No one wants to send their children to cookie-cutter childcare. Why? Because they’re like little factories and won’t value their kids as individuals. Parents want to feel like their kids are being left with adults who care. Who notice their quirks and love them for it! And that’s what we as Childcare Ninjas need to offer – uniqueness!
But have you taken the time to consider what makes your business unique? And why should you be shouting it out from the rooftops?
This is your chance to sit down with a cup of coffee and really contemplate the uniqueness of your childcare business.
What’s so special about you and your childcare business?
Take some time to note down your strengths as a childcare owner, and what makes you tick. Is it your Masters in child psychology or the way you were raised by an amazing foster mom that inspired you to go into childcare?
Have you got particular skills that make you stand out from the crowd? Perhaps you did Performing Arts at college, or you were once on America’s Got Talent? Or maybe it’s that you were the youngest of 9 siblings and you are the queen of negotiation!
Whatever you bring to your business, make it more obvious. Shine a light on you and why you’re so special.
And when it comes to the business side of things, what is unique about yours? Do your daycare centers have a theme? Maybe you have a Forest School specialty or a world class chef working for you, or you follow a particular educational theory – Reggio Emilia or Steiner?
If you want to survive, be you but be different!
I take pride in the fact that my childcare businesses reflect who I am as a person. And they are unique to me because they go against the grain. I’m not your average business owner, and I want my customers to know that. The reason I’ve lasted so long and been able to survive during economically turbulent times is because I am offering something different to the generic childcare provision seen elsewhere.
So wave your flag wildly, and be the change you want to see. What do you want to be remembered for by the families you work with? You can use customer feedback to help hone this message. Look for why they came to you and really “big-up” that element in all your promotional material.
How unique do you need to be?
Well that’s like asking me, “Hey Nyckie – how long is a piece of string?” If I am totally honest – which I always am! – I’d say you can be as unique as you wanna be.
One thing is for sure: People buy from people. So if you want to make an impression, and build a reputation for being a great childcare provider, the buck stops with you and the relationships you build with your clients. Be unique in your interactions. Show them love and attention and make them feel special. But whatever you do, don’t mimic others. Be authentically you. You’ll shine and they’ll feel valued.
If you’re keen to become a Childcare Ninja and want to join our community find out more here. There’s also the free Facebook group where you can connect with other amazing women and share ideas. Join us for more tips on how to take your childcare business to the next level!
Sometimes when you’re running a business it’s very easy to get lost in the routine and rigmarole. You forget why you’ve even started the business in the first place. So every now and then it’s a good idea to take stock of where you’re at. Maybe it’s time to give your business a reboot.
The day-to-day tasks often drown the passion we feel for our childcare businesses and can lead to burn out, so we need to take opportunities to reflect and recoup!
How do I know? Because I’ve been there!
I started my business as a single mom, trying to figure out a way of balancing parenthood with earning some money to pay our bills. And I was so busy doing the job that I felt like I lost my way. I had to learn to make space and be honest with myself when I was finding it tough.
Here are some ideas to reflect on that’ll give you a chance to pause and reset!
Have you lost your why?
Reconnect with why you started your childcare business in the first place. Take a look through your old diaries, scan through ancient emails and dusty photo albums and try to remember why you began this journey!
Taking a trip down memory lane will re-energize your enthusiasm for your business and rekindle all that passion you have!
There’s a great TED talk by Stacey Abrams on “3 questions to ask yourself about everything you do” and it’s inspired me to think about why I’m doing this job in the first place, and given me impetus to plan for how I’m going to grow. And there’s a few great ones by author of “Start with Why”, Simon Synek.
Define your business by your why! Go and watch these and get the reboot you need!
Did your plans fall by the wayside?
Have you been berating yourself for failing to meet a target or goal? Take it from me that there’s no point in giving yourself a hard time over a stumbling block. If your plans haven’t worked out right this time, it doesn’t mean you need to give up entirely.
Encourage yourself to reboot your mindset to know that a failure simply shines a light on areas that might need a little TLC. Make some space for you to breathe (I wrote you a blog on how to do that here) and be gentle with yourself. You wouldn’t speak to the kids in your daycare like you’re speaking to yourself now, would you?!
Make a new plan; create a vision board; read some of your client testimonials to remind yourself of how awesome you are!
I’ve made you a fun quiz to see where you’re at right now in your business. This is a unique way for you to work out where you are in your journey as a business owner. What systems have you got in place and how are you feeling about the day-to-day running of things? What do you need to do to level up?
And if you haven’t already joined the free Facebook group, what’s stopping you!? Go go go! I hope you’ll come in and make yourself at home! Connect with other phenomenal women and share ideas to help each other grow.
Take a look at becoming a Founding member of my private Ninja Community and begin your journey to becoming a Childcare Ninja today!
One of the key parts of your childcare business is the people who work for you. The quality of your staff is essential to maintaining a professional and well-run establishment, and most importantly they are taking care of those precious children in your setting.
They’re your representatives and your eyes on the ground, and they’re part of a team, so hiring the right people is a huge decision for your business. You can’t just hire someone based on their résumé, because there’s no guarantee they’ll gel with your other staff members; but nor can you employ a person for their personality and not look at their experience and qualifications. It’s a monumental task! Streamlining this process is going to help you grow your business.
And sometimes it can take up so much of your time, it could almost be a full time job in itself!
But there’s no need for it to be so time consuming. I’ve been in this game for a long time now, so I have learned a few things on the way to becoming a Childcare Ninja, and I want to help you streamline the hiring process.
Here are my ninja tips for a more efficient process for hiring staff for your childcare business.
Automate as much paperwork as possible
Getting your potential employees to fill out an online form will save you time and definitely streamline your hiring process. No more loose bits of paper to peruse, or lose! By having an automated system, you can make the process faster and fairer for everyone.
There are various apps/softwares you can get for each stage of the process. For example, candidate pre-screening tools can rank and grade candidates to pre-qualify those who are a fit to move forward in the hiring process. Or you can just have a simple form, akin to a questionnaire that they can input all their information into.
When the form is filled out online, it means you’ve got a digital version. You can then search the documents for key words much faster, enabling you to rule out people who don’t have the qualifications or strengths you’re looking for, and find the ones who cut the mustard!
Once you’ve shortlisted, it’s time to get them booked in for interview. However, manually scheduling interviews can be exhausting! It might not sound like a time-consuming task, but when you’re going back and forth to check availability for all the different applicants you’d like to meet with you suddenly realize what a drain on your time it is!
I’d highly recommend that you try interview scheduling automation. It’ll save you time and streamlines the interview process, which creates a better experience for candidates and you alike. You might have heard of Calendly, which is an easy to use system for booking in interviews.
Have a central place for your hiring documentation
It’s important that you keep all your paperwork and vital documents for new and potential employees in one place. This is key because if you were to fall ill, then your cover person will know exactly where to find everything they need when it comes to your team. Not only is it for unfortunate scenarios, it’s also fundamental that you’re seen by outside agencies and inspectors to be organized and keeping on top of standards.
Another reason you ought to keep staff documentation all in one central place is it’ll help you find things quickly if there’s any accidents or medical emergencies. Your team members might have an allergy or a disability, and as their employer you have responsibilities for their welfare.
Video training on the go
Create your own training videos for newly hired team members so they can get up to speed quickly. Everyone’s got a smart phone nowadays, and it’s so helpful for building relationships with new staff. Having apps like Slack to connect team members, gives them an opportunity to communicate outside of work and also access information as and when they require it, or when you need them to.
One of the strategies that I’ve found that works for my teams is when I do training on Zoom about specific areas and then I upload the videos and place them in Slack. My staff can then view them when they’re able to – on breaks or during their spare time – and once they’ve watched the training they can sign off that particular task. I can then see exactly who has done which video session, and can remind people gently on the app.
This saves us tons of time trying to coordinate a training meeting that everyone can attend! We’re all busy people, right?!
Streamlining the hiring process is going to save you time and energy, leaving you to focus on getting the right team player for your Childcare Ninja squad!
If you haven’t already, join my free Childcare Ninja Facebook group! We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
You might be wondering what the key to conquering your business goals and dreams is, and as someone who’s run a successful childcare business for a number of years I can tell you it’s not as obvious as you’d think. It is all about mindset. Getting your head into the right place so you can grow your business to be as amazing as you dream it can be is absolutely essential.
Here are 3 mindsets that I know will create an incredible shift in the way your run your business, helping you feel more confident, and ultimately more productive and successful.
These 3 mindsets you must change for you to become a successful childcare business owner:
1. Money Mindset
One of the things women are consistently poor at talking about is money. I think this is because we were all brought up to believe that it’s impolite or embarrassing to talk about money. Money also holds an emotional connection for many of us. It’s time for women in business to overcome the money taboo! We need to ask for what we need and embrace what money can do for us! To do this, we need to start talking about money, encouraging conversations about our finances.
Money really can be a fantastic tool to help us reach our goals and without money it can be quite tricky to take care of the people we love. We owe it to ourselves as women to achieve financial success. We owe it to our children to see us earning money and not being ashamed of it. Women can have an extraordinary economic impact on the planet. As Childcare Ninjas, let’s change the way we think, accept that we are worthy of earning money, and let’s start embracing what money can do!
2. Positive vibes
I have learned this one the hard way! When I began to be successful in my business a few years ago, I had so many negative people around me. They drained my energy, sapping out the hope I had for how my business was going to grow. They wouldn’t allow me to dream big. You know the ones, right?! They eye roll when you’re telling them about something you’ve achieved; they don’t appreciate how hard you’ve got to work to maintain momentum; and they certainly cannot understand why you persevere and don’t just give up.
So the mindset here I want you to try is: get rid of the doubters. Surround yourself with positive people and don’t be afraid to do this sooner rather than later. No more Negative Nellies, protect yourself with Positive Pollies instead!
3. It’s okay to be successful
As women we have a tendency to play down our successes. We’ve an awful habit of putting ourselves down – especially in front of other people. Promoting yourself to others in your business feels so alien doesn’t it? But what’s wrong with wanting people to recognize your achievements? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being successful. When you’ve reached your goals, it enables you to give more generously, and puts you in a position to give back to society.
This mindset fools us into thinking we are “safe”, by playing small, but it’s actually holding us back! So last year I decided to make a change – to stop playing small. I thought long and hard about how i would go about this. I created a vision board and my mantra was “Think bigger”. Every time I caught myself playing small, I repeated my mantra.
And there was this situation last year where I was looking at potential venues for a new daycare facility to add to my portfolio. I found the perfect place. Fantastic location, potential for lots of new clients…but I had this niggling doubt: “I’m not worthy of such an amazing opportunity. Who am I to think this is for me?” So what did I do? Walk away? No! I said “Think BIGGER!” And do you know what I did? I took a leap of faith. I am a Childcare Ninja, after all!
I encourage you to change these mindsets – to actively talk about money, to celebrate our successes and to think about your friendships.
If you’d like to know more, I have created some helpful videos and resources for you in my Childcare Ninja membership, to make your life a little easier, and to enable you to grow your childcare business into your own little empire.
Are you in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
Are you a childcare provider with the ambition and drive to go far? You’ve got the love for the kids and you’re brimming with ideas, right?
I’d bet that at this very moment, though, your childcare business isn’t as profitable as it could be and it’s draining your passion and wearing you out.
I get it. I really do. I’ve been there! When I first set out in my business, I was a single mom to four beautiful children. Running a childcare business from my home was the chance I grasped to bring in the money we needed AND ensure I could be there for my family simultaneously. Over time I was able to grow my business and start reaching for bigger goals.
However, after a while I went from excited to exhausted. My childcare business needed constant attention and I hadn’t been able to take a vacation for years. But that all changed when I started creating systems that allowed me to enjoy running my business again.
So here I am with my top three tips to kick-start your journey to becoming a Childcare Ninja, and show you how you can grow your business to 6 figures or more!
1. Take stock of your childcare business
It’s not often we take a step back from our businesses and have a look at what’s working, what’s not, and where we can make tweaks to improve things. Make some time to reflect and assess where you’ve come from and where you want to go. What will that journey look like?
Then it’s time to get organized. Make a plan or a road map of how you’re going to reach your goals. List everything that you do day-to-day to keep your business going. Get systems in place that’ll save you time and energy, giving you the freedom to focus on the things that you love! And maybe you’ll even be able to take a vacation one day!
2. Childcare Ninja Mindset
As business owners, it can be very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of our childcare facilities – calls to potential clients, checking the menus, managing our teams… but we neglect ourselves and forget that we can’t pour from an empty cup. And as women we’ve got a habit of having negative mindsets around several issues. And we’ve got to do the work to change this!
Promoting yourself to others in your business sometimes feels cringe-worthy and awkward. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being successful. So we need to accept that recognizing our achievements is a good thing! Change that negative mindset! Stop putting yourself down (both in your head and in front of others!).
Find out more about mindsets in this blog!
3. Create the system
By getting systems in place, you are getting processes in place that will help you get organized and help your staff become more independent. Once you’ve nailed the systems, you will be able to take time off and not worry about things falling apart while you’re not there. You’ll de-stress, your staff will feel more in control and confident and your business will grow!
Break down all the steps and processes that you have in place, adding in the things you’d like to improve. Now you’ve got a plan and a sort of flow chart to guide you through each area of your business. If you need a guide to help you with this process, download your free childcare business map here and get started building your systems.
Now you’ve got the systems all laid out, it’s time to call a staff meeting and get everyone on the same page!
Bonus tip – Become a Founding Member of my Childcare Ninja Membership
We are a growing army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! You’ll be able to access the videos and amazing resources I’ve created especially for you in my Childcare Ninja membership. Being a member will make your life a little easier and enable you to grow your childcare business into your own little empire!
For founding members who join us, the program costs just $35/month (the price goes up soon to $49/month). The content you’ll have at your fingertips is unique to childcare businesses, because I was tired of joining groups for advice, but finding it irrelevant to my needs. So here we are! A one-stop shop for Childcare Ninjas!
Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
Have you taken my Childcare Ninja quiz yet? And don’t forget that I also have a free Facebook community for childcare providers. Check it out here.