We offer some valuable bits of advice on how to start an adoption agency.
The Adoption Industry in the U.S.
Although it may seem odd to refer to it in business terminology, adoption is indeed an industry in the United States. Despite the charitable impulses that motivate the majority of the people in the industry, an adoption agency is a potentially profitable business venture for individuals who are passionate about creating brighter futures for disadvantaged kids.
Presently, there are approximately 1.5 million adopted kids in the U.S. (2% of all U.S. children). But before you plunge headfirst into the adoption game, you need to recognize that the adoption industry is regulated on a state-by-state basis and subject to ethical standards to ensure that kids and families are adequately protected.
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) publishes standards for adoption service providers. Before embarking on an adoption agency startup, review CWLA materials to make sure you are prepared to design an agency capable of exceeding the industry's minimum standards.
Essential Features of Top-Tier Adoption Agencies
From the beginning, it's important to make a commitment to launch a high quality adoption agency. The top adoption agencies successfully combine the best practices of the adoption world with sound business practices. After you have completed licensing requirements with your state's social services division, it's time to begin the hard work of creating a viable and professional agency.
Professionalism and organization are the hallmarks of a quality adoption agency. An attractive agency website is a must for attracting prospective families and moms consideration adoption placements, but you will also need to invest time in face-to-face networking, recordkeeping, prescreening and adoption follow-up activities.
Creating Office Procedures for a Startup Adoption Agency
Sloppy office routines have no place in an adoption agency. Startup adoption agency entrepreneurs need to place a high priority on developing, documenting and monitoring sound procedures throughout the workplace.
Administrative professionals will undoubtedly play a central role in your adoption agency's everyday routines. When hiring administrative personnel, you'll want to look for individuals who have experience in a busy office setting and have a proven ability to handle the demands of a sensitive work environment.
Creating a Business Plan for an Adoption Agency
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a small business owner is to not create a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. If you don't have a business plan, your leadership will be handicapped, choosing short-term opportunities at the expense of long-term benefits.
The first step in creating a business plan is to develop a mission statement for your organization. With a carefully crafted mission statement in place, you can begin to build on it with goals, budget estimates, marketing plans and other elements that are typically found in startup business plans.
Prior to opening an adoption agency in your town, it's essential to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to find competitors in your city. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of adoption agencies in your community.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you are interested in starting an adoption agency, the next step is to speak with somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Fortunately, somebody who runs an adoption agency on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you go about finding an adoption agency owner in another city who you can speak with?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Advantages of an Adoption Agency Purchase
On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter adoption agency ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. Yet adoption agency startups aren't easy - many fail within the first year.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. By buying a profitable adoption agency, you'll shorten the amount of time it takes to achieve a return on your investment because you'll have the advantage of a proven operation and an existing customer base.
Explore Franchising Options
Your odds of avoiding failure in business increase if you buy a franchise rather than going it alone.
If your goal is to start an adoption agency, you should determine whether franchising might increase your chances of success.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you came here to learn about selling to adoption agencies, this isn't the right place for you. Try these resources instead:
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