The Goddard School of Denville
3150 Route 10
Denville, NJ 07834
What’s the name of your company and what do you do?
The Goddard School of Denville. Goddard is a franchise child care facility We take care of children from infant through kindergarten 5 days a week offering parents an alternative and a place to drop their children off as well as a place to receive early education.
Who are your typical customers?
Typically two working parent familys who need quality care for their child.
When did you open your business?
What did you do before you opened your business?
I was a project and group manager in an environmental consulting company
What inspired you to start this type of business and did you consider another type business before you decided on this?
I have a very good connection with children and also I like to be around children and love to work with children. I also have managerial skills from my previous job I thought that having the lovel of children and managerial skills this would be a great place for me to be and discovered that turned out to be true shortly after I opened.
I considered different types of businesses as well as other childcare franchises and came to the conclusion that Goddard was the best choice for me because they wanted to be the best therefore that’s what I wanted to do, be the best in the business. Their commitment to excellence matched well with my values.
Is this the first business you ever started?
Yes, this is the first business I started.
If you could step in your time machine to go back to when you started and give yourself some advice, what would you say to yourself?
I would do it all over again absolutely no question.
What one big challenge that surprised you when you started your business?
I didn’t expect to have problems getting all the right people in place in the beginning especially finding the right people for the right positions, that took awhile to get the right director, get the right teachers all in place, that was the biggest initial hurdle, then dealing with day to day issues that are ongoing and happen all the time.
Now we have a number of teachers who have been here for 5 to 10 plus years and that makes for a very continuous and smoother operation, the children aren’t getting different teachers every month like other schools. That’s a strong point for us, teacher and staff continuity.
What’s one business related activity you would spend more time doing each day or week if you could?
If I had more time and could do that, I would tell parents more of what we do because they only see a little piece of what we offer. If they knew everything we did I would have even greater loyalty than I do now – with both our current parents and prospective parents.
Have you brought a new product or service to the market since you started business?
About a year and a half ago we introduced electronic daily reports we always provided a written daily report what the child did during the day, what he ate, if he slept, etc… Then last September we start doing it electronically sending the report by email with pictures and some more information about what they did during the day, that was a change that was very well received.
What are your most effective marketing tactics or techniques?
Number one is word of mouth, having been here for close to 15 years we have a lot of parents who recommend us to others and a lot of parents to bring their younger children when they arrive as well so we get more then anything recommendations by word of mouth. For me that’s the way I want it to be anyway, if you’re doing well I want others to broadcast that. These days the amount of “word of mouth” that comes from the internet is probably 30% but will probably be 50% in a few years. We strive to make people happier than they expect to be.
How does the internet impact the way you do business?
The internet used to be one way people found us, now it’s almost the only way people initially find who haven’t heard of us before. That’s the primary way they find us now. Parents can read up about what we do and what our offerings are, that’s a definite change from 5 years ago where some people were looking us up on yellow pages and some on the internet, now it’s almost all internet. By “internet” it primarily our website but people also hear about us from social media and Facebook too.