By Karen Smith
Being a nanny means different things for different people. Some nannies are simply trying to get by until they are able to finish school or pursue their desired careers, while others know that caring for children is what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Regardless of which type of nanny you are, if you want to take your nanny job and turn it into a lucrative business, then that means getting serious and being proactive.
There are plenty of ways a career as a nanny can be transitioned into a legitimate business. From consulting, to starting your own nanny placement service, all nannies have the power to take steps now that can set them up for further success in this industry down the line. Here are just a few ways to take being a nanny to the next level:
1. Find a target customer base.
There are many different types of people searching for nannies. What will help you succeed in growing a business, though, it to learn how to understand which types of situations are right for you and which you should pass up. Are you particular about your geographical location? Do you prefer to live in-home or come and go? Do you like families with younger or older children? Figuring out what your needs are before you put yourself out there for jobs will save you from wasting your own time. It will also help you target your search to specific types of families. Once you know what you want, you can be proactive in reaching out to and searching for those types of situations.
2. Learn how to own and market your nanny "type."
Every nanny is different. Some are more energetic, while others prefer a tea and some quite time reading books. Some are very strict and operate on a tight schedule, while others prefer a more free-form approach to taking care of the children. The best way to market yourself and your services as a nanny is to understand how you work and what unique elements you bring to the table. If you try to conform yourself to each potential employer, you could end up in the wrong situation and tarnish your professional record.
3. Be professional at all times.
This cannot be overstated, especially if you are living in your employer's home. If you wish to make a profitable business out of nannying, rather than just use it as a source of side income, then you need to always put your best foot forward. While this can be a bit exhausting 24/7, it is absolutely necessary if you wish to maintain a stellar record and reach out to only the best clients in the future.
4. Save money with a purpose.
When you are on the job, it can be easy to simply spend what you make and hope for the best. In fact, many people, no matter what they do, live this way. But, if you are serious about taking your abilities to the next level, then you will need to have some capital to fall back on when it comes time to make the leap into starting your own business.
5. Always look out for better opportunities.
This is important in every field, but is especially so for nannies. It is natural to become attached to the children you are working with and become comfortable in your particular situation. But, you must always remember that nannying is your job. It is about business, not necessarily personal friendships or attachments. You have to always keep your radar up for better opportunities that could come your way. You may have to break a contract to move up to a much higher level, but this kind of thing often happens in business, and you have to make the best professional decision for your own career, and leave the family's needs as secondary.
Karen Smith, a former newspaper reporter and globe trotter, is now a freelance writer for various publications and websites. She specializes in answering questions from students who are hoping to earn an online business degree; but she also welcomes comments or questions regarding all educational and business topics.