Most wraparound care facilities and extra-curricular clubs have experienced disrupted services and seen a drop in income and occupancy levels. But have you considered that you could use this downtime productively?
Obviously there are the immediate things to do, such as thinking of different ways you can keep your cash flow maintained, like offering incentives and resources to keep your customers still engaged. But in ‘normal’ circumstances, running your club day-to-day takes over and there is no time to push on with the important tasks that have been on your club to-do list for a while.
These tasks are often critical to the longevity of your club but not urgent, so get put on the back burner because you haven’t got enough time or energy to see them through. So write a list of all the tasks that that need doing, but have never got done, and by the end of the period tick off how many you have had a chance to complete. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Conduct a thorough audit of your requirements, systems and operations
Many out-of-school clubs must meet strict requirements relating to people, premises and safeguarding. Now is a good time to review how you deal with each aspect and whether any of them can be reworked. Think about evaluating your practice and this will help you finely tune your objectives. Make improvements by reflecting on how well you are doing specific things. Regularly reviewing policies, such as data protection, service terms and conditions and risk assessments is important. In doing so, you can make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate. Date stamping each policy will remind you when they were reviewed last and when they should be reviewed again. Another idea is to look at ways you can future proof your business, by reviewing your clubs’ programme, looking at your clubs’ setup and operational processes such as supplier agreements and how you use your core technology. Not forgetting general housekeeping such as clearing our your email inbox and deleting and archiving information that is no longer required.
2. Improve communication
Parents are time-poor so improving the way you communicate with them is important, it’s not unusual for clubs and school to have multiple systems that they use to communicate with parents, which can be confusing and parents end up becoming disengaged. Any communication that informs parents of their child’s activities and development is very well received. Think about the best ways to communicate with the parents by talking to them to manage their expectations. When parents and schools work together, the relationship can be much more positive and will benefit your service and the children you look after in the long-run. Here are some questions you may need to ask yourself when reviewing different parental communication systems: Is the system written for club/school processes? Does it integrate with other key systems you use? Is it GDPR compliant? Is it easy to use and is there help on-hand if you get stuck? Is it easy for parents to use?
3. Kick off your marketing
Often marketing an out-of-school club relies on word-of-mouth recommendations, but a more strategic approach to marketing would be to put together a marketing plan. You don’t need to have a lot of money or resources, just a simple look at who you want to target, what your messages are and what mediums you want to use to get to people to understand and act. You may need to revisit the foundations of your marketing, such as your branding. Perhaps spend time asking parents their opinions about your brand and ask them to review your club on social media. Use a hybrid approach of digital marketing, such as social media and email, with offline marketing, such as leaflet promotion and speaking to parents where opportunities present themselves. There are many technologies out there to help you streamline your marketing, such as graphic design imagery tools, email marketing solutions, social media collaboration apps and much more.
4. Build up your skillset
Educate yourself on new aspects that could improve your clubs’ success in the future and encourage your staff to do the same, this could be around new marketing techniques, learning about new marketing technology to enhance your channels for teaching, or boosting your personal skills in areas such as leadership, management and coaching.
So what else would be on your outstanding tasks list? We should all make it our mission to get through at least some tasks that have been on that to-do list for a long time especially if we are experiencing some downtime.
We hope we have motivated you into action so you can come back stronger when we are experiencing more normal and positive times.
And of course, it may be a good time to investigate a new system to automate your admin processes, and yes you’ve guessed it – a system like Magicbooking! So if you have a few minutes, why don’t you contact us today to find out more.