In 2005, David Leslie and his business partner envisaged a new style of Childcare for the market. A centre, not only focused on children, but additional services for families as well. The center was built and launched in 2007 and performed well. Two additional centers were added, which complimented a retail, commercial and residential property portfolio that was built to $21m of assets over 3 years. In 2008 the Global Financial Crash took place. The portfolio of childcares, retail and residential property was unconscionably targeted by a financier. This resulted in significant loss. David was left holding only one childcare business with high debt levels and personally struggling to make ends meet.
Over the next two years the childcare center occupancy lowered and debtors slightly increased due to the state of the economy. David decided to be more pro-active in marketing to increase the occupancy of the center. Over a period of 6 months, David engaged the services of marketing consultants to help build the brand and occupancy. Advertisements were placed in targeted papers and other public relation activities were engaged. Neither of these initiatives yielded results. In fact occupancy was plateauing and the brands perception in the marketplace had not shifted after this exercise.
Fed up with the lack of results and the “traditional” way of building business, David opted for a different approach. He evaluated the business and concluded that the centre needed a change of culture. If they could develop a genuine culture of “sharing, caring and prospering all” this would create happy long term staff, which would ultimately mean happy kids, happy families…. and consequently, a more profitable center.
David spoke with staff on the importance of creating a culture where staff, children and families genuinely felt cared for and affirmed. This change of culture had to start at the top and filter down. It started with the small things. David and his wife Simone would drop in and talk with staff, give free lunches, hand written notes of appreciation, financial bonuses, gift cards, regular rostered days off and other benefits. This started to create significant change. Soon the internal culture had shifted significantly and everyone was being impacted. The staff were happy, children were loving the center, families were appreciative and the center was organically growing. Other initiatives were added to compliment this new culture which included FREE Cappuccino days for parents (which they loved), special shows for the kids and large Christmas events where everything was paid for by the center.
As the culture matured, it naturally impacted not only upon families of the center, but those in the community. When a family was in trouble or a staff member was struggling, everyone rallied to that persons aid. Staff would create small packs made up of chocolate, goodies and a handwritten card, often given to parents that were having “hard days”. On one occasion, a staff member had been diagnosed with cancer. Her colleagues put together a fund raiser using their own resources and time to help her through this difficult season. On another occasion a young child at the center needed expensive eye surgery, that her parents couldn’t afford. The center, along with staff organized a fund raiser, donating much needed funds towards the operation.
This culture of sharing, caring and prospering others continued, and thus, the centers occupancy quickly accelerated, with many on a waiting list. No marketing or advertisements was needed; it was all word of mouth. Families knew that the staff and center genuinely cared for them and their children.
Based on the significant increase in the demand for the center, David decided to expand in 2012. They applied and received approval for licensing to 90 children per day. In the months following, revenue increased by approximately $300k+ per year with the asset value of the center increasing by approximately $1m+. These extraordinary results were based on a changed culture of caring, sharing and prospering all.
By trading the ASP Way, caring, sharing and prospering others, David has been able to expand into significant business opportunities. David formed “Crestcorp International” which manages companies and investments in property development, merchant banking, mining, financing and other industries. The objective of this company is to invest in or acquire companies, so they can “Fund Change and Prosper All”. Crestcorp International Supports initiatives to solve the root cause of the social distress now prevalent in today’s society. David now spends his time speaking internationally on Trading the ASP Way, Philanthropy projects and acquiring/investing into companies.