Being a childcare boss isn’t for everyone. So how do you know if you’ve got what it takes?
I’ve been in the business for a long time and I have seen people come and go. Sometimes, they think running a childcare is easy and they have a shock when they realize that it’s quite different from other types of businesses. For one, there’s tiny people to think about, not just the profit margins!
Other times, they’ve got no experience running a business at all and despite a huge love of working with children, it becomes overwhelming and they’ve given up.
Just as you don’t start on the line of a marathon without hours of training, you also have to begin the race with the right mindset. And the same goes with being a childcare business boss. We’ve got to be prepared and in the right head space to be successful.
Anyway, here are a few things I’ve learned about whether you know that being a childcare boss is right for you and how to get into the childcare boss mindset…
So have you got what it takes?
Truth of the matter is, only you can answer this question honestly. This is an opportunity for you to think about your why. What motivates you to run a childcare business? Why do you want to be a childcare boss?
However, you just need to take some time to meditate over and contemplate these questions. Lean into the fear. Is there anything holding you back? How do you prepare for challenges you face? Is there a pattern? How could you bring that to being a childcare boss?
Achieving what you put your mind to
In my experience people have the ability to do whatever they set their minds to. Therefore, if your mindset is ready, you’re ready!
Think about the people you know who’ve run marathons – they start preparing months in advance. They train hard, and most of them will tell you that it’s not about the physical prep, it’s about breaking the mental barriers. Once you’re able to show your brain that you can run 18 miles, it doesn’t take much to convince it that another 6 miles will be okay.
Same goes for mountaineers. Months of preparation and the right gear, but at the end of the day, it’s ultimately down to their mindset.
Another example is Paralympic athletes. They compete in the face of adversity. Some of them have lost legs in battle, yet they come out fighting! It is all about mindset.
Getting into the right mindset
Hopefully you’re getting the idea that so much of this is down to having the right mindset! So how’s yours?
First, check how your mindset is towards being a childcare boss. And once you’ve looked at that, it’s time to begin taking steps towards creating or growing your childcare business
Journal about your fears around leadership, your motivations for running a childcare business, think about your soul goals and where you see yourself in five years. Really get to grips with where you feel you’re at in mindset terms.
I hope this blog has got you thinking about whether this is right for you, and I hope the answer is, “For sure, Ms. Nyckie!” I know you’ve got what it takes.
I have a 3 day challenge coming up that dives into this. Taking part in the challenge will allow you to gain freedom from your fears of childcare ownership. You’ll be given simple steps to reignite your fire & make you the passionate and proud childcare boss you know you can be. This challenge is going to get you laser focused and give you the clarity you need to move your childcare business from bleak to booming!
Click here to register and get my FREE tool to help you get into the right mindset!
And if you’re not already over in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group, come and say hi! We’d love to welcome you into the space and find out how you’re getting on. 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! If you’re 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! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
Recently our industry has been recognized as essential due to the pandemic. The need for emergency service staff, food store workers and other “essential” workers to place their children in care with us while they deal with the Covid-19 crisis has been a core part of this. This has been an interesting thing for me to observe, and I was wondering how you’re feeling about it?
As a childcare business owner of multiple spaces, with a large number of staff, I have been watching things unfold with attentiveness. I know that the majority of our parents have always thought of us as essential, but that isn’t always the case, so the realization by the wider public and government feels quite significant.
So this led me to pondering about our mindsets as founders in this business. I’d love to hear your thoughts once you’ve read this blog…
How essential did you feel before?
It’s a funny one isn’t it? Before the outbreak here in the USA I, personally, considered the offerings of my business to be absolutely essential. I heard it from parents all the time. Being there to pick up the pieces when a treasured little human is finding separation anxiety tough, or when we can offer care to cover a night shift for someone whose shifts change last minute…I’d consider those things pretty essential, right? When you get feedback from clients like, “I don’t know what I’d do without you!” Or “You’re a God-send” you feel like they couldn’t do without your business. Or at least that’s what I have always felt like.
But I know that a few other childcare business owners feel like their services aren’t that important. That they’re considered casual or they don’t feel they’re needed – maybe the moms aren’t working and get their hair done while you watch their kids. Some have told me they’re not treated as professional by some of their clients or people in their communities – they’re “just childcare”. From where I’m standing, there’s no “just”! But I do understand that being told constantly that your an afterthought – sometimes even a frivolous expense – must be difficult to hear when the job feels so demanding and is all-consuming.
Which camp did you sit in and how do you feel now?
It’s not all fun and games
One thing I’ve noticed is that people posting on social media have changed their tone. They’ve gone from joking about how easy our jobs are and how we get paid too much for “just playing”, to acknowledging the challenges that childcare business comes with. Apparently they’ve realized that childcare is more than just fun and games!
And it’s dawned on people that trying to work while having a kid in tow is pretty tough…so I saw clients who initially tried to work from home with the children at home, but couldn’t get enough done. Which led to them booking their kids into daycare instead of relying on screens to mind them. Instead they get engaging activities and entertainment in a safe environment that doesn’t disturb mom and dad’s conference calls! And we now get grateful parents who thank us for something they’d taken for granted before.
Has the pandemic changed your business mindset?
The pandemic has hit us all in different ways, depending on where you are and how severe the lock down in your state has been. Here, in Pennsylvania, my business has pretty much carried on as before.
Has your mindset as a business owner changed since we’re now acknowledged as “essential”? Or did you always consider you and your team as indispensable? Are you cheering “FINALLY!” at the top of your lungs? I am so intrigued, because it definitely feels different hearing us being officially described as essential workers.
Perhaps you’re grateful for recognition? Is it like a badge of honor that we can now be held up as our healthcare workers and first responders are? After decades of providing care for thousands of children, we are now being given this accolade – it’s a little strange to think that it’s only just happened.
Where do we go from here?
It is certainly a strange time for many business owners, and I know some childcare owners have struggled – particularly outside the US where lock down has been stricter in some countries. But the change in attitude from the government and the wider public surely means that we have a general appreciation now, and perhaps we can see ourselves in a different light too.
Has it changed the way you look at yourself as a professional? Do you feel more professional than casual? I know that many of the parents I work with have a new found view on us, and I think I’m probably walking a little taller! I feel even more proud of the support we’ve given during the crisis to emergency workers, but in helping families maintain some sort of normality. We’ve been a safe haven for a lot of kids.
Now that we’re officially “essential” will this change the way you approach your work and customer interactions? Have you noticed any difference in you or your team?
I know this isn’t the usual kind of blog post I share with you, Ninjas, but I had to find out from you if y’all are feeling like this too?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or drop me an email! I love hearing from you, and these times we’re living in are pretty strange. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Keep on keepin’ on!
I’m going to open this discussion up on the Facebook group too, so come on over and join in the chat! It’s THE place to meet like-minded childcare business owners, to keep up to date and in the loop about all things early education and daycare related, and to hang out!
And if you’d like to find out more about becoming a Childcare Ninja, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 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!
Fear is huge. It can be massively overwhelming. The terrifying thought of putting ourselves out there takes over and stops us from showing up. So what can we do about it?
One thing I’m often asked by people just starting out is, “how did you push through your fear to get to where you are now?”.
They’re right I did push on through! So I thought it’d be good to share some of the strategies I have in place.
If you’re just on the beginning of your childcare business journey, I see you. I understand the fear. I was there too. Let me take your hand and guide you through with some tips on showing the fear who’s boss.
Stamp on any negativity
Right from the start, I told myself I needed to recheck my negative thoughts. I didn’t know at the time, but this is actually a cognitive behavior therapy technique, commonly known as “Stamping on your ANTS” (Automatic Negative Thoughts). While we’re talking about negativity, ditch the friends who cast doubt on your dreams. If they were true friends, they’d be supportive and not fill your head with fear. Get rid of the “judgy” energy sappers!
I focused on the positives and every day I told myself I was capable. That I believed I could achieve my goals. Positivity attracts positivity. You call in what you put out. By believing in myself, other people believed in me too. They could see I had the determination and character to succeed, and I began to feel more confident in myself because I was telling myself each morning that I’d get there!
Also, I’ve written a blog about getting into the right mindset that you might find helpful.
Make fear an outsider
Above, I wrote about changing your friends. I mean it! As a childcare boss, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed! After a few years I realized this is what I needed to do in order to be successful. I actively seeked out my own cheer leading squad. They have got my back, and I’ve got theirs. I can ask their advice, I can tell them when I’ve achieved a goal, I can celebrate! All without fear of judgement. Best thing I ever did.
Not only do I now have a squad, but I’ve kicked fear to the curb. I don’t need to feel afraid about trying new business ideas out, or worry that I’ll be judged. Fear no longer plays a part. There’s no seat at the table for it. Bye Fear!
If you’re not sure where to find your squad, I’d recommend joining the free Childcare Ninjas Facebook group. Here you’ll find like-minded women who want to grow, learn and celebrate your success! It’s full of amazing childcare business owners at various stages of their careers and they’re waiting for you to join them…go on! What are you waiting for?
After you’ve worked on your mindset, you’ve got to make plans on where to go. The way to do this is baby steps. I started with one step, then another and another. It’s not as overwhelming when you’re moving in small steps!
Make a plan for each week and break it down into little chunks, you will be able to conquer those tasks. And every time you do tick something off or reach a milestone, the fear slips further and further away. It can’t get to you any more.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve pushed through the fear to achieve success. I’m now 13 years into running my business, I now own multiple childcare facilities, and I’m bringing in multiple six figures. I don’t say this to show off, I’m saying it to demonstrate that YOU CAN TOO! We’re made of the same stuff, you and I. And I can’t wait to see you achieve it.
I wonder if any of you have strategies for overcoming fear when it comes to your business? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you do!
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!
I hear you, Ninjas! “Childcare profits?! Hide and seek?! Finance…what?!” I know, I know! We didn’t seek to be in the childcare game aiming solely to make profit. It’s all about the kids, right? However, to be able to afford to provide exceptional childcare, you’ve got to make a profit so you can reinvest in your business and up-level your services.
We have got to talk about childcare Profits! It’s important! And, boy oh boy, do I know how scary the “finance” part of business can seem. I used to spend hours fretting over it all. The in-comings, the outgoings, the profit margins and looking for ways to increase the amount I was making so I could improve things all the time.
Nowadays though, I’m not worrying about it anywhere near as much as I was, so I thought I’d share how with you.
Create finance systems
My favorite subject! Systems! And I LOVE having systems in place to keep my business finance in check. Firstly, break your financials down into bitesize, manageable tasks. My advice is to have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks, so you’re not left playing catch up at the end of the quarter! I’ve made a super useful resource which will really help you get on top of your finances. Check out my fab finance freebie here!
Systematizing is important and it’ll save you time and money. Why waste hours of your life back tracking your invoices and filing stuff for days? Or doing something by hand that a whizzkid has figured out, if it’s a simple and automated way for you to handle finances?! It is a no brainer! Get those systems sorted, Ninja!
Learn about finance from others
It might look a little different, but the bones of a childcare business are like any other. You can make a good living out of your childcare profits, as well as investing in your business. I think we forget (or maybe feel embarrassed?) about talking about the profit possibilities that come from providing essential services to families. And that’s why I shout about it all from the rooftops! Making a profit shouldn’t be taboo. So I will share my knowledge from years of running my childcare business with you because we can learn so much from others!
By learning from others you can figure out how to make finances simple. Read the blog posts I share with you, check out other childcare business owners (and other areas too!), and most definitely join a community where you can ask questions and share resources. (Ahem, have you joined our Childcare Ninjas Facebook Group yet? It’s a great, safe place to hang out and get to grips with your childcare business!)
Get financial help early on!
I understand what it’s like and finances can feel truly overwhelming, therefore I urge you to reach out to someone! Don’t prolong the pain – seek help from an expert sooner rather than later. Feel free to ask in the Childcare Ninjas facebook group, because there’s bound to be someone in there who can point you to some awesome resources. They’re a fantastic bunch of humans and always keen to be supportive.
If you’re not sure who to talk to in more depth, ask your local friends – find out the name of a good accountant. Word of mouth recommendations are (nearly) always absolute GOLD! And don’t forget we’re living in the digital age! You’ve got oodles of online groups at your fingertips to learn about finance. If you need a little more guidance, there are some well-regarded coaches you can work with, on anything from money mindset to investing your profits wisely!
Hopefully these tips have helped you feel more confident and given you some clues about where to begin with your childcare business finance.
Before you go, if you’re keen to get started on putting systems in place, and getting your finance in order RIGHT NOW, I’ve created a finance bundle especially for you. Everything you need in one place! It’s a small, one time investment, but worth every single penny! You get a whole lotta goodness included, and the templates come in both Printable and Online formats, so you can access them in a way that suits you and your childcare biz!
Remember: Don’t shy away from your finances!
And don’t forget that I also have a free Facebook community for childcare providers. Come and join in the conversation here. We’d love to meet you and hear how you’re getting on.
As childcare business owners it is super important that we promote our businesses all the time. We are the business! So we need to learn how to put ourselves and our businesses into the spotlight. This will bring you all the success you’ve been dreaming of.
So how do you get the word out to the neighborhood about your brand new childcare business? What’s the best way to reach the entire community and get a buzz going before you’ve even opened your doors?
Here are 3 tips on how to spotlight for success in your new childcare business:
1. Start sharing before you open
Before you’ve got clients and before you’re anywhere near ready to open the doors to your new childcare business, you need to start spreading the word. You want to build up a buzz. Get people having conversations about your new business.
Talk about your exciting new challenge and share your journey. This is where social media is brilliant. Put up posts saying “Coming Soon” and share some details about what it is you’re doing – highlight the unique and the memorable. Generate some interest through your social network.
When you go to pick up your own children from school, make time to chat to parents and teachers about your new business venture. They’ll take an interest because they know you, and they’ll spread the word for you without any effort.
If you can, get your logo and contact details put on your car. I had mine put on our minivan, and I’d get leads from people who’d seen it parked at the mall, or when it was outside the church. It’s all about visibility! Think outside the box to shine a spotlight on your new biz.
2. Build rapport
It’s time to really put some effort into building rapport with other businesses. These relationships are crucial to building a successful childcare business. Not only do you want to be developing connections with schools, you should reach out to other childcare providers. There’s room for everyone. Do this by sharing your resources – maybe you’ve found a cool website or printables they might find helpful? You can help each other out by offering to send people their way when you’re full (or the client is not a good fit for you) and vice versa.
It’s not only educators that you should build a rapport with. Think about those businesses in the neighborhood who work with parents and families. Stores, libraries, bus drivers…How can you connect with them?
A great personal example is one of my neighbors. He is in real estate. We’re not friends, just acquaintances, but because he’s seen me out and about with my daycare kids, he knows I’m good at what I do. So, when he shows a new family around, he mentions my services. I never asked him to do this, but whenever we’ve met on the street I’m always polite and ask how he and his family are. These personal recommendations are vital!
3. Don’t sleep the old school
Just because we’re in a digital age, doesn’t mean you should only focus on online spotlighting! Don’t discount the old school strategies of promo. There’s a lot to be said for putting a flyer through your neighborhood doors! It reaches the grandparents and elderly relatives who will then pass on the news about your new childcare business opening to their family members who might be in need of help. Social media doesn’t reach this generation, so going door to door, having conversations and sharing the news is a great way of spreading the word!
You can take out adverts or write short articles for your community newsletter or local newspaper. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be. And don’t forget that having business cards is still a thing! They’re cheap to have made and super easy to leave in places that people will see them. I’ve lost count of the number of families who’ve picked up my cards in the bank or at the grocery store and given me a call!
I hope these strategies will help you take action and you’ll now go out and spread the word about your brand new childcare business!
The world needs what you’ve got to offer.
Don’t shy away from the spotlight!
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! 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!
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.