Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
One of the hardest things about starting a business is getting those first clients or customers, and that can be especially hard for teenagers who have not had much chance to develop their marketing skills. This article will address tips in marketing a babysitting business.
First, get the credentials and the experience. Take a babysitting class and a basic first aid or safety class. These are usually offered by the Red Cross or your local hospital for free or a small cost. If you have no experience babysitting, offer to baby-sit for free for family or neighbors while they are at home and can supervise you. That way, you will have an adult with you if you have questions. This is also a good way to get references.
Once you get references, ask them to put them into writing and give you permission to use their comments as testimonials on your flyers or even on your blog or website. Here is a sample of a testimonial:
“Our two children adore Anna and so do we! She is responsible, punctual and takes excellent care of the kids--by Donald and Joann S.”
Keep their letters in a file that you can show other parents when you meet with them about a job.
To create a flyer, either online or off, make sure to include your name or your business name, a short description of what you do (such as “Babysitting services for ages one to nine in the Labrador area.”) and what you want them to do next (“Call now for references and availability.”) and be sure to put the phone number on there.
If you have the funds, have business cards printed, too. They can be very inexpensive and are good for handing out to prospective clients and for leaving with clients so they can give them to people they know, too.
Be sure to have your parents approve any marketing material you create before you pass it out! You have to be very careful about giving personal information to people you do not know. It might be a good idea to use a pre-paid cell phone so that you do not have to use other private phone numbers for your babysitting business. And, you might want to list what neighborhoods you can work in as opposed to putting your actual address on your materials. Again, ask your parents and heed their recommendations.
Once you have a flyer or business card or both, here are some ways you can distribute them to your targeted clients (parents of small children):
1—Have your parents give them to their friends and people they trust.
2—Visit area day care centers and ask if they will pass your information on to their parents. Most day care centers are closed at night and on weekends and many of their clients need babysitters then.
3—Churches are another good place to market your babysitting service. Ask the Sunday School teachers to recommend you to their parents who might need babysitting. Many churches have some sort of summer camp, so that might be a good time to approach them.
Once you start getting clients, the best way to market is to be an excellent babysitter. That way, they will keep calling you when they need someone to baby-sit, and they will be happy to recommend you to other parents like them.
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