In this week’s StartupStory, Rachel Charlupski fills us in on how she built The Babysitting Company; a service that matches qualified and experienced babysitters with families who need an extra hand at home, while traveling, and even at special events. Through following her intuition and reaping the advantage of word-of-mouth recommendations, Rachel has created a reliable network of over 1,200 sitters and molded herself into a true entrepreneur. Here, Rachel shares her experience growing a business out of her dorm room, the value of organic marketing, and her best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Why were you inspired to start The Babysitting Company?
I was inspired to start The Babysitting Company because clients were really excited about using our local services while I was in college. They kept referring us to their friends and inquiring about services in other areas outside of Phoenix.
How did your business get started? From the good, bad and ugly, what was your startup process like?
The business started because I loved the feedback and encouragement from clients and the sitters about their jobs and their experiences working with us. I felt really great about working.
What niche or hole in the market are you filling with The Babysitting Company?
On-demand, highest quality, safe, and fun babysitting services for travel, home, special events, and sports teams.
How much has your business changed from day one until now?
The goals of the business and values are the same. Nothing else is the same, I was working out of my dorm room!
What are your biggest challenges in marketing The Babysitting Company?
Hiring enough babysitters for all of the amazing referrals that we get!
What types of marketing are most effective for your business?
Word of mouth, organic marketing, or when someone sees a babysitter in the park or at a hotel pool.
What is the #1 lesson you learned since starting The Babysitting Company?
Trust your gut.
If you won $50,000, how would you invest it in your business?
A thank-you party for babysitters. Be able to pay babysitters to donate their time to children’s charities.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
Know what the goals are and don’t lose sight of that. Owning a business is not just a job, it’s your life.
What can we expect from The Babysitting Company in the next year?
We are finally exploring some tech! For someone that still uses a BlackBerry that is a huge step!
To learn more about The Babysitting Company, please visit thebabysittingcompany.com.
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