Archive for October, 2010

COMMUNITY MARKETING

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Creating a connection between your business and your community is an important aspect of your marketing plan. By participating in your community, you are engaging your audience in an active, non-intrusive conversation.

Sponsorships

Sponsoring a sports team is a great way to get your name out in your community. However, don’t just end it there – participate at the games! Listen and build relationships.

Business Relationships

Developing relationships with businesses in your community is vital to your community marketing plan. It is important to partner with businesses who share the same target market. Provide these businesses with various marketing materials, information, tips and resources.

Community Events

Attending festivals, fairs and family fun days in your community is important. Position yourself as a resource, providing information and tips, as well as information about the benefits and value of your business.

By Contributing Writer Hilary Cadigan
The Creekline

In these tough economic times, many parents are being forced to work longer hours in order to keep their jobs and provide for their children.  So, when it comes to their children’s day-to-day activities, parents want more than just daycare.  And for good reason: a recent long-term study by the National Institute of Child Health and Development proves that children who receive high-quality early education perform significantly better academically, cognitively, and behaviorally as teenagers.

When family childcare fell through at the last minute, new mom Laura Pinover-Sadler, then living in Virginia, went on a frantic search for a place she felt comfortable leaving her six-week-old daughter, Lauren.  It wasn’t until she found The Goddard School, the largest and best rated preschool franchise in the country, that she felt satisfied.

“What we do at The Goddard School isn’t just childcare,” said Jeff Travitz, Goddard’s Director of Franchise Development. “Our students, ranging from six weeks old through kindergarten, learn sign language, computer skills, yoga, and foreign languages like Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.  Our education philosophy is that children should engage in playful learning.”

Pinover-Sadler was so impressed by the quality of care and education her daughter received at The Goddard School that, in 2004, she decided to move to St. John’s County and open up her own Goddard School, right in the middle of Julington Creek Plantation.  As a result, Pinover-Sadler was able to bring her daughter to work for the very first time, and little Lauren became a member of Florida’s very first graduating class of Goddard students.

“I know what it’s like to be a parent with a full-time job,” said Pinover-Sadler.  “The Goddard School is the only place I felt comfortable leaving my own daughter, and now I strive to maintain that level of comfort for the parents of St. Johns County.  What we have here is a real family, a home away from home.”

At Pinover-Sadler’s school, there is an exceptionally low rate of staff turnover and a wonderful open-door policy between parents, teachers, and students.  Per national Goddard protocol, parents are welcome to come in and see their children at school any time and receive detailed Daily Activity Reports at the end of each day, allowing them to be highly involved in their children’s lives, regardless of their own schedules.

“The Goddard School offers the best of both worlds: a small, close-knit environment backed by proven methods and strict corporate standards,” said Pinover-Sadler. “And I can say from experience that the results are truly worth the investment.”

IMAGE

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Image may not be everything, but it can absolutely make the difference between managing a thriving business or just struggling through the day.  Businesses are judged by their appearances (cleanliness and maintenance of the building, employee appearance, etc.) as well as management and employee approachability. How your business image is perceived may tip the scales in either your direction or that of your competition.

THE POWER OF PERCEPTION

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

How are you perceived?

Your current customers know plenty about you. But when it comes to attracting new customers that don’t know anything about you, or if you’re a brand new player in a market, the only thing that will make a difference in whether or not potential customers do business with you is their perception of you.

You know what you’re good at and what it takes to convince your customers why the service you provide is better than your competition. The only thing potential customers know about your school, however, is what they perceive. When it comes to discussing your business and your competitive advantages over the telephone or in person, take the time to actually care for the customer by not rushing through. Use active listening skills to determine the needs of the customer and incorporate this information in your sales approach.

You know all the ins and outs and every last detail of what makes your business better than the rest. If you breeze through the information on your mental checklist without fully explaining what it is or its purpose, it will not stand out or make an impact. The power of perception in many cases is the difference between gaining and losing new opportunities. Take the time to avoid your own uphill battle by creating a perception that truly reflects just how good your business is.