Let’s talk about G-R-O-W-T-H.
In the last 3.5 years since joining LineLeader by ChildcareCRM, I've seen us make not one but 2 acquisitions and receive a majority growth investment. All that to say, we’ve learned a thing or two about scaling successfully (and quickly).
Now, before I go any further – let me introduce myself. I’m Sierra Rossing, Head of Marketing at LineLeader. A few things about me: I’m chronically online, a little bit chatty, and very type A (don’t I sound fun!?).
But seriously – one of the many perks of working at LineLeader and hosting our podcast is that I get to meet a lot of amazing people. Let’s take Julie Roy, for example.
Julie and I sat down together a few months ago to dive into her background and all the fun details of how she successfully scaled her childcare business to 10 locations and then sold them - twice!
So, what was her secret sauce? Well, according to her: standardizing processes, working herself out of a job, and having a dedicated enrollment specialist for all her locations.
Building Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in ECE
Have you ever asked someone else to run errands for you in a new city... without a map? Probably not.
Expanding to new locations and asking your teams to grow the business without SOPs is kind of like that. And it usually leads to wasted time, adds more to your to-do list, and contributes to burnt-out staff and educators.
SOPs are important for multi-site childcare businesses because they provide a roadmap for consistent and efficient operations. By reducing ambiguity, facilitating training, and promoting a culture of continuous improvement, SOPs help you and your management team save time, focus on strategic priorities, and navigate growth with confidence.
How Centralized Enrollment Can Help You Standardize the Family & Staff Experience
Once you have your SOPs in place, now you need to make sure all your Center Directors and staff are following them. That’s a little harder to do when you’re operating with a decentralized enrollment model.
With a centralized enrollment team, it’s faster and easier to implement new changes, it’s easier to track trends and forecast enrollment YoY, and it removes an administrative burden from your individual schools.
Plus, it can result in greater enrollment success. In fact, Julie’s enrollment specialist (Amy) not only helped her deliver a better experience for inquiring parents, but she also averaged a 90% close rate!
Amy was in a unique position where she not only followed up with all incoming inquiries and scheduled tours, but she was also the person giving the tours at the centers. Amy worked closely with the Center Directors and teaching staff to ensure that the touring family was given 100% of her attention so the school staff could continue to focus solely on the enrolled students in their care.
How Working Yourself Out of a Job Could Lead to a Higher Valuation
In our podcast interview, Julie talked about how investors and buyers are wary of moving into a business where 1 or 2 people are the ones still handling everything. Why? Because all the value lies in that individual and if they exit, the business is left floundering.
When Julie consults Owners who are seeking to scale and exit their childcare business, she emphasizes ‘working yourself out of a job’. SOPs are one key part of doing that. But what comes next is lifting your head up so you can start acting strategically and proactively, not reactively.
When she was able to do that in her own business, Julie thought about how she could equip her teams with the tools they needed to be successful. This is what she had to say about how a childcare CRM gave her enrollment staff consistency and helped scale her business from 300 students to over 1,000:
“In the first month we realized we were not tracking anything. We weren't tracking KPIs for enrollment, we weren't tracking how many people were coming in, papers were getting lost, we had all these directors taking calls. There was no consistency.”
Equip Your Team with Tools They Need to Drive Consistency & Help Them Be Successful
The first time Julie scaled from 0 to 10 locations, she did it without a centralized enrollment team and without a CRM. And it took a decade before she could make her exit.
The second time around, she implemented a CRM with a specific feature set for centralized enrollment teams and it helped Julie scale and sell her 10 centers in just 3 years.
In short - Julie rose to success through consistency, hiring the right people, and using the right tools.
Be sure to listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to hear more about Julie’s story.️
And for more info about centralized enrollment, check out our latest webinar ⤵️
And that’s a wrap!
Thanks for tuning into this week’s tips. Our Executive team will be posting new blogs on LinkedIn regularly, so be sure to subscribe for updates on more industry-leading topics.P.S. Follow our social media pages for additional tips and suggestions (we’ve even got blogs made especially for your teachers, your directors, and your specialized admins)! 👇