Over the last 12 months our sales have increased by over £300,000 – which is pretty amazing.
Income in side-line businesses has dramatically risen. Our core business net profit tripled from last year.
Nursery Business: We have implemented an incredible amount. Every time I attend an EC event or meeting, I implement at least one thing, otherwise I feel it’s been a waste of my time. This year we have improved our Direct Mail including our ‘Shock and Awe’ marketing pack with Guarantee, top tips, testimonials, brochures, leaflets, newsletters and marketing collateral.
Quite simply, this blows the competition out the water on the first touch.
This is followed up by a targeted InfusionSoft Campaign. Indeed, Infusionsoft in America were so impressed with what we were doing, they visited us in September and included us in their “UK Success Stories!” which is pretty incredible.
They spotted that our campaigns were converting, getting clicks and seeing action being taken (which is the name of the game really!)
We have improved our monthly Childcare Matters, direct mail, printed newsletter. This hits door mats on the 1st of every month and has been responsible for bringing in at least 20 new customers (lifetime average value is £30k each) in its first six months.
We have implemented a training programme on the back of the summer spent in the Disney Institute. We have a full 6 month training programme which includes one full day off site, which teaches our team about our core values, our mission and our vision, as well as giving them training on our Quality Standard Keys, our Service standards and what we expect from them.
The result has been a better motivated team who understand what is expected of them and customers who feel more cared about (we surveyed our customers and satisfaction is higher than last year.)
The InDUCKtion programme has also helped focus the whole team on our company ethos – we have encouraged some staff members to pursue careers with other nursery providers, if they didn’t mean our standards! Its helped us focus on where we are going.
It’s also improved retention rates among staff. Our Director of Operations joined us in December and continues to assess the effectiveness of the training on our teams. Our Operations Director has meant that my focus has been on the growing the business, not managing my managers and nurseries – fantastic!
The wedding business – Dizzy Ducks Wedding Crèches – is booked for a least the next year. We have increased staff headcount and resources to enable us to double the creche numbers we provide at weddings, more than doubling our profit on this going forward. The plan for this business is to process it, and offer as a “Business in a Box” opportunity over the UK.
We have recruited a Business Development team member to grow this business to that point.
We are developing a Babysitting Business which will be rolled out to our nursery parents, and then out to the general public as a membership site. This business is underway and we are looking to take the nationwide.
We have meetings set up to discuss the possibility of soft franchising our brand to smaller operators (1-4 sites) which looks a positive growth method.
Websites have been relaunched and we have completely rebranded our service, giving a fresher feel to the business. They are driving business to us daily.
Within the business, we have been recruiting heavily for key roles in our growth plans (for both the nursery business, the wedding business and the babysitting business…..and our nanny business which is coming next) and due to the increase in headcount, we had to relocate to bigger premises. This has allowed us to recruit team members to help us drive forward even faster.
BUT…(and this is the most important thing) I cannot underestimate the impact that the increase in profitability in my company has had on my family.