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  #1  
Old 05-15-2018, 02:59 PM
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AnythingsPossible AnythingsPossible is offline
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Default To Tell or Not to Tell......

Over the past few years my numbers have steadily declined. Our market is heavily saturated in providers and sparsely saturated with children. I currently find myself looking at three openings in July. If I can not fill the slots, I will be looking at outside employment. I have very good relationships with my current families and they all (seem) to be fairly level headed. I am considering telling them that there is a possibility I will be closing my business if I can not find new clients. One, I want to give them a heads up so they can make a contingency plan and two, I am hoping if they know the possible outcome they may be more inclined to help bring new business. I don't want to upset them, but I don't want to surprise them either. Thoughts??
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:15 PM
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I would not say anything about closing until you have a plan already in place.

Instead, could you offer a referral gift? Money off tuition, gift card, etc.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:21 PM
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I would not say a word until I had a concrete plan. I like the PP idea of giving a credit if they bring in a new family. Say a family refers a family and after the new family makes it through the trial period, or a month or 6 weeks or whatever they get a week of free daycare or a week at half or a discount of some kind.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:52 PM
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In most kinds of businesses, people like referral bonuses.

Unless you are sure the family won't just up and go, it's best not to tell them until you're more certain.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:08 PM
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If they think you're waffling they're more likely to leave whether you close or not - they need stability. I wouldn't say anything at all about closing, but I think the referral idea is worth pursuing.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:46 PM
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I have several openings right now too! The nature of the age group I serve..... I would not give a heads up unless you want them to leave ASAP.

If your goal is to stay in this business then I would suggest offering a referral bonus without stating you may leave the business if you cannot fill the spots.

You could also use this time to rebrand and market a new version of your care...
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:00 AM
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Try and offer something different from other providers. Maybe a parents "date night". We do this sometimes. Pizza, games, a movie etc. We stay open until midnight. Parents love it. We charge extra, but it still works out cheaper for the parents than paying a teenager who may/may not actually entertain their kids.

We have been doing most Fridays for months now and completely paid for our daughters wedding with just those funds! After the wedding (26th!!!!!) I will go back to once or twice a month. It's totally up to me when I do it, so parents don't expect it.

In our old location, we had extra room and so brought our outside play equipment indoors. We live in Utah and the winters can be brutal and the summers very hot which means we can't go out for long on some days. Especially winter time when we have 4 feet of snow in the back yard! Parents loved the idea that their kids could climb and stretch and do "outdoor" play while inside. I know not everybody has the room for that, but it was different, so parents liked it. It set me apart from other daycares in the area.

A friend of mine offered "field trips" without leaving the house. She invited various people/agencies to come to her. Local police officers came to talk, a cello player came to show the kids and play for them. She did lots of things like that. It brought her business.

Good luck in whatever you do!
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
I have several openings right now too! The nature of the age group I serve..... I would not give a heads up unless you want them to leave ASAP.

If your goal is to stay in this business then I would suggest offering a referral bonus without stating you may leave the business if you cannot fill the spots.

You could also use this time to rebrand and market a new version of your care...
I have considered the idea of rebranding my business. I suppose it comes to down to really having to consider what I want to do. I have considered closing for MANY years, I've been in business for 16 years. Over the past year I have applied for a few jobs and have been offered a couple but either the pay is horrible or the hours don't work for my family. I think if I could just commit one way or the other it would help my mindset. Thanks for your input!
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
Try and offer something different from other providers. Maybe a parents "date night". We do this sometimes. Pizza, games, a movie etc. We stay open until midnight. Parents love it. We charge extra, but it still works out cheaper for the parents than paying a teenager who may/may not actually entertain their kids.

We have been doing most Fridays for months now and completely paid for our daughters wedding with just those funds! After the wedding (26th!!!!!) I will go back to once or twice a month. It's totally up to me when I do it, so parents don't expect it.

In our old location, we had extra room and so brought our outside play equipment indoors. We live in Utah and the winters can be brutal and the summers very hot which means we can't go out for long on some days. Especially winter time when we have 4 feet of snow in the back yard! Parents loved the idea that their kids could climb and stretch and do "outdoor" play while inside. I know not everybody has the room for that, but it was different, so parents liked it. It set me apart from other daycares in the area.

A friend of mine offered "field trips" without leaving the house. She invited various people/agencies to come to her. Local police officers came to talk, a cello player came to show the kids and play for them. She did lots of things like that. It brought her business.

Good luck in whatever you do!
There is another daycare in town that does tons of activities, giant holiday parties, parents nights out and such. As it's such a small town I feel like I would be copying if I tried to do something like that but I suppose I could put my own spin on it. She is the "fun" daycare in town due to her size and the amount of stuff she has. She offers low fees and extended hours, things I am not willing to do. I feel like the mean preschool on the movie Daddy Daycare---They are offering fun....I can't compete with fun! Seriously though, I am a very caring provider and I feel what I offer does appeal to many families, I just need to figure out a better way to market that.

I was thinking the other day about contacting the library and see if one of the children's librarians would be willing to do a story hour for us once a month or so. As I said above, I need to figure out what I want to do and fully commit 100%. I value your ideas, thank you!
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:27 AM
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AnythingsPossible AnythingsPossible is offline
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Thanks for everyone's input. I guess I feel bad looking at closing without giving them some heads up because some of my families I have had for many, many years. The idea of possible giving them two weeks notice breaks my heart, but ultimately I am doing what I need to for my family and while they wouldn't be happy I think most would understand. I need to do some soul searching!!
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:16 AM
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amberrose3dg amberrose3dg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnythingsPossible View Post
Thanks for everyone's input. I guess I feel bad looking at closing without giving them some heads up because some of my families I have had for many, many years. The idea of possible giving them two weeks notice breaks my heart, but ultimately I am doing what I need to for my family and while they wouldn't be happy I think most would understand. I need to do some soul searching!!
I have only been open 3 years and i plan to close in the next year maybe two at most.I plan to only give a month's notice when the time comes. You have to look at for yourself as well. I know our families do what is best for them and we should be no different.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2018, 02:42 PM
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daisymay daisymay is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnythingsPossible View Post
There is another daycare in town that does tons of activities, giant holiday parties, parents nights out and such. As it's such a small town I feel like I would be copying if I tried to do something like that but I suppose I could put my own spin on it. She is the "fun" daycare in town due to her size and the amount of stuff she has. She offers low fees and extended hours, things I am not willing to do. I feel like the mean preschool on the movie Daddy Daycare---They are offering fun....I can't compete with fun! Seriously though, I am a very caring provider and I feel what I offer does appeal to many families, I just need to figure out a better way to market that.

I was thinking the other day about contacting the library and see if one of the children's librarians would be willing to do a story hour for us once a month or so. As I said above, I need to figure out what I want to do and fully commit 100%. I value your ideas, thank you!

I feel the same way about one near me! She even has a prize counter like Chuck E Cheese and the kids get weekly prizes for good behavior. That goes against my philosophies on how children grow into good citizens but I know a ton of parents love it.

It’s so hard to know what “gimmick” to invest money in to set yourself apart. Just yesterday I posted on my business page regarding our cleanliness practices and the fact that children get to brush their teeth here. I know many parents may not care about these things but the ones that do would likely be a good fit for me.

Good luck in deciding your future. I hope it works out well for you.
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