With the new year comes new possibilities and a chance to review your goals for your childcare center and set plans for how to achieve them this year.
Running a successful childcare business is certainly challenging. But by setting goals, you’ll have a blueprint for how to get where you hope to go. Here’s a look at how to set realistic goals and achieve them this year.
3 Tips for Setting Childcare Center Goals
Before you set your goals for the year, read these tips to ensure you are setting realistic and achievable goals to fuel your success this year.
- Set SMART Goals
How you set your goals matters. If you want to make progress with your business this year, you should ensure your goals are SMART. All goals should match the following 5 criteria.
- Specific: goals should be detailed to avoid confusion or a lack of understanding for the path forward. You can’t just say that you want to grow your childcare. If enrollment is currently at 50 students, perhaps set a goal to grow enrollment to 60 students by year’s end. This makes the goal specific so that on December 31, you’ll know whether you achieved it. Explaining how you’ll gain that improvement is also important, so you should outline new tactics you’ll employ to reach your goal.
- Measurable: you can’t track progress toward a goal if it isn’t measurable. So state a specific number or percent for how much you’ll grow or change. Or state a profitability goal and how you’ll get there with rate increases and staffing adjustments. But when writing down your goals, be sure that you include facts and figures that you know you can measure. Goals for client satisfaction are good, but finding ways to measure this aspect of your business will be more challenging than some other goals.
- Achievable: you have to set realistic goals. So going back to the example of increasing enrollment, even if you have the capacity for 100 children in your facility, it might not be realistic to double the enrollment at your center in 12 months. But you might have a five-year goal of reaching an enrollment of 100 students with subgoals for 10 additional students each year. That will make your goal achievable.
- Relevant: each goal should have a purpose. Increasing enrollment should mean a larger bottom line despite hiring additional teachers. But if your plan doesn’t mean a larger bottom line, it might not be worth the effort. And if increasing client satisfaction doesn’t result in children graduating from your program and sharing with their friends how much they enjoy your school, it won’t impact your bottom line or be relevant to your business.
- Timely: finally, all goals should be timebound. You can’t just say you’ll increase enrollment from 50 to 60 students without saying when you’ll achieve that goal. You can’t stay motivated and focused on your goals without a timeline. Setting timelines will help keep you honest about progress toward your goal.
- Use a Mix of Short and Long-term Goals
You can’t set only long-term or only short-term goals. Instead, it’s best to use a combination of the two. Be clear about your goals for the first six months of the year, which will also close out the current school year. Then list what you’ll achieve in the year’s second half to build upon those goals.
Short-term goals help you see tangible results to keep you on track. But long-term goals keep you motivated and focused on growing your daycare and reaching your full potential.
Long-term goals can also be life-changing. Once you reach your five-year goal, you’ll feel different about your childcare business and will likely be a daycare visionary for how to keep growing and changing your business.
So before you set your 2023 goals, consider writing a vision for your childcare for 5-10 years from now. Then work your way backward from those long-term goals to see what’s realistic to achieve this year.
- Focus on Improving Specific Aspects of Your Business and Not Just Numbers
There’s no doubt that numbers are motivating. But success in your bottom line comes from mastering your craft. So instead of focusing only on accounting changes, focus on the process that helps you get to that state.
For example, instead of simply stating that you want to increase customer satisfaction, state that you want to transform your curriculum to delight parents, educate children and increase referral volumes. That way, you have something tangible to work on – your curriculum.
A good way of doing this is through a childcare app where you log activities and mark developmental milestones a child achieves throughout the school year. Parents will then have more insights into what you do and why you do it. And along the way, be sure you’re sharing what children are learning with parents, so they know the value you bring to their families.
iCare Software offers communication tools to build better relationships with parents and help you achieve your SMART goals for 2023. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation now to learn more.