It’s that back-to-school vibe here at Childcare Ninjas and right now we’ve got a focus on systems. And you KNOW I am all about using systems to bring bigger and better success into our childcare businesses. So how can we use systems to get more clients?
In this blog post I’m going to share with you how it’s possible and tell you exactly why you need to get systems in place right now!
What do you mean by “systems”, Nyckie?!
Systems are the things you put in place to keep you organized! Whether that’s automations or just a paper process, it’s important that you have something in place. Particularly if you need to have time off at any point. And systems are a huge reason why I’ve been able to grow my business over the years.
Your Daily operations, Vendor and Supplier management, Billing, Marketing, Curriculum and teaching roster, Profit and finance, Taxes, and managing your space all require some sort of system. Not to mention why we’re here today: Client onboarding & Client management!
Do systems really save you time?
I can hear you questioning whether this whole “systems” malarkey is any good! But I’d ask you another question in return – how long are things taking you right now?
After 15 years of running a home day care and multiple childcare businesses, I can say with all my heart that they reaaaaaaaaaaaallllly do! Having systems in your childcare saves you time and money and I’m so aware of how precious a commodity time is to us as business owners. We don’t have much of it, do we?! So why spend hours on something manual and stressful when you can get a system in place to speed things up and take it off your To Do list?
How can I use systems to get more clients?
You should be bearing enrollment in mind all year round. You shouldn’t just be on the hunt for clients when you find a family is moving away taking 4 of your 6 kiddos with them, or when 2 or 3 families have kids reaching school age and no longer need you…leaving you with no kids in your care. It’s time to get systems in place!
You can have an active waitlist of families who are looking for childcare set up. Let me show you how! No more freaking out when someone leaves! Have a family ready and waiting…
Use a marketing funnel to grow a waitlist
Don’t panic – it sounds much more complex than it actually is! Building a waitlist for those quieter times by setting up a funnel just means having an email list that you can then filter to separate out people who want and need a place in your day care.
You can offer tips and resources in exchange for the emails of potential clients. These are usually really handy things they’ve been on the look out for. They sign up for their freebie, agreeing that they want to keep in touch with you. And then you add their email to your list, opening up a super valuable line of communication.
Then you can send emails out to your list informing them of upcoming open day events, availability of spaces and keep them in the loop about your childcare facilities and any news. Ultimately, you want to stay relevant and in the forefront of the minds of your local families.
And I’ve got just the thing you need because…
…Childcare Ninjas have kickass systems to get more clients they’ll love!
What if you could create and implement systems into your business which free you up not just to work but to give you more time for your other passions?! When done properly, using systems can help you buy back your time and give you freedom to make more of those cherished memories you spent all summer making – but year round!
You can get access to incredible resources that’ll help you get systems started RIGHT NOW!
There’s even copy you can swipe for your funnel and templates for the lead magnet itself!! Plus videos to show you how to do it all.
And if you want MORE, creating systems that work is one of the trainings we cover in detail inside The Childcare Flip Course. We’ll be opening up for the next cohort in a few weeks! 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!
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!
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!
There’s one main thing that can totally help you stay on track inside your childcare business. Are you doing it, Ninja? It’s ok, don’t panic! I wasn’t either in the beginning. But now I make sure that I’m using all kinds of workflow systems to help me stay on top of things. Read on to find out how to setup your very own childcare workflow for success!
I wish I’d known 15 years ago how much having a workflow would help me! Since I started implementing them I’ve grown my business massively and don’t know where I’d be without them.
So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get started right now…
Nyckie, what is a workflow?!
Simply put, a workflow is a way of making your day more efficient. A business workflow is a repeatable process that consists of a series of tasks that generally need to be completed in a specific sequence. You map out your processes – for everything – and then you’ve got a workflow to ensure things get done!
Workflows are useful for making sure that those important processes you rely on are done the right way – every single time. An example: you may want to define a process workflow for onboarding new employees. You want to make sure that all your new employees get all the info, policies, and resources they need!
So, now you know: a workflow isn’t a plan for the kids, it’s a flow of work for you. The purpose is to ensure your daycare runs smoothly and your business is successful! What are you waiting for, Ninja?!
Write it all down
Start off by writing everything down. Break down all the tasks your team have to do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. How often? By whom?
Look at your monthly views in your planner. What needs to get done in each month? Payroll? Team meetings? Taxes? Training? Each month is different! And don’t forget about those special days each month – Thanksgiving, National Poetry Day, Valentines, Black History Month… Maybe you’ll want to create some activities based round these or get a guest in. If you’ve got it written down, you won’t forget!
Theme your days
I have a theme for each day of the week. For example, Mondays for me are marketing days. I take a look at what needs doing so I can stay visible and keep my day care centers on people’s radars. What do I want to post? I focus on what needs doing for my marketing each Monday. Tuesdays are for teamwork! I meet up with team members and update paperwork. Wednesdays is my client day, so I focus on emailing potential families back or getting in touch with people who’ve been in for a tour.
Thursdays is my facilities day. So I work on things that relate to inspections – paperwork, asking questions. And I also use that time to do facility paperwork or practical tasks – like ordering lightbulbs! Sometimes I reflect on how things are working in the facilities – are the plans we have working? Do I need to work on the building itself and remodel? My Friday focus is finance!
I’ve just shared my themed days with you, but I now have all this down on my Trello. Each theme has a board and then I add tasks to the list that come up to the appropriate board and I then work on those as I go! I used to find using tech really hard for my workflows, but now I get in and open up my boards and I can see what has to get done! Once you’ve figured out your themed tasks then you can plug them into your week. I show you exactly how I do mine here!
There are other tools that I know people use, and I hear great things. There’s Asana, Monday, Hive, and more… You’ve got all the tech right at your fingertips! Imagine if I’d had these tools 15 years ago!
Hopefully you can now see how you can run a daycare successfully using a workflow! Have fun with the template and try out implementing your workflow with tech to help you stay organized.
Don’t forget your freebie!
I’ve created you a FREE RESOURCE to help you start and scale your home childcare business successfully. So don’t forget to grab this week’s FREE resource: my Ultimate Childcare Workflow Template. Get your copy now by clicking here. Enjoy!
Want to grow your business and get more involved in the childcare community? 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!
When you set up your childcare business, you did it because you have a gift. A gift for inspiring and shaping young minds! But that doesn’t mean you’re a natural marketeer or business whiz, and that’s ok! When I first started as a childcare business owner, I didn’t know about any of this stuff and promoting my business was hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard for you! Apps are where it’s at.
Now there are so many amazing applications you can use to promote your business, and you guessed it – improve your systems!
Here are just a few of my favourite apps for your childcare business…
Get creative with Canva
Canva is a free online designing tool where you can make just about anything look professional without even having to download any fancy software. Need to create an invite to an event at your business, a flyer to advertise, or a picture to share on social media? You can do it all!
You can even upgrade for extra pictures or designs, but there’s so much choice already you probably won’t have to! And there’s a handy smart phone version too for those on-the-go posts!
Be the face of your business on Facebook
Facebook is an amazing way of building a community for your business. You can create private groups for parents to share photos and for you and your team to share photos with them! You can create a business page where people can write you glowing reviews, and you can join mom’s groups to say hi and let them know what services you offer.
I’d recommend creating a profile or page that you use specifically for your business – so you can keep it really professional! Read more about how you can use social media for marketing here.
Spread the joy on Instagram
Instagram is a great way of networking with other childcare business owners, making friends, spreading your personal journey, and sharing some joy! A lot of your potential customers will be on there, hanging out, so I highly recommend getting involved in this app!
Choose pictures of you, your space, quotes you love, advice you have for others, and the people who make your business tick. If you’re going to share pictures of your mini clients, make sure you have permission from their mom’s and dad’s and only show their backs, let’s keep their little faces off the ‘gram!
Share all the good stuff with ContentCal!
Why make your life harder? You’re a small business owner who is growing and scaling their business. To make life easier, schedule your content in advance with tools like ContentCal. It’s such a great idea to use scheduling apps for your childcare business.
ContentCal means you can plan out your whole week’s content with your gorgeous designs from Canva! Share on your social media accounts without having to post live. As time goes on, you’ll see when people really love to see your content and can start sharing at those times.
Get it all together on Kartra
Kartra is a one-stop-shop for so so much. Websites, emails, agency management, helpdesks, calendars, payment processes – you can do it all in one place! There are loads of different styles of memberships so you can adapt what you pay based on what you need. Just up what you pay when your business grows.
I do all the things on there that I need to grow my business and it makes it easy just having one thing to do it all! Rather than opening 72 million tabs to get some marketing done! If you want to give it a try, I have a link especially for you right here.
Stay in touch on Slack
I couldn’t get through a post without reiterating how systems = success! I use Slack to keep in regular contact with my team. You can create channels for each project, maybe it’s a new opening or a great Christmas event you have planned. All the relevant team members can be in the channel and get updated whenever messages are sent.
You can set up meetings, share files, and most importantly keep in touch and stay connected with the people who make your business tick!
Make your life easier, today! Try these apps for your childcare business!
Using apps and tools has helped me revolutionize my business and seen my business grow. Have you tried other apps for your childcare business? Are there any tools you’re using that I haven’t covered? Then why not join my Facebook Group to pick up the conversation – let’s learn together! In the Childcare Ninja Facebook group, we’re always sharing ideas and learning from each other- creating our childcare empires!
There’s no need to go it alone on your childcare business journey when there is a huge community just waiting to support you and lift your business to new heights
– see you at the top!
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 more involved in the community and to grow your business? 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!
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!