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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Daycare Business & Job Titles

Dear Sue: I am thinking about opening a day care business in my home. I have two young children and I love kids, so I'm wondering if this is a good business to for me to go into. Can you advise me? 

- Mom

Sue Says: I spoke with several day care providers to gain some insight, and found that the overall consensus is that this type of business is a great business to be in. It gives you the luxury of being at home with your own children, while enabling you to work on your own terms. In addition, there are many tax benefits to operating this type of business from your home.

Due to the traditional work hours most clients will have, a day care (unlike many other home businesses) does enable you to "leave" your job once the kids have gone home.

If you are able to dedicate a portion of the house to the day care business, it is a plus and enables you to close the door on your business at the end of the day. In addition, the larger the home the more conducive it will be.

Most day care providers have strict policies regarding drop off and pick up times. Without them, you will have no sense of when your work day begins or ends. Establishing rules and boundaries up front and enforcing them is critical.

The most important element of your business success will be to establish a mutual respect between yourself and your client for the benefit of the child.

Overall, I discovered that home day care can be a great business for the right person. Of course, your home gets a little roughed up, illnesses will be brought in to your home and your attention will be divided among your day care kids and your own, but these are minor drawbacks for most providers. Incidentally, although many people tend to start their business when their children are young, many have continued with their business long after their own children have grown up. That is a testimony in itself.

Dear Sue: I am the office manager of a small firm and have many different responsibilities. In addition to my work in the office, I represent the company at several chamber and community groups, which has enabled me to bring additional business to the firm. Although I've received tremendous praise for my efforts and verbal appreciation for the job I have done, I have not had a raise since I began working here. I requested one 2 months ago, but was denied, so I worked even harder and landed 2 more accounts for the firm.

Recently I discovered that I am not making as much money as the person who previously held this position. Although she was well thought of, since she's been gone, I have had the task correcting and revising many of the things she did wrong. In addition, she did not have the marketing ability I have nor did she bring in any new business while she was here.

The clients I've brought in have generated thousands of dollars in revenue. With the right compensation I know I can bring in much more. However, I feel I deserve more money and would like a different title for my job. I think that the title Marketing Administrator/Office Manager would serve my position nicely.

If you could please assistant me with the title and salary request, I would appreciate it very much. 

- Office Manager

Sue Says: Based on the information you have provided, you have every right to ask for additional compensation and a new title.

You need to put together a proposal and document all of your accomplishments. Include a list of all of the accounts you have brought in to the firm, and the amount of revenue it has generated. List the various jobs you perform and the reason your current job title does not fit your position.

Talk to other people in your industry to get an idea of what your salary should be so that when you meet with your boss, you can ask for a specific amount. However, be flexible and open for negotiation. You might suggest a small increase in your salary, with a percent of the business you bring in. This way your income will be determined by your performance, which is a good motivator for you and poses no risk to your employer.

Some companies see the value in rewarding their employees financially, while others try to get by paying as little as possible. This firm would be foolish to say no to your request, but may not be willing to unless it is absolutely necessary. This is why you need to arm yourself with as much information as possible.

With your strong marketing ability there is no reason you cannot market yourself to the firm, get the job title you want and earn the income you deserve. Good luck.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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