Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 4 · 2 years ago

4: Identifying Opportunities to Start a Business with Hassanatou Barry, The Babysitter Guru


If you’re looking to start a business, there are certain questions you’ll need to ask. What am I passionate about? Who is my target audience? What challenges can I address?

Hassanatou Barry began answering these questions and saw an opportunity. She’s a young, innovative and resolute entrepreneur. She had been babysitting for years as a side hustle when she realized she had a tremendous passion for it. She soon started identifying opportunities in the market, learning there weren’t enough credible resources out there for caregivers. She took those insights and used them to start a business of her own: The Babysitter Guru.

Welcome to good people, cool things, the podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. I'm your host, Joey held, and today's guest is Hassanatu Berry, creator of the Babysitter Guru, a site dedicated to providing guidance and resources for babysitters. HOUSNATU talks about starting her business, Challenges, an opportunity she's seen along the way and how she listens to her customers to develop her content. Let's dive on it. Let's say we're on an elevator. M Give me your pitch. What's the Babysitter Buru all about? Sure, so, the babysitter guru is an informational hub and consisting of advice for both babysitters to die them through the babysitting journey of becoming one, and then also advising parents and want to seek and look for when you know hiring a babysitter is such an integral portion, when you're finding a childcare provider to care for your one human being. That's so specialty, right. So, yeah, I represent the voice for babysitters globally and just kind of putting them in the forefront representation as a childcare provider, and not only that ball, so assisting parents through that process. And why babysitting? What drew you to that? Yeah, so when I was sixteen years old I started babysitting. I needed money for my senior dues in high school. Well, I've started baby sing around the neighborhood and then once I finished high school, I started college. And the funny part is, you know, in college I had my internship, went school full time and I still found myself babysitting and I always knew that. The relationship I have with the parents are so tight. It's to point where, after like I finished babysitting, me and the parents will literally sit in the living room talking for two hours just about life and mean the kids. We have just a strong, very strong bond. said to death throughout high school and college. And then once I graduate from college, I got my first full time job. And what did I find myself doing? Baby sitting on the weekends. So literally that remained consistent throughout what six to seven years, and during that time I'm like, you know what, this is what I'm good at, this is what I'm passionate about. I love caring for children, and then I also love speaking to parents. There's that connection that, you know, I don't get from anywhere else. And then I just love and giving advice to my fellow baby sitters. I come across them all the time and I realized there wasn't a platform for babysitters. Rather, there was for nanny's. There's even Nannis associations and nanny outings and I love my fellow Nannies, but there was no representation for babysitters. And Babysitters happen to be the number one request or short term care right because this is not that much of a commitment as nannies are. You kind of call them when you need them. So there's a huge base that but there's there's nothing for them, no resources. I want to change that. So was there particular kind of Aha moment where you were like, wait a minute, this can go from just something I like doing and make some extra money with to a fulltime business, or was it just kind of a gradual over the years you realized hey, there's some there's some work that can be done here. It was over the years. It wasn't until after I graduated at my fulltime job. You know, I'm just like, is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? I want to leave a legacy, I want to leave an imprit and throughout my life everyone's like, you're so good with kids. There's always a connection they have with them and they you love talking, you know, and I have like this entrepreneur a bug in me and I've always had it, and you know that that love and that kind of gravitation towards wanting to have something of my own, want to have something with my name on it. It was growing as I got older, and I'm only twenty three. So I'm like, you know, I might as well do it now, that wait later, right,... it while you're young. So I just took that risk and to Philip and here I am today. It's been just eight months. Yeah, that's awesome. I Love I love the do it now. I think that's the thing that holds up a lot of people is it's hey, I need this to be perfect, I need all these things in place, and it's like no, just start it. Like I look back at the very first podcast I did and I cringe at I mean the very first one I ever did was with my parents. Love that. I love my mom and Dad. They had some great insights, but we were all kind of crowded around one, you know, cheap little microphone and it's certainly not the best thing, but I would never have gotten into this world if I hadn't just said, you know what, let's just go for it. And I'm sure along the way you have probably encountered a few challenges. has there been any of that have kind of surprised you as you're starting Your Business? Yes, so, especially when people see the name, they automatically think it's an agency, literally a many agency or babies three agency, and what I'm trying to do right now is something that is uni exists. So just imagine trying to explain something that does exist right that's not considered quote unquote normal. And once I see that, wow, that's actually needed. You know, I would have needed this twenty years ago when I had my kid, you know, and then even with babies, feels like wow, you know, that kind of makes sense. So those are some of the challenge people that I was an agency, and then also just trying to get people to understand that this is a necessity, especially with how the child here system is going nowadays. I don't know where you're saying. You're based in Austin. So you know, throughout the UK the US childcare varies per state and it's in demand. There's not enough childcare providers, especially when they're up to par. You know, parents they have high standard, which I totally understand. So there's not as many qualified child Crepuis in that regards. So just trying to put be a name right be out there, making sure them talking to people as much as I can. Networking has always been my number one priority. So just trying to, you know, just expand the my vision, the brand of what the Babysit greup is and doing as many prenishes that I can. So it's really as hard when you're trying to explain something that doesn't exist, and I think that's one of them. That's one of my challenges. And then also, you know, hopefully people changing their mind thing. That's an agency, but rather than agency, it's more of a consultation for both pay sitters and parents and preparing them and educating them on being a caregiver. Okay, a babysitter. I want to get back to the network networking aspect of things. Real quickly, but first I always find it interesting to hear kind of the failed names. So did you have some other names that you considered before settling on the Babysitter Group? No, it's actually I was just right away. Okay, yeah, as lead to I'm debating whether and I should drop the D or keep the duck. That was the only thing. So yeah, it was between that, dropping the the keeping the Duh. So right now I'm keeping them up, but maybe I'll drop it. I can be like how a lot of bands have? They start with the then it's like four or five years later, or just kind of like, like I think the killers. I feel like are just killers now, way more, way more intense, but more it Don who thinks that song? Oh it's murderers, look out, murders. Is that a band? No, no, I'm just saying it's like actual killers. It's although you know what, at this point, with how many bands there are out there, I'm sure there's some sort of murder right. You wouldn't be surprised, true. Going back to the...

...networking side of things, have you found that a certain platform or like certain events or conferences have proven more effective, or do you kind of get positive feedback. Wherever you head off to, I kind of get positive feedback and then also like the shock, like wow, that makes so much sense. I would have needed you and I had my children, you know. So luckily's all been positive. I love attending baby shows. So, for example, next month I've been hired to be a guest speaker at a baby show in dct of speaking to parents who are expecting, and what I'll be doing with them is explaining them exactly what to look forward and hiring a babysitter. Right. So usually when you need that extra help, you usually don't have mer friends around you to assist you. So you need that third party to come in, and that's either you're knit an any or a babysitter or anything like that, just to come in and help you and there strengthing. You should look for one, finding one or seeking one on your own. So that's why I'll be talking to parents about soon. But with the networking, I love it, I just love I love talking about I thought when you're talking about something that you're passionate about, it's different, but you see it in your face, you see that, you hear in your voice and your expressions and stuff like that. So, yeah, yeah, if you were giving a presentation on, I don't know, the war of one Thousan eight hundred and twelve, I know. Yes, yeah, definitely, definitely agree with that. And kind of along those same lines, you say you love to talk about everything, you love to share these resources and you create a lot of video content as well. You take us through your process for that? How do you decide on the topic? How do you record? Are there like forty minutes of bloopers for all of these videos? How does all that work? Yeah, so the funny thing is when I first thought of the babysitter grew, when in and regards to creating content, I said, you know, should do videos or should I do a podcast? Right? And then I know with the babysitters that I speak with personally, they tend to be on a younger demographic so like, okay, are they going to listen to a podcast or today? Prefer videos because, you know, is it? There's different people who go on Youtube every single day for anything, and then there's others who go on a podcast or something. So I decided to put the Youtube Channel because they'll be more inclined to watch videos. They're already on youtube watching a music video or something like that, right, so why not go on Youtube and I figure out how to get a baby. Same Job. So that's why I decide to do videos. And when you attach a face to an image or to, like, a certain word, it's different. Right, you could relate to it. I had a feeling when I speak to people about babysitting, they could relate to me easily. So if I created a video the same person, we showed through video as well. In regards to determine topics, I just talk to my babysitters. They literally email me all the time or send me a DM on instagram saying hey, hey, you speak about this topic, and then I'm always willing to do it, because these videos are for that, their informational videos. So whatever they ask me to do, I'll do it and I'm always brutally honest. Brutally honest, and I hope it shows to my videos that I'm brutally honest. Everything that I talked about is based on experience. Everything I talk about based experience. I've been through it and I just like to advise people, to let them know exactly what to do when they reach thoseer circumstances a situations. Has there been a topic that someone's asked about where you were like, Oh, I didn't even know that was like a concern or that someone had? It was how to walk the kids outside. Yeah, how to walk the kids outside, and that question I was actually surprised about,...

...but I was willing to do a video on it and said, Hey, when you're walking the kids outside, you need to be alert. Your phone should be nowhere near hand. US needs to be on them out all costs and always walk when you're walking outside, at least on the sidewalk. You make sure that they're to the last of you, so closer to the curve rather than closer to the road at all times. And, depending on the age, you either have the baby the baby seat in front of you, kind of where you put them in, or that's it they're like an infants, or if they're like taller age, you hold their hands or you put them in a stroller. But yeah, that was the most interesting question, how to walk with them outside. HMM. Yeah, I feel like that's kind of good advice, just walking outside in general, like, don't because to the curb, don't be on your phone for two too crazy an amount of time and HMM and will all not walk into things and it's yeah, after mail alert twenty seven. So if someone is visiting the babysitting Gurgu for the first time, is there a video or resource that they should check out first, or is it kind of you can hop in anywhere? And so the website, I just you know, the first thing that I always like is when people visit the about me section of the website, because that's where you really learned about me. Right, I'm exactly where I started, the background and how I got started babysitting and what you should look forward working with me. The reason being is because I personally love about me and so I'm just a curious individual and when you visit that about me, you kind of somewhat established a trust or if you're even interested in learning more about the person. But currently, you know, visit that about me and then the services section of it is a babysitting consultation and then there's also date night sitting. So I offered date night saying strictly within the New York City area and parents would go there and book me. From there to the calendar or baby service coal schedule a babysitting consultation, whether you're someone who currently is a babysitting and experiencing certain issues like negotiating pay or conflict resolution. Those are options that I offer that we could discuss more in detail if you're having troubles with that, because you know, there's a certain way where you want to navigate those conversations with parents and some don't know how to do it. So that's something I also help them with. But I also am working on the babysitting course. Some super excited about that. I'll be unrolling the next batch of students next month. So the baby same course. Information on that will become soon on the website. But yeah, I just recently launched my babysitting course where I train babysities who are interested in becoming one. So and and I'm super excited about it. I can't wait to have more people in row. Can you, can you give us a little scoop on what what people can expect? Yes, so there are four modules in the training course. There's homeworks, because work she's you know, and what it is is a live coaching course. So what we do is we need, depending on what you pick, either the two week or the four week course, we meet either once or twice a week for an hour through video and I walk you through each module and each slide and towards the end I have ten mints of just asking Me Questions, any questions you want clarification on or you just want more information on. That's what we do and the homeworks are very intense, but it's okay. It's all for good to be for all for a good reason, so that once you take my course, you're going to know you've been certified by me and I know what you're talking about. You're going to be prepared once you go with a parent or if you have like that scheduled interviewer and know...

...what to do, and then you're also going to know what to do when you're in certain situations with the kids. It could be a bit intimidating, but that's what the training was for. So yeah, and this is the first, you know, first babysitting course created for babysitters by an actual babysitter, and that's something I always want to emphasize on. Everything that I review is everything that I've experienced myself. Same thing with my videos, everything I talked about, everything I experience with myself and one thing was I definitely wanted this to be alive coaching with the video. Like I said, it's different when you have someone in front of you talking to you and explain the materials, because you have that personal connection and that's something I always drive on absolutely. And then for the different modules, are those also available for kind of a selfpace type of thing, or is it is it more of a rigid schedule like that, the two weeks or four weeks? Yeah, we'ches schedule. I'm very big on that, very big on having the lives. I could see you and I see my students and and just having that personal connection. I feel like that's a good, you know, good tie into babysitting, because if you show up two hours late or have to bounce an hour early, probably it's probably not the best thing. Exactly. It's all about discipline, right, because at the end of the day you're dealing with kids too. So if you can't show for me on time, then we'll makes you think you could do it for a kid? Yeah, your real baby siting job. So yeah, it's all about discipline as well. And you had mentioned that date nighting, date night sitting is something that you also offer. Have you gotten some good date night ideas from doing that? I love to call myself the Queen of baby date night baby sitting. Yeah, I love of date night babysitting because I had the opportunity to put the kids to sleep and I love that portion of the night. The reason being is because you formed that connection with them, once you learned their routine and you're putting them to bed, it's just like wow, okay, now they're asleep before Mommy and daddy or my parents get back. You know, once you're able to achieve that, you'll feel good about yourself. When it's times and parents come back and their kids are sound asleep in the room, we're like wow, ch Ching. I did like a good job on that. Some of the date night activities I love doing just to wear them out a little bit, because it's specially has a day goes on, they're going to get tired. So what we do is we have dinner, we play a lot of games and have them run around active games throughout the house. The reason being is I don't like TV or giving them any type of TV right before they go to sleep. So just having them energized right and wear them out towards end of the night so that they're more inclined to go to sleep, and it always works like a charm. So feed them, we play, we do a lot of arts and crafts and then hands on activities and active movement and then bedtime, and they will usually be asleep before the parents get back, which is always a good thing. It's a dream for the parents, and it is, it is, and I always drive on that. And as far as the actual parents themselves, if you seen any go on, you know it's springtimes right around the corner. I any like clever, unique date night ideas? I know parents are when they get that night out. You know, sometimes dinner in the movies fine, but sometimes you want to get a little more creative. So have you gotten to to sit for any kids that whose parents were going on on some sort of wild adventure? No, I have not. And you know, the funny thing is, and this is something I also discuss in my training, is that usually, some people might think when you ask the parents about where they're going, like you're not being nosy. Technically right, just in case of an emergency you have to know where they are. Hands down. You have to know where they are. So I always say whenever they're going out, you don't want to... like in their business, but you need to know where they're going and, depending on where they're going, you take that information that place as well. You know, there's all that safety precaution, but usually my parents that I babysit for, it's dinner, movies, shopping and that's it. I've never really had them going, youwhere, exotic or anything like that while I was with the kids. It's the parents need to step up their games. Up to them, up to them. They're their preference. No, that's fantastic and I usually like to kind of wrap up these conversations with the top three. And you mentioned that you love playing games the kids. So what are your top three games that you like to play? Hiding go seek, lovely. Hiding go seek is epic, literally epic. Also, what do you call that? It's you like chase me, if you can. HMM. Yeah, and especially if they're on like a three level house. It's the craziest. You literally probably lose five pounds at the time you're done the amount of time you're running literally up those three flights is stairs. So I'm yes, so hiding, go seek, chase me if you can. And then the last one would be, let me see, big last one. Okay, so this one wouldn't be like an actual well, yeah, probably be considered activity. It's when you're turning off all the lights and tell your own story. So we turn off all the lights and then I put the flashlight on my phone and we either sit in the living room one of their rooms and then we just tell a stories, pitch black, just the flashlight on my phone on, and then they start, and they start each fage to tell their story and they could tell any story that they want, and that's that's also a sweet moment that I enjoy with them as well. Do they tend to go in like a a more scary direction, or just because the lights are off, or is it more just fantastical? It's a little bit of both, and they just say what they think from their heads, to be honest. The other day I did it with one of the kids and he's two years old. You had to hear him story. He's like has a dinosaur, dinosaur right here, and I'm just like, Oh my God, yes, tell me more, and it's so cute because he's only too but he understood the concept because his sisters five. So she would tell her story and then his his turn and he'll like, you know, us his hand and then make the dinosaur noises. But it's fascinating, right, because he's only two years old, but he's able to formulate the words and just say something right, whether that's so you know, whether that's about the dinosaur or something he ate, he just puts it together and that's a beautiful thing about it. That's to enjoyed. So that's what I love. That's a that's a great mix hide and Sake, because if you can and tell a story in the dark store, in the dark gap. I was at a housewarming party just last weekend and they had a Jack and Jill style bathroom where it's like the two kids rooms combined into the bathroom in the middle, and as I was like doing my little tour on the house, I was kind of like this would be so fun. As a kids us like run around and you had like three doors where you could escape if someone was chasing for you, and I'm just it's like too, too old for this. Now. It's good exercise. I will say that's good. Their side. Oh for sure. Yeah, especially, like you're saying, with multiple stories in the house, you're getting you're getting your steps in. It's better than any stairmaster. I am. The cardios amazing. Well, if someone wants to find the Babysitter Guru online on Youtube, on social media, out in...

...the wild, how can they do that? Yes, definitely follow me on Instagram, facebook and Youtube is at the Babysitter Guru. And then I'm a fanatic on Linkedin. Guys, I literally call myself the babysitter of Linkedin. So on Linkedin I'm at Hasana to Barry Ahassa and Atou Barry Beaar why? I talked about many things child here related on Linkedin, which I think don't exist right now. So just putting a voice to that. And then also, if you guys want to personally reach out to me at the babysiture at gmailcom. Were regarding the course, whether you are a parent or an adult wanting your child or someone you're related to to get babysite experience. Just, you know, shoot me an email now'll be happy to enroll them for the next month. That class sounds fantastics. About to say you're almost off the hook. But your queen of Linkedin made me want to ask one more question, more entrepreneurial side of things, because Linkedin is such a good market, but I feel like it can be a little daunting to use, like it's I always like to say it's like three or four years behind facebook or twitter, and like they let the other platforms kind of stumble through whatever, like new thing is happening and then they roll it out. So what, what tips do you have for an entrepreneur that's trying to kind of grow their network through Linkedin? Release content consistently, and you need to be real. I need to be a storyteller. There's nothing like telling a story and people will gravitate or as attention, their attention very quickly. What my Chrick is is just starting line, whatever it is, and make sure it's like, Oh my God, you got my attention. But I usually do is I put in caps right. So, for example, what the launch of my babysitting course, what I did was I'm expecting, exclamate, even though I'm now the exclamation point, I put I'm accepting and then dot that that, and then you had to click on see more to read the rest. That I was launching my babysitting course right but many people on Linkedin know that I wasn't having a baby, but they're like what I was in pregnant. So you need to put eye catching content and you have to be consistent with it, and visuals always do better, but you have to remain consistent and be open to connecting with people. What I do is I personally look at your profile before connecting with you and then, if I find somewhat of a connection, you know, I'll connect with you or I'll reach out to connect with you and then send you a message. There's nothing like a personal message because that just said something that you're interested in their back when and you like to learn more. Sometimes, you know, reaching out to people, connect with people linked and can lead to many opportunities that you have no clue about. You know, I found spot of guests, such as how I found you, Jelly Ye, through a friend of mine on Linkedin. She's like, hast not, you need to be on spot of guests because your message is so important and so unique that I feel like people would be interested in hearing about it, and that's how I got on spot, I guess. So, yeah, being proactive, being consistent with linkedin and posting content and just being able to connect with people and don't be afraid to talk to them or send them a message, as long as you're not doing it like, you know, consistently send the messages. You WOTA be too aggressive. You know they'll be too aggressive. But yeah, just be you and tell your story. I think everyone has a story. Believe it or not, everyone has a story. Tell your story, because there's going to be at least one person out there and could to relate exactly. Linkedin bringing people together, bringing people together, and I love the message, and that's a great reminder to of to make your opening line eye catching, and I would even say that that...

...transfers over to your profile as well. I think it can be really easy to just kind of like start kind of regurgitating out accomplish mints or whatever it is. But not everyone's going to click that sea more, especially if you're opening line is just like Oh, one time I went to the store and bought a Milky Way Bar. Yeah, it's like I'm like, okay, and that's it's like a subpark candy and the first place. But but I mean maybe that works for them. Maybe they're a chocolate bar enthusiast. They get a lot of people connecting through that way, but fantastic tips all around. Well's note, thank you so much for hopping on the podcast. It just flu but didn't it? I know, I know. Thank you so much for having me. You pronounced my name correctly. Boom the bad. Lovely. I try, I try. It's the career as a broadcast journalist back in in college. Love it, love it, fantastic and, of course, astute listeners know that I always like to end with a joke. Let's get a child friendly one, since that's your jam. Why did the teddy bear turn down dessert because she was stuffed? Oh my God, Jelly. If you don't like and I borrow that for one of my kids to seek at the things all, course have at it. I love it. I loved it, I loved it.

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