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?
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By now you’ll know that I believe systems and processes have a truly significant role in building your childcare business. They’re key to you growing and up-levelling! In the last 15 years, my main learning from being a childcare business owner has been that systems equals success!
Some of the most important factors of implementing systems in your business are to improve efficiency and organization. This is what enables you to monitor and manage your staff whilst staying connected to the operational strategies of the business. And you can keep taking a step back to make sure everything is working and in sync to help you achieve your vision.
Let’s take a look at why systems equal success…
Why do you rave about systems, Nyckie?
Because they work!! (Can I get an amen?!) No matter what size your childcare business is, it no doubt includes multiple systems working together to achieve your goals. Systems and processes are essential to your business’ success, especially when it comes to growth. If you don’t have these to lean on then your growth will be super hard to achieve.
Trust me! To ensure you can train employees and delegate responsibilities, to offer a consistent high quality service, make sure things run smoothly in your day-to-day, you need systems!
Setting up systems is all well and good BUT if they don’t actually work, then what’s the point? 🤷🏾♀️
I recommend that you go over your systems at least every 6 months. Analyze and review them, make sure every part of the system is working towards its purpose. Once you’ve gone through the hard work of setting up all your systems, it can be very easy to put them on the back-burner and forget all about them. But we need to check in from time to time, to look at what’s working and what needs adjusting. As your business grows it’s to be expected that your systems need to adapt too.
In the generic biz world, they call this “System analysis”. Which is, essentially, studying a system or its parts in order to identify its objectives. Does it do its job properly? It’s basically a problem solving technique that helps you improve the system and ensures that all the components of the system work efficiently to accomplish their purpose. Analysis specifies what the system should do. I talk more about it here.
Optimize your childcare business processes
It’s important that you take time to understand the entire system in order to make changes to simplify the steps involved. By using a systems perspective, you can remove unnecessary steps and find effective short cuts which can save your childcare business money (and who doesn’t want to do that, right?!). You want to optimize your systems for ultimate success, not keep things as they’ve always been.
Think about it! What worked brilliantly when you had an in-home daycare with 4 children isn’t necessarily going to do the job when you’re set up in your first location. What worked for 3 team members, is unlikely to work when you’ve got multiple locations and several teams. So do take some time and go through your systems one by one and check if they need to grow with you so you can get to that next level of success.
Problem solving instead of problem dodging
One of the benefits of analyzing your systems—picking it apart and then adjusting as needed—is that your problem solving skills will improve. Instead of avoiding complexity, a systems approach helps you see problems as exciting opportunities. These problems offer potential ways to innovate and develop your creativity. If something isn’t working, what can you do to improve that element of the system? Brainstorm and think outside the box!
And this has a knock-on effect with your team. They see you modelling leadership from a problem solving angle, and it has an impact on the way they approach tasks too! Rather than shy away from difficult issues, your staff turn into active problem solvers. They also feel safer to try new ways of thinking because they can trust your systems.
Are your systems helping you achieve your objectives?
Another thing to consider is where you want to be—what’s your bigger vision?—and to see if your systems are leading to that goal. You want to be working a few steps ahead so that you’re ready for what’s coming.
When you only address one part of the problem, you’ll likely never find a long-term solution. By taking a step back, and looking at the interconnected dynamics of the system, you’ll discover a better way of organizing your business.
Systems thinking can help you revolutionize your childcare business across every aspect. If you put the systems approach to work in your childcare—however large or small!—a better and more efficient business could be right around the corner. And that means more revenue!
So, repeat after me: Systems = Success! Unless of course, they’re not working!
I’d love to know what the biggest change you’ve had to make in your childcare business is, as it’s grown? How did you manage to navigate it? Which of your systems needed adapting? Come and join in the conversation about systems over in the 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! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for biz ideas and to take a sneak peek behind the scenes!
One of the things I hear on a daily basis from other childcare business owners is that they “don’t have time”. What’s the common denominator of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs? It’s that they’ve honed excellent time management skills and are great at prioritizing. So this blog is focused on why it’s important that you up-level yours!
I want to share my tips for getting better at managing your time, including an app I use that has transformed the way I prepare myself for the day ahead. How we use our time can be a total game-changer in becoming successful in Childcare Business Owners.
Read on if you’re ready to find more time and get more done!
Where are you wasting time?
First things first, you need to look at where you’re spending your time at the moment. Track what you’re doing, hour by hour, minute by minute. How long to you spend in the shower? Putting on your make-up? Getting your kids ready for school? Making pack-lunches? It’s important that you can look at where there’s time going to waste.
Note all your activities down, trying not to be too hard on yourself. Is there anything that you’re doing on the daily that could be batched? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re scrolling for too long and your smartphone time is getting silly. Maybe you’ve realized that you need to spend less time watching TV. This isn’t about judging yourself harshly. It’s about noticing and making positive changes.
Time for a change in routine
Mornings are frequently where we can make changes with our time. So often it’s a time of the day when we’re rushing around like headless chickens, trying to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Mornings can be so hectic, it’s super easy to get caught up with rigmarole of the day and get ourselves overwhelmed. So if you make a single change after reading this blog post, let it be this one: allow yourself to have a morning routine.
I really want you to make a morning routine sacred in your day. When you carve out that time in the morning it helps get your day started off right and really helps you to hone in on what matters most to you.
You’ve got to give time to make time!
I know what you’re thinking, Ninja! You’re sat there, eye-rolling at this blog, right? Wondering where you’re going to find the time to plan out your time management. Oh the irony! I hear you. We’re all busy and we’ve all got mental To Do lists that are longer than the washing line. But I’m not messing around when I say this is life-changing. When you nail your morning routine, and track your time, you’re onto a winner!
Block out time as soon as possible – even if it’s over the weekend – to map out and plan your mornings. What do you want them to look like from now on? Where do your priorities lie? What kind of schedule will you set up? Can you categorize activities to make it easier? As soon as you start your new routine, you’ll quickly claw back any time spent planning, because your focus will be better and you won’t be as easily distracted because you’re sticking to a schedule.
There’s an app for that
I’m using this brilliant tool at the moment called “Seconds”. It’s an awesome app that really helps you get to grips with how you’re spending your time. It allows you to track how long you spend on different activities.
By tracking your time you can see where it’s going and you can assess whether your time is being used on priorities or being frivolously frittered away. I promise you, it’s a real eye opener! And you won’t necessarily like what it tells you…but it’s truly helping me to see where I need to spend less time and where I need to increase it. Tracking my time means I can focus on the things that are actually going to help me grow my business.
An added bonus has been that I now place more value on my time, therefore I don’t waste time doing things that won’t help me achieve my goals.
Timing your activities
The “seconds” app is helping me so much with time management, but especially when it comes to my morning routine. Each activity is allocated a set time on the app. For example, I set it to give me 15 minutes to workout, 20 minutes to shower, 15 minutes for reading and I allow myself a much needed 30 minutes of meditation and prayer.
Sticking to a time for every task and being mindful and motivated to follow your routine means you begin to see things differently. You’ll discover you aren’t as laid back about what you’re spending time doing and become more intentional and protective of your time. When I started attaching tasks and time together, that time became more important to me as it was now scheduled in.
Other ideas to up your time management game
As well as the “seconds” app and creating a morning routine, there’s plenty of other things you could try. I’ve heard great things about this book by Laura Vanderkam, and Marie Forleo talks about how to stop wasting time and become more productive here. You could try out what Silicon Valley execs do with their wardrobes – simplify to save time! Use the Pomodoro method for your daily tasks.
Hopefully you can see that it’s not rocket science. Time management is all about learning where you can use your time more effectively and being committed to a routine and prioritizing well. Furthermore, when you master time management, you create more time for doing the things that bring you joy and happiness!
I’d love for you to join us in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group where we’re all sharing ideas and learning from each other. We are an army of childcare professionals who are honing 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! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
This week I’m focusing on mindset and my mantra is “stop wishing and start doing”. Because this is where the change starts: with you. It begins with you pressing pause on making wish lists and vision boards (not altogether! Just for now!) and getting some plans in place to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself.
In this blog you’re going to find some tips on why it’s important to take action, not just sit there waiting and wishing for good things to happen. The universe can be magical, and I know manifesting is a thing…but things don’t just occur and the universe is not going to chase you. You’ve gotta put things in motion and make moves that show you’re ready to receive!
Start with a daily check-in
Every day, on your way to work it’s the perfect time to check in with yourself. Reflect on where you’re at in terms of your mindset. Are you feeling positive and ready to level up? Or are you feeling anxious and stuck? However you’re feeling, you’ve got to start by acknowledging it and then sitting with that feeling.
So check your mindset at the door. Notice if there’s anything blocking you from succeeding or reaching your goals. Is there a task you’ve been putting off or a person that’s holding you back? If so, what can you do right now to solve that problem? Try to think outside the box and be creative about moving forward.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Did you know that the average millionaire has seven different streams of income? 7?! That’s a whole lot of trial and error, isn’t it? Imagine how many beta tests they must’ve done before settling on those various ideas. And do you want to know the reason for their success? (Now’s not the time to discuss privilege by the way…but we’ll try to do that soon!) The clue is in the subheading…
These people have achieved success because although they might be terrified they’ve bitten the bullet and had a go anyway. They’ve taken action, even when they’ve been scared. And this comes down to a realization that failing is the worst that can happen. And actually that’s not as bad as people make out. Everyone makes mistakes. Failures happen. It’s how we deal with those moments that matters.
The Blame Game
Hands up if you play the blame game with yourself? I know I used to be guilty of this more than I like to admit. My favorite thing to blame was time. I was always saying “I just don’t have the time to do the things I know will help me reach those goals”. Or “I’m so busy I can’t possibly make time for that right now”. Looking back, I can see that what I actually did with my time was procrastination when I should’ve been spending time leveling up my business.
First off: there’s always time. Everyone has the same amount of hours in their day. Every person on this planet only has 24 hours a day. If you want to make money and be successful, you need to think of your time as a limited resource and spend it wisely. Yes, finances and not having to work two or three jobs makes a difference, but even the busiest people get stuff done! In fact doesn’t the saying go, “if you want something done, ask a busy person”?
If you’re not sure what you’re spending time on, I highly recommend checking your screen time. It’s always quite shocking to see how much time you’re spending on social media, your emails, etc, and deciding whether those things are a good use of your precious time. (NEWSFLASH: They’re not!)
Get Your Priorities Straight
Turns out that – back in the day – what I was seemingly incapable of was prioritizing. I would tell myself the lie “I’m too busy to do that” or “I’ve not got the time to focus on growing my business”. When actually what I meant was “growing my business isn’t a priority”. There comes a time when you have to make a choice and prioritize the things that really matter.
So how do you move past this? How do you stop telling yourself these lies and make the right choice for you and your business? How do you know what to prioritize?
If it’s important, you need to change and prioritize. You’ve got to choose where to begin. Here’s some ideas…
Break your goals into chunks
Take a look at your vision board and the goals you want to reach with your business. Break each one of them down into baby steps. Now you’ve got those, make a plan of how you can tackle each of them. What do you need to do that? Do you need to invest in some training? A course? How about a coach?
It’s time to stop wishing and start doing! C’mon, Ninjas!
Each week, put aside some time in your diary to work on those baby steps you’ve planned out. Make a decision to prioritize that task. It doesn’t matter if you only take minuscule steps. As long as you’re moving forward and making progress, that’s what counts!
By putting the task in your diary, and blocking out the time you’re telling your brain that this is important. That this is a priority for you. You’re less likely to get sidetracked or make excuses if you’ve put it in your diary! Doing this frees you from overwhelm while allowing you to progress on goals!
Another idea is to put it on the communal calendar! By doing that you’re also signaling to your team and your family that this is essential to your growth and you’re busy up-leveling. Great leadership and role modelling!
Now you’ve carved out time in your week and have a set of tasks that lead to achieving your goal, it’s time to knuckle down and get focused. Where are you going to work best? Wherever you choose, shut your door and take a deep breath. This is optimal focus time! You can get into the right frame of mind and work on your prioritized tasks.
In conclusion, it’s important that you recognize how vital time to work on your goals is. Getting in the right mindset will allow you to step up your action. No more excuses. No more blaming your lack of time. It’s time to take responsibility for your future and stop wishing and start doing!
I hope you’ve found this blog super helpful. If you have, share it with a friend!
Also, if you liked this, I wonder whether you’ve found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? 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! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
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!