Find Your Niche: 5 Ways to Set Your Childcare Business Apart from Competitors
How are you going to market your childcare business to stand out from the competition? In the following guide, we will explore several ways you can position your daycare business within your local market to set yourself apart from competitors and attract parents to your daycare. From offering additional services to marketing to your ideal clients, we offer practical insight to help you create a childcare business marketing strategy that works for you.
Who Are Your Competitors?
Before you decide how you are going to set your childcare business apart from your competitors, you will need to do some research to find out more about them. Who are your competitors in your local childcare market? Research other in-home childcare providers, daycare facilities, preschools, or other early childhood education programs in your area to learn as much as you can about them:
- What services do your competitors offer?
- How much do they charge for their daycare services?
- Do your competitors have programs for infants, toddlers, and slightly older children?
- How many children can your competitors accommodate in their program?
- Do your competitors currently have space available in their programs or do they have a waitlist?
- How are your competitors marketing themselves to parents in your community?
You can learn a lot from studying other childcare businesses in your community. In fact, you will have to do this in order to decide how you want to differentiate your business from the rest. Once you have a good understanding of who your local competitors are and what they offer, you can decide which marketing strategy you want to use to attract customers to your business.
Highlight Your Selling Features
A great place to start in your approach to marketing your childcare business is to highlight the selling features that you feel make your childcare business a cut above the rest. Maybe you have integrated digital childcare management software that allows you to offer conveniences like contactless check-ins, daily reports that parents can read on their daycare parent app, and flexible billing options. Perhaps you have created a daycare curriculum you’re proud of and want to show off the educational components of your daycare program. Or maybe your teachers have received additional education and training that makes them shine. The point is, you know what your childcare business does best, so use those features to your advantage.
You can highlight your selling features on your business website, social media pages, marketing print materials, and by word-of-mouth during parent phone-calls and daycare tours. Even if other daycare providers in the area make a similar claim, be clear on why your program does it differently and provides the better option. Your confidence in your daycare program’s best features will demonstrate to parents that yours is the right childcare program for their child.
Offer Additional Services
You can gain a significant advantage over your local competitors by offering additional services that are unique to your childcare program. Here are a few additional services you might consider offering:
- Summer camp
- Field trips
- Extracurricular activities, like music class, “Mommy/Daddy and Me” yoga, or a “Read Together” program
- Before or after school program
- Program for older, school-aged children
- Additional support services for ESL/ELL children
As the above suggestions demonstrate, you can really get creative with the types of additional services you offer through your daycare business. You may find that you can meet a need (or several) in your community by offering services that your competitors are not offering. One of the best ways to decide which additional services might best serve the families in your local community is to discover what parents are looking for in a childcare provider.
Discover What Parents Are Looking For
If there’s a need among families in your community that your daycare service can meet (or perhaps a need you already meet for your current clients), you will want to know what it is. You can start by getting feedback from your current daycare customers. Poll parents with a quick survey sent via email or your parent messaging app:
- What do you like best about Little Learners Daycare?
- What helped you choose Little Learners Daycare over other options in the area?
- What is most important to you regarding your child’s daycare experience?
- Is Little Learners Academy currently meeting the needs of your child?
- How can we improve our childcare services?
- Would you recommend Little Learners Academy to other parents looking for childcare?
A parent survey provides valuable insight to you as a childcare business owner. You can use the feedback from your current clients to assess whether you are meeting the needs of the children in your program and how you can improve your services. In addition, parent feedback will help you learn why parents chose your daycare program over other options so you can capitalize on those qualities to attract new parents.
Market to Your Ideal Clients
Who are your ideal clients? Hopefully, you already have strong relationships with your existing clients. But thinking about the clients you want to attract to your childcare business, get specific on the “client profile” you feel you are best able to serve. Here are some examples:
- You want to grow a clientele of neighborhood moms and dads for your in-home daycare service.
- You want to initiate new client relationships with the Spanish-speaking families in your community.
- You want to serve parents who are looking for an infant program for their new baby.
- You want to provide childcare services for busy parents who have demanding careers.
- You hope to attract parents who have children with special needs to your inclusive daycare center.
In all of these examples, the ideal client profile may look very different from one to the next, but the common thread is your desire to meet the needs of this unique client profile in a way that only your daycare services can. Once you determine your ideal client profile, you can market your childcare business to specifically attract your ideal clients.
Create an Unmatched Customer Experience
No matter who your ideal clients are, you will want to provide an unmatched customer experience to all of the families you serve, current and future clients included. The daycare experience you create for families can have far-reaching effects on your childcare business as a whole. Building a great relationship with your clients may be the single-most important thing you can do to set yourself apart from your competitors. Parents will not remember every service you offer, every craft their child makes at daycare, or every stand-out feature of your preschool curriculum. But they will remember the way you treat them, the way you care for their child, and their daycare experience as a whole. When you work to provide an incomparable daycare experience for your clients, your reputation will proceed you. And for your competitors, that’s a tough act to follow.
Word-of-mouth recommendations, parent reviews, testimonials, and five-star ratings will help you stand out from the competition more effectively than any polished marketing campaign. As you continue to provide excellent daycare services, you will discover that it’s tough to compete with stellar customer experience.
We hope this guide provides practical ideas for marketing your childcare business and setting your childcare services apart from your competitors.
The experts at Honest Buck Accounting enjoy working with dedicated childcare business owners who are looking to grow their business financially and optimize their financial strategy. Schedule a call with us today to learn how outsourcing your accounting can free you up to focus on the childcare business you love.
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