Self-promotion for some entrepreneurs can be one of the most challenging jobs that they can do. It is something which must be carefully planned and be well-thought of.
Each factor must be identified and a step by step plan must be carefully followed. Marketing is very crucial since it can determine the success of your business. Often times, this can even be discouraging and frustrating, but patience is really needed in order to see satisfying results. Some people think that day care businesses do not need any advertising since people would always want to avail of day care services. While this may be true, is still a business and marketing is a big part of it!
So where does it all start?
Before all the paper and electronic advertisements, a very important marketing strategy must be done first. It all starts with the name. Day care centers are usually not recognized as businesses, they are just known to be day care “services”.
* The name of a business is used to identify your business. Your customers, parents and the public will refer to your business with your name. Picking the perfect name is an easy step. It must be something that is easy to remember and something which is unique. It must stick to people’s minds. It tells the people what you do as a business and it must convey the business that you are doing.
* Now that it is all set, the next step is to advertise. As with any form of advertisement, basic details must be included such as the name, contact numbers and address. At times, policies, missions, activities and schedules may be included. You can also opt for the inclusion of credentials as well as accreditations. Certain types of advertisements may be used like flyers, business cards, online ads, brochures and others. Remember that this is all about building an impression, an image to the people reading it.
* Make them look professional but not too serious. The business is all about handling children and it must create the impression that you are child-friendly. Logos would also help in advertising since some people do remember these instead of the names.
* Rather than doing line advertisement, it would be better if larger advertisements are used and color is preferred. Handling children is often associated with being bubbly so the more lively the ads look like, the better.
* Instead of relying on people to come to you, why not have a little initiative and make the first move? You can ask people for connections, contact numbers of people who they think would find your day care useful. Prioritize single parents who are active in their respective careers.
* You may also contact the Department of Human Services and ask them if they could refer you to people.
* You can have a tie-up with other child care centers. They can only accommodate a maximum number of children, and if they exceed this number, maybe they can refer the parents to you to take care of their other clients.
Marketing does not stop with gaining all the possible clients, this is just the beginning. When your advertisements have worked its way to possible clients, they will contact you for inquiries. The easiest way is through the phone, you need to sound interested in their questions. You need to make them that they are welcome to call you anytime.
* Do not get intimidated with a lot of questions. Do not sound rude when they seem to nag you and do not make them feel that they are very much of a hassle. Just answer their questions in a straightforward manner. You may want to keep a nearby list of policies and manual which you follow, so as to an easier communication with them.
* If at the time of the call you are busy, be polite enough to tell them that you cannot attend to the phone and ask for their name and phone number. Assure them that you will immediately contact them if you are already free.
* Most of the time, phone calls do not work for most people, they would prefer a face-to-face conversation with the owner of the day care. Scheduling interviews are your best option to allow you to prepare. It is also okay to have impromptu visits.
* Do not forget to clean up the place if it is tidy. They would want to be toured around and check out the facilities which are available for them. You need to make a good impression because people will always have the “what you see is what you get” mentality. Make them feel at home when they visit your day care.
* Have you policies, safety rules and missions posted on the walls to let them know how you do your services.
* During interviews, do not exaggerate the services you provide. Just tell them what they can expect from your services. Empty promises will not work in this type of business. You can also assure them that you are willing to compromise in the event that special care must be given to the child.
* Parents have different parenting styles, and you must be able to more or less know how they raise their child for you to take note of. You must be able to show them that you will take care of them in the best possible way you can. At the end of the meeting, always thank them for taking the time to see your day care.
* This may really take time before you make a name for yourself. Starting this right can be really promising. Remember that advertise only what is true. Do not promise things which you cannot do.
* Maintaining quality service and possibly improving them can work for your good. You need to show people that your services are worthy.
* Marketing is a continuous process in business. Trends are also followed in this, you must be open to changes in the future. Remember, people want for innovation when it comes to advertisements, you need to constantly feed this want and people will keep coming to you.