Q&A with Entrepreneur & Founder of The Babysitting Company, Rachel Charlupski
Rachel Charlupski, the babysitting- savvy visionary at the helm of The Babysitting Company, operates her network of more than 1,200 sitters to provide world-renowned services to loyal clients and families. Her extensive team of highly professional, personally screened, certified, and exceptional babysitters, nannies, and caregivers are recognized for unparalleled professionalism, friendly flexibility, certifications and loving creativity. www.thebabysittingcompany.com
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and went to Arizona State University where I started the business, first as a hobby and then as a business in 2006. I always babysat when I was in middle school and high school and thought it would be a great idea to work as a babysitter in college and make money when I had extra time. Because I did not know anyone locally I went to the hotels.
What inspired you to start your business?
I did not want to work in retail or at a nightclub and I always worked as a babysitter growing up in my hometown. It sounded fun and flexible, perfect for in between classes and studying.
Where is your business based?
The business has several offices. We are in most major cities with our busiest being LA, South Florida, Orlando and New York City. I travel to each office often.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
The business was running before it was actually started. I was working as a babysitter in hotels and getting a lot of clients and referrals as well as referring babysitters to clients. When I realized that my hobby was more of a business I contacted a lawyer and filled out all of the necessary paperwork and got insurance.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Making sure that every client and sitter is happy with the services and that any issues are addressed quickly and with priority. When our sitters are happy, they are going to a great job. When they know that their opinions and feelings and happiness are important to us they are going to take pride in their work. When clients and our hotel/ event partners are happy with our services they are going to rebook and tell their friends about us.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenges are always having enough sitters for our requests. We are so selective and have such a high standard for our team; we hire less than 10 percent of the nannies that apply. We also get very last minute requests from people who booked with another company and need to make a last minute change.
How do you stay focused?
We stay focused by knowing that being unfocused will not support our company, business or families. I love what I do. I love working and I love the great feedback, if we are slacking then everyone suffers.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
In my opinion, we do not have competition. There is not another company that you can call 24/7 in any major US city and have a babysitter in less than an hour. Our sitters are all personally interviewed and trained, have a clear background check and 10-panel drug test, speak fluent English and have a valid CPR certification from an IN person class. Sitters that come to us that work for other companies have CPR’s from online classes and background checks that are $5 and not sufficient for us.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
The most effective marketing strategy for growing our business is making sure every single client is taken care of so that they refer us to their families and friends, and book with us again.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
To be patient. There are days that are not glamorous and days that you are in the field. There is no job that is below you. I have done everything from meet our clients who are royalty to run to a job to help a babysitter clean vomit.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite APP is Wunderlist. It keeps our whole office organized.
My favorite books are any nonfiction books relating to business and management. I always want to learn and share what I learn with others.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
My favorite business tool and resource is our sitters and clients! We have over 1200 sitters in different fields with different backgrounds and personalities. They are in the field every day and are very helpful with feedback. Our clients are helpful because on a daily basis they work with high-end companies and are serviced by the best of the best hotels and organizations. We always want to learn from their experiences and we take their feedback very seriously.
Who is your business role model? Why?
My business role model is my father. He exemplifies the importance of creating a relationship and valuing that over the initial dollar.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
The next six months are going to be very exciting! The holidays are always jam-packed and busy for us. We are launching our new website this month and we have been working with an amazing creative director, Danielle Becker of Lefty’s Right Mind. She has been fabulous! We can not wait for everyone to see her work!
How can our readers connect with you?