Last week we started talking about marketing your child care program. Before you put too much effort into trying to get people to check out your program, you need to spend a bit of time making sure that your program is ready for potential new clients. One of the first steps is to do a quick assessment of your program. Remember, first impressions are key. Do you have a consistent way for staff members to answer the phone? Do they understand how to talk with potential clients or perhaps even have a bit of a script to follow? How to you make sure that those inquiries turn into program visits?
Once your staff has convinced someone to come tour your program, make sure of what they will see when they walk up. How is your curb appeal? Is your grass trimmed and your parking area neat and tidy? Is the entry way appealing? Are the windows clean? Try to walk through your program with an ‘outsider’s’ eyes. Is it visually interesting? Does it smell good? Are there pleasing sounds coming from the various areas? Do you have appropriate information posted (menus, lesson plans, daily schedules, etc.) so that potential clients can get a good idea of what happens in your program?
The last piece of this initial contact is making sure that you have a way close the deal. Does your schedule allow for tours throughout the day to accommodate various schedules? How do you make sure that program visits turn into enrollments? If you’re not taking potential clients on tours, who is doing it? Are they knowledgeable about every aspect of your program? Can they provide enough information to answer the person’s questions without providing so many details that their eyes start to glaze over? Are they personable yet assertive enough to encourage the person to enroll the child?
Once all of these pieces are in place, you’re ready to move on to finding these potential new clients. We’ll talk about that more next week.