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Vacation Recharge

I have been neglecting this blog.  I got caught up with other things.  Writing is something I love to do, but the hubbub of daily work has gotten in the way.  So today I thought I would write about how my vacation recharged my productivity batteries.

Most summers of my adult life I have gone to the family farm that has been in my Mom’s family for almost 100 years.  It is lush and I am basically offline.  No television, limited internet, and cell coverage.  I send time opening up the farm properties, puttering in my cabin & hanging out in the woods.  I don’t think about work.  I don’t plan.  I create, I sit, I nap & I listen.

Now that I am back, I feel ready to make all the things.  I want to build 500 things.  I want to improve programs.  I want to re-work old projects.  I am making new videos.  It is amazing.

If you haven’t taken your summer vacation yet, please do.  You will get so much more done when you come back.  Take a week.  The business won’t fall apart.  Something may get messed up, a room might go over ratio, a receipt might not get out, or a check may be late being deposited.  But it won’t fall apart.

You have done good work.  Your staff can be trusted to do their job.  Trust them.  You have trained them well.  They know the routines & the systems.  They can handle it.  Let go.

Go somewhere that is just beautiful.  The beach, the mountains, a riverbank,  the fields of amber grain…go to wherever you can and walk in nature, take a nap, RELAX!  Recharge your batteries.  Let your brain be empty.  It will be hard for the first couple of days.  You will want to call in and check up.  Resist.  Give one person your contact information to one person who can call you if there really is an emergency.  If you don’t hear from them, then everything is OK.

 

Take it from me.  You won’t regret it.

 

 

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Registered or Licensed Home?

 

Making the decision to care for children in your home is just the beginning.  Whether you have a Registered Family Home Or Licensed Child-care Home can make a huge difference in how much money you earn.

Running a Registered Family Home can be an excellent way to work in childcare & control your earnings.  I suggest it to people all the time.  No extra overhead, you select your students, you don’t have to drive anywhere.  If you have all your slots filled the $$$ is better than as a teacher at a center.  It can be great.

It can also be very limiting.  You are frequently the only person in your program that can property conjugate verbs.  Lack of adult conversation can result in you driving your family members crazy when they come home at the end of the day with the need to have REAL conversation.  I know my husband was not amused by how much I expected him to interact when he got home.  He had already used 950 of his 1000 words for the day at work, and I was wanting way more than he had to give.  (If that reference didn’t make sense to you, grab a copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and all will become clear.)

There is also a real cap on how much you can earn.  If you want to care for 2 babies, Texas standards will only let you have 4 other children during most of the day, and 2 school-aged kids in the afternoon.  Not everyone feels comfortable with the same number of children, These numbers are just an example.  If I charge

  • $140/week- infant
  • $140/week- infant
  • $120/ week – toddler
  • $100/ week – preK
  • $100/ week – preK
  • $ 35/ week – after-schooler
  • $ 35/ week – after-schooler
  • free  my after-schooler

then I earn $670/ week, which is not too bad.  If you are only open 40 hours a week you are earning over $16.75/hour.  Many in-home programs are open from 6:30-6:30, which brings your pay down to $11.16/hour.  Still not bad for a job that lets me get paid while staying at home and spend time with my child.

Here is the question: would it be better for me if I could earn more $$$ and have someone else working with me to share the work and increase my job satisfaction?

In most cases the answer is YES.  I don’t really want to work 60 hours a week.  Do you?  You can hire someone to work at your program for part of the day.  In a Registered Family Home (RFH), this does not change you ratios, just your stress level and job satisfaction.  Some of your tuition simply goes to making life better, or reducing your hours.  That is something I invested in, myself.

If you are in a Licensed Child-care Home (LCH), the story is a bit different.  You can enroll more children.  Your total of children can go from 8 to 12.  If we had the same children as before (2 babies, 1 toddlers, 2 preK, 3 schoolers for $670) and a second staff person, you could add 4 more children for a possible $480.  If you paid a person to come in for 8 hours starting at 7:30 for at $8.00, you would have a bit of extra money ($160 before tax).  You may have to hire 2 people and shift the hours around a bit, depending on when your children arrive, but I would take that extra $8000 a year along with less work and someone to talk to and share work with.

The other thing to consider is your food program revenue.  Many in-home programs use the USDA food program to increase their income.  If you add 4 more children each month and you would increase your food program check by an average of $300 a month or $3600 a year.

OK, I got a little too into the numbers there, but the point is this:  If you went from a RFH to a LCH, you could make you life better financially, reduce your stress and have more fun doing what you love to do!  

Now your thinking, “But that has got to be hard to do or costs a bunch of money.”  NOPE.  The only real difference is that you, the person who stands to benefit, has to become a licensed Director.  The easiest and quickest way to do that is to take a class with TexasDirector.org.  Classes start at $475 and can be completed in as little as a week.  You can complete the class at home, on-line.  $475 for an increase in income of more than $11,000 per year.  Yes please!

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How to Save More Money on Your Marketing Budget

Did you know that it typically costs a child care program at least five times more to obtain a new family than it does to retain a family?

And, for each one percent increase in family retention, that transforms into a seven percent increase in profits?

So, what does that really mean for you?

It means customer retention makes a lot more sense (and cents) than customer acquisition.

As a general rule, directors don’t feel comfortable with marketing. You go to all the expense and effort of attracting a new family and having them register and that’s something to be grateful for. But if it stops there and you let the family walk away without some plan in place to keep the relationship going, it’s a real waste. It’s not just one lost customer, it’s lost revenue and referrals that might have been.

A better tactic is for directors to focus more of their time, energy, and resources on nurturing and developing that relationship instead of being content. If you provide continual great service to satisfied customers then they’re going to refer others to you as well.

It just makes sense to focus more effort on marketing and selling to the people who already have given you money at least once. Instead, most directors continually focus their energy on trying to get more new families.

Of course, it takes work to build that relationship and obviously it’s one thing to get them, it’s another thing to keep them, and still another thing to keep them satisfied. How do you do that?

By continually providing them with the information and resources that they need. It’s really as simple as that and it’s a worthwhile use of your energy.

Here are some ideas for building on that relationship whether for an online or offline business:

  • Throw in an unexpected bonus when they sign up for your program.
  • Follow up with a thank you note or phone call. And at the same time see how they’re doing with your program and get feedback on what other services you can provide.
  • Send out a physical newsletter or an autoresponder series of emails and ezines to continue sharing helpful tips.
  • Connect with them on social media and refer them to other beneficial resources.

Successful marketing is all about making your customers feel special and well cared for.

Take advantage of this opportunity to have us set up your first Parent Survey or your Newsletter on MailChimp. Click here to go to our FACEBOOK PAGE and tell us TODAY, why you need our HELP!

Let’s connect,

Kate Young