It might only be October, but I’m already prepping for 2023! You are perhaps thinking that I’m getting ahead of myself, but this is how I like to plan and it’s what helps me succeed and continue to grow every year. And that’s exactly what I want for you too!
I’m not suggesting for a second that we write-off 2022. Nope, I know that you’ve got plans to end the year way ahead of where you were in January. Me too! Currently, I’m waiting on permits for two of three new daycares I’m opening. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to set aside time to plan what I want from 2023 and start prepping to get ahead of the game.
Read on for my tips on how to prepare for the coming year like the ninja you are!
Finish Q4 strong and ready
As the year is drawing to a close, ensure that you are taking time each week to reflect on how far you’ve come. It’s important that you really look at the progress you’ve made as a childcare business owner and then start to think about “what next”?
Remember that you’ve got systems in place now for staying on top of things. Also allowing you to make room in your schedule for planning time. Make sure you allocate time to analyze data – not just your profits but other information that gives you clues for what needs to happen in 2023.
Why you should start prepping for 2023 NOW!
If you don’t make time to prep before the holiday season, you’re going to run out of it! We all know that by the time the festivities begin childcare business owners are exhausted from weeks of working without a break. And often this means our bodies suddenly get ill. So don’t leave planning until you’re officially off work.
Get ahead of the game and block out a little time each week from now. This will give you plenty of time to think about your goals for 2023 (having looked at your data). Look at what’s worked well and where things need some support. You can then plan out how you’re going to achieve these goals in a SMART way.
If you’re wondering what I’m capitalizing the word for, it’s because it’s an acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It’s a dynamite way of setting targets for your childcare biz.
Setting super specific goals, like “Find 2 team members for the new day care” or “create new play area on a smaller budget”, will mean you can easily see if you’re making progress. Just be sure to write down detailed plans, to chunk big goals down into bite-size ones. Then make a timeline for achieving your goals.
Prepping like a ninja
It’s not just about goal planning when I’m talking about prep. I know you’ve got to plan your curriculum, figure out menus, get ahead on your social media scheduling…there’s a lot to do.
So that’s why it’s good to start early when you’re prepping for the year ahead. Over the last 3 years we’ve seen a global pandemic, bizarre weather patterns causing chaos, and an economic disaster…who knows what this year will throw at us?! Which is why we need to be prepared.
Sit down and look at all the areas in your business and break them down into categories. This will make it easier to see gaps in your preparations.
And I’ve got something coming VERY SOON that’ll help you do this!
Get on the waitlist for my new Childcare Business Planner
Want to be inspired to take action every day? Have the tools you need to plan ahead and a customized planning system for Childcare Ninjas looking to take their business to the next level?! It’s more than a planner…it’s a whole system created with resources and tools to help you level up and grow your childcare business to maximum success in 2023.
BUT it’s important that we plan in a way that works for us. So that’s why this year I’m bringing you two versions for my new 2023 CHILDCARE BUSINESS PLANNING SYSTEM – traditional AND digital!!
This exclusive planning system is specifically set up to help today’s childcare professionals! You can easily and quickly plan curriculum, menus, social media scheduling and so much more. Let’s get you organized and systematized in 2023!
So if you’re looking to reduce overwhelm, get organized and achieve your goals this year, WATCH THIS SPACE! Soon you’ll be able to get your 2023 CHILDCARE BUSINESS PLANNING SYSTEM!
Find cheerleaders and support in prepping for 2023
Even with the best planning system in the world, being a home daycare provider can sometimes feel lonely and overwhelming. Don’t forget that you can find strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining our community! You can hang out with like-minded and aspirational day care owners in there. Plus I go live regularly to talk about topics that’ll help you grow.If you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. Or maybe email is your thang…JOIN OUR MAILING LIST HERE. 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! Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
If you’ve been wondering when to start your marketing, the time is RIGHT NOW! Don’t wait until you’ve got everything in place to begin telling people about your new venture.
It’s vital that you start spreading the news about your opening and let parents know who you are and why your day care will be awesome.
The time to start marketing is NOW!
A mistake I often see with new childcare business owners is that they are cautious to market their day care. But waiting until you’ve got a license in place is too late! Start right now before all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.
It’s key that you get your messaging spot on, and that you communicate your unique selling point to potential families. Make a plan and focus your marketing on the places your new clients might be hanging out. Are they spending time online – where? Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or LinkedIn…
So how are you going to start marketing your new childcare biz? Will you create some flyers to drop in your local area and put up posters in local coffee shops and libraries? How about starting to collect email addresses? Have you thought about how you can use email marketing?
Start your email list ASAP
One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is the importance of using the tools at our fingertips to our advantage. And email marketing is a low cost, high return way of communicating with your prospective new clients.
Building an email list is the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in a truly intimate and genuine way. It’s a vital way of connecting because you’re not just a temporary status update on social media; instead you’re landing in their inbox. That’s a special place, Ninja! It’s where their nearest and dearest communicate with them (as well as work!) – so it’s a fairly sacred space to hang out. You just need the key – their email addresses and permission to show up there.
So how do you get people’s email addresses?
Getting an email list started…
You could just ask people for their email addresses and have an “opt-in” for your newsletter. But in my experience, I’ve found that the best way to collect those precious email addresses is to offer something really helpful in return. Because that’s what it is – it’s an exchange.
Create something that they’ll want and they’ll sign up with their email address in order to download it. Once they’ve signed up, you can connect deeper with a fantastic nurture sequence. And you can get started on creating your waitlist right away, telling them all your news!
Bring them on the journey with you
You can send out regular emails keeping your potential parents informed about where you’re at. By bringing them on the journey with you, you’ll make them feel part of something special. Share the milestones of your path to opening, like renting your space, or getting approval. Show them your designs for the space and let them watch as it comes to life.
Talk about how excited you are for what’s to come and your plans for the future. Keep them in the loop so they know when you’re likely to open your doors.
Keep it fresh
Something that many businesses forget – not just childcare ones! – is to send out a kinda “Hey! Are you still interested in hearing from us?” message on the regular. This is an opportunity to refresh your list and encourage unsubscribes. Because you don’t want hundreds of people on there who’ve got no interest in your daycare and are negatively impacting your open rate. You want a list – no matter how small! – of engaged people eagerly waiting in anticipation of you opening up!
I’d recommend sending out an email at least once a month to your subscribers. That way you are keeping them up to date and be well on the way to start your marketing properly once you get your license!
Don’t be afraid to tell them about challenges or share frustrations as well as the exciting bits. Being open and honest in your initial emails demonstrates what you will be like to work with. It shows your values!
A really great way of building your relationships with these potential future clients is asking their opinion on things. What would they like to see in your space? What extra services might they be interested in? Have they got any food preferences? Of course you can’t accommodate everything but it’s a way of engaging them and making them feel part of the process.
Start your marketing with the right mindset
Mindset is something that comes up all the time with my childcare coachees. Often they tell me they don’t feel ready to market – even when everything seems like it’s in place. So I encourage them to start before they’re ready!
I believe that language matters so I correct them when they tell me “if I get my license…” or “if I’m able to get clients”. I remind them about how important it is to use positive language to help adjust our mindsets. So I explain that they need to replace “if” with “when”. “When I get my license” and “When I get my clients” sounds so much more affirming. I’ve written more about mindset here.
In the bundle you’ll find copy you can swipe for your funnel and templates for the lead magnet itself!! Plus videos that demonstrate how to do it all in an easy and accessible way. I’ll show you everything you need to start your marketing RIGHT NOW so you’re ready for WHEN you open!
And if you want MORE, marketing is one of the trainings we cover in detail inside The Childcare Flip Course. I’ll be teaching you how to formulate your PMM (Premier Marketing Message) to set yourself apart in the childcare industry and become irreplaceable. As well as harnessing your passion, skills and expertise to create your Premier Marketing Message. You’ll learn how to strategically build your network and get free marketing. Want in?!
We’ll be opening up for the next cohort next week! So I’m sharing the link here for you to take a look and get ready to learn how to BUY BACK YOUR TIME Ninja!
Did you know you can also catch my live trainings on Thursday nights over in my free Facebook group?! Join us in there and get connected with other childcare owners. Every week we’ll move your childcare business forward by with tips and ideas! Hang out with like-minded and aspirational day care owners as well as resources and tips for success from me! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tonnes of other stuff there too.
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!
Have you thought about starting a childcare business in 2022? What are your priorities for getting started? At this time of year I always pause for reflection, and I’ve been thinking about the things I’d do if I were to start my business again in 2022…
So this blog has 5 things I think might help you get a head-start! There are things that took me a while to learn or implement, and things I wish I’d done more of sooner!
Read on, Ninja!
If you’re a visual or auditory learner, you might want to watch the YouTube episode I recorded about this right now:
Or continue reading if you love a blog!
Ok, so I’m diving in with these 5 tips…
Tip Number One: Have a niche!
If you’re starting your childcare business in 2022, there’s definitely a lot to be said for niching down sooner rather than later. Instead of being another generic local daycare center, offer something that local families need or want! That way you’re meeting a need and making a name for yourself. You’re likely to be more memorable with a niche and the news about your childcare business will spread faster.
I’ve talked more about how you can niche down in my previous blog post.
Tip Number Two: Mix the old school and the new!
Something I’d do straight away if I was starting up next year is not get caught up in trends. They’re great and serve their purpose, but there’s no need to ignore the old marketing tricks like flyers and posters.
Social media is super useful for getting your message out there. But what happens if the global server goes down and we have no socials?! It was all a bit worrying last time, wasn’t it?! Imagine if it had been down for longer… Gulp! Not a nice thought, am I right? So you’ve got to think strategically.
One thing I must mention if you’re going to be starting a childcare business in 2022, is that you need to have a clear budget. And more importantly, you’ve gotta stick to it! There are so many things you can do to set up your childcare on a budget, so you don’t need big bucks to get going.
However, sometimes it’s easy to get carried away buying resources, spending too much on marketing or uniforms… Basically not sticking to your financials. So I urge you to make a plan for what you can afford. Prioritize your budget and stick with it. I’ve written loads of content on starting out on a budget, so don’t panic! Read them here.
Tip Number Four: Build your systems!
Y’all know I’m obsessed with systems, but it’s for a good reason! They make running a business so much easier! There’s no way I’d be where I am today – a multiple facility owner bringing in a sustainable 6 figure income – if I didn’t have systems.
Having certain parts of your childcare business automated really does help you stay sane and keep things ticking over smoothly! So if you’re just getting started in your business, now is the time to get those systems in place! Don’t leave it as long as I did, Ninja! Read more about why you need systems in your childcare biz here.
Tip Number Five: Invest in yourself!
Investing in myself is one of those things I wish I’d done a lot sooner!! Sometimes I wonder where I’d be now if I’d prioritised my self-investment! I’m passionate about women in biz investing in their education, up-levelling their skills and learning about strategy. And I believe and have spent the last few years discovering how mindset is SO IMPORTANT!
And it doesn’t have to cost you the earth! There are numerous ways to invest in yourself, from borrowing books from the library or buying them second hand, to joining a membership or hiring a coach. However you do it, it’s important to get insight from people who have already been on the journey. Nowadays there’s lots of information readily available – so much more than when I was starting out. Daycare owners have become much more willing to share their journey, so why not use their expertise!
Educating yourself on the business side of daycare is vital too. Even if you love playing with the kids and your gift is coming up with the curriculum you really need that business acumen too. You can join daycare business groups like mine and ask questions, get tips and learn from others too. Have a think on where you may have gaps and ways to fill them within your budget!
So whether you’re up-levelling or starting your childcare business in 2022, getting connected with other childcare owners is a game changer!
Gain strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining a community! That’s why I set up my Facebook group, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. 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! Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too.
Are you wanting to up level your childcare business during 2022? Would you like some super easy ideas on how you can do this?
I can help you take your daycare to the next level by changing up your services to fulfill the needs of your community.
Read on for 4 ways you can do to take things up a notch!
Break free from the status quo
Things feel good right now. You’re comfortable. Your all star team are settled and your waitlist is good. But how does it feel thinking about staying in this place forever? Wouldn’t you feel better about raising your game and stretching your zone of genius a bit?
Playing it safe isn’t always the best option for business. By looking at what your community needs right now and applying that knowledge to your business strategy, you’re setting yourself up for success. So take time now to plan how you can up level your childcare business during 2022. It’s time to say no to the same old services and offer something innovative!
Right now, I’m guessing that your daycare provides a service for parents working a 9-5. You might be open 6am to 6pm or maybe just 8am to 6pm. However that means there’s a huge section of your local families that are missing out on great childcare!
Think about it. There’s nurses and doctors, construction workers and delivery drivers, people working shifts in hospitality… There’s a world of workers that are crying out for high quality care for their precious ones! They’re working outside the typical day, and don’t keep regular working hours which makes life tricky to organize.
Like the gif says, “Care infrastructure is infrastructure”. I wonder if you’ve ever considered starting or adding a 24hr daycare service to your offerings? Or perhaps “night shift” childcare as an opposite offering from the usual opening times you see everywhere. How about having a flexible option that allows parents to buy a chunk of hours and use them to fit in round their shifts? Tricky but not impossible. And by going above and beyond, people rave about your services!
By adding an extra in order to grow your childcare business, you can make a real difference and stand out.
2. Solve transportation issues
Often there’s a barrier to getting kids over to daycare – buses with no routes that early, or not serving in that area… So there’s no way of the child getting from their door to yours, safely. Or perhaps their child finishes kindergarden or school and needs to get from there to you somehow? Whatever the issue, can you think outside the box and offer a service that meets their need?
Why not look into solving that problem – whatever it may be – and offer a solution?! Could you collaborate with someone local who has transportation to collect the children? Perhaps a child friendly and licensed taxi service could join forces with you to bridge that gap? Or maybe you have a minivan and plenty of space to transport kids from one place to another!
Families are always so grateful for the kindness and consideration, and will happily pay you to keep their babies safe and secure!
3. Look into event childcare
Now that the world is opening up again and we’ve all started venturing to events, it might be time for you to start thinking about the skills and services you can offer to the venues and hosts of big events.
Because at the end of the day, no one wants this kind of situation do they?! Better to have them playing safely with a childcare worker in another room.
After opening my home daycare, I ventured into event childcare and it is still working fabulously for me! I started out helping families out at weddings – I cared for their babies so they could enjoy the special celebration. Then it turned into other events – college reunions, fairs, funerals, conferences…
You can look into working for families, or make links with venues to be their go-to childcare at any events they put on.
4. Use your venue wisely
If you have a daycare space that isn’t your home, you might want to consider hiring it out at the weekends. Depending on your space and the set up, there are a few options here!
Could you offer it out on Saturdays and Sundays for early years birthday parties? Parents are always looking for good value rooms to hire to host parties in. Safe spaces they know are suitable for little people and their needs – baby changing areas, age-appropriate equipment etc. You might even want to add in the cost of a member of staff so someone’s on hand to take care of things.
Or could you look at hiring it out for fundraising events? And if you have a larger hall space, there are people who’d snap up a meeting room for their community group activities perhaps in the evenings too. In these cases it’s usually just a payment and key situation, so less involvement and easier to manage!
If your space is sat empty on the weekends or evenings, why not add this additional service?!
What do you think? Is it time to up level your childcare business during 2022?
I go into more detail in my latest video! Join me as I take a look at some ideas to niche down your childcare business and unleash success in 2022. Pull up a chair, grab a notebook and hold on tight because it’s go, time Ninja! Watch the latest episode on Youtube video here:
Speaking of being next year…have you started planning for 2022 yet?! I’ve got just the thing to give you a head start! This is no ordinary paper planner. It’s specifically designed with Childcare Business owners in mind. Because I got sick of having to tweak the ones aimed at other industries!
And because I know a planner is zero use without accountability, I’ve added an accountability piece to my new and improved Nyckie B’s 2022 Childcare Business Planner System!
Even with all the planning in the world, being a home daycare provider can sometimes feel lonely and overwhelming. Getting connected with other childcare owners is a game changer! Gain strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining a community! That’s why I set up my Facebook group, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. 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!
Hands up if an onboarding system has slipped down your To Do list? I know so many childcare business owners who are winging it on this front. You have people knocking on your door before you’ve had a chance to create a team to take care of the kids! Sometimes this leads to panic hiring, and – let’s be honest – this is a disaster for everyone!
Rushing to fill the gaps in your team is nearly always a mistake. You want to have time and space to find the right fit, and having a great onboarding system will make this easier! And we’re in the final quarter of 2021 and 2022 is looming, so now is the time to sort it out!
Let’s do this, Ninja! I want to share with you my expertise on how to create an onboarding system that helps your new team members settle in but that also keeps you on top of the paperwork you must do!
What is an onboarding system?
This is the processes you have in place for hiring someone new for your childcare team.
Firstly there’s the hunt for people to interview. Then there’s the picking the right people for interviewing. After that there’s the actual interviews…and that’s followed by all the legal paperwork that needs to be completed. And once they’re hired, it’s important that you nurture them so that they stick around and help you grow your business through consistency!
It can be a whole lot to deal with, so I want to help you as much as possible.
Why do we need an onboarding system?
In this industry we have a ton of rules and regulations to follow when it comes to bringing a new member of staff onboard. There are legal requirements that must be adhered to and we cannot afford any errors. The state needs us to have certain things, wherever you’re based!
And actually it’s not just about the legalities…it’s about saving you time and money! Hiring the right team member in the first round rather than third time lucky will make a huge difference to your business. You want to make sure the onboarding system includes elements that brings the right person into your business.
Hiring a team can be hard!
Hiring is one of the hardest parts of running a childcare business. Where can you find your dream team?! Make sure you’ve got your job description sorted out, you’ll want to head out and start looking for those new key players. Obviously you can use the internet to place a job ad. You can look on Indeed, Craigslist…there’s a tonne of other places to put your job description on there. Set up a Facebook page where potential staff can come to you and you can let local people know that you’re hiring right now.
I’d recommend using a mix of digital and traditional in your search for the perfect team! “Help Wanted” signs still have a place. Word of Mouth is still great too, so make sure you tell parents and the current team that you’re looking for help. And I know I’ve found some great extra help from teachers who are looking for some additional income over the summer holidays. Plus you might have some newly qualified trade school students in your area who are looking for some work.
You can ensure that your interviews go well by having a set list of questions that are really tailored to your daycare. It’s no good having generic questions, because your business is different and unique to you. Make sure that your questions reflect that and are open enough to allow your interviewees to feel at ease so they can answer to their best ability. I’d also recommend including an orientation session and maybe a “meet the team”, so you can get the team’s feedback.
Also, this process is as much about you as it is about them. You want to be giving the right signals to your potential new team member. How do you want to come across? What do you want to be known for? Remember the old adage: people remember not what you say but how you make them feel.
File your paperwork!
Unless you love having really difficult conversations (or WORSE receiving citations!) from the inspectors, you must make sure all the forms get filed properly!!
It’s very easy to forget what has or hasn’t been done, so the best thing to do is – you guessed it! – create a process!
Checking off things the list as we get them done will help us keep track of where we’re at. In order to do that properly, it’s great to sit down and think the process through. Consider all the steps like how are we getting the people in our doors, getting paperwork filled out, training, and getting them used to your children, parents, and the rest of the team.
Bringing them into your business
Once you’ve hired your new team member – a newbie or someone who’s done it before – you want to get them settled in. Give them time to learn the processes and routines. Let them get to know their new colleagues and the kids and parents.
It’s important to make their probation as positive an experience as possible, so that they want to stay. It’ll save you time, money and energy if you can retain your new team members and not have to go through the hiring process over and over again.
Watch my video to find out more about how I create my onboarding system!
I hope your takeaway from this is that you need to get an actual process in place! One that’s written down and ideally in a checklist form, because it definitely helps things flow easier! Trust me on that!
Tell me in the comments…Do you have any onboarding tips? What works for you?
Join us over on Facebook for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! You can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Or if you prefer Instagram, we share inspiration, ideas and tips there too. 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!