Nafcc marketing 2011

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Marketing power point for 2011 NAFCC annual conference

Marketing power point for 2011 NAFCC annual conference

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  • 1. Family Child Care Marketing in Financial Hard Times Tom Copeland For the National Association for Family Child Care, July 21, 2011 Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 2. Instructor
    • Tom Copeland, JD
    • Trainer on family child care business issues since 1981
    • Author of 9 books on the business of family child care
    • Contact me with questions: 651-280-5991; [email_address]
    • www.tomcopelandblog.com
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 3. Welcome
    • This class will help you –
      • Define what is marketing
      • Learn how to get started in promoting your business
      • Communicate the benefits of your program
      • Develop a marketing strategy for your program
      • Work with other organizations
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 4. Disclaimer
    • “ I am not rendering legal, tax, or other professional advice.
    • If you require this type of assistance, please consult a professional to represent you.”
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 5. What is Marketing?
    • “ Marketing is the ongoing communication of the benefits of your program.”
    • It is much more than advertising
    • It is an ongoing activity
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 6. “ Professionalism” and Marketing
    • The language of marketing may be foreign to some providers (“clients”, “promotions”, etc.)
    • There is no contradiction between offering high quality child care and running a successful business
    • You can promote your program while keeping the casual, homey, friendly, warm, and professional aspects of your program
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 7. Trends in Child Care – 25 Years Ago
    • Many fewer parents looking for child care
    • Women more likely to stay home with an infant
    • Most family child care providers charged by the hour, same rate for all ages
    • Providers went into the business (“Because I love children”) and went out of the business (Because I’m burned out”)
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 8. Today
    • Greatly increased demand for care from infant to school age
    • Much more competition
      • Centers, homes, schools, preschool programs, etc.
    • Providers go into the business (“Because I love children and need to make a living”) and go out of the business (Because I can’t make it financially”)
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 9. Increased Competition
    • Continued trend of parents choosing centers over homes
    • Competition from unlicensed programs and relative care undercuts pricing
      • Likely to grow during a recession
    • Greater demand for specialized care
      • Sick care, drop-in care, weekend care, special needs, etc.
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 10. Consequences of Competition
    • Parents will demand more from caregivers
      • Longer/shorter hours, more flexibility, the latest technology
      • If parents don’t get what they want they are more likely to find another caregiver
    • It will take longer to fill openings
    • More providers will close because of financial pressures
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 11. Standards of Quality
    • Parents will look for objective standards of quality
    • Providers need to educate parents about how to identify quality child care
      • NAFCC Accreditation, CDA, QRIS programs, school readiness
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 12. Two Key Questions
    • “ Why should I enroll my child in your program?”
    • “ What does your program offer that other programs don’t?”
    • Your ability to answer these questions will largely determine how successful you will be at marketing your business
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 13. Benefits and Features
    • To market your program –
      • You need to use the language of benefits, not features, to describe your program to parents
        • A feature describes what your program offers
        • A benefit explains how your program will meet the needs of children and parents
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 14. Benefits vs Features
    • Feature -“I am licensed”
    • Benefit – “Your child will be safe in my program because I meet all health and safety regulations”
    • Feature - “I’m on the Food Program”
    • Benefit – “I serve nutritious meals”
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 15. A Key Distinction
    • Features focus on the provider
    • A feature begs the question, “Why does this matter to me or my child”
    • Benefits focus on the client
    • Parents will make their decision based on benefits
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 16. Use the Language of Learning
    • All parents highly value education for children
    • Some parents don’t recognize that children are learning in a family child care home
    • Providers should use language of learning to reinforce their benefits to parents
      • Use words such as “teacher”, “tuition”, “learning”, “education”, etc.
      • “ This is what we learned today, will learn tomorrow, and will learn next week”
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 17. Examples of Benefits
    • Enclosed yard for safe, fun outdoor activities
    • Individual care and attention to help children learn
    • Planned learning activities
    • Religious activities to teach moral values
    • Mixed-age group so children can help each other learn
    • Diverse enrollment where children learn about different cultures
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 18. “ Preschool”
    • Parents equate “preschool” with a structured, learning program
    • But, all providers who care for preschool children run a program for preschoolers
    • You can compete against “preschool” programs by emphasizing how children learn in your program
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 19. Everyone Has a Benefit
    • Provider in business for 15 years
      • Benefit is not “experience”
        • A poor provider may have a lot of experience
      • The benefit is “knowledge” learned from the experience
    • Provider just starting out
      • Benefit is enthusiasm and energy that will help children learn
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 20. Get Help in Identifying Benefits
    • Ask current clients what they like best
    • Conduct a written parent evaluation when parents leave
    • Ask licensor what is unique about your program
    • Ask the children in care what they like best
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 21. How to Use Benefits
    • Memorize 3-4 benefits and share with prospective parents
    • Put on wall next to phone to refer to when next prospective parent calls
    • Put benefits in a flyer to distribute in neighborhood
    • List benefits on bulletin board, contract, website, etc.
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 22. Marketing Strategies
    • Listen to the needs of parents then describe how your program will meet these needs
    • Most important factors in choosing child care
      • Safe environment
      • Learning environment and learning activities
      • Cost
      • Provider trained in child development
    • 2008 NACCRRA Report on Parent Perceptions of Child Care
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 23. Identify Target Market
    • You should keep these three target populations in mind when promoting your program –
      • Prospective Clients
      • Current Clients
      • Past Clients
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 24. Prospective Clients
    • Don’t accept all families
    • Follow-up calls
    • 3 key points of interaction
      • On the phone
      • Outside appearance of home
      • Parent interview
    • Scrapbook/photo album
    • Benefits flyer
    • Halloween
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 25. Current Clients
    • Goal is to keep meeting the needs of current families so they won’t leave – keeping current clients happy is cheaper than attracting new ones
    • Parent evaluations
    • Finder’s fee
    • Bulletin board/newsletter/daily notes
    • Celebrations
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 26. Finder’s Fee
    • Tell current clients – “If you refer a family to me and I enroll them, I will pay you X after the family has been with me a month.”
    • Payment can be $50, $100, free week of care
    • Parents are helping screen families
    • Cheapest way to promote your program
    • May want to raise incentive during a recession
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 27. Past Clients
    • Communicate regularly to encourage word of mouth about your program
      • Business cards
      • Newsletters
      • Birthday/holiday cards
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 28. “ What is the Measure of Your Success”
      • It’s how well the child does after leaving your program
      • Stay in communication with children after their leave your program for as long as you are in business
        • Send letters, birthday cards, etc.
        • Ask for letters and photos and post them (with permission)
        • Tell prospective parents: “Look how well the children in my program have done.”
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 29. Strategies During a Hard Times
    • More part-time care in demand
    • Don’t lower price – give temporary discounts
    • Teacher wants to pay less now and more later
    • Flexibility with holding fee
    • Raise finder’s fee
    • Discount to start (1-3 months)
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 30. Internet Marketing
    • Today’s parents of young children are comfortable with computers
      • Use the Internet to buy many things
      • Use the Internet as a primary source of info
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 31. Is Your Program on the Internet?
    • Today’s young parents are likely to use the Internet to find their child care provider
    • Will they be able to find your program?
    • If they do, what will they learn about your program?
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 32. Your Presence on the Internet
    • Your program should be visible on the Internet
      • Facebook
      • Craigslist
      • Online classified ads
      • Own website
      • “ Google” your name and business name
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 33. Facebook
    • What will prospective parents see on your Facebook page?
      • Identifies you as a family child care provider
      • Indicates if/when you have openings
      • Lists one or two benefits of your program
      • Privacy issues
      • Examples: http://tinyurl.com/4rkg5co
      • http://tinyurl.com/4sm94mj
      • http://tinyurl.com/4zcsc7r
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 34. Craigslist
    • www.craigslist.com - Free
    • Parents post looking for child care
    • Child care providers post openings
      • Can post benefits and program description
      • Privacy – own email is confidential
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 35. Online Classified Ads
    • Google – “Parent looking for child care in …”
      • Will show ads for centers, parent resources, parents looking for care
    • Examples of classified ad sites –
      • www.daycare.com
      • www.care.com
      • www.daycarematch.com
      • www.superpages.com/yellowpages
      • www.localsearch.com
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 36. Child Care Forums
    • Sites where child care providers chat with each other
    • Often a good source of marketing ideas
    • Examples:
      • www.daycare.com
      • www/childcarelounge.com
      • www.123child.com
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 37. Create Your Own Website
    • How to create your own website –
      • http://tinyurl.com/ypt2lm
    • www.weebly.com
    • www.webs.com
    • Free blog: www.bogspot.com
    • View family child care websites
      • http://tinyurl.com/4rw3ffc
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 38. YouTube
      • YouTube - primary platform for Internet video
    • www.youtube.com -Search “home child care”
      • http://tinyurl.com/4l2rlhg
      • http://tinyurl.com/4hf8ayl
      • http://tinyurl.com/4hqkw45
      • www.tomcopelandblog.com
      • Privacy issues
        • Permission to show children
        • Home tours
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 39. Other Internet Sites
    • www.shutterfly.com - post pictures for parents
    • www.familydaycaremarketing.com
    • www.ndchildcare.org - Tom Copeland free online class on marketing
    • Put your business on Google Maps?
      • http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 40. Low Cost Promotions
    • Short-term incentives
      • Introductory discount
      • Use as part of ad campaign
    • Business cards
    • Door hangers
    • Keepsakes
    • Distribution of materials in the neighborhood
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 41. Competing Against Centers
    • You will always have some benefits centers do not
    • Understand the competition
      • Get copies of brochures, rate schedules, benefits
    • Compare benefits
      • Emphasize your own benefits that center does not offer
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 42. Rise of Unregulated Care
    • Growing segment of market during recession
    • Unregulated care often competing based simply on price
    • Some parents prefer relative care
    • Some parents don’t understand difference between licensed and unregulated
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 43. Competing Against Unregulated Care
    • Identify benefits not offered by unregulated caregivers
      • Licensing = safety and health issues
      • Food Program = nutritious meals
    • Educate parents about benefits of licensing
      • Focus on issues of safety
    • Compete based on value, not price
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 44. Network with Organizations
    • Networking with outside organizations can help providers
      • Identify what parents want
      • Learn what other services providers offer
      • Learn what other marketing ideas are working and not working
      • Learn what rates are being charged by other programs
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 45. Key Organizations
    • Child care licensors
    • CACFP programs
    • Family child care associations
    • Child care subsidy agencies
    • Community/business organizations
    • Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 46. Family Child Care Associations
    • All providers should belong to their local, state and national association
    • Talk to providers at meetings about marketing
    • Seek out successful providers to ask for advice
    • Local associations may offer referral services
    • Discounts may be available on marketing materials (business cards, keepsakes, etc.)
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 47. Marketing Role of Associations
    • Family child care associations can conduct activities that will help individual providers
      • Produce flyer promoting benefits of family child care
      • Conduct education campaign about unregulated and illegal child care
      • Lobby for government policies that benefit providers
      • Generate positive media coverage
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 48. Community/Business Organizations
    • Identify local organizations to distribute flyers
      • Churches/synagogues/mosques
      • Diaper services
      • Elementary schools
      • Employers
      • Hospitals
      • Moving companies/real estate offices
      • Obstetrician/Pediatrician offices
      • Welcome Wagon
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 49. Role of CCR&R
    • CCR&R is not a placement agency for providers
    • Recruitment efforts by CCR&R agencies creates competition for providers
    • Although referrals by CCR&R agencies can be extremely useful, providers cannot wait for parents to call
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 50. What CCR&R Can Do
    • Make sure information about your program is accurate and up-to-date
    • Inform CCR&R about “future vacancies”
    • Ask if you can distribute flyer at CCR&R parent trainings or post on bulletin board/newsletter
    • Volunteer to speak to media
    • Ask for help
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 51. Gather Information from CCR&R Counselors
    • Talk to referral counselors on regular basis
      • What type of care is in greatest demand?
      • What can I change in my file that will attract more parents?
      • What is the range of rates (fee policies, vacations, holidays, etc.) for providers in my area?
      • Can you give me names of successful providers?
      • What do you tell parents about what to look for in a provider?
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 52. Marketing Plan
    • Providers should spread out marketing activities throughout the year
    • Promotions do not need to cost a lot of money
    • Don’t be afraid to try a new idea
    • If one idea doesn’t work, try something else
    • Marketing should be fun!
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 53. Rates
    • Many providers try to compete based on lower rates – not a good idea in long run
    • Parents will pay for higher quality
    • Providers need to show the benefits of their program to win acceptance for higher rates
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 54. General Guidelines About Rates
    • The shorter time in care, the higher the fee
      • $150 week (50 hours)/$35 day/$4.50 hour
    • Charge by week or month, not hour
    • Charge for days even if children not present
    • Add paid personal days/holidays/vacation
    • Raise rates annually
    • Charge fees for services – late payment, holding fee, activity fee, etc.
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 55. Talking About Rates
    • Give parents advance notice about rate increases
    • Don’t raise rates in April (tax time) or December (holiday expenses)
    • Can raise rates for new, but not current clients
    • Don’t try to over-justify rate increases
    • Can share info on expenses to show clients how little profit is left over
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 56. More Talk About Rates
    • Don’t argue with parents who complain about rates – it’s probably high for them
    • Talk about value of services
    • If it costs more, it must be worth it
      • Parent looking for provider who charged the most
    • During a recession, raising rates will be on back burner
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 57. Price Fixing
    • It’s illegal for competitors to discuss rates
      • You ask another provider in class about her rates
      • You call another provider and asks if she’s raising rates this year
      • Association surveys its members about rates and shares results at association meeting
    • All of these activities are illegal!
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 58. How to Get Rate Information?
    • CCR&R can share any rate information with the public (including providers)
    • If one party doesn’t know the other is a competitor, it’s not illegal
    • You can collect rates information: from current and past parents, classified ads, public survey, centers (without identifying themselves)
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 59. Benefits and Price
    • As consumers we will pay more for a service only if we can see more benefits
    • If benefits seem the same, we will choose based on price
    • Too often, parents cannot see difference in benefits of child care providers and thus focus on price
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 60. Summary
    • More providers will go out of business because rates are too low rather than too high
    • Your ability to promote your benefits will be the measure of how well you will succeed
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 61. Business Resources
    • www .nafcc.org
      • Many free articles, e-newsletter, and other resources
    • Book by Tom Copeland ( www. nafcc.org)
      • Family Child Care Marketing Guide ($17.95)
    • www.tomcopelandblog.com
    • * Many marketing articles
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 62. Pretest/Posttest Answers
    • False 6) True
    • True 7) False
    • True 8) False
    • False 9) False
    • False 10) True
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010
  • 63. Contact Tom for Help
    • Call: 651-280-5991
    • Email: [email_address]
    • www.tomcopelandblog.com
    • Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/6jo35ep
    • Good Luck!
    Tom Copeland/NAFCC 2010