Anyone who read the classic teen series, The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M Martin, dreamed of setting up their own babysitting company. Kristy et al made it look so easy! As record numbers of ‘mumpreneurs’ set up their own businesses are you tempted to join them and if so could running a babysitting agency be a viable option? In this post, Sue Bill Grace, founder of Quantock Baby Sitting Agency Ltd, mum of two and Bubele local editor, tells us about her experience of starting up a babysitting business.
Recruiting the sitters
~ I have an easy online application form for any prospective sitters, this allows me to have a clear picture early on as to whether the applicant meets the criteria. As I promote the babysitters as ‘professional’ they must have professional childcare experience however a mum with hands on experience of running a toddler group would have all the right qualities! Always meet the sitter in person, I hold informal interviews in my own home with a cuppa.~ I like to check that the sitters have had experience of sole care of children as well as in a professional environment. Always ask how far they are prepared to travel for a booking and how available they are likely to be. All of our bookings are for a minimum of 3 hours to ensure that it is financially viable for a sitter to come out.
Top tip for starting a childcare business
~ You have to continually look at new ways of promoting your business to make sure that families are aware that you are here. Online presence including social media promotion is a must, word of mouth will come in time
Meeting our clients needs
~ At weddings there have been a few incidents in the past whereby the family are, shall we say, a bit tipsy at the end of the booking and finding the correct payment has been a challenge! Families can now opt to pay prior to bookings to save any embarrassment!
Working from home
~ I once took a booking from a well known comedian who happened to be touring in the southwest. Where I was living at the time had an appalling signal and I could only do phone calls with my head pressed up against the glass of the kitchen window and shout, loudly! It wasn’t until I put the phone down that I realised who I had been shouting at!
~ I have 2 children aged 10 and 7, a saluki/crossed lurcher, 4 chickens and a hubby! Our brood, along with Quantock Baby Sitting Agency Ltd are based in a lovely village in south Somerset. We have easy access to Taunton which has some great theatres and many children orientated events held all year round, however the best thing in my opinion is having access to the beautiful surrounding countryside including the Quantocks, for long family walks and picnics, we are also very close to a number of beaches.
Posted on December 15, 2016