Does the old saying, “It’s a jungle out there” ever seem appropriate when talking about your competition? Sometimes it can seem like they have a significant advantage if not a firm grasp on your prospects and customers. Knowing who they are, how you are unique, and what you offer to select target audiences can make you feel more comfortable and confident in marketing the services of your center. (Notice I did not say “complacent”.) Here are three ways to see how you measure up.

1. Go visit them. Introduce yourself as who you are, offering to have them come visit you. Or, if that is uncomfortable, send a staff member or independent shopper to whom you have given specific instructions. Tell them to look for and note three things that the competition does better than you do, three things that are about the same, and three things that you do better. Discuss and determine what is of most importance that you might want to change.

2. Do a price band study. Determine where your tuition fits into the overall picture a shopping parent will get. If there is a significant difference, you may need to educate your prospects as to the additional value they receive for the price they will pay. Remember to do that by talking in benefits (“You will get…”) rather than features (“We have…”).

3. Think cooperation as much as competition. Even though it is important to distinguish yourself from your competition in a good way that never “slings mud” at them, it is also important to consider how you and your competitors can work together. What can you do to promote professionalism in early care and education, to create awareness of the academic achievement you can help young children attain as they move into elementary school, to illustrate the impact of a united effort at community service (such as a hop-a-thon for muscular dystrophy).

Competition is not a nasty word. It is just a part of doing business. And sometimes, a savvy competitor causes you to bring out the best in what you do and in you let parents and referral sources know you do it.

Best wishes and happy enrollment building!

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
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