A marketing plan is an important part of your business plan. Marketing informs families about your program and why they should choose your program for their children. It includes advertising and creates a sense of identity, or "branding," of your program.

Preparing a marketing plan

By preparing a marketing plan, you develop a clear sense of identity for your program and learn who your target families will be. Learn what the key needs of these families are and sell your business marketing to those needs. Your marketing plan should highlight all of the unique aspects of your program so that it stands out among the other programs in your community.

A creative marketing plan includes who will do what, by when, where, and at what cost.

Consider all the ways you can reach parents in your community. Reach out to other people and businesses to get the word out about your program. Consider where parents are likely to look for information:

  • Your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R)
  • Public and private schools
  • Grocery stores
  • Public libraries
  • Newspapers
  • Pediatrician offices
  • Centers of worship
  • Corporations and businesses
  • Colleges and universities
  • Internet networking sites
  • Online community forums such as Craigslist and homeowners' associations
  • Online Chamber of Commerce listing

Marketing materials, strategies and budgeting

Marketing materials and strategies include:

  • Brochures, fliers, postcards, business cards and stationary
  • Promotional items such as pens, magnets and shirts
  • Radio spots, newspaper ads and television coverage
  • Ads on free online sites such as Craigslist
  • Displays at community events
  • Website/s
  • Word of mouth from satisfied parents
  • Referrals from other child care providers

Budgeted items can include:

  • Graphic design
  • Web development
  • Postage for mailing your publications
  • Printing
  • Registration at events to showcase your program

Additional Resource

  • The professionals at your CCR&R may offer marketing courses specifically for providers who are opening their own child care businesses. Find your CCR&R by contacting Child Care Aware toll-free at 800-424-2246 or at http://www.childcareaware.org/.
  • 12 Tips to Market Your Child Care Program. Getting the word out about the child care services you offer is an important part of maintaining and sustaining your business. These 12 tips will help.
     

Additional marketing information from First Children's Finance