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Years ago when I started giving tours to prospective parents, I decided to rename my tour to an orientation. One of the main reasons I did this was because I felt that my parent tour was a little more in-depth than a standard tour. I had made additions to my touring process that I felt took it to a new level. Looking back, one of my secret weapons was incorporating a Marketing Kit for Child Care that I used to promote my business. Whether or not parents enrolled with me or not, many would comment about how professional the tour was.
Today I thought I would share with you why I think having a Marketing Kit for Child Care can be one of the most beneficial things you could do to bring in new clients and grow your business.
A Marketing Kit for Child Care
Why you need a marketing kit
So I know I titled this the how and the why of a Marketing Kit for Child Care, but I think I want to tackle the why before the how. Why? Well, you might be asking yourself (or me) “I’m a child care provider, why do I need a marketing kit or plan for my small business.” Well according to Marketing Kit For Dummies,“The goals of marketing your business and products are to find new clients and to keep your existing ones.” The key is, just like any other business, your business needs to attract clients. How do you do that? Well, that’s where the how comes in.
How to create a marketing kit
Let’s look at what you could (should) include in your marketing kit:
One of the first things any business owner should have is their (say it with me) business card. That’s just standard right, RIGHT. Don’t ever get caught without the portable billboard that is your business card. Not even when you are running errands or much less when you are at a conference or a workshop. This is literally your calling card and is how you make initial connections with potential clients, colleagues, business partners, etc. If you don’t have the budget for the ritzy cards you really desire, then get some cheap inexpensive stand-in cards for now. You can make them really inexpensively with a computer and a printer in an afternoon.
This sounds all fancy, but really it’s essentially just a scrapbook of information that you can show to potential clients highlighting what accomplishments that make you a qualified provider. Since we are on the subject, let me just interject here that this is not the time to be modest. Parents want to know that the provider they leave their children with is knowledgeable in the field of child development or at least has some qualifying background. So whether it be caring for your own children or working in a daycare STRUT YOUR STUFF! Your portfolio can hold certificates you have obtained, pictures, reference letters, thank you cards, and your resume. Just about anything that you want a client to see that speaks to your background.
Since I brought up the resume, let’s talk about whether to include that in your Marketing Kit for Child Care. In the corporate world, a resume is pretty standard. Usually, everyone has one and submits it whenever they are applying for employment. Initially, I included my resume in my Marketing Kit because I felt that I had limited experience working directly with children and felt that my former career would at least speak to my professionalism. I made sure to update it with the professional development I acquired in child development as time passed. Now I have revised my resume to only include the child development education and professional development work as I feel it most relates to the profession.
Often times as child care providers we need for our business to stand out from the field. It is my belief that if you offer many services as opposed to one or two, you have a better chance of attracting more clients. That being said, I currently offer about five or six different programs at my child care. Some are simply tweaks to the usual full or part-time status, but some are specifically designed to reach a target market. If you offer different services, create some marketing material that showcases it. Find out what services might be in demand, but just aren’t readily available. Consider offering that service, even for the short term. You never know you might find an underserved niche market that you can tap into and really grow your business.
- How to Create a Business Card that STANDS OUT
- 10 Child Care Services You Can Offer
- Creating a Childcare Provider Portfolio
I include this as a page in my portfolio but also I send a copy home with prospective parents. I have to admit this is relatively easy for me because I have a program that creates the menu for me, but you can easily do it too. If you don’t have a printed menu, you could make a listing of typical foods you serve the children at your childcare. Parents just want to see that you are serving healthy foods.
Ahh, the dreaded rates! Yes, this is a must. I use a separate brochure or flyer to list the tuition rates. I break rates down by age group and then by status (i.e. infant – part-time). Putting this information in a brochure or flyer gives an opportunity to also include your policies regarding your rates, payment procedure, late fees, discounts, rate increases, etc. Anything you want a parent to know about your rates. Currently, I supplement my rate brochure with a Tuition Worksheet that further breaks-down the tuition to even an hourly rate. I like for parents to see what they are really paying. Be sure to include your policy regarding whether an Enrollment Deposit is required (highly suggested) as well.
I made a separate brochure which includes general information about the childcare. Things such as our philosophy, years in business, hours, phone number, website, contact info, etc., all are contained in this document.
In general, my policies all live in my handbook and contract. Both of which parents receive upon enrollment. I do, however, include one policy in my marketing material just because there are certain to be questions regarding our Sick and Illness policy at just about every tour. Having this printed up in detail allows the parent to understand how seriously I abide by my policies. It kinda sets the tone for all of the other policies to come.
Even though just about everything in this Marketing Kit for Child Care could be printed in the form of a flyer, one flyer, in particular, I would like to refer to is your business flyer. This is the one you will leave at local businesses, place on car windows and give to clients to refer friends and family. This is another MUST HAVE! You can keep it simple and maybe even make this one on your computer as well. In the past, I have made mini flyers the size of postcards. They are super portable and you can keep them in your car to have with you at all times.
Although we might not think of a website as part of a marketing kit, I would argue that it most certainly is. Just think about it, just about everything here that I have included in this Marketing Kit for Child Care could (and should) be included on your company website. As a matter of fact, you could either take copy from your website to create these documents or vise-versa and use the document content on the website. Either way, your website will likely reach far more potential clients than any printed document so it falls into a MUST HAVE too. Nowadays its fairly easy to get an online presence up in a matter of minutes so if you don’t currently have a website just commit an afternoon to getting this one done.
- How to Raise Childcare Rates
- How to Get Clients to Follow Childcare Policies
- What should you include on your website?
So what if you don’t have a budget for all this printed material?
Listen, like I said, just about all of the documents that I mentioned here would be relatively easy to create on your computer. As a matter of fact, that might be a budget-savvy way to go, especially as you are building your business. Maybe just start with the MUST HAVE’s and add from there. Decide what works best for you.
If you don’t think you have the writing skills to pull this all together, you have a lot of help. Where? Just do a quick search and build on what someone else has already made. There are lots of books out there too that allow you to basically plug-in your information and done.
Having marketing material and a Marketing Kit for Child Care has allowed me to stand out in an often saturated market. Not only does it make a great first impression , it has allowed me to supply my potential clients with physical material based upon the important initial conversations. It reminds them of what we spoke of and represents my brand long after our meeting while building creditability at the same time. I believe this has been a real secret weapon for my business and has helped it not only grow but sustain my child care for many years.
Do you have marketing material for your child care? Leave a comment below and tell me how you use it.
Images courtesy of Flickr