At a loss for how to increase your setting’s disposable income without putting your prices up? Taking a closer look into different areas of your business can pay dividends in the long term, as it will allow you to identify areas that can be made more cost effective.
Here are our ideas to help you reduce your costs:
1. Have a paperless policy
Go paperless as much as possible: communicate with parents by email, publish your newsletter on your website, send invoices electronically, take registers online. Have a discussion with your office team to encourage them all to adopt the ethos “Think before you print” so they use printer ink and paper sparingly.
2. Devote time to the web
In the past, you may have spent money putting adverts in newspapers, or having leaflets printed to distribute locally. However, you should remember that you can market your setting continuously by having an online presence. Most parents now turn to the internet when looking for a local childcare provider; so focusing your attention on this avenue will help greatly increase your occupancy too.
3. Invest in software
Using technology can save your setting a lot of time and money. Having all your children’s data on a nursery management software platform will enable your staff to quickly put their hands on key information like allergies and update records at the click of a button. What’s more, using a management system like Abacus, you will be able to invoice parents electronically so they will never lose that errant piece of paper with how much they owe you.
4. Don’t keep it all in your head
Make sure your running costs are written down and visible to you, for instance you could keep a record of them in an excel spreadsheet. Having your costs displayed so clearly will enable you to see the areas of your business where you are spending the most money and where you need to focus on making cutbacks.
5. Be clever about recruitment
Nowadays, the best way to recruit for a childcare vacancy is not an advert in a newspaper. If you want to reach an audience of people already looking for jobs in childcare, your best bet is to advertise on an online job board (for example, on the page of a training provider or recruitment site). If you have vacancy for a 16-18 childcare apprentice, you can advertise this for free on our website.
6. Challenge your service provider
Don’t be afraid to barter on everything you pay for - from your gas and electricity provider to your buildings insurance. And don’t wait until your renewal date to challenge the price you pay,call your service provider today and ask if they can do you a better deal. If they can’t, ask for their suggestions and advice for ways you can cut back your bill.
7. Use a toy library
If you are looking to update your selection of toys and want to change them on a regular basis, you could look into borrowing toys from a local toy library for as little as 50p for 2 weeks. This will save on the cost of buying expensive new toys. Search here to find your local library.
8. Source produce locally
If you provide snacks for the children at your setting; you can source produce from a traditional market in your local area and use your bartering skills to drive down the price of things like fruit and vegetables. Building up a good rapport with your local greengrocer will help ensure that you keep paying cheaply.
9. Use a wholesaler for disposables
Use a wholesaler for the disposable items that you run through quickly and need a lot of. Wholesalers are distributors of large quantities of stock which they sell to businesses at cut price. Because they bulk buy these products directly from the manufacturer, they are able to pass on savings to their customers.
10. Buy pre-loved furniture
Whilst you may want to buy brand new items for equipment that your children use, you should think about buying second hand to furnish your staff rooms and communal areas to save money. Good sources of inspiration for this are websites like Craigslist or Preloved. These sites will have good quality sofas, tables and chairs going for very cheap (or free!) from people who are looking to update their belongings.