Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

Is the Daycare a Business?

Well, no. It’s not. A business is an entity that exists to make money. They are here to turn a profit. Sure, some people start a business because it’s a dream or to keep a family tradition going or some other reason–but at the end of the day, it really comes down to “are we making money, or losing it?” I’ve coached a lot of business owners in my work, and have studied entrepreneurship’s best practices my entire adult life (I also run a profitable consulting business of my own). Sometimes when I coach a struggling business, we find something that is broken and fix it, turning that business around. Sometimes after trying a lot of things, we find that maybe the business model just won’t work. Wrong location, wrong customer base, wrong idea, wrong owner. It can be a lot of things. Then, after trying everything we can think of, I might tell that business owner that if I were in her or his shoes, I’d probably close up shop instead of continuing to lose money. It’s the truth–it’s what I would do.

Daycare is a different story. It’s very rarely a profitable idea, and there are few people willing to take the risk of starting a private daycare. As a coach, I’d advise someone looking to start a daycare to tread pretty lightly–to dig deep into her soul (and savings account) to be sure she was up to a potential heartbreak. It’s a labor of love, or a bankruptcy. I’d tell the same thing to anyone looking to start a for-profit swimming pool, or a softball park, or a community center. These are all services that are important for a community, but wouldn’t be provided at all if left to private businesses. That’s what  government is for–to provide services that the people need or want, but aren’t profitable enough to entice an entrepreneur to provide them.

Daycare is one of those services. I’m not saying a daycare owned and operated by the City is the only answer–or even the absolute best answer. But it is an answer for us in our little village in the valley. Without it, young families would look elsewhere, teachers and young couples would pass over Montrose as an option, and a significant economic impact would be lost (whatever that number is).  The biggest thing to go, in my mind, would be the unique partnership we’ve formed between the City and the school. I travel small communities all across the northern great plains. Trust me–what we have is special. In most towns I study, the City and School don’t even talk to each other about the future of the community, let alone partner financially to make a better one.

Comments are open–spark a conversation.