NannyFusion: Get to Know Patti Mueller of NannyMall LLC

As you have hopefully seen our “Meet Nanny” series,we wanted to you to get to know our NannyFusion members too! We have started  a new series called “Meet NannyFusion Member”. Through many of our networking experiences the development team has had the privilege of working with many of our NannyFusion members. We wanted to share more about them with your our readers. Professional networking is a vital part of the nanny industry, we hope that this will help strengthen your professional networking with our NannyFusion members.

Company Name: NannyMall, LLC
Contact: Patti Mueller
Website: http://NannyMall.com
Facebook: NannyMall St Louis
Twitter: nanny_mall
Years in business? 2.5
What does your company do? Primarily places On-call Nannies. We also place Permanent Nannies by Referral.

Tell us a little bit about how you got into this business?
A number of years ago I was working in the office of a local Nanny Agency, but unfortunately the agency was sold to another local agency and I was left with out a position. Since I love working with the public, especially in the “Family/Nanny matching” capacity, I decided to open my own placement agency.  I waited a few months out of respect and then opened NannyMall, LLC. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

What is one of your favorite memories since you have been in business?

Placing the very first interviewed Nanny with the very first Registered Family. They are still a happy Family/Nanny unit for over two years now.

What is one item that you would like applicants to pay more attention to when applying for jobs?
Making sure all their prior families’ contact info is listed. We can’t check references if it’s not all there. And if we can’t check references, they don’t get into the agency.

What is the number one mistake nannies make when interviewing?

You’d think that they wouldn’t but they do…they (some, not all) talk negatively about their previous families.  They are here to find a new position and it’s very difficult for us (me) to want to place someone who may be lamenting about our clients during their placement or after they move on.

What advice would you give to someone considering opening a nanny placement service?
Do your homework!  Talk with Nannies, talk with families that use an agency. Check out your competition.  Do the Nannies like working with the local agencies? Do the families have compliments or disparaging remarks about the other local agencies?  If you open an agency in your area, does it look like there’s a good chance the Nannies and Families will flood to your doorstep?  Is your city big enough for two/three/four agencies?  Mostly, consider the cost. I personally do not agree with high dollar franchises….I’d go it alone, so to speak. Or get a partner to invest.  Get a good attorney to draw up your Family/Nanny contracts and your Terms & Conditions, and really just have fun with it!  –With St. Louis & St. Charles Counties (MO) being so large, we here at NannyMall, LLC, don’t feel like we are competing with another agency, this area is big enough for all!

What changes would you like to see in the nanny industry?
I’d like to see it become mandatory that when a Family hired a permanent Nanny through an agency, the agency is then responsible to notify the State and IRS of the hiring and also reporting the particulars of the employment, i.e. weekly hours, pay and length of placement. Maybe Nannies will then hopefully, be paid legally more regularly.

What is the most important piece of advice you can share with our readers?
To the Nannies: Agencies are a fabulous way to get placed with a really great family.  Check out the agency first though, are they nice, did they answer your questions, did you have to pay them for them to find you a position? (you shouldn’t!)
To Families: Don’t use Craigslist to find your next Nanny. If you don’t want to use an agency, go through friends, your church or temple, for Nanny referrals.  Cautiously use Online based “agencies.” Online based “agencies” do NOT meet with the Nanny candidates face to face, nor do they check references. Your local agency does!

What was your first job?

My first job was working at a deli…..that happened to sell ice-cream. That was awesome!

When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy?
Hanging out with my family & fishing!

How do you give back in your community?
I volunteer at my church (St. Louis Family Church) and in our community. I frequent and support local small businesses. It’s important to make sure you lay a foundation of service and commitment no matter where you live or what you do.

After you retire, what would you like to be doing? Seriously….sitting on a screened-in back porch and drinking coffee. Yes, all the time. But factually, I’ll be traveling with my husband to support his talent, play-writing, and of course hanging out with the grandchildren.

Tell us a fun fact about you. I’m the only one who thinks I’m hysterically funny.

What’s your favorite book that you’ve ever read? I’m still reading it, the Bible.

If you didn’t have your current business, what would you be doing?
I’d have some other kind of business. —But since I am BLESSED by and with this agency, I see myself doing this for at least another 12-15 years!

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