60 second start-up: The Hotel Nanny

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

The Hotel Nanny is the only agency in the UK to provide high-end nanny services to exclusive hotels.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

The business appeals to all parents, corporate event managers and wedding planners. 

Hotels find our service invaluable as it helps them position their hotels as family friendly destinations without having to provide a crèche facility.

The agency is run remotely.  As well as working with a team of highly professional nannies, I also employ the services of a virtual PA and marketing consultant.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are no competitors in the UK who provide the same business model as The Hotel Nanny.  There are nanny and babysitting agencies but they don’t work exclusively in the hotel industry.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

When staying in a five star hotel, parents expect the same level of service when it comes to childcare.  We provide them with the peace of mind needed so that they can use the facilities within the hotel and enjoy their stay to the full.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

The initial launch was funded with savings earmarked for a new house. This was a major decision but once I had committed to it, it enabled me to go forward, to develop the ‘idea’ into a reality.  Since then, I have reinvested my profit in order to push our marketing effort and increase sales.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was a teacher at Westonbirt Girls School in Gloucestershire.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The eureka moment came shortly after my partner and I visited an exclusive hotel with our six-month-old daughter, only to find we were unable to fully enjoy our stay because the lack of available, dependable childcare. Subsequently, we discovered many other parents felt the same way, and it was then I realised that this was a much-needed service with mass appeal - a gap in the market that I could fill.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

The smartest thing I’ve done to-date was to seek the help of a business mentor.  My mentor gave me direction in areas where I had very little experience, such as my financial forecasting, HR and marketing strategy. Without his advice, guidance and influence, I’d never have made it to where I am today.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

There have been mistakes made along the way, by not researching certain service providers thoroughly enough, by being too trustworthy, and by simply not asking the right questions to ensure that potential candidates were right for my business. But mistakes help you grow in terms of knowledge and confidence, and overcoming these challenges gives you a sense of achievement, which helps you focus on the future growth of the business.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

One of the most popular kids’ biscuits – A Jammie Dodger. Sweet inside with a perfect packaging to attract a little twinkle in the eye of the beholder.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

The website Luxury and Little Ones www.luxuryandlittleones.com.  It’s a fabulous idea and they provide an amazing service.  It can reach far and wide very successfully. The owner has done remarkably well in the short amount of time she has been operating!

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We currently work with 14 hotels in the Cotswolds and Bath area.  The plan is to expand our portfolio of hotels and take our service nationwide.  Watch this space!

To find out more about The Hotel Nanny, click here, or follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.


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