news for the entrepreneur looking for a thriving sector to invest in. Little people are big business. Education and tutoring, fitness and recreation, parties and entertainment, specialised and personalised products and even bath and skincare products are just some of the areas in which there is a huge variety of child-related opportunities to explore.
Meeting today’s needs
Giving your child the best start in life has always been a core motivation for parents everywhere. In the South African context, research shows that parents who did not have opportunities themselves when they were growing up, are now determined to give their children as much of a head start as possible, and who make great sacrifices to provide additional quality education for their children.
With both parents working in many families, and single-parent homes on the rise, businesses that address convenience and time-saving activities are also in great demand. Examples of this could include ready-prepared food products as well as crèches and after-care facilities.
Is this the industry for you?
While the nature of the business may vary substantially across the Kids’ Market, not surprisingly one key requirement for setting up shop would be a passion for children and a desire to interact with them and help them grow. Characteristics such as patience, flexibility, empathy and a sense of wonder will stand you in good stead for building a healthy kiddie business.
There are personal factors to take into account as well, like how a business might impact on your own family. In many instances, a child-related business appeals to new mothers who desire flexibility and feel that it will give them more time with their children. This may be the case, depending on the opportunity, but often the reality is that the start-up phase for any enterprise is fairly demanding; so be sure to go into the industry with your eyes wide open.
Look carefully at the offerings in this space, and chat with existing operators and franchisees about their experience, how they rate the support from their head office, and what they believe the strengths and weaknesses of the system are. Whether you join an existing network or go it alone, thorough research is always the starting point of any successful entrepreneurial endeavour. Liaise with parents in your area to find out what services they require, and visit children-focused businesses to get an understanding of gaps in the market and what it takes to succeed.
The building blocks of business
Building a kiddie-related business requires much the same set of skills as any business – a sound knowledge of business and operational processes is essential to ensure the smooth running of all aspects. It’s important to identify the areas that you are good at and hand over the weaker areas to others. The ability to diversify is also important, as is a willingness to re-invest, change and adapt to what you see and hear from customers is essential.
Consistent marketing is also key. New kids are born all the time, so you should constantly be looking for new customers. Children grow up and move on, so it is about targeting the next set of children, while keeping the existing customers happy. This sector sees new trends and opportunities springing up all the time that get traction very quick.
Researching international trends in the Kids’ Market can also be helpful, as often developed markets are a few steps ahead and local markets progress in the same way in time.
Kids live in a world of magic, excitement and endless possibilities. As an entrepreneur, try to enter that world with them, and you’ll be that much closer to tapping into their desires and needs. If you’re feeling inspired to start up a business in this booming sector, and feel that you tick all the boxes in terms of what it takes, there are many exciting opportunities for you.
Visit our Franchise and Business Opportunities page here, and you might just find the one that is right for you.