10 Great Ways to Advertise Your Daycare

Getting the word out about your new daycare center, or even an established daycare center, is extremely important. It’s the sort of thing that is on-going and never ending because you want to keep your center fully enrolled. Even after your center is at full capacity, it’s a good idea to keep those business cards circulating. Many schools provide business cards to teachers and ask them to distribute them wherever they go. You can never have too many leads when you operate a daycare center.

Here are a few inexpensive ways to receive notice in your community:

1. Create colorful business cards for yourself and your staff. Be sure the print is easily read and that the contact information is clear. Give more than one way to contact the center: email, telephone, fax. The easier you make it for people to request more information or schedule a visit the more likely it is they will do so.

2. Contact your local newspapers about your new center, or if you are currently operating about a special event that you will be hosting. It might be the Preschoolers’ Art Fair and it might be of social interest to the community. Many local newspapers would be pleased to interview the director or owner of a new child care center. They would also be pleased to report on a school event in their community news section. You could also pay to place an ad in the newspaper but free ink is always better.

2. Remember to introduce yourself to the medical community, specifically the medical community that works with children and women. Contact the local maternity wards in local hospitals. Many hospitals are pleased to distribute your brochure to new parents for future reference. Get your name out there early. Introduce yourself to pediatricians and dentists. If you are creative, put together a small brochure of your center with helpful hints for looking at schools.

3. Schedule programs of interest to appear in your school. An example might be opening your door to a CPR for Parents Class, or a local puppet show. Allowing parents to visit within your center helps them to feel comfortable and they talk about their experiences with their friends.

4. Introduce yourself to the child referral services in your community. These are often located within the Department of Health, Corporate Human Resource Departments, Union Offices, College Admissions Offices, and Guest Services at Hotels. They are always delighted to be able to pass your information along. Be sure to provide them with information indicating your child care license number and indicate who is responsible for monitoring your program. You will need to check in often with these groups to see if they need more brochures and to build a friendly relationship with their staff.

5. Introduce yourself to local school personnel and businesses. They will be delighted to receive your information and perhaps place a flyer in their window. Grocery stores and laundromats are very good places to post your information. If you are in an area where there are apartment buildings you may be able to post flyers on the tenet bulletin board.

6. Create a colorful banner that is displayed outside your facility. Make it simple and make the contact information clear.

7. Schedule a booth at a local educational fair where you will meet families who are looking at different schools. Even though these families may have older children, they probably know other families who would be interest in your services.

8. Create a website presence where you can post information about your program and services.

9. Follow up through snail mail on every inquiry you have received. Even a simple post card of your school with a short note makes a lasting impression. Again, have all contact information position in an easy to read space.

10. Use technology. Create a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Post interesting things about your center without posting any personally identifiable pictures of staff or children unless you have permission.

Remember that advertising for a daycare is never, ever done. At best you can capture a student for the infant room and retain for 4-5 years. Then that student is gone. Often students will leave earlier because they are moving. Always maintain a waiting list and encourage families to place their name on the waiting list. And, never stop putting your name out before the public.

Increase Your Company Income With an Advertising Agency

An advertising agency is an essential aspect of any business or marketing strategy. It comes in most handy when a company intends to stay at the helm and designs to develop a branding strategy that is second to none. A vast company may have a department dedicated to branding who in turn has a fleet of agencies to help him with branding and marketing ideas and implementation.

However, a small or medium sized firm can share responsibilities with advertising agency, as it is difficult for these companies to hire a brand manager. Then the hired agency works as an essential channel among the company, media and eventually the public. The role of the agency is to present the brand or the company in a positive manner.

The hired advertising agency is believed to create a distinctive and fascinating advertisement that charm the customers and have a campaign as well to start a promising space among the rivals. They must put their best to access the target audience and construct a stimulating impression on them.

The agency should absolutely know the details of the product to project it well. Equally important is to recognize the target audience also. This comprises knowing their profile, likes, dislikes and other facets. Knowing the end customers will them assist to create an apposite ad campaign.

To prepare an advertisement campaign, to implement it and to have the desired result on the end customer is a challenge in itself. A good lot of research and statistical data is required to identify and know the end customer. The company’s objective, wishes and understanding has to be kept in mind too.

A client’s expectation from the advertising agency can be really diverse. It can simply be presenting of a new product to growing the sales of a product or services or connecting with the old and the new clients.

Keeping all the above points in mind, the ad agency embarks on the planning with a brain storming session. The advertisement campaign should include slogans, melodies, a short ad film, jingles and eye catching body copy.

If the advertising agency is not able to influence the client or if they plainly dislike the total campaign, the agency has to start over the work from scratch. Therefore, the presentation to the client should be made accurately with a lot of thought and understanding or it may simply prove to be a waste of time, energy and effort.

Advertising agency may be of diverse sizes. There are small agencies while others have well set and well educated professionals in each specialized department such as creative, technical or business development. The agencies should be equipped to cater to campaigns that range from print to radio, television or outdoors.

No doubt, the devoted and efficient efforts of the agency will add to the integrity of the business and even help in boosting the profits to large extent. Keep your ambitions in mind while picking an agency. Ensure they are able to accomplish your goal and have adequate infrastructure corresponding to your needs.

Department of Insurance Complaints – How to File a DOI Complaint

State Departments of Insurance report that dissatisfaction with claim settlements is the top reason consumers file complaints with them. Sometimes it is the fault of the insurer, and sometimes it is the policyholders’ fault for not having the right coverage.

Today, I’m going to walk you through the process of filing an insurance claim complaint. I’m going to use the process here in the state of Georgia, where I live. The process in your home state will be very similar, and can be found at the website of any state’s Department of Insurance. Or, you can phone your Department of Insurance and they will likely either tell you how, or send you printed information on the complaint process.

You may file a complaint with the Department of Insurance if you cannot resolve your dispute directly with your company. You can even file your complaint if you haven’t been through the appraisal process (found in your policy).

The Consumer Services Division of the Department of Insurance provides consumer information and investigates complaints about companies and producers. They handle most insurance problems involving home, business, auto, health, HMO, life, credit, dental, etc. Those problems may include coverage issues, claim disputes, premium problems, sales misrepresentations, policy cancellations, and refunds, just to name a few. They will also investigate a complaint against a Public Adjuster.

The Consumer Services Division will not:

o Give you legal advice or act as your attorney;
o Recommend an insurance company, agent or policy;
o Resolve a dispute when the only evidence is your word against the word of the adjuster, producer or company;
o Make determinations related to the facts of a case. For example, they will not conclude who is at fault in an accident or determine the disputed value of damaged or stolen property;
o Resolve complaints against service providers, like body shops and restoration contractors unless the complaints involve the action of the insurance company. For example, they could resolve complaints against a restoration contractor that the insurance company required you to use;
o Make medical judgments.

The Department of Insurance recommends:

o Read your policy carefully. It is important to know what your policy covers prior to having a loss. If you have questions on the coverages you have purchased have your Agent provide you an explanation.

o Keep copies of all correspondence between you and the insurance company. When communicating with your insurance carrier keep track of the phone numbers you called, the date and time of the call and the name and title of the individual you spoke with. After the call keep notes on what was discussed.

o Ask the company for the specific language in the policy related to your claim. Determine whether the disagreement is because you and the insurance company interpret your policy differently. If there is a disagreement on the language in the policy you can seek assistance through the Consumer Services Division by filing a complaint and providing the documentation which will include the policy language in dispute.

o If at all possible take pictures or videos of your contents in your home and do this periodically which will help in the event of a loss. Keep the pictures or video in a safe deposit box or somewhere other than the home.

AVOIDING AUTO AND HOMEOWNER CLAIMS

o Keep all receipts for repairs you make to your property after damage. Auto and homeowners policies may require you to make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect your property from further damage. Your policy covers the cost of these repairs. Keep the damaged property for the claims adjuster to inspect. If possible, take photos or videos of the damage before making temporary repairs.
o Don’t make permanent repairs until the adjuster has inspected the damage.
o Ask the adjuster for an itemized explanation of the claim settlement offer. For homeowners claims, this should include sales tax, depreciation, and holdback depreciation for policies with replacement cost coverage. Holdback depreciation is an amount of money withheld from your claim settlement until repairs are finished or the items are replaced. Ask how the adjuster determined the estimate amount.
o Be prepared to discuss your claim if there is a disagreement on the settlement offer. The more documentation you have on items owned will make the process easier.

If you do have a claim dispute, contact your insurance company first.

When contacting your insurance company have your policy number ready. Ask where your written dispute needs to be sent. State your complaint and how you expect the company to resolve it. Sending the dispute in writing encourages a written response.

Document your phone calls by noting the phone number you called, the name of the person with whom you spoke, the date of the call and a brief summary of the conversation. Keep copies of all written communications.

In addition to the written complaint, send copies (not originals) of letters, notes, invoices, canceled checks, advertising materials, or other documents that support your complaint.

The DOI Complaint Form

The DOI Complaint Form is a document that can be completed, printed and submitted with copies of documents that support your complaint. Obtain this form at the DOI website or phone them and request a copy be sent to you by mail. This will enable them to set up a case and eliminate the need for them to request documents, and reduce the delay in providing a response. Always keep your original documents for your records.

To help ensure that the Department of Insurance receives all necessary information to investigate your complaint, include the following information with your complaint:

* your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address

* the exact name of the insurance company

* the full name of any agent or adjuster who may be involved

* your policy number

* your claim number and the date of your loss, if applicable

* a copy of both sides of your insurance card

* a concise description of your problem

* copies of all supporting documentation, including invoices, canceled checks, advertising materials, and any letters between you and the company or agent.

What will the Department of Insurance do to resolve your complaint?

* Send a copy of your complaint to the entity you complained against and request a detailed written response.

* Determine if your issue was handled appropriately under the terms of the policy or certificate of coverage.

* Review your file to determine if the insurance company, insurance agent, or adjuster violated state insurance laws.

* Take enforcement action when laws are violated.

Even though they may not always be able to help you resolve your complaint, your complaints and inquiries help the DOI to assist other policyholders by identifying issues of concern and may help identify potential problems with insurance companies, agents, or adjusters. Their involvement can also cause insurance entities to look more closely at your concerns.

What happens after you file a complaint with the Department of Insurance?

* You will receive an acknowledgment letter, advising who the investigator is and their contact information. Your Case Number shown on the letter is for the issue submitted to the Department. The case number should be used to send additional information to the Department on your case.

* If you have future complaints you will get a new case number, acknowledgement letter and the new investigators name and contact information.

* The DOI will notify the company of your complaint and ask for a detailed response. They will send you a copy of the company’s response, with their formal letter regarding the completion of our investigation. The review will result in one of the following actions:

o If the complaint has been resolved, they will send you a letter explaining the resolution.

o If an insurance law has been violated, they will request corrective action by the company.

o If the company is not abiding by the policy, they will request corrective action.

o If the insurer or producer has not responded to all questions or has not investigated the complaint thoroughly, they will require them to do so.

What happens if you are not satisfied with Department of Insurance results?

If you disagree with the Department’s response to your complaint, contact the Consumer Services Division and ask to speak with a Supervisor.

You may wish to consult an attorney to discuss your concerns. You may also request alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle disputes with your insurance company on property claims. ADR uses techniques such as mediation with a neutral third party to help settle a dispute outside a formal court of law. Please consult your telephone book for listings for attorneys and mediation services.

Now you have a basic knowledge of the complaint process. Remember, the Departments of Insurance exist to regulate insurance companies and protect consumers. Don’t be shy about enlisting their help. That’s why they exist.

Let Your Service Department Make Up For Slow Car Sales

Every day I hear car dealers complain about how bad things are. They talk about the stock market, the mortgage situation, how people are letting the banks foreclose on their property, and that all of those things are hurting car sales. These dealers are the same ones that are trying to cut every expense, including advertising, as if they actually believe they can “save their self into a profit.” It seems like they’ve all just given up and resolved themselves to tighten their belts in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, they can survive this horrible situation they have been thrust into without any way of controlling it.

Well, what did you expect? It is time for dealers to get serious about customer retention, about increasing customer-pay service work’ and about advertising and marketing their service departments. This is not a new concept, but it sure has taken a while to hit home. Unfortunately, it takes a serious downturn to get everyone’s attention. So, here they are, right in the middle of it all and deep down, most dealers know that if they had done the right things long ago they wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in now. It’s not hopeless. Here are some ways to get a service department back on track:

Open early and close late. And open your service department all day on Saturday. The independents will tell you that Saturday is their best day – you have to be open to do business.

Get competitive. Make sure your oil change price is a great deal. Remember, the oil change is the traffic driver and almost all upsells come directly from oil change write ups.

Advertise your service department. Even though car sales maybe be down, that just means that customers are keeping their cars longer, driving more miles and needing more service. Beef up your service advertising budget – go ahead, crank it up, don’t cut it. Don’t be the best-kept secret in town.

Increase customer loyalty and retention. It’s time to invest in some form of loyalty rewards club to give customers a reason to visit and do business with you. Whatever it costs, it’s much cheaper than constantly spending $400 to $500 in advertising for new car buyers. It is a known fact that loyal service customers visit more, spend more and are much more likely to buy their next vehicles where they have their current one serviced. Take a small portion of your advertising budget and invest it in your existing customers.

There you go – four things that will build your business. As crazy as it may sound, I’m excited about the future. I know that dealers who focus on customer retention and invest in their existing customers will reap the rewards both in the service department, the sales department and the bottom line net profit. I also know that dealers who didn’t get serious will be weeded out and eliminated. Which group will you be in?