The first step in creating a better business image is to clarify your niche. Your niche is simply what you can do best or better than your competitors. To help you define your niche, you will need to identify the type of childcare services you enjoy offering your community. Do you enjoy offering basic nurture and care for infants and toddlers, or do you enjoy providing a quality learning environment for preschoolers? Maybe you enjoy offering a contracted, employer-sponsored childcare service. The type of service you enjoy offering is your niche.
Discovering Your Niche
When I began my childcare business in 2004, I wasn’t very clear about my niche. I was just starting out, but I had a desire to help children learn. At that time I decided to focus on what I enjoyed and what I could do best. I enjoyed preparing lesson plans, ordering materials, teaching the children and hearing my satisfied customers return and testify about how amazed they were with their children’s progress. Because of my desire for children to learn and the positive results I gathered from my clients, I then aligned my program’s philosophy about early childhood care and education to match my brand. That leads me to the second step of creating a better image: developing a brand.
Developing Your Brand
As your childcare program develops, so will your brand. Developing a brand begins with the services you provide. When your customers think of your business, what is the first thing that comes to their mind? Does what you enjoy about your business resonate with your clients? When you know that you are offering services that parents respect and value, start building your brand around that.
My first brand was developed from what I enjoyed about childcare; over time, as I gained clarity about my niche market, I was able to re-brand my childcare image.
Creating a brand is completely different from branding. Creating a professional image to match your services is called creating a brand. Your brand must have consistent colors, logos, taglines, images and messages so that clients can identify your childcare program from others.
I knew that I enjoyed teaching and helping children learn, and so I created an apple logo for my brand. As long as I have been in the childcare field, most businesses use apples to represent teachers so to me that became my brand. I make sure that my apple is consistently in the same place within my logo and that my business name has the same font for marketing and promotional materials.
Defining What Makes You Unique-A Marketing Strategy
After creating my brand I determined what set me apart in my parents’ minds from my competitors. I created a survey and asked for parents to give me five words that described my childcare program. I noticed that there were certain words that kept appearing on each survey, such as learning, clean and professional. Now you may think those words won’t separate you from your competitors, but it’s not what you think; it’s about creating a message that describes what parents say about you.
After brainstorming and defining what makes my childcare services unique, I was able to create marketing strategies that generated inquires and drove my brand into the minds of prospects. I love it when people who do not have children, or who do not have children within childcare age range, refer my program to people who do have children.
The essence of creating a better childcare image is being consistent with your brand and branding process. Image upgrades create enrollment increases. Take time to create a better childcare image by using the following steps:
If developing and driving a marketing brand or niche is not where your talents lie, seek my help. I remember reading that it is better to pay for the help of a skilled professional than to pay for a marketing ad that gets no response.
Get the help you need by clicking here @http://iownadaycare.com/work-with-me/