I was recently contacted by a company who are looking to partner with a number of babysitting agencies. In trying to work out whether this was an attractive proposition to go ahead with, I decided to get in contact with some of the other fantastic babysitting/nannying services in London to see if they had been approached and what their thoughts were.
Starting and running a business is extremely hard work and all-consuming and as a result, people are incredibly protective over their brand/client list/industry (I am certainly guilty of this). However, there are enough factors working against business owners and I don’t think those working in the same field should be one of them. Everyone sets up a business because they feel they have something unique to offer so in theory, there shouldn’t be any fear of treading on toes.
I’m not saying I would handover my client database but I can certainly see the value in building relationships with and helping those who work in similar industries. A little competition is always healthy and if there was no one else trying to do something similar to BOKAC, I would be extremely worried about what I was missing that had put others off! As the emphasis on relationships and human contact is so crucial, there has not (as yet) been a dominant international resource for parents looking to book a babysitter and for this reason, agencies tend to remain small. However, as the world of online childcare is rapidly expanding, the potential to ‘unionise’ and stand together against any major players who try and enter, is incredibly powerful.
The response I got from the other babysitting agencies was overwhelmingly positive. All were more than happy to help and willing to discuss their thoughts on the partnership proposition. I am delighted that I can now recommend the agencies who specialise in nannying placements (BOKAC specialises in babysitting requirements primarily but we do get a lot of enquiries from families looking for a full-time nanny) to parents as I have previously only been able to respond unhelpfully.
Does your company or the company you work for embrace its competitors and can you share any success stories as an example? If so, i’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.