Mike and his step daughter, Gina, are co-owners of Tip Top Child Development Center located in the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada. Tip Top Child is a center built around love, learning, growth and having fun! They note on their website that “not only do we want this center to be a special place for the children we care for and their families, we want to make you feel a part of our family here”. After spending some time with Mike it became very clear to me that this was true. He and Gina are both committed to creating a space for families to feel safe and be loved.
What I love most about their center is their unique business model. Mike believes in building a business around the customer. As you can imagine having a center in Las Vegas their customer is nothing less than unique. With a marketing and software development background Mike and his stepdaughter have done a fantastic job building a business model that works for their unique customer. Mike says it best “the daycare market is changing, the old model just doesn’t work anymore”. This is why they built a center with flexible schedules and offer 24 hour care. Although Mike has the market pinned he struggled to find a software that would assist him in growing the business.
When opening their center Mike took over the marketing and finance section of the business while Gina ran the daily operations. The first thing Mike sought out to do was find a child care software program to help them manage their center. Because their business model was different, they did billing based on attendance, nothing they looked at worked. At one point Mike had built out a multilayer excel spreadsheet to manage their business. He says it worked pretty well, but in the long run “was a major headache”. Since Mike is in Ohio and the center is in Las Vegas it was important for them to find something that was web based.
After months of searching Mike found Sandbox! Mike was most impressed with the billing features, they were like none he had seen before. Mike explained how Sandbox has made a huge difference in how they manage payments and invoicing. Their center is now able to sustain the attendance based billing model, which before marked a challenge. Mike also loves that parents can update their information online anytime in the day. As you can imagine many of their customers have different work schedules and often their families work at night which is why their 24 hours care is a huge hit!
When asked about the future growth of their business and center Mike seemed excited. He said he could see them going multisite one day, but in order to do so they need to perfect their procedures and have a little more cash flow. Since Mike and Gina have grown their center from 0-265 in just a year and a half I am confident they will do just that! Mike’s knowledge in marketing is astounding, we have much to learn from him!
What I love most about their center and business model is that they are looking for new ways to grow the child care industry. Mike knows that the way it has been done in the past can not continue. He knows things have to change. He believes like myself, when you build your center around the customer, that is the best business model. “Parents need flexibility”, Mike explained. This is why they offer flexible schedules and 24 hour care. Mike also does his best to stay connected to other directors and owners by staying active in a few online facebook groups designed just for owners like himself.
I spend hours each week talking with Sandbox customers and I will say I was very impressed with Mike and Gina’s story. To have experienced such growth in such little time is remarkable. Mike is just one example of our many Sandbox customers that we look up to as a business leader. Mike is committed to being innovative in the childcare industry and is excited to have Sandbox on his team along the way!