When you run a children’s activity business, you have 2 customers: the children, of course, and their parents. When you are in teaching mode, you likely think of the children as your customers. But, to successfully run and grow your business, you need to start thinking more about the parents.
In this guide, we will outline important best practices for children’s activity providers who are looking to increase the number of bookings they receive. The tips we offer are especially useful for providers who use or are looking to use Sawyer as their children’s activity registration and management software.
What is Sawyer?
Sawyer is the best children’s activity registration and management software available to providers. Created by parents with the support of educators, Sawyer has everything providers need to easily run and grow their businesses.
When providers use Sawyer to manage their businesses, they save 28 hours a month on administrative tasks. That means they can spend more time creating a curriculum, writing lesson plans, mentoring their staff, and changing the lives of their students and campers.
Why is Sawyer helpful for children’s activity providers?
Sawyer helps keep children’s activity providers organized and prepared with a full suite of tools and features.
- Scheduling and registration. Easy-to-build schedules that can be viewed on the Sawyer Marketplace and on the providers’ website. Parents can book and pay for activities directly, so providers do not need to chase down checks or swipe credit cards.
- Payments. Not only can parents pay directly when they register their child, but also they can choose between many flexible payment options like payment plans, class packs, gift cards, and more.
- Rosters and class management. Providers can require parents to answer questions during the registration process so they can get the important information that they need like pronouns, allergies, contact info, and more. Then, instructors see all of that information right on the roster, making it easier and safer for them to manage their classes.
- Reporting. Providers can see exactly how they are doing with a variety of business reports like daily, weekly, monthly, and annual revenue reports and individual activity performance numbers.
- Marketplace. The Sawyer Marketplace gives providers the opportunity to expand their audience with no additional effort. Once they publish an activity, they can have it added automatically to the Sawyer Marketplace where thousands of parents can view it and register.
How do parents make buying decisions?
If you run a children’s activity business, you will likely interact with millennial parents more often than not. Therefore, it is best to understand how millennials parent and what goes into their decision making process when looking to purchase activities for their children.
How do millennials parent?
- Feelings first. Millennials want their children to express themselves and their feelings, according to interviewed parents and pediatricians.
- Experiences over things. In the same article, millennial parents report being more interested in providing experiences rather than physical items. When planning and describing your classes and camps, be sure to highlight the benefits of experiential learning.
- Focus on fun. In a TIME article, they report that a survey done in 2013 found that 61% of millennial parents believe that “kids need more unstructured playtime.” Try to include time for play and fun in your activities.
How do millennial parents make buying decisions?
- With help from user-generated content. Adweek found that 47% of millennials say that they trust user-generated content (UGC) whereas 25% say they trust brand-created content. UGC refers to any piece of content that is created by a consumer and not the brand itself. That means that customer reviews can help more parents choose your activities.
- After checking out social media. In 2015, Pew Research found that 91% of parents use social media. Many parents use it as part of their decision making process when it comes to purchases for themselves and their children. For social media tips for your business, check out our article.
- With plenty of research. Parents will review multiple companies and activities before making their decision. Make sure you show your value, use great photos, and give them a reason to choose you over a competitor.
5 ways to optimize your Sawyer activity listing
With all of the knowledge about what millennial parents look for when choosing providers for their children and how they make their final decisions, you should be ready to create Sawyer activity listings that resonate with parents so you can increase your bookings.Use these tips to optimize your Sawyer activity listing.
1. Utilize high quality photos
You know that millennial parents do a lot of research before deciding to book an activity for their child. Professional photos (or professional-looking photos, which you can take with your Smartphone) help you show, rather than tell, what their children will experience if they sign up for your programming. Plus, showing parents that you have brightly lit, saturated, and crisp photos makes you look like a professional and they are more likely to trust you. Learn how to easily edit photos in our guide.
2. Tell the whole story
Parents want to know what their child will be doing in your activities. Spend the time and write a description of the class, provide a sample schedule or class format, and let them know what to pack for their child. They also want to know what their child will learn and how they will interact with others, so be specific.
3. Provide options
With Sawyer, it is simple for providers to offer both booking and payment. In terms of booking, providers can offer semesters and camps with the option to drop-in as well, so parents can book one day at a time if they’d like. In addition, providers can provide flexible payment options like payment plans where parents can pay over time, gift cards, sibling discounts, and so much more.
4. Entice your customers
Can you offer free trials or sibling discounts to entice more parents to try out your activities? According to our Children’s Activity Trend Report, in 2022, 35% of customers who enrolled in a free class converted to a paid class with that provider in 2-3 weeks on average. This is how you can turn free trial customers into lifelong fans!
5. Publish in advance
In 2022, we found that parents book camp 8+ weeks in advance, semesters 4-8 weeks in advance, and drop-in activities 2-4 weeks in advance. Therefore, providers should always publish semesters and camps at least more than 2 months in advance so families have enough time to research before booking.
We hope that this guide has provided you with guidance and support so you can optimize your activity listings and get more bookings. If you are looking for additional guidance on managing and running your business, the team at Sawyer is here to help. Use our resources for support as well.
With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.