Given that more than 60% of kids under the age of 5 require some kind of regular daycare, there’s plenty of space for creating a new daycare business.
Navigating the world of being an entrepreneur might not be what you thought you’d get into, but even a daycare provider needs to have some business acumen. With the help of the internet, it’s never been easier to get the word out about a small business.
Here are four tips to get you through the basics of starting your own business.
1. Create a Brand
While you might personally know every customer and want to keep your business small enough to manage, you need to have a strong brand. Since you’ll have to file for tax purposes anyway, you may as well come up with a name, other than your own, that you’ll use for business purposes.
Think of ideas for a logo and look through free font websites to find ones that describe the kind of care that you’ll provide. You’ll tap into your creative side here as you work through the ideas that make you unique compared to other child care professionals.
Focus on what differentiates the care you give. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but if you have a tire swing that kids love or a special knowledge of birds that you share with kids, let that guide your branding.
When it’s time to come up with a logo, look through free tools available online for help. Take a look at the other types of daycare logos you can find in your area and critique what you do and don’t like about them. For more tips on designing a daycare logo, go on the hunt for articles to learn more.
2. Print up Flyers and Cards
Your first course of action with your new logo and name is to print up some business cards. While daycare is a pretty stable business once you get clients, growth is important because people may move and kids may grow out of daycare. You need to decide what the age range that you want and put up flyers and leave cards where those kids can be found.
If there’s a baby store nearby and you’re able to handle newborns and infants, leave cards there. Put up flyers if they have a bulletin board near the door. Don’t be shy about asking store owners if you can put up a flyer or leave a card.
When you’re looking for a slightly older clientele, go to a kids athletic or sports facility. If you know all the kids in your area play soccer at a certain athletic center, put up a flyer there. Better yet, if the kids are your own kids’ age, you can talk to parents while the kids play.
When talking to parents, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. If you have current clients, get them to refer you as well. A random flyer is one thing, but seeing a flyer and then hearing a personal referral acts like a one-two punch of convincing parents you’re trustworthy.
3. Start Promoting Online
Now that you’re building up a word of mouth campaign, it’s time to start getting the word out online. Having a strong website that shows off your facility and shows kids having fun there can be a strong selling point.
If you’ve got space for kids to hang out and color, build things with building blocks, and watch cartoons after school, that will please parents. Couple that with some outdoor space, some balls, bikes, or a swingset depending on how much space you have, and that could sell them. Parents want their kids to be physically and intellectually active. When you show that you can give them both, you’ll win their trust.
Before you take any photos, look at photos on other sites and try to replicate the ones you like. If you want kids in your photos, ask for consent from parents first. If they don’t want their kids’ face online, ask them if the back of their head is okay to have in the shot.
In the end, you need to show your space in use with kids having fun.
Start a Facebook business page so that you can get the word out on one of the biggest sites on the planet. Take advantage of Yelp and Google My Business to get reviews and show off photos. Ask your best clients for reviews so that you can attract new clients.
4. Start a Parenting Blog
One of the most popular genres of blogs online is “mommy blogs” or parenting blogs. On these blogs, you’ll find everything from parenting tips, stories about how parents balance personal lives and parenting, and general venting about life.
If you share some of the tips you’ve learned by running a daycare business, you should show off how knowledgeable you are about kids and working with them. Some parents struggle to understand their children, and with all of the pressures of maintaining their family, they don’t have time to reflect. As a daycare provider, you get a unique perspective on parenting.
Whether you’re a parent or not, you can write from the unique perceptive of what stimulates kids from the position of a daycare provider. When you show parents what you have to offer and how much knowledge you have, you can win their trust and assurance that you know what you’re talking about.
Starting a Daycare Business Requires Focus
Even if you just look at your daycare business as a side gig, if you work hard on providing a place where kids can grow, you could be foundational for kids. Children who are quieter or more reserved might open up in new ways or make their first friends. There could be lifelong friendships springing up because you helped two kids to learn how to share a box of crayons.
As you build your business, make sure you follow our guide for tracking all of your business expenses.