A saying I have heard before; 'opportunity knocks.' In this instance an opportunity has well and truly 'knocked.'
I have longed to open my own business since I was young, and having trained in childcare and education it was destined to be a day nursery. I furthered my career in childcare and education through attending university achieving a first in Primary Teacher Education.
After full time teaching for a number of years, I felt it necessary to leave to return to full time mother-ship due to difficulties within my children's school. Since leaving, I have supported the growth of a business in the motor trade - and from this I have gained the confidence needed to reach for my own dreams.
Opportunity knocks the right door!!
Premises and location are the first things needed for a successful business. The premises I have found is a qwerky middle entry building. It has the potential to house the under 2's on the first floor, and subsequently the 2-5 years on the lower floor. It has a garden, which needs a lot of work to get it to standard, with the area space required for a minimum 36 capacity nursery.
The potential nursery building is located opposite to the local Civic Centre, where there will be many opportunities to make links with local dance and drama groups. An amazing educational advantage in consideration to the Early Years Framework. Adjacent to the Civic Centre is the local library, where lies many opportunities to support good old Pie Corbett, with opportunities to make key social links with the community for exciting reading and exploring opportunities. Along the road where the nursery is situated, is Stourport's local park and splash pad. Young children will flourish from the physical exploration of the many activities available within this park.
As you can imagine from the description of the location it is more than ideal. My market research also supports that it will be a successful venture. I have made links with a Nursery Development Officer, who viewed the property and from analysing local data believes there is a strong enough demand for success. The land lady of the property is supportive of the change from a residential to commercial property and is happy for me to make changes to the building.
So why am I trying to raise funds?
I am using what is left of my savings to finance this venture. However, turning a residential property into a commercial venture is a costly one. From beginning the Ofsted registration process to the point where I have been granted Ofsted registration, and can begin trading, is a potential period of 26 weeks. The building has to be nursery fit and ready to operate from the 12th week of the registration form being sent to the 26th week. Only when I have an Ofsted registration number can I allow children into the nursery and retrieve some of the money invested.
This is the biggest fear factor.
I have the savings to carryout the restoration to the garden, to install all amenities required within the building, to build the nursery with all security, safety and decorative features required and to pay all legal fees and change of use fees. My fear is; how much of a contingency amount will I have remaining? Do I walk away from the risk? Or do I try everything to make this possible? Will I ever find such an ideal building in such an ideal location again?
I'd never heard of crowdfunding before. I looked through the case studies of projects on here thinking 'it just doesn't look like my project.' If I begin a project is this the next thing to begging? But, my project is here for you to read because I thought if I tell my story and share my opportunity and more so my fear then readers can make their own mind up. Am I a project that is worthy of your support?
I am me, tenacious me, striving for something I believe will work and knowing it will succeed because I will not fail, not in front of the eyes of my children. The failure risk is solely financial.
Thank you for reading my story.