If you love spending time with children and offer to babysit for family, friends, and neighbours, why not turn it into a profitable business? 

With nearly 700,000 UK babies born in 2020 alone, babysitting is always in demand. Each year, there are plenty of new parents looking for a babysitter, so they can work or go out. 

Plus, babysitting businesses are low cost. All you need is a knack for childcare and marketing skills to show people you’re the right choice. 

But how can you make it happen? If you’re wondering how to start a babysitting business, we’ll cover the key steps

This guide will cover how to start a babysitting business. We’ll cover how to: 

  • Set up your business. 
  • Market yourself and find jobs. 
  • Organise your money.

How to start a babysitting business

To start a babysitting business, you’ll need to be professional and organised. The right set-up will show parents that you’re a responsible and reliable person they can trust with their kids. 

Write a business plan 

Creating a babysitting business plan will guide you and help track your progress

Here’s what your business plan should include: 

  • Market research –  Information on the market trends, news, demand, and competitors.
  • Your target market – The specific area you target, including who can help most, like local parents.  
  • A company description –  The nitty-gritty details of what, how, where, when, and why. For example, what will you name it and will you watch kids in your home or travel to theirs?
  • Your objectives –  Things you’d like to achieve with specific timelines. 
  • A starting budget –  Your startup and running costs, which may include marketing, childcare activities, and travel. Also, what you’ll charge and how much you may earn. 

The business plan lets you develop your idea and make it unique

For example, you might focus on an age range or offer kids a unique experience. Alternatively, you could build your business around a key value, such as electronic-free babysitting. 

Register your business

To turn your business into a legal entity, you’ll need to register it with the UK government. You can register as either a:

Since babysitting businesses have lower running costs, a sole tradership might be the right choice, because they have fewer taxes and regulations. 

Insurance 

Insurance will protect your business against financial risk. For example, public liability insurance can defend you from injury or damages that happen when you work. 

There are also some more specific babysitting and childcare insurance coverages you could look into. These insurances can protect you from the risks of caring for others’ children

How to market your babysitting business

The right marketing will help you put your babysitting business in front of the right eyes. As a result, you can find customers and start earning a profit. Let’s go over a few marketing tactics that can help.

Business brand

First, think about how you want people to see your business. A memorable brand identity will help you reach your target audience.  

To develop a brand, consider the overall design and logo, colour scheme, and tone you’ll use to market yourself. 

Not sure where to start with your branding? Check out our article on how to build a brand for a small business

Digital marketing 

With your brand in place, you can market your business online to build an audience. To do this, you might want to use: 

  • A website –  This gives you a digital home base for your business so people can learn what you offer and how to contact you. 
  • Social media marketing –  For babysitting, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter might be great platforms to find your audience. 
  • Freelance sites –  List your services on platforms like Fiverr and Childcare.co.uk

Local advertising 

Since you’ll likely focus on babysitting kids in your area, spread the word through local advertising

Flyers and business cards are free and easy solutions to local advertising. Drop these flyers in local letterboxes and ask to leave business cards at nearby shops and schools. 

A free tool like Canva allows you to design these marketing materials yourself. 

Also see: How to advertise a babysitting business

Word of mouth marketing 

To market your business through word of mouth, first ask friends and family to refer you to people they know. 

As you start working with clients, ask them to review your business and refer you to other parents. If you offer excellent service that makes parents and children love you, you’ll soon build a positive reputation and access more opportunities

Organising your babysitting finances

As you set up your babysitting business and start earning money, you’ll need to stay on top of your finances. We’ll cover the main things to keep in mind. 

Tax and accounting

The HMRC expects all businesses to track their finances and keep those records for about six years. Financial accounting is also an essential part of tax reporting. 

As a self-employed person, you’ll need to calculate your taxes by submitting a Self Assessment tax return. For accurate income reporting, it’s important to maintain updated and organised bookkeeping records. 

Not sure where to start with financial accounting? Check out our article on how to understand financial accounting

Business current account 

The best way to organise your finances is to separate them from your personal transactions. To do this, consider opening a business current account, a bank account specifically for your business. 

With a separate account, you won’t have to worry about missing or mixing transactions for your business records. It’ll all be easy to see. 

Accounting software 

Modern accounting software will help you organise your finances and track your performance. With these tools, you can understand the money coming in and out of your business

Software helps you quickly find and record expenses and send invoices. Even more, it’ll simplify your tax process with estimates and Making Tax Digital compatibility. 

The right accounting software will save you time and allow you to stay on budget. 

Countingup, the business current account with built-in accounting software, can help you with all these things and more. Why not check it out and start your three-month free trial today

No kidding around, now get babysitting 

Now that you know how to start a babysitting business, you can get your operations up and running. Just remember to: 

  • Set things up right. 
  • Market yourself strongly. 
  • Organise your finances for success.

Soon you’ll build a steady client base, and it’ll be time to look towards the future or your business. To learn more, check out our article on creating a small business growth plan