In my area there are approximately 12 home child cares in the neighborhood. Yep, I said 12! With that level of saturation I need to try to find ways to stand out constantly. But just how do you do that? We are all child cares offering the same or similar services. How can you get people to sit up and take notice of your business and not the business next door? Well here’s the good news, it is possible. So today I want to talk about how to stand out in a crowded market.
How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market
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I am always a bit surprised when I meet a provider who doesn’t have a business card. Having a business card is just standard right? While that is true, your business card should stand out among the stack of other business cards. How? Well, you need to create an awesome business card on purpose.
Resist the temptation to include everything including the kitchen sink, filling the front and back of the card with lines and lines of text. Instead pay attention to what it looks like. Is it readable? Is your business name front and center, bold and bright. Be sure to include points of contact like your phone number, website and email. Give good thought into how your business card looks. It will represent you long after you have handed it out.
Do you need a website? Well yes, you do! And the good news is nowadays there are so many ways to get a website up and running in a matter of minutes and most are low cost or FREE. The point is you don’t have to worry about investing in a custom designer website if you are just getting started or don’t have a huge budget. Here are some important things you will want to have on your website so that perspective clients can get a feel for your business even before they call.
When I first started I created flyers to convey information about my child care program. I simply used my word processor to create a standard text only 8 x 10 flyer explaining the different offerings my business provided.
Over the years, I upgraded these simple flyers into glossy flyers, rack cards and brochures. Although some of the information was revised a bit, I basically just recreated the simple flyers into one that looked more appealing and business like. You know, the same way a little lipstick can brighten up your face.
But, why do all this to create flyers and brochures, when this is probably information you will review with a parent at your tour?
Good question! The fact is most parents will visit more than just your child care before deciding on enrolling. How cool would it be if you had handouts that they could take home with them to review after the tour, say when they are trying to compare the different child cares they visited? If they have more than just your business card they will have information they can actually review and use to make their decision. Consider creating a Marketing Kit for your child care.
You know how Target stores now have grocery, clothing, home goods, sundries, etc. all in one store? Well that is a smart business strategy to offer many items in an effort to pull in as many diverse consumers as possible.
You can do the same thing with your child care!
I am a big fan of offering many different services. If your child care offers more services, you can attract more clients. Try offering more than just the standard full or part-time status. Is there a market for off-hour care? Maybe consider offering that instead of the usual child care hours and see if there is a need you can capitalize on. You might just be able to corner the market.
This one kinda goes along with your website. As a matter of fact, its pretty standard to have a blog on your website nowadays so I would encourage adding a blog on your child care site.
Why is having a blog on your website important?
Having a blog is a real effective way of not only communicating with current clients but also represents authority to perspective clients as well. You can use your blog to promote what you do at your child care, community events as well as share child development industry information. Writing a child care blog shows you are committed and passionate about your profession, so much so you want to share.
What else can you do to stand out in a crowded market?
You probably know that word-of-mouth can be a very powerful resource for growing your child care business, but how do you continue to keep the buzz going about your business? Sometimes it can be the little things you do that will encourage people to talk up your business to coworkers, friends and family. Here are a couple more things you can do to stand out in a crowded market:
Follow up – After a tour consider sending a follow-up email to that family you would love to have at your child care. Remind them about what they saw when they visited, point out some of the highlights of your child care and why their child would grow and thrive in your care.
Birthday Cards – I send birthday postcards to children that are current and former clients. Its a simple, over-sized postcard that just says “Happy Birthday” from your friends at the child care. While its just a little thing once a year, I know if I received that for my child who didn’t even attend anymore, I would probably be inclined to refer that business to a friend or colleague looking for child care.
There are several things you can do to stand out in a crowded market. Each one is designed to set your business apart from the rest and show how much more your child care has to offer a potential client as opposed to the child care down the street.
Is your child care in a saturated market? What do you to stand out? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you do to stand out in a crowded market.
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