Are you interested in starting a babysitting business or nanny agency? Do you want to know what it takes to setup a babysitting service business from home? Do you need a sample babysitting business plan template or feasibility study that will help you open a babysitting agency. If your answer to any of the questions above is yes, then I advice you read on.
Now for those who are yet to understand the concept behind running a babysitting business, I think it is wise to first provide a definition of what a babysitting business actually stands for. What is babysitting?
Babysitting is simply the act of taking care of someone else child or children in the absence of parents or guardians. When you engage in this act for a fee, it becomes a business; and that’s where the concept of the babysitting business was formed, taking care of other people’s children for a fee.
It is however important that you don’t mistake a babysitting business for a daycare business. Though they perform an almost identical task, their mode or style of operation is different.
A daycare center is structured in such a way that parents will bring their children to the center to be taken care of, only to return at a later time of the day to pick the kids up. While a babysitting service is usually carried out in the home of the client or parents. Now why should you start a babysitting business and who should start a babysitting business?
Who Should Start a Babysitting Business?
- Stay-at-home moms
- Women who are retirees
- Young girls in high school or college
6 Reasons Why You Should Start a Babysitting Business
a) It is a self employed business that don’t require much skill or capital to start. Just have a passion for taking care of children, some marketing skills and high personal hygiene standard. I bet you that you are already in business.
b) You are the one to decide how much to charge your clients
c) You can also creating employment for people if you decide to grow into a nanny agency
d) You will learn the skill of running most business and managing clients while operating a babysitting business
e) With the experience gathered from running a babysitting business, you can branch out and start other baby related businesses such as retailing baby’s foods, clothes, diapers, toys, etc.
f) The demand for babysitting and childcare is increasing rapidly because the economy is getting tighter and both parents have to work to make ends meet.
How to Start a Babysitting Business – Sample Business Plan
The first step to starting a babysitting business is to prepare yourself. Sure, taking care of another person’s child is not an easy task, so you must be up for it. You must be physically and mentality prepared to face the challenges of the business.
If you are not experienced in the handling of children, especially babies; then you must at least take a course or attending a training program on how to care for babies. An example of such course is the “Red Cross Babysitting course.”This training course will prove vital, especially when you want to grow big and set up a nanny agency.
After making up your mind to become a babysitter or babysitting entrepreneur, the next step to take is to find out if there is a need for babysitting service within your neighborhood. You can begin this research by first determining the number of workers or civil servants within your neighborhood.
Then you can proceed to carry out a survey or poll by talking to parents personally and ask them the challenges they face with respect to catering for their babies, alongside building a career. Once you have ascertained that a market exist for your proposed service, you can then proceed to the next step, which is to write a business plan.
Most intending babysitters live with the assumption that a babysitting business does not need a business plan. But in reality, I believe it does. Why? Well, it is true that you can start a babysitting business as a solo entrepreneur but that does not mean you can’t grow tomorrow and employ other babysitters or nannies. So rather, than wait till that time to plan, it is advisable you start the planning today.
Now how much does it cost to start a babysitting business? The answer is “Nothing.” You can start a babysitting business with no money. All you need to do is to walk around your neighborhood and tell people about your new service.
One person will definitely engage you and with the money earned from this first service provision, you can start building your business. But if you would like to rent a place and grow into a nanny agency, you should be looking at a startup cost of about $200 to $1,000.
4. Obtain the necessary license
In unregulated markets and countries without stringent rule of law, you won’t need a license especially if you just intend being a babysitter. But in a country like United states, you must be “first aid” and CPR certified by taking the courses at your local Red Cross or YMCA.
So you can get the license at National Resource Center for Health and safety or at National Association for family child care. After taking these course and you are qualified, you will now get the license.
However, if you intend running a full scale nanny agency, then you would need to obtain the necessary certifications and licenses from the relevant authorities such as Child protection agency, the police, etc.
5. Kick start the business
The process for starting a babysitting business is not much. The best place to start a babysitting business is residential areas, where there are working class people that can’t take their children to work.
To gain further experience and build your reputation, it is advisable you start offering your services to close neighbors, family members and friends. These people will help spread the word about your services and also stand as references as you scout for customers.
More Tips for Starting a Babysitting Business
- Decide what age children you would like to take care of. You are to be specific whether to cater for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, etc.
- You also need to decide how many children you be able to take care of at once? If you are alone it should not be more than 4, but if you have employees, you can take more.
- You must decide how much will you charge for your childcare services? You are to know how much you will charge on each child depending on the age. Will you charge per hour, per day or per month?
- What days of week and time will you offer your services? You need to be specific on this.
- Will you be the one to pick and drop the child or the parent will do that? If you will pick and drop the kids, how much will you charge for that extra service?
- Decide whether you will offer breakfast, snack, or lunch? If you will provide any of these, you are to make up a monthly menu that includes what you will serve.
- It is important you keep a note book ,computer, something you know that will keep track of days and time you care for each child
- Will you care for the kids in your home? If yes, then you may need to purchase appropriate toys for the children and make sure you have a room or area where the children will sleep and play
10 Smart Ways to Market your Babysitting Business
- Start a blog centered on baby care and use it as a medium to enlighten parents on the need or advantage of having a babysitter
- Create a catchy business card and give it out at any given instance
- Promote your business and connect with parent on social media like face book, twitter, instagram, etc
- Advertising on mass media like radio, television stations, or newspaper is a waste of money especially when you are still a solo entrepreneur. But if you have grown to a nanny agency, this advertising media is a must.
- Offer free service to attract costumers
- Encourage your existing customers to talk about you. This is called word of mouth marketing
4 Challenges of starting a babysitting business
1. Babysitting is often presumed a job or career for low lives and lazy folks. So as a babysitter, you might face some stigmatization and criticism because of the career you chose.
2. Winning your customer’s trust in this business is another challenge you are bound to face. Most parents doubt the competence of babysitters and nannies. In this situation, references and testimonials from satisfied clients will come in handy.
3. As a babysitting entrepreneur, you should be ready for some nasty unforeseen problems. Now what if a child dies or gets missing while in your custody? What if a child gets involved in an accident while in your custody?
This is a situation you surely don’t want to find yourself in because you will have to deal with lawsuits and prosecution from relevant government agencies. A smart way to prepare for such uncertainty is to get an insurance covering and seek the services of an experience lawyer or attorney before such an eventuality.
4. Babysitting is a task that’s both physically and mentally stressful; and not everyone posses the endurance for such.