Summer Camp Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

summer camp business plan template

Summer Camp Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their summer camp facilities. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a summer camp business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your summer camp as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a summer camp, or grow your existing summer camp, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your summer camp in order to improve your chances of success. Your summer camp business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Summer Camp Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a summer camp facility are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for summer camps.

If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your Summer Camp business plan, download our proven business plan template here.


How to Write a Business Plan for a Summer Camp Facility

If you want to start a summer camp or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below we detail what should be included in each section of a summer camp business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of summer camp you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a summer camp that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of summer camp facilities?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the summer camp industry. Discuss the type of summer camp you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of summer camp you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of summer camps:

  1. Sports Summer Camp: this type of summer camp focuses on helping campers practice and train for a particular sport.
  2. Religious Summer Camp: this type of summer camp includes traditional camp activities with a religious enhancement, such as prayers, discussions and devotional readings.
  3. Day Camp: this type of summer camp is where activities only take place during set daytime hours, and campers are picked up to go home every night.

In addition to explaining the type of summer camp you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of camp reservations, number of positive reviews, total number of campers that have finished the program, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
Bonus: Download our business plan template here and complete your Summer Camp business plan today.


Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the summer camp industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the summer camp industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your summer camp business plan:

  • How big is the industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your summer camp? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your summer camp business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: parents of young athletes, churchgoing parents, and parents of kids with disabilities.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of summer camp you operate. Clearly, parents of kids with disabilities would respond to different marketing promotions than parents of young athletes, for example.

Try to break out your target market in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most summer camps primarily serve customers living in their same city, region or state, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Summer Camp Business Plan in 1 Day!

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your Summer Camp business plan today.


Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other summer camps.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes summer academies and sports leagues. You need to mention such competition as well.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other summer camps with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be summer camps located within your city or region.
competition
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What types of camp activities do they provide?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide better camp activities and experiences?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a summer camp business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of summer camp company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to running a summer camp, will you provide transportation to and from the camp, or any off-season programs?

Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place: Place refers to the location of your summer camp company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your summer camp located in a remote area, at a school, at a sports complex, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions: The final part of your summer camp marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Flyers
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your summer camp, including marketing the camp, speaking with interested families, making reservations, planning camp activities and running the camp.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your 100th camper, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your summer camp to a new city or location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your summer camp’s ability to succeed, a strong camp director and management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing summer camps. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing summer camps or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
sales growth
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you book twenty new campers per month or per quarter? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your summer camp, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a summer camp:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment and supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

business costs

Appendix

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your camp location lease or descriptions of camp programs you are working on.

Summary

Putting together a business plan for your summer camp is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the summer camp industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful summer camp.

Summer Camp Business Plan FAQs

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Summer Camp Business Plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of summer camp business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a summer camp business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of summer camp businesses?



Finish Your Summer Camp Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Summer Camp business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your Summer Camp business plan today.

 

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.
 

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