Empty seat, missed opportunity
The gap between actual occupancy and potential occupancy (based on waitlist applications) represents on avg. $80,000 per centre year in missed revenue opportunities. This number is calculated from applications for children indicating they want care immediately and directly matches to centre vacancies (both rooms and days). This represents an immediate 4% occupancy improvement.
So what can be done to leverage this opportunity?
Insights and Data
The most important factor in leveraging this opportunity is having the data and insights available to drive immediate actions. By this we do not just mean transparency in management dashboards to drive the right behaviour at the centre level. More important than this is ensuring centre managers have access to tools that clearly identify (at the click of a button) where a waitlists exists that matches a vacancy.
Speed to fill a vacancy
Like all businesses, childcare experiences a natural churn of customers. To maximise occupancy you need to think about filling a gap as soon as another family provides notice of their departure. Furthermore, as you receive new enquiries for childcare, act quickly to make offers if you have a vacancy… chances are the family has enquired at multiple centres.
Have an up to date waitlist
If you have are not frequently validating your waitlist it becomes difficult to fill gaps as they become available. Don’t waste time calling families who no longer require care. Instead, target your offers to families who you know will accept them.