We at B&F Services have the delight of being able to speak with one of our clients, who is ready to launch their start up, within the child care industry. We believe this is going to change the way the child care industry operates at current. With such an innovative startup being brought to the market, we are expecting with the level of innovation behind this startup, for it to take off with ease.

With an estimated 23,500-day nurseries, 9,600 pre-schools / sessional creches, 59,500 childminders and 15,000 out-of-school childcare providers in the UK, the market has seen a 3.1% growth on average each year, Bovan Creek covering each and every aspect of childcare, will be able to take the market by storm.

After the COVID outbreak, many industries have had to change and adapt over night, as many people as possible, now working from home, schooling from home, everything from home. Putting a pause on the world and businesses, resulting in people losing their jobs, but also people having the time they did not have before. The childcare industry has been affected, with more people at home there is not as much demand, but as the world and every industry opens up again, what could be better than easy, safe, reliable and simplistic child care? This is where Bovan Creek has changed the way childcare works.

More than 18,110 business currently running childcare services within the UK, none of which offering the same service as Bovan Creek, this really is a market changer, going to stand out with ease.

Chiamaka Unachukwu being inspired by her everyday life, with friends and family, her love for this and wanting to help out has resulting in the beginning of an industry leading business.

The following interview allowed us to get to know much more about the childcare industry, the Bovan creek product and service, along side what it's really like to have a startup.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and background - how this shaped your startup?

My name is Chiamaka Unachukwu and I am just a person who loves kids, this has played a big role in my startup. I find myself being around a lot of friends who have kids and being around a lot of children, because of my love for that I wanted to do something that would impact the children's life and also the working parents lives, that I see myself round.

Would you like to introduce and tell us a little about your startup?
What was it that inspired you to start this business?

Bovan creek is the name of my company, it being a child care company stemmed up from my love of kids, and also the fact I have a lot of friends with kids. I used to constantly hear them talk about their struggles in making sure their kids are going to and fro from school. Which got me thinking, unlike America, the UK do not have an active carpool system. My company is centred around an app, which is actively a carpool system app. I noticed that the UK does not have an active carpool system which can help alleviate the struggles of an average working parent. So I wanted to swoop in and take off one more thing off of the to do list of a working parent. We all know how much they struggle with juggling hectic working hours morning and evening rush hour traffic, and also making sure their kids are picked up and dropped off where they are supposed to be. So that was my general thinking when I was conceiving my business model and idea.

When did you launch? Why did this feel like the right time? If your business has started due to COVID – why was this the right time? If you are yet to launch, what are your plans for launching?

Not yet, we had a few draw backs and setbacks because of COVID, but we are anticipating to launch at the end of May and beginning of June. I wanted to create a big buzz around my launch, so I wanted to get with partnerships with advertisement companies, just making sure we get our name across, in terms of flyers and having a launch day party. My company knows the importance of social media, so we just wanted to get a lot of attention for our launch.

What made you put together a business plan? How do you feel this has helped you get to where you are now?

A business plan I always tell people is very very important, a business plan is crucial to draw up an effective business model and strategy. A business plan allows us to come up with a thoroughly researched method, that will be used to implement our business successfully. it gives out company a foresight to how our business is likely to proceed in the near future. and this greatly improves our chance of success. It really has helped to us to where we are now because it has given us a guided structure in terms of our long term and immediate goals. So its helped me successfully plan out my next steps, to accurately move forward and elevate my business.

We would love to know more about your business model – from product / service to your target market.

Our target audience is the working parent, with children of all ages. We are looking from 0 years all the way to even 18 years. At this stage we will be pushing to the market our carpool service app, which will allow parents to safely and easily pick up and drop off service for their little ones. Be it from them going to school or them going to visit nan, going to visit friends and going to any other recreational activity. To allow them to have a safe and easy, reliable carpool service for their kids.

What is it that makes you unique and stand out from the rest, and why would people take notice of this?

Our unique selling point is our level of innovation, and security. Right now, the field we are penetrating is completely unexplored and it is uncharted territory, so to speak. The UK is in need of an active carpool system and in terms of security we have taken great thought in this aspect. We have ensured that our business foundation is centred around safety, and having incorporated safety features, that has not yet been done by any other company, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

How has COVID has had an effect on your business, both positive and / or negative?

COVID has brought some drawbacks, there has been some downward trend in our target audience, as many people have lost their jobs due to COVID, this has reduced the number of working parents in the market. However as economies are opening back up we don’t in-vision this to be a continuous problem to our company in the near future. On a more positive note, COVID has allowed us to take the necessary time needed to properly brand and develop our company, to make sure our entry into the market is a smooth one.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Our major achievement is the buzz we have been able to get around our people locally, It has given us the confidence boost that we needed, to know that our entry to the market will be successful and will be able to capture a lot of our targeted market. Our only setback right now is the incorporation of our safety feature because sourcing has been a little bit of an issue but however we are confident in the upcoming weeks, this set back will be totally resolved.

Where do you see your startup in the future, both near and far (2-10 years)?

In the next 2 - 10 years I see our services being used nation wide, with more than 150 cars being used in our carpool service, I also see the expansion of our app, into other child care service areas. We have already thought out an innovative corporate partnership service, that we’ll be implementing in the near future.

Do you have any exciting plans for your startup in the future, which you can tell us about?

There are certain things which I don’t want to go into details because we are worried about the integrity of our company. Knowing that we are trying to even go into the corporate world, trying to integrate our child care services in the corporate world, I can say having a partnership with corporate businesses to help set up their own child care services for their workers, as an incentive is another area that we are looking into. Those are the little things we are looking to go into in the near future.

Is there anything in particular which stands out and gets you excited to grow and experience in the future?

The corporate venture that we are looking into, is something that has not been done, so its really exciting that our company will be one of the first companies to venture into that area, I’m really looking forward to that.

How has your overall startup experience been, have you experienced the startup culture?

My experience from conception to the stage where we are at now, it hasn’t been the straightest laminar flow, its been a learning curve for our company, because there is a lot to consider. A lot of factors that are always variating when you are talking about starting up. There were a lot of things that I wish I knew. I wish I knew and understood that the startup stage of a business, there can be variating factors which are totally out of your hands, that can hinder the progress of your business. Like COVID, at the beginning nobody expected COVID hit our economy the way it did at all. I'm learning the importance of team work, as well its really important to set up the right culture, and environment for your team. In order to energise your team and to progress your business further, so there are certain things which I have been learning towards this journey and its brilliant its been really good.

I have and I haven’t experienced the start up culture, Everyone has different definitions of the startup culture, I believe the start up culture is what sets the tone of your business to interact with customers suppliers and employees, generally I have only experienced interaction with employees and fellow partners, I haven’t so to speak experienced the customer side of things, only suppliers and employees. Whenever I hear the startup culture I instantly think in with the new and out with the old, because, the startup culture is different from the corporate world culture, its finding a new way of thinking, innovation, new ways of creative problem solving. I think I have implemented that in my business and in terms of creative problem solving, a sense of flat hierarchy that we have going on and the most importantly the team bonding we have.

What is one thing which you would tell your younger self or someone wanting to startup, that you wish you knew? (tip, advice, quote or resource)

My younger self I would tell, just know its not as you think… we always have a business plan and we feel like the business is going to go according to plan, but in reality I would tell my younger self to make room for errors, to make room for unexpected occurrences as well, and also use connections. I think connections are very very important in the business world, especially as an entrepreneur because connections can open doors to having key information that can help boost a struggling stage of your business. Build a network is what I’d tell people, to go out there to get yourself out there, and talk to people, who have either done something similar, or people who have succeeded in other ventures and can help you with some tips to build it up.

Is there anything which having a startup has thought you?

I think I have learnt a lot, but the important one is the spirit of being resilient and tenacious, having a tenacious spirit, that is definitely one of they keys to succeeding, is because some stuff will knock you down as a startup but having resilience will get you back up and get you back on track to what your business plan was.

I am looking forward to our launch date which should be happening in the last week of May and the beginning of June, This is our main focus right now.

B&F Services has worked with Bovan Creek in 2020 on their business plan.