- Family and Parenting
Operating Tips On Caring For Kids - Part 3
Brochures are not the only written forms of advertising available. High school yearbooks often contain advertisements that can be less costly than newspaper or magazine ads. Newspapers frequently do special sections and offer discounted advertisement rates to related businesses. Hometown restaurants often put advertisements on the back of their menus.
Where you choose to market your center has a direct impact on the return value of the overall marketing cost. Narrow your market selection and you narrow your marketing return. Don't overlook the importance of variety. If the only place you advertise is the back of a restaurant menu, then your market base is too narrow.
Many local newspapers are eager for feel-good articles. Getting into the habit of submitting a press release whenever your program hosts family events, achieves a higher licensing standard, or celebrates a special occasion can improve your exposure in the community.
The goal of a successful marketing plan is to increase your program's long-term revenue. But what happens in the meantime? Short-term or immediate increases in your center's revenue do not necessarily have to wait for the returns from your formal marketing plan.
It may sound contradictory to suggest that your revenue can go up by increasing your staff benefits. Not all benefits are costly. Teachers that feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts are happier and more loyal to their employers. A reduction in staff turnover reduces the expensive orientation and training period necessary to maintain a quality staff. It is impossible to offer a quality program without quality staff.
Don't allow slots to remain empty. Those empty slots are not producing any revenue. If your program is full, start a waiting list. If it is not, consider selling those slots to area businesses. Work together to determine a fee that will hold those slots for the company's employees. Call your local Department of Social Services and inform them of your vacancies. Make sure that local information and referral programs know how many slots you have available. Provide an incentive or monetary bonus to staff or parents that refer someone to your program.
The next step to consider is your budget, and then decide if you are going to create the brochure in-house or contract the job. If you decide to do it yourself, obtain consultation from an English major or similar writing professional for all grammar and punctuation editing. It is very important that your brochure reflect the "look" or "feel" specific to your center. This contributes to giving your center a distinct reputation.
Points that aren't specific, for example, "large, open facility," should be replaced with specific descriptions, such as, "7,200 square foot facility with high ceilings." Also, when using descriptions, stay away from novels keep it short and to the point. It has to be inviting to read, and usually a lot of space makes it more attractive.
When going to the printer, remember to get referrals from people you do business with, because all printers are not the same. If you are going to print one or two colors, go to a quick copier and ask if they do printing in-house. If you're going to use more than two colors, use a commercial printer.