How to Start and Maintain a Successful
Babysitting jobs can be a young person's first opportunity to earn money. They offer a young entrepreneur the chance to work with others but still have some control over their own schedule.
An additional benefit is that the kid or kids being watched might already be known by the babysitter.
If that's not the case, not to worry. The following action plan is a simple step by step guide to starting an easy and successful babysitting enterprise.
Babysitting Jobs - Getting Started
- Get prepared by reviewing good babysitting techniques, that will help you not only with the kids but with the parents. After all, no matter how much fun the kids have, the parents are really the employer.
- Be up to date on babysitting safety tips to help ensure that everyone (including you) stays safe.
- Have some fun babysitting ideas to keep the kids entertained. You may find plenty of entertainment at the place you will be babysitting - or you might not. It works best for everyone when there are babysitting activities to keep the kids busy.
If, after a couple of jobs, you decide that you want to turn this into a business that is more steady, it's easy to do.
Growing a Babysitting Business
A babysitting business is just like any other business in certain ways. There are certain keys to success such as:
- Advertising - Word-of-mouth is a good way to get started, but real business success comes with reaching new customers. Great ways to get started are with a babysitting flyer and babysitting business cards.
For flyer ideas, check out this downloadable babysitter flyer example. This can be printed on a home computer and then copied at either the library or a local copy store.
Business cards are a smaller version of a flyer and include just a few key pieces of information. Here is an example of the information to put on your babysittie business card.
- A Babysitting Job Well Done - Doing the job well once you get hired. Our babysitting techniques and safety tips will help in this area. In any business endeavor or career, it's essential to understand why customer service is important.
- Babysitting Referrals - These are a direct result of doing babysitting jobs well - in fact, this is the only way to get them.
- Time Management and Scheduling - Keep track of your schedule. And not just your babysitting jobs. Make sure that any jobs don't conflict or interfere with other obligations. These could include schoolwork, family commitments and other jobs. Don't overbook yourself!
Other Proactive Babysitting Business Tips
Once the babysitting business basics are down, the proactive babysitter should consider these additional strategies and tips:
- Don't widely distribute flyers by putting them on cars at the mall or leaving stacks of them at a local business. You are looking for quality customers that both you and your parents are comfortable with.
- Call anyone who makes a referral to you and thank them. This helps them know that you appreciate their effort as well as helps you know that the referral was real.
- Be persistent! Businesses can start out slow. Parents can have trusted babysitters that they are already using. It may take some time to get customers since people are very picky about who they leave their children with.
- Don't be afraid to say no. It's better to turn down a job for the right reasons than to accept one just to get the job. If you are uncomfortable with the potential customer or have other obligations (such an important paper due at school), you should politely thank the prospective customer and let them know you are not available. If you would like to work for them in the future, say so. People cannot give a bad referral based on an honest response, but they can for a job poorly done.
- Consider babysitting coupons for repeat customers (after 3 or 4 sittings for the same family). These could be something like an hour free when two additional hours are booked. This is a nice "thank you" to your customers while not costing you much money.
Getting into the babysitting business can be a little overwhelming. By following the tips above, it doesn't have to be. The best advice for any new babysitter is this: Just keep your focus on doing your babysitting jobs well - that is the most important piece. And have fun!