As a family child care professional, you wear so many hats…teacher, cook, nurse, chauffer, nutritionist, and so much more! But one of the most critical hats you wear is business owner. Part of being a business owner is marketing your program. The right kind of marketing is what separates successful family child care programs from less successful ones.
Perhaps the biggest key to marketing success is the simplest…understanding the difference between features and benefits. Sounds simple but in reality, too often businesses focus on the features instead of the benefits. What they don’t realize is that benefits sell…features, do not. So, what are the differences between features and benefits and how do you use this knowledge to market your business? Here are a few examples to help you get the idea.
“I’ve been a family child care provider for over 20 years.”
Great! That’s a wonderful feature. Now, let’s turn that feature into a benefit.
“Because I have been in business for over 20 years, you can have peace of mind knowing that I have the experience needed to provide a high-quality learning environment for your child.”
See the difference? The feature simply states a fact. A benefit, on the other hand, tells the other person what is in it for them. An easy way to tell a feature from a benefit is this…if you can say, “So what?” to the statement, it is a feature…not a benefit. Let’s try another one
“I follow a food program and serve healthy lunches and snacks.”
“Because I follow a food program, you will know that when you child is here, they are only eating foods that will help them to be strong and be healthy.”
Got it yet? OK…how about one more.
“I have a large backyard with a climbing apparatus and sand play area.
“Because research has shown that active play is so important to a child’s overall health, I have a large backyard with many opportunities for your child to run, climb, jump and play each and every day.”
When talking with prospective parents or writing flyers about your business, highlight those benefits! To help you do this, create a “cheat sheet.” List the key features of your business in one column and then translate to benefits on the other side. Doing this little exercise will help you begin to understand the difference between features and benefits and also help you see just how powerful benefits can be when promoting your business. Good luck!