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Making your business a success involves a lot of hard work and marketing it to parents can often be overlooked in amongst the other requirements and the day job. However, if you want to fill your places and ensure you continue to have an income then there are several things you can do to help.
As a childminder you are marketing yourself above anything else. You need to spend some time thinking about what makes you attractive to potential parents.
Have a look at the Why Choose a Childminder? in the parent’s section for some other information you can use to sell your service to anyone who’s not sure of the benefits of a childminder.
Below are some tried and tested methods of marketing your business.
When printing or publishing anything make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Your first impressions count!
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing as people who are prepared to recommend you are guaranteed to have had a positive experience. Other people are more likely to trust another parent who has placed their child with you. Talk to as many people as you can about what you do and word will get around.
Carry cards with you that give details with your name and contact details. You can use the back of the card to quote positive feedback or to advertise examples of what you do with the children – e.g. a photograph of a successful event you’ve done. Vistaprint.co.uk offer free business cards. Providing your Ofsted registration number allows parents to check your last inspection report and shows that you are a registered childminder.
Design and print some leaflets which promote your business. Have a look at the CCMA members only section for some formats you can download and amend to suit your business.
Create a brochure which you can send out to prospective parents or use to show them when they turn up for their first meeting. Some samples of brochures are available in the CCMA members only section.
You can advertise at schools, newsagents, church halls, community clubs with noticeboards, doctor’s surgeries or attend local baby groups and meet other mothers. You may need permission from some places to advertise so check with them first. You could also advertise in local magazines but this can be expensive so you may want to choose carefully. If you are a Network Childminder you will automatically have your details registered at a Children’s Centre for parents to look through.
You can advertise to parents by having a webpage on the CCMA website if you are a member of the CCMA. This is cheaper than hosting your own website and you also guarantee that the CCMA website will be visited by parents. You can register on childcare websites too such as childcare.co.uk where parents can search for childminders. Netmums.co.uk also have a childcare facility but some of these may charge a fee to register or to contact parents.
These events are organised with the help of the CCMA and are designed to create an opportunity for parents and childminders to meet. You will need to be a member of the CCMA in order to attend as this is one of the benefits we offer our member. You will be able to talk about your service and meet parents who may be looking in your area.
You could print “Registered Childminder” onto t-shirts, fleeces, caps, bags – anything you wear on a regular basis when out and about. This is another way of advertising to parents that you are out with minded children and they can then observe you in action and approach you if they like what they see.
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