Why should you a Child Care Business Owner worry about performing a Competitor Analysis?  Simple – knowing the strengths and the weaknesses of the competition can help a small business gain the upper hand. It allows the child care center to design unique services and marketing techniques that can snatch the attention of potential clients.  Here are the top five things you should know about your competitors: business profile, customer profile, facilities, services and marketing strategies.
#1: Business Profile
First, when doing a Competitor Analysis consider the business profile.  This information could include ownership, size, history, staffing and management to name just a few points.  For example, if a childcare center is a part of a national chain that has a huge impact on their buying power and advertising dollars.  What about history?  If it has been in business for a number of years it might be possible to gain a competitive advantage by emphasizing the innovating techniques and more modern facilities.
#2: Customer Profile
As a Child Care Business Owner you must also consider the profile of the competitor’s parents.  This information could include the major employers, the income and education level of the parents, and the number of children per family.  For example, are these white collar or blue collar parents? Is this the same market?  Also, take a look at customer retention and satisfaction.  What’s being said by parents on Social Media?  Are there negative comments or positive?  How can this be used?
#3: Facilities
A Competitor Analysis should also take a close look at the facilities.  Such things as spacing, parking, location, and playground equipment might all be factors that could provide a competitive advantage.  For example, does the competitor go above and beyond when it comes to the space required by licensing requirements?  What about the location?  Is the competitor farther away from major employers or is the access inconvenient?
#4: Services
Then the services provided by competitors must be considered and compared to the your own services.  For example, what kind of curriculum is being offered?  Is it new and innovative?  If not, how can this be capitalized on?  Other concerns might be special services such as longer hours, special needs children, sick child care, or after school program.  Also, what are the rates for these services?  The bottom line is provided the parents with the best value!
#5: Marketing
Of course, a Competitor Analysis must include an examination of the marketing strategies being used by the competitor.  What types of media is being employed? …traditional? ….Social Media? …Email Marketing?  Also how does their website hold up when compared to yours?  Can it be improved upon?  Can more useful articles be used to pull in clients?  Don’t forget to look closely at their advertising patterns.  Are they marketing anything new or aggressively?  Be prepared to counter any special offers.
As a Child Care Business Owner you absolutely must perform a Competitor Analysis.  It is the best way to take advantage of your center’s strengths and the weaknesses of the competitors.  In essence, knowledge is power.  To gain that competitive advantage, examine carefully the business profiles, customer profiles, facilities, services, and marketing strategies.  Once that information is clear, use it to determine the service to offer and how best to market them.