Not many child care businesses reach that elusive threshold, one million dollars of annual revenue. It took me over 5 years to hit it, and since then my centers have generated well over 24 million dollars of revenue. The first million was by far the hardest! I have never met anyone who hit the one million mark by accident. No one in this industry hits the one million mark and wonders how it happened. It always starts with a dream, then a goal, a deadline, and then a whole lot of hard work.
Our mission at The Child Care Success Company is to positively impact one million children by transforming 5,000 early learning businesses. So, we teach our clients a lot about how to increase enrollment in your preschool ranging from how to market, how to answer the phone, how to build rapport, how to conduct an amazing tour, etc. If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve probably mastered these skills by now. BAM!! Now you are an enrollment machine! (If you are new to us, check out our Enrollment Bootcamp Training Course for help with enrollment strategies!) After you enroll more and more children you should be set, right? You should eventually reach capacity. Your center should be full and you should have a waitlist, right? This would be the ideal situation, but it cannot happen if you have a constant revolving door of families. You have to continue strengthening your loyalty fence every day. You must consistently offer excellent customer service and quality child care to keep your clients feeling happy and connected to your preschool. You can’t just “rest easy” now that they’ve enrolled, or families will continue to sneak out the back door.
Do you have a few open spaces in your child care center? Whether you only have only one opening (congratulations!) or more than 20 openings, the only way to fill those spaces is to get the word out to your community about the awesome programs you offer!
We all know staffing isn’t easy. In fact, for many of us, it may be the most difficult part of running our childcare business. But what would you say if I told you that there was a science to how you worked with your staff? Would you believe me if I told you there was a way for your childcare centers to have retention rates higher than the industry average? Well, there is!
The number one complaint I hear from clients these days is staffing. In this booming economy, attracting quality staff and keeping them is getting harder and harder as employers have been raising wages and incentives to attract staff at a higher rate than we can raise parent tuition. It is time to get pro-active and start fighting back! I have developed these techniques over the past 20 years and now boast a very small no-show percentage and a very low turnover rate, in an area with less than 3% unemployment.
Employee retention is a huge struggle for many child care centers. Our industry is notorious for high turnover rates. A recent survey by Glassdoor shared that child care employees rated their places of work at only a 2.8 (average) on a scale of 1-5, 5 being a great place to work, and 3 being an “ok” place to work. Child care in general was rated as LESS THAN “OK.” The number one reason for the low rating was noted as poor leadership and culture in the work place. In other words, the managers or directors either did not lead well or did not help maintain a positive work place culture. I am on a mission to change that. Why not start “wowing” your new hires on day one with some added touches that make them feel extremely welcome right off the bat? There are several ways you can do this, but here is ONE IDEA. Give each new hire a special “Teacher Survival Kit” on their first day.
Does it ever seem like your licensing inspector picks on you? Do they find little things that, to you, seem like no big deal? Are you stressed out each time they arrive at your center? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions you are not alone. However, imagine if there were no licensing inspectors, or no licensing standards for that matter. What might you be tempted to change at your center? Would you increase your child-staff ratio? Would you let your employees take naps with the children? Would you let babies share bottles with each other? The answer is probably NO to those questions. Why? Because YOU are an amazing caregiver and you are focused on quality, but not everyone is like you.
There is just something special about connecting with someone facing the same types of struggles, and sharing the same passion for their business. However, during the course of this conversation she made a statement that stuck with me. She said, “But, ya know, how can you compete with FREE?” The way she said it was as if this was a rhetorical question with no answer to be had. I didn’t like it, but wasn’t sure how to respond at the time. I realized she said it that way because that’s how she FELT, but that doesn’t mean that there are no answers! There are MANY things you can do to attract children to your school, even when there are free options near-by. So, now that I’ve had time to think about it, let’s explore this topic.
Many people know that my favorite book in the whole world (other than The Bible) is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. Every time I read it, which is well over 20 times, I can see the keys to my success written all over the pages. To me, it is like reading an auto-biography. The whole plot of the book is that your success (or failure) is hidden in your daily routine. What you do today will have either negative or positive consequences to you in the long term, if you repeat those behaviors daily. To succeed, you need to be able to master the mundane. What does that mean? It means you must do simple repetitive daily disciplines each and every day to form successful habits. They are very easy to do; the only problem is they are also easy not to do.
Blogs are one of the most cost-effective marketing tools that you can use to promote your business and build trust with your prospects and customers. It can become a long-term business asset. When you blog, you are sharing your expertise in the child care field with the world, and over time this will allow you to establish yourself as an authority in the field while also building relationships with prospects. People will begin to look to you as a reliable source of information in the child care industry. Blogging is simple and easy to do. You just share information that is timely and relevant with your customers. It’s your direct communication channel and gives your company a voice. It creates a place to talk about new things happening in your school, relevant news topics, community news, and industry trends. You can really let people know what you’re all about through your blog.