When starting a business, successful entrepreneurs remember that people enjoy convenience and comfort. Improving on those qualities in particular ways is certain to attract customers.
One company that illustrates this situation is UrbanSitter. Most large cities have child sitting services and nannies for hire, including online arrangements. However, these avenues lack the appeal of personal recommendations. The distinction of UrbanSitter is that it uses Facebook to connect sitters and parents. That platform allows users to view recommendations and see any common connections before booking a specific sitter.
The company started its service just last August. Several angel investors were involved in providing $1,750,000 of seed money. The company’s aim is simplification of the process for locating a sitter using personal connections. After launching in San Francisco, UrbanSitter has expanded to Denver, New York City, Seattle, and St. Louis.
Parents simply use their Facebook profiles to activate UrbanSitter service and input family details. This permits seeing if any friend connections are using the service. Parents can read the histories of sitters and comments from other parents. UrbanSitter recommendations include sitters previously used by friends. Plus, the site suggests any sitters who meet the criteria established by parents.
Similarly, sitters connect to the service using their Facebook accounts. They create preferences about such details as price, age, and location. Sitters also have connection benefits such as suggesting and sharing families that book with them through UrbanSitter. This defuses situations where sitters must cancel by creating acceptable alternatives for parents.
Parents select sitters for specific booking dates. After a price is arranged, the agreement is complete. A sitter is paid from UrbanSitter, which charges the credit card placed on file by a parent.
With 4,000 parents and an equal number of sitters, UrbanSitter expects to generate revenue soon by adding a booking fee for parents. First, the company plans to add more features for sitters to communicate strategies about their work.