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By Hamid Akbari, Director of SYTCC ECEC Workforce Servant Leader Teachers Academy

 

Making your childcare center unique and thriving is the central goal of strategic management. In our previous article, part I of our Strategic Management 101 series, we delved into identifying your center’s strengths, weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats it faces. Now, in part II, we’re moving a step further to combine these four areas to delineate or develop a center’s uniqueness or competitive distinction.

 

  1. Strength + Opportunity = Consolidating Current or Potential Uniqueness

 

   This combination focuses on aligning a center’s strength with an opportunity in the environment. For instance, if a center prides itself on highly qualified teachers and a community seeks high-quality accredited programs, leveraging these qualifications to attain accreditation from agencies like INCCRRA’s ExceleRate Illinois can create a significant competitive edge.

 

  1. Strength + Threat = Safeguarding/Upgrading the Current Uniqueness

 

   Here, the center’s strengths are used to counteract external threats. Consider a well-established center with a strong community reputation. To tackle the threat of emerging competitors, it may enhance its bond with parents through increased word-of-mouth marketing or an engaging social media presence, emphasizing its unique strengths and longstanding trust.

 

  1. Weakness + Opportunities = Developing a New Uniqueness

 

   Opportunities unexplored due to current weaknesses present a chance for growth. For example, a center in an aging community, while nearby areas have younger families, might consider relocation, opening a new branch, or targeted marketing to showcase its unique offerings.

 

  1. Weakness + Threats = Exiting or Total Makeover of the Uniqueness

 

   Centers facing external threats compounded by internal weaknesses may need to consider significant changes. Options range from closing, due to financial struggles and reduced government support, to reinventing its operations, such as partnering with corporations for childcare services or introducing new revenue-generating programs.

 

Summary

 

In strategic management, combining internal and external analysis results is crucial for addressing specific needs. While our examples are illustrative, real-world scenarios can vary. The objective is to adapt, enhance, or redefine the center’s strategic position. In the final part of our Strategic Management 101 series, we will explore key strategies for long-term success. Stay tuned for more insights!

 

We can help you to conduct a strategic plan session. Please contact the director at hamid@sayyestochildcare.org for details.