A new paradigm in Early Childcare Education on the South African landscape

Increase Your Registrations!

It is easy to increase your preschool registrations – BUT! You need to follow a specific Strategy! And what is a Strategy? Well, in its simplest form, a Strategy consists of Ends, Ways and Means.

Ends – also termed "What?" What do we want to achieve? Let’s say we want to grow our preschool registrations for 2021 by 10% (Yes, we know it is now June 2020, but a Strategy is by its very nature a long term endeavour, so if you want your first intake to grow by 10% you’ll have to start working on it now…). There could be other Ends as well.

Ways – also termed "How?" What specific Action Steps are you going to take to achieve the End? We will return to these just now.

Means – also termed "With What?" What Resources are you going to use – people, money, equipment, etc – in these Action Steps?

So, let us look now at the Ways (action steps) to achieve the End (10% growth). We will not discuss the Means now, because it will differ in each setting (you after all know what your resources are and who to use for what, much better than we do).

Action Step #1: Improve Customer Service.
Who are your customers? Parents and children of course! Be nice to everyone – let your words and your actions harmonise. Educate your teachers to do the same. If they must go for extra training, then so be it! After all, word of mouth is a proven method of business growth. Train your staff to provide a personal touch. Do birthday cards, e-mails, messages, cakes, etc. Better still – get a Child Care Communication System (CCMS) to assist you to do many of these things automatically!

Action Step #2: Expand Service Offering.
It might be worthwhile to consider expanding services in order to increase preschool enrollment. Think of it as a way of adapting to a changing environment, like what is happening as far as technology is concerned. Again, a CCMS could be a novel way to distinguish yourself from the competition in the neighbourhood. And what about your assessment framework? Is there a new or better one that you can introduce via your CCMS?

Action Step #3: Showcase Your Staff and Provide Incentives.
Promote the unique skills or special qualifications of your staff. If there is something that makes your preschool a little extra special (like having Parent App, for example), your customers should know. You could use discount incentives for early enrollment, and/or early monthly payments. Make sure your staff are as well-trained as they can be, and brag with them! It will also motivate them when they see you are proud of them.

Action Step #4: Increase Your School's Exposure.
Get involved in the community and promote your school’s name out there. Opportunities are virtually unlimited, and the more visibility your preschool gets, the more trust you build with present and potential future parents. Your brand becomes your strength.

Action Step #5: Advertise in the Community.
Closely aligned to the previous point. Advertising in the community is really about providing information for your potential customers. Distribute flyers. Create a great brochure and leave it at your local supermarket or library. Carry business cards at all times. If you keep at it word will get out about the services your school provides and your preschool enrollment will grow. Use social media!!

Whist you have a bit of a gap due to COVID, now is the perfect opportunity to strategise. It seems we may be back in business come July, and you just know that you won't have time to do it then...


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