If you’re thinking of going into a kid-focused service business – be it a gymnastics centre, a swim school, party planning, tutoring or anything in-between – you have probably already identified that it is a unique space to operate in with its own set of opportunities and challenges.
It can be such a rewarding field, contributing to children’s education, development and enjoyment, but do you have what it takes to get this unique type of business off the ground? Here are five tips to starting a successful kid-focused business, regardless of what industry the business is related to:
- Do you have the right attributes?
Ideally, you enjoy being around kids if you’re going to go into a kids’ service business. Even if you’re not dealing directly with kids on a daily basis, you’ll still need to be sensitive to their interests and have an appreciation of how they think, learn and play. Working with kids takes patience, even under ideal conditions.
- Do your staff have the right attributes?
It’s essential your staff have these qualities too! You’re looking for patient, calm, enthusiastic, joyful staff who are great communicators and good decision-makers. Children’s safety is also important, so make sure all your staff at the venue a have their Working with Children check.
- Remember, you’re marketing to parents
While kids are your little clients – and a happy child means a happy parent – your marketing and PR must speak to the motivations of parents who ultimately care about the wellbeing, education and happiness of their child. Speak to their hopes for their child through your communication channels.
- Customer service is paramount
Customer service is essential in all types of business, but you’ll quickly learn that the parent grapevine is a powerful tool. Mums and dads talk! The grapevine can help you grow your business very quickly, and work to inhibit growth, too, if you’re not prioritising customer service. Ensure your customer service strategies are in tip top shape and you have a process for dealing with complaints in a timely fashion. You also want to prompt and incentivise parents to write reviews and share their experiences.
- Timing is important
Depending on what service you’re providing, there will be an ideal time to launch. You need to think like a busy parent. Parents aren’t looking for new extra-curricular activities when they’re kids are finishing up school at the end of the year. In the middle of the year, they’re not thinking about school-related services. Think like a parent and pick the ideal time for your launch when you know parents will be motivated and have the bandwidth for the service you’re presenting. This goes for the timing of your launch and your future marketing, advertising and PR as well.
Ultimately, be prepared for an exciting, challenging and very rewarding experience! Once you work with children it’s likely you will never turn back.