Childcare in Australia has exploded, with centres in some areas opening up at a rate that exceeds demand. Across the country, the number of centres is growing, and competition is becoming fierce.
Of course, it is still possible to have success in the midst of the childcare boom, but your marketing needs to be clever. At Outsource2Us, our process for tackling competition is twofold: firstly, consider your point of difference – what can you offer families that your competitors can’t. Then, you find a way to clearly communicate this point of difference to your target market.
Identifying Your Differences
The things that make you stand out are your selling points. Parents choosing between two centres that seem identical might as well flip a coin — if you want to be picked for your own merits, you’ll have to make them public knowledge.
The first step to separating yourself from the competition is identifying what it is that differentiates you. Every centre is unique, but it can be hard for you to immediately pinpoint what makes you special. And it’s those unique qualities that will make families choose you over your competition.
Ask yourself what you do differently. Maybe your centre offers a wider range of extracurricular activities than most, or perhaps you provide an organic menu.
Adding Value by Adding Services
If you suspect that your current selling points aren’t attractive enough, then it is time to look at how you can add more value. When competition is high, parents know they can expect more from their service and are looking for that extra something. Consider additional services that you can provide to further separate yourself from the competition. Some centres offer coffee on pickup/drop off, yoga classes for parents in the afternoons, even laundry services.
Increasing your services in this way has the added benefit of ensuring you don’t lose your current families to other centres and increasing referrals.
Letting Everyone Know
Once you’ve worked out how you stand out from the competition, it’s time to communicate this to your target market. Develop your points of difference into engaging marketing collateral.
At this stage, it pays to know who your target market is. Your marketing collateral will depend entirely on your target market. Flyers and traditional advertising may work well for some centres, while others will do better with online and digital advertising. Most centres will find success with a combination of the two.
Whatever medium you choose, make sure that your content focuses on what sets you apart. Keep your promotions consistent and emphasise your centre’s individuality. And of course, in today’s digital age, you should absolutely never underestimate the power of a good business website.
Any small business in a saturated market needs to work hard to differentiate itself from the competition. Luckily for you, childcare centres are each run in their own ways, and all have unique selling points that can be leveraged to set them apart.