Nafcc marketing 2011


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Marketing power point for 2011 NAFCC annual conference

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Nafcc marketing 2011

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