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!
And I have an awesome freebie, specially designed by my team of business ninjas to help you sort out your systems! Because smart systems in your business result in Success! So what are you waiting for?! Download your FREE Sassy Systems Workbook today!
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!
February is well and truly here! It’s usually a chaotic month due to getting our taxes in order, so why not use this time to fix-up our finance systems? We’re still fresh in the year, and only just getting started — it’s the perfect time to revamp your systems!
Take some time out over the next couple of weeks to really analyse your current systems. Delve into what’s working, what is not working. Could you make things slicker and easier to manage?
In this post I’m going to share some practical tips for revitalizing your finance systems, read on if you’re ready to take action now!
Why do systems matter?
By getting systems all set up, you’re getting processes in place that will help you get more organized. It’s important that you can keep on top of finances, so having systems in place will help you find things at the drop of a hat. If a client asks you something, you can find the answer. When it comes to tax returns, all your information and data is in order. It keeps things simple.
Not only does it get you organized, but having systems helps your staff too. It enables them to know how things work, without having to ask you constantly! Once your systems are running smoothly, you’ll no longer have to worry about taking time off and chaos ensuing while you’re not there. You’ll de-stress, your staff will feel more in control and confident and—most importantly— your business will grow!
How do you work out systems?
If you’ve worked with me before, or you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know I’m obsessed with systems! I love the sense of control and the load it takes off of my shoulders. So how did I get to this point, exactly?
First thing you have to do is break down all the steps and processes that you have in place. Take a good long look at every little step. How is that working for you right now? Is there anything you could change to improve that step? Could you automate it? Once you’ve analysed where you’re at, start adding in the things you’d like to implement to make the systems better.
After you’ve broken it all down, you’ll see you’ve got a plan and a sort of flow chart to guide you through the finance systems you want in your childcare business. (If you need a guide to help you with this process, download your free childcare business map here and get started building your systems.)
How do I fix-up my finance systems?
There’s lots of ways you can fix-up your finance systems, and I’ll be going through this in the Facebook group soon. So for now I’ll just explain how to get started if you haven’t already. Or perhaps you can use it as an opportunity to refresh how things work at the moment.
Financial Tasks Overview: Get total control of your finances by creating a system for your tasks. By ensuring that we do the tasks we need to daily, weekly, monthly, and even quarterly, we are stopping overwhelm and procrastination in its tracks! So break every little task down. No matter how small!
Monthly Bill Report: Doing this will enable you to list all expenses your business has, and begin categorizing it so that a later stage when you have all the Fab Finances templates, you can complete your monthly budget and know exactly where you stand financially at any given time. Simple & Stress-free!
And don’t panic if you’ve not started yet! Head here for my Fabulous Finance templates, so your childcare business can run with ease! Which means you can focus on the strategic part of your business and get growing! Some of the daily templates include Inventory management, invoice tracking, income, and expense management.
What happens when you’ve got systems in place?
You might think that this is all a waste of time. I’ve heard childcare business owners complain about the effort it takes to get all set up. But I promise you that once you’ve found systems that work for you and they’re all in place and running like clockwork it’s a total game changer!
Since I got my systems fixed-up, I have been able to grow my childcare business empire. None of my focus goes on overwhelm or worrying about how things are doing, because I know already! My systems tell me what’s going on and I can take a look any time I fancy. I don’t have to stress about taking time off or if families are going to pay their bills, due to my simple systems and automations.
How do you feel about this? Are you ready to fix-up your finance systems? Or are you feeling stuck?
Come and let us know over in the Childcare Ninja Facebook group! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips on setting those systems up so you can actually grow your childcare business. And I’ll be starting with Finances!
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!
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.