This week I want to talk about that feeling you get when everything is weighing you down and you’re considering closing your daycare. How do you breathe life back into your childcare business when it feels hopeless?
Don’t worry, Ninja, I got you! There have been several moments during my 15 years running multiple childcares when I’ve gotten overwhelmed, and had a load of bad luck, and then felt like throwing in the towel. But I’m still here! And nowadays I’m teaching other women how to thrive too!
So, how can you revive your passion for your childcare business again? How can you fall back in love with it and make it work better for you, with less stress and more success?
I’m gonna help you figure this out by sharing some tips which will keep your business going, even when you feel like giving up.
Why do we sometimes feel like giving up?
My goodness. It sometimes can feel hugely overwhelming running your own business and when you throw in the additional stresses of a pandemic, families struggling, and a lack of community, it’s not surprising many of us have felt this way!
Maybe you’ve had some emails that haven’t felt good, or a team member drop out, or a supplier let you down… It’s all A LOT, right?! And it’s hard because we don’t talk about this enough! We are constantly reminded that running a childcare business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, is it?! Sometimes we just need space to discuss our issues and press reset.
You have such a huge impact on the local community and are a lifeline for some families. You being open supports the families of your team. It’s a lot of responsibility. But it can be such a struggle! Sometimes the journey can feel super lonely. It can be extremely frustrating. There’s sometimes a feeling that things have stagnated and you are a bit bored.
So here’s a few tips for how you can breathe life back into your childcare business. I’ve created a method called CPR for your childcare business especially for you! Let’s go, Ninja!
Connect the dots
Before you start panicking, shoving a “closed” sign up, and putting all your childcare stuff on ebay, you need to take a deep breath. Yes, sometimes it is HARD. Often it’s tricky to juggle it all. But once upon a time, this was your dream business and there’s no reason why it can’t be again!
So let’s reconnect the dots! What was your original dream around being a childcare business owner? What was your why?! Does that still resonate now?
Most of the time we assume we know what we are missing in our business, what we ought to be doing… but we haven’t really done an audit and investigated fully. Instead, we find ourselves running round in circles after shiny objects, like new tools or apps.
And without actually sitting down and taking stock of all this stuff, to actually look at connecting the dots of where we are and how we want things to be, it can be a waste to chase those ‘hacks’. By taking time to dive in deeper you’ll see what you really need vs. what you assume you need. You’ll notice where there are gaps in your processes and what actually needs to be done.
Plan for success
Create a plan for what you actually need to get the results you want to see. Sometimes we’ve been so long working INSIDE our childcare businesses that we lose sight of the bigger picture. Take some time to zoom out and remember what it is we’re wanting to achieve.
Look at the legacy you want to leave behind. How are you going to make that happen? Consider switching things up a little in your plan. Remember that it’s okay to change your mind from the original plan you had all those years ago.
Revise your strategies
So you’ve looked at the bigger picture and has some time to reflect on what you really want… Now it’s time to put together a strategy to help you achieve your goals. What are all the little steps – the tactics – you’ve got to take to get there? Perhaps it’s automation, perhaps it’s training, or perhaps it’s something else!
Once you’ve got these listed out, you’ll be able to see that your childcare business is not beyond resurrection. In fact far from it. You’ve just got to reignite that passion inside you again.
You can watch this week’s YouTube video all about how to resurrect your childcare business right now!
Reach out and breathe life back into your childcare business!
Earlier on I mentioned loneliness and frustration, and these things are rarely remedied when you continue working all by yourself. Your team can’t fully comprehend the weight of responsibility on your shoulders or the burden of running a childcare business. So what can you do to feel better?
I have EXACTLY what you need! I have a community of like-minded childcare business owners who GET IT! They know where you’re at, and totally understand that feeling of “what’s the point?!” But they’ve got through it TOGETHER. Come join us, share the burden and find some joy and reciprocity over in my free Facebook group.
Getting connected with other childcare owners is a HUGE 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!
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.
As Childcare providers, we’re kinda prepared for sickness within our facilities. However, at some point there’s bound to be a highly contagious something-or-other spreading round your daycare! I wanted to share with you 3 lessons I learned recently after an outbreak, so that you can comeback stronger!
Have you had to deal with a wildfire sickness in your childcare biz yet? If you haven’t yet, read on!
What’s an outbreak?
Kids touch everything. And I mean All. The. Things. They also put lots of things in their mouths! And because of this, highly contagious diseases and infections spread FAST in childcare facilities!
When one kid has something infectious you want to isolate it as quickly as possible before it becomes an outbreak. An outbreak is when two or more cases occur of the same illness. And that happens super fast in daycares where the kids are in close contact.
Our recent outbreak scenario
In my 15 years of running a childcare business I’ve somehow managed to dodge any outbreaks. Even during Covid! So you can imagine my face when a few weeks ago we had an outbreak of Hand, Foot & Mouth…oh no!
We all know and understand that in childcare ownership you will no doubt at some point deal with a highly infectious illness that enters your childcare business. And you can bet your bottom dollar that it has a high potential to be spread to others. So when it hit one of my facilities, I was not surprised at the event but was shocked at the speed at which it spread!
My goal this week is to help you learn a few lessons and navigate through the process a little simpler so that you aren’t coming at this from a clueless perspective. I want to share my tips for a successful comeback after an outbreak!
We had a new child start who came from another day care center. Unknowingly, they brought with them the scary disease Hand Foot and Mouth. I say scary because it was! We’d never had to deal with it before.
Although we’d never had cases of Hand Foot and Mouth spread like this before, we were kind of prepared. We had things on hand, like our emergency plan, to help us deal with it. And we’ve obviously spent the last 18 months being extra vigilant because of Covid-19. But still!!
Once we knew what we were dealing with, we shut down the facility for a few days into the weekend. This allowed the sickness to run its course and for us to do what we needed to do in the center! And we were able to come back fresh on the Monday morning ready for whatever that week was gonna throw at us.
Wanna watch my Monday Moves YouTube instead of reading? Here you go!
We learned a lot during those few days! What a learning curve! Here’s a few of the main lessons from our outbreak…
Lesson 1 – is it time to rethink your intake processes?
Where we are, rules state that clients have a time period of about a month in which their child has to get a physical. Which means that kids start without us knowing if they have a clean bill of health or not. Normally, we have to wait for the paperwork.
But this recent outbreak has made me reconsider this! Moving forward, I want children to have that paperwork before they start. It means I can protect the families we serve already and also my All Star Team!
How does your intake process work? What are your state guidelines? If yours are loose like ours, maybe try making it a bit stricter. It should help you cut down on potential outbreaks.
Lesson 2 – Take a look at your childcare set up
Is there something in your set up that can be changed to prevent the spread? We have lockers for our older kids, but in our facilities for younger children we have open cubbies. And we realized that the toddler cubby area was where Hand Foot and Mouth came in and where it was spread. Little kids touching each others things and the belongings are cross-contaminating. So we’ve now got lockers for our toddlers!
What could you alter in your daycares to slow the spread of infectious diseases? Make sure you’ve looked at cleaning protocols and handwashing routines for kids and grown ups too.
Lesson 3 – Don’t forget the basics!
I know the mornings are super hectic, but don’t let your vigilance slip! Keep your eyes peeled for things other than Covid. We’ve been constantly checking temperatures, but maybe more so than looking for wellness visual signs. And that’s where we can spot signs of other – potentially highly contagious – things like Hand Foot and Mouth.
One thing that helps is asking the kids how they’re doing. They’re so good at telling you exactly how they’re feeling! So you can then quiz parents gently about any symptoms the child’s brought up.
And make sure your team practice your emergency plans on a regular basis to keep everyone on their toes! That way they’re not panicking when something actually happens.
I hope these lessons help you prevent an outbreak in your daycare! Have you got any tips you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comments below!
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!
Every October we’re celebrating our birthday! Woo hoo! And this year is 15 years! And that’s a pretty long time to be in business. So, what lessons have I learned during my 15 years of childcare ownership?!
Oh my goodness…so so many! And I wanted to share the top ones with you, so you can learn from them too.
Get stuck in, Ninja! I’m all about helping you grow, so read on!
15 years of childcare ownership
Some days I wake up and I cannot believe it’s been a whole 15 years since I set up my first childcare business from my home. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come on my childcare ownership journey! Not to mention the all star teams I’ve brought along with me for the ride…
And along the way I’ve made some epic mistakes that have helped me grow as a childcare business owner. I see every hurdle and challenge as a lesson, and I think that’s the key to being a successful entrepreneur. We learn from every mistake we make. And I’m sharing some of these lessons with you because I was out on my own back in the day and wish someone had told me a few of these!!
It’s a marathon not a sprint!
This one is a key lesson, Ninja! If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll burn out and you’ll struggle to succeed. Running a childcare business isn’t the way to overnight success. Trust me. I’ve seen childcare owners come and go because it all seems like too much hard work. And do you know what?! It is hard work! It’s certainly not a get rich quick scheme.
Owning a childcare business is more than just babysitting! It requires stamina and an understanding that success will take time – just like a marathon.
Always look forward!
Yup. I said it. Reflection is all well and good – we learn from our past after all! But the key to being a successful childcare business owner is constantly looking forward. Don’t spend so much time looking back that you forget about the present and where you’re headed.
You’ve got to have goals that stretch you, that help you grow. You should be aiming for them and you can’t do that if you’re facing backwards, can you?!
Commitment is foundational!
The only reason I’ve managed to grow my business year upon year is that I have remained committed! I have never given up, even when things looked bleak. Knowing that showing up everyday and putting in the work WILL eventually lead to growth is so important. Sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle, but the view from the top is awesome!
Build the foundations of your childcare business by committing to it. Know that the work you put in now is going to make a solid beginning for your empire to come!
Done is better than perfect!
Well I certainly wish I’d learned this one in the early days. I used to waste so much time worrying about things not being ready and then never offering that particular service or advertising a type of class…all because I was being a perfectionist! It had to be perfect or it wouldn’t happen. And do you know what?! It was never perfect. So things never happened.
My advice to you, Ninja, is to remember that perfection isn’t always possible and therefore if you have an idea JUST GO FOR IT! This is a daily challenge for me and I am often reminding myself and the rest of my team: done is better than perfect!
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I LOVE the bang on about this one! It’s all about mindset and going for gold. You’ve got to aim high and think bigger when it comes to the goals you have for your childcare business. I’ve written about that more here.
It reminds me of this quote: Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. Meaning that you should have an ambitious goal and truly go for it. Remembering all the time that, should you miss the goal, you might still achieve something special. Because sometimes, even when things don’t go as you’d planned they can still turn out to be a success!
What you do matters!
Oooooooofffff. This one means so much to me that I’ve just had a whole batch of team t-shirts made with “What I do matters” sewn onto them!
Your job, your business, your passion… they all matter to your families AND to your community! It’s so helpful to remember the bigger picture, especially when you’ve had a bad day (as we so often do!). Every single day you are out there making a difference in the lives of others. What you do absolutely matters. And this is also a great reminder for the kids in your care too.
And there are more lessons I’ve learned in 15 years of being a childcare owner…
So I’ve put together a celebratory video for you here!
Every week I share a video on YouTube especially for you, Ninja! Join me every Monday when I release a new video for you to make moves in your home childcare business to make your childcare ownership journey Simple. Fun. & Successful! Subscribe here.
I hope you enjoyed the essential lessons from my journey of 15 years of childcare ownership! My mission is to help you minimize the amount of time in learning these lessons so that you can reach success much faster than I was able to!
If you’ve loved this post, please leave me a comment below, or share the lessons you’ve learned so far!
That’s why I set up my community over on Facebook, 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!
This week we launched The Club and boy oh boy it has been incredible to see the caliber of women who are on board! Woop woop! So I thought it might be a nice idea to share with you some empowering quotes from phenomenal women to inspire you to up your game. Y’all know this is the sort of blog post you gotta share with your fellow business owners, right?!
And if you’re ready to create the childcare business of your dreams, you’ve still got a chance to join The Club!
Here are 8 of my favorite empowering quotes to give you a boost today and beyond!
Empowering Quote 1:
Who else to start us off by one of the fiercest women to roam this planet?! None other than the tennis queen herself, Serena Williams.
Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on. Serena Williams
Phenomenal Quote 2:
Next up is the Queen of Pop, Beyoncé, whose music inspires and encourages us to all be ourselves and become the leaders we were born to be! Who run the world?! GIRLS!
We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead. Beyoncé
Inspiring Quote 3:
An inspirational and empowering list would not be a proper list without the icon that was Rosa Parks. We are grateful for those that fought hard for our rights and we’ll continue to follow in their footsteps!
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fears; knowing what must be done does away with fear. Rosa Parks
Yassssss Queen Quote 4:
We couldn’t compile this list without the First Lady who’ll forever be in our hearts and inspiring us daily, Michelle Obama!
There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. Michelle Obama
Girl Boss Quote 5:
When you’re the first African American Woman to lead a Fortune 500 company we had to have her! Ursula Burns smashed the glass ceiling when she became CEO of Xerox in 2009. Proof it’s possible, right?!
Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success — you will be empowered and you will achieve. Ursula Burns
Royalty Quote 6:
What’s an empowering quotes list without Oprah? The woman is a living legend, right?!
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey
Kickass Quote 7:
I love this quote from Indie film producer and singer, Gina Carey! It’s my approach to challenges for sure! Go on, give it a try.
A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink. Gina Carey
Illuminating Quote 8:
I wanted to finish with a quote that inspires you to be yourself. No matter how hard things get, remember you are a shining light, Ninja!!
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. Maya Angelou
I hope these empowering quotes will inspire you to strive to achieve your goals, in your business and in your life!
And that they remind you that if you’re learning from all the things that you’re doing, even if the outcome isn’t quite what you planned or hoped for, you’re always learning! And when you’re learning from your mistakes and everything else that you’re doing, you’re definitely winning!
Which leads me to tell you a little bit more about The Club. It’s my brand new learning and community platform for Childcare Ninja Bosses to be inspired, learn, grow and build a business that enables the life of freedom they want!
We’ll be working our way through everything you need to succeed! From getting your first clients, finding and setting up a location, planning, staffing, creating systems, and oh so much more!
I wish this had been available to me when I first set out to run my own childcare business! But hey, I was put here on this earth to help others and that is what I’m gonna continue to do! It is absolutely my mission to inspire, educate and support women to create successful childcare businesses so that they can live a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial success!