We’re excited to bring you another installment of Nannypreneurs! If you are a nanny who has a company or product that you created during your nanny career, we’d love to put the spotlight on you!
Nannytainment Event Childcare (plus, in development a nanny share placement service and locator site, and a military nanny placement service, locator site, and support for those who serve families who serve.)
How long have you been a nanny, or how long were you a nanny? Combined total over 20 yrs., with some breaks doing other things.
What is a highlight of your nanny career? I don’t want to pick one job or situation over the others as I have cared for so many great kids. As far as what I am proud of achieving to date is being a nanny to children who are grieving the death of a parent, and helping them move forward.
How did you come up with the idea for your product/ service? It evolved over time, many years ago I was asked to watch my toddler nephew for my sister and brother in law while they attended his sister’s wedding. My sister didn’t want to miss out on anything and yet as an ECE teacher she knew her son would be miserable if he didn’t stay on his schedule. I was asked to tag along and watch him while he napped, fed him, chased after him, etc. A few months later another sister got married and my parents decided a sitter was required again, and asked me to select a responsible caregiver to watch him. I really took that selection seriously, and didn’t go with close friends but rather someone I did know well and knew could take it on because I didn’t want him left with just anyone. Move forward a few decades, and I worked at a resort between nanny jobs one summer at the front desk and I had to call and schedule sitters all the time from a roster we had for guests. When I came to DC, I was on some sites for offering my services on weekends, and this Navy family came to town needing a substitute for their nanny who got sick at the last minute. They were anxious about hiring a stranger and I have to admit because of some crimes against nannies, I can get leery too. But, we were able to verify each other quickly and completely. It was a peace of mind.
Around that time I had also been watching the economy, politics, etc. and factored in my age and said I need to start a viable business. It had to be something there was a need for, something I loved, and something unique.
What is your level of monetary investment and have you seen a profit? Ha, that’s between the IRS and me. Actually it has turned out to be sizable I discovered I needed to carry liability insurance, and many companies did not know how to begin to write a policy. It’s not like it is licensed because we work all over and not one set place that can be inspected. I had to create rules, standards, policies, and then re-tweak. Then there was the investment in marketing, and toys, office supplies, etc.
What is the purpose of your product/service? We are a temporary onsite childcare service for special events, or businesses for meetings, conventions, conferences, etc. We provide the toys, books, games, activities, etc.
How has the nanny industry received your product/service – i.e. what has been the feedback you’ve received? We are still new. Nannies I know like knowing it’s a nice additional income option. Everyone is on-call so they don’t have to commit to everything. Besides our industry, it taps into the childcare arena, and many I know in NAEYC are impressed with the business idea. The wedding and hotel industry is excited to hear about us. Plus, because I have a wrap on my car I am constantly stopped in parking lots by people who think it is a great idea. And, the families love us.
What words of wisdom do you have for others, who may have a product/service and wish to expand its market? Write your idea out on paper, then research what may be required to have your business. Will it need certification or training? Insurance? Will you need physical space to create your product, or an office to work out of to provide your service? Will you need trusted hardworking support staff? Do you need savings or investors? Do you need attorneys and accountants? Are you going to need another source of income while embarking on this? Do you have patience and perseverance to know your first year may not make a profit, your second you might break even, and then hopefully you are solvent in a third. Will you continue to think your idea is a good one a few years from now?
What do you wish you had known early on, that you’ve learned going through this process? Oh countless things. (I think I’ve touched on some things above and if you want to move sentences around that’s fine.) More about trends in everything, not only the demographics of my potential client/consumer/parent, but what’s working and not in marketing. That I do need to take breaks, vacations, weekends, and unplug from my phone and computer. To ask for help, and to say no.
Any other information you would like to share with us?
Some people see what we are doing and think, oh I could do that. I have gotten very threatened (it’s the exhaustion at times) when they say it to my face. But my one mentor said, let them try, they honestly have no idea how much money you put into this, how much thought, time, and energy. Or how much space you have sacrificed in your home. If they have your stamina, okay be worried, but I doubt they do.