To give you some inspiration to start the new academic year in a positive frame of mind, we’ve found 7 quotes from prominent business people and thinkers. Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom!

1. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

There will be times when it feels like you’re being hit by one thing after another at your setting. Remember, you’re not alone. There’s no shortage of great entrepreneurs who thought they were going to lose their business at one some point. Try to take an hour to list and prioritise the problems you feel could threaten your business. Then, start tackling them. Be comfortable delegating some to other people too – you’ll be relieved when responsibility doesn’t solely rest on your shoulders.

2. “Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

How many times have you interacted with a company and said “wow!”? The likelihood is you went around and told all your friends and family about that moment. Delivering the norm is not enough to excite people and create loyalty. Have a meeting with your staff and come up with ideas for surprising parents. It could be sending them away with a cup of coffee when they drop their child off or sending a card on their birthday. When we say ‘wow!’ about a business, we want to go back!

3. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." –Chinese proverb

With providing great childcare your number one priority, you may have neglected some other areas of your business – for instance, you may have accumulated late fees from parents and not got around to chasing them up yet. Although you may have worked in the same way for years, the best time to take action is now. Install a system like automated fee collection today, so the problems you had in the past don’t continue well into the future.

4. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder

You’ve put your heart and soul into running your childcare business- so when a parent makes a complaint, you may take it more personally than you should. Always try to look on the positive side: any feedback a parent can give you which helps you improve the service you provide is actually a good thing. So, try to keep the emotion out of resolving the complaint and stay professional at all times.

 5. “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” Anita Roddick

Every setting will have its notable strengths and weaknesses. If there is a lot of competition for parents’ business in the local area, you can really make yourself stand out by offering something different to everyone else. Whether it be offering organic food on your menu, getting children involved in growing vegetables, having a great sensory play area for babies – make sure you really promote whatever it is that makes you stand out.

6. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world." —Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO

Although you have to be discernable about who you hire, qualifications aren’t the only thing that will help you put together a brilliant team. Choose people who align themselves with what you’re trying to deliver as a setting, ditto for those practitioners who are both ambitious and extremely passionate about childcare. With such a dedicated and driven team behind you, your setting will go from good to great!

7.“Behold the turtle, he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” —Bruce Levin

Stepping out of your comfort zone and changing the way you’ve always done things can be a difficult transition, at first. But you’ll soon reap the rewards. If you’ve always marketed your setting in the same way (such as a leaflet drop), why not consider testing several different ways of promoting your setting to parents? You may find ways to save money and get more enquiries in. Bonus!

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