Sep 10

In our last article, we spoke of really affordable ways to market your small business, and specifically, your small child care facility.  Here at Alpha Cares, we’ve been doing our research and have come up with some great ideas for those who might have bigger budgets.  You’ll discover several tried and true methods that have served the needs of many who have successfully chased their dreams of becoming a business owner.  It’s not really feasible to provide dollar figures because there are so many variables such as the region of the country you’re in and of course, the economy itself can make providing these hard numbers a bit tricky. Still, you’ll be able to glean a lot of information here and figuring the costs shouldn’t prove difficult.

A promotional event is an effective way of introducing you and your business to others in your community.  It’s also a golden opportunity to take that block of time during the event itself and pass out business cards, flyers and even promotional give away items if you have them.  We all know promotional items, such as tees and ball caps with your company logo can be a bit costly, but it’s always worth the investment.  Alternatively, you can have a drawing where there’s one or two prizes to the lucky winner.  Some items that have worked well in the past include a software package geared for children – parents love these because they provide an educational opportunity as it also helps their young children become familiar with a computer.  Another good idea, says the Arthur Chong, founder of Alpha Cares, is a fuel card from a local gas station.  We all appreciate a tank of gas!

Of course, you want to dedicate a certain percentage of your budget to your advertising efforts.  A television commercial might not be in that budget right now, but you can do a lot with your local newspaper.  Consider a “Player of the Week” for your community’s high school football, baseball or basketball star.  This shows your support for your local teams and is a great opportunity for a photo op with a “Sponsored by” byline.  A photo with you next to this week’s star player is the perfect finishing touch.  You may even be able to negotiate a better price for the block ad if you commit to it for an entire season.  If it’s a bit out of your budget, consider teaming with another small business in the area; perhaps a pharmacy or local grocer.

Finally, and we can’t encourage this enough, be sure to build a solid online presence.  A nice website is actually quite affordable – especially if you design it yourself.  Social networking sites are a must.  A Facebook page allows you to update it a couple times a day with what’s going on in your daycare.   Mom and Dad will appreciate the sense of connection throughout their workdays and it’s superb advertising that costs nothing.  A word of caution: photos are excellent – especially if you’re able to post them as the finger painting session is happening – but don’t assume every parent wants photos of his or her little ones on the internet.  Be sure to have parents sign a permission form and honor those requests from parents who do not want to see their children online.

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