Five Great Ideas to Promote Your Business
Are you one of those women who have put your career on hold to raise a family? But your career girl side couldn’t stay silent? Take heart, you’re not alone. Many women have opted for being a mom full time, but also created a side hustle. Using the example of a daycare business, let’s take a look at what is required to promote your business.
Marketing is a Must
Marketing is an art form. To master it requires a deft blending of art, salesmanship, and psychology. In order to make any marketing campaign successful, the marketer needs to demonstrate a good understanding of each of these aspects and weave them together into something which is not just appealing in itself, but which also portrays whatever is being marketed in an inviting way. Marketing to children is even more complicated than usual. This is because when advertising products or services that are aimed at children, the savvy marketer is marketing simultaneously to children and their parents.
When running a daycare business, it is ultimately the parents that you need to target with your marketing. After all, the children themselves aren’t going to enroll on their own! A daycare is an essential service for many American families. It is now standard for both parents to be pursuing a career and the notion of the stay at home mom is rapidly fading into the history books. That said, there are also more daycare services than ever before, all competing for valuable business. If you want your daycare business to stand out from the competition and to thrive, you will need to embrace every marketing opportunity that you can.
Here are five things to keep in mind when formulating your marketing strategy.
Host an Outdoor Event
Outdoor events are a really fantastic way of bringing people together and a prime opportunity for some networking. The more of the local community that knows about your daycare business, and the more people within the community who would recommend your daycare to their friends, the easier you will find it to fulfill your enrollment quota. Think about some creative ways that you can put together an outdoor event. Remember, the event doesn’t have to explicitly be advertised as being for your daycare business. Instead, you could advertise it as a community barbecue or picnic. Organize some child-friendly entertainment to encourage parents to bring their kids along and, hey presto! You now have a family-friendly event that is likely to draw in both new parents and parents with young children, the exact audience you are trying to reach with your marketing.
Of course, gathering all these people together in one place, while a great start, isn’t enough on its own to raise awareness of your business. In order to do that you will need to have some promotional materials ready to hand out, which brings us to our next tip.
Design Some Print Materials
In our increasingly digital world, it is all too easy to completely forget about the more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. Flyers, posters, business cards – all of these are essential marketing tools and the most effective ways of ensuring that attendees at your event don’t forget who you and your business are as soon as they get home.
When designing a flyer for your business, or for the event itself, there are some design principles that you need to be mindful of. First of all, your flyer needs to be focused and prioritize function over form. Elaborate fonts, for example, won’t help to make things any clearer. Instead, focus on making sure that text is big and bold, then you can play around with the aesthetics. Try and make sure that your flyers draw a viewer in with a header and an accompanying image. Once they are up close, then they can read the fine print, which spells out the details that they need to know.
Another excellent way of taking advantage of the concentration of potential clients and customers at your event is to offer them a gift certificate for your daycare. This could, for example, offer new parents a free or discounted period of enrollment for their child. This will encourage them to give your daycare a shot. You only need to make sure that you demonstrate to them why your daycare is the best in town and they are sure to sign up after their trial period finishes. To add some flair to your gift certificates, and to show parents that presentation matters to you, use a source such as Company Folders to jazz them up.
Social media is a very powerful marketing tool, just take a moment to think about how many people you know who don’t have a social media profile. You could probably count them on one hand! The potential audience you can reach on social media is enormous, but for your daycare, you are really just aiming at local people. Well, you’re covered there too! Most places now have a Facebook group for local people to converse, to buy and sell goods, and to discuss local events. See if you can find such a group for your local area (if one doesn’t exist, why not make it yourself?) and then get involved in discussions.
Remember, however, that you need to approach the situation with a little tact and class. If you dive straight in and ask people to enroll in your daycare, without making any attempt to introduce yourself, this can backfire and end up putting people off rather than drawing them in. It is better to take the time to look around and comment on a few other local threads. Join in some discussions so that people can see that you care about the local area for more than just making money.
Get Parents to Spread the Word
Word of mouth counts for a lot, especially when it comes to things like daycare. Parents want to be absolutely certain that the place and people looking after their kids are up to the job and nothing will demonstrate this better than a recommendation from another parent. It is likely that any parent who currently has a child at your daycare will discuss it with their friends, especially if their friends are pregnant or have a baby.
A good way of giving them a soft nudge of encouragement is to offer some kind of referral reward. Under such a scheme, when a new parent enrolls their child at your daycare and is filling in an application form, you add a question to the form asking if any current parent recommended you to them. If a parent is named as a referrer, then you offer them a reward. This could be a discount on their next bill, or perhaps a gift card for a local business. Anything you can do to encourage parents to spread the word will benefit your business.
Have a look for any local parenting or pre-natal and mom-to-be groups in your local area. Speak with the organizers and ask if they would mind you coming to give a presentation and discuss your services with their members. In exchange, you could offer to advertise the group to parents at your daycare. This kind of reciprocal networking is an excellent opportunity for both parties to expand their respective networks.
The daycare market is becoming more and more competitive. While there are now more families where both parents work, and who require a daycare, parents are also becoming far pickier. With a higher concentration of daycare options in most places than there used to be, it is no longer enough to simply be the most convenient option. Take the time to get your business out there and to show parents why they should choose you over the competition.