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Entries in Janelle Boksanski (1)


How to Effectively Market Babysitting Services

Janelle Boksanski discusses how to market babysitting services to your members:

Our fitness center is bringing babysitting back as a service in 2011 for all our members as well as our community (for a set fee). What marketing techniques worked best for you? And, what do you hear most members want to see in their babysitting room?

A: Most importantly, members want to see how staff members interact with their child.  They are most happy dropping off their child(ren) to the welcoming faces of the staff caring for them.  Then to return and pick up their child and find he/she happily engaged in an activity is what they want most.

Things that work best for us are:

  • Group activities w/ staff and children
  • Arts & Crafts projects – seasonal
  • Card/board games – Uno is really popular now – the children love to beat the staff!
  • Dress up (getting costumes after Halloween is a great money saver)
  • Inflatable Day –  Some parents plan their workout schedule around this activity
  • Yoga for kids – Kids love to be doing a “class” like mom or dad
  • “Scooter Fun” – if space permits – this is a great activity.  You can set up obstacle courses, play capture the flag or just scoot around!
  • No TV – this is the one thing parents have said they do not want. 

It would be a good idea to refer to your membership base and find out exactly what they would be looking for in a babysitting facility – maybe a survey. 

  • How many Junior members do you have?  What are their ages?
  • Do you have a strong “young mom and dad” base that would need to bring their children to the club to work out?
  • Be careful when setting the hours for your babysitting service.  It is hard to take away available hours once you have set them. We recently went through this with our members and we had to cut back due to visits being low in the afternoons.

Our hours are:

  • Monday - Thursday 8:45 am to 7:30pm 
  • Friday 8:45am to 2pm 
  • Saturday & Sunday 8:45am to 1pm

We accept children between the ages of 3 months to 8 years.  We found that the afternoon hours were not busy, sometimes no children came in.  In December 2007 we decided to close Monday - Thursday from 2pm to 4pm and close the second shift at 7pm.  This was met with some disappointment but that is the case with any change to a schedule.  We are even considering cutting more hours due to low usage.    

Babysitting in health clubs are certainly not money makers, they are a service to the membership.  Many people depend on it.  It is just finding that schedule that works both fiscally and fits into the workout schedules of those that would use it most.

Janelle Boksanski
Cedardale Health & Fitness