Allisyn Skiles’ goal was to create a spin-off of a nanny agency she had previously worked for in Des Moines, IA. When she moved to Cedar Rapids in February of 2014, she did just that. With safety of children and alleviating stress of parents at the forefront, Allisyn successfully opened Iowa Elite Nannies. Iowa Elite Nannies is a nanny agency based out of Cedar Rapids that serves Cedar Rapids and Des Moines areas connecting families with nannies.
Matching up a family with a nanny is a process that Iowa Elite Nannies considers a crucial part for success for both parties. The nannies must have two years of experience, go through a background check, become CPR and First Aid certified and successfully complete a phone and in person interview. The families complete an extensive application, outlining their needs and preferences, which the agency uses to place nannies.
In April of 2014, Iowa Elite Nannies had officially opened and in July of 2014, received their first client. While being passionate about the child care industry, Allisyn knew that having a start-up was not a simple task. She became connected with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) through a networking meeting. Scott Swenson, director of the Kirkwood SBDC, became a mentor and resource for Allisyn while developing her business. He assisted Allisyn with networking, goal setting, getting involved with the community and thinking through her business plan.
Allisyn describes her experience with the SBDC as “amazing. I keep in contact with Scott on a regular basis. I definitely would not be where I am without Scott and the SBDC.”
“Scott was encouragement more than anything. He kept me going,” Allisyn says. “I realized that starting a business is not a one day thing.”
Iowa Elite Nannies now has 42 nannies that have been placed with families and is currently in the process of hiring two full-time employees that will oversee the Eastern Iowa region and Des Moines area, although they except clients from all over the state of Iowa. Within the next two years, Allisyn hopes to expand into the Quad Cities and Cedar Valley area. She would eventually hire full-time employees for each region.
Allisyn started her venture while working a full-time job and teaching dance. She sold her furniture to finance her business. In August of 2015, she was able to leave her full-time job to focus solely on Iowa Elite Nannies and has since grown her sales from $9,000 in 2014 to $12,000 in 2015.
Using Facebook and social media is one way that Allisyn markets Iowa Elite Nannies. They also sponsor races and events to increase awareness of their services offered. Primarily, Allisyn relies on referrals and word-of-mouth to get her name out in the community. For example, one doctor in a practice had requested a nanny from Iowa Elite and seven other doctors from the same practice later followed suit.
In the community, Iowa Elite Nannies sponsors various events. They also offer Mommy’s Morning Out, which allows mothers in the community two hours to run errands, attend meetings, etc., while Iowa Elite Nannies provides learning activities, a health snack and play time.
To learn more about Iowa Elite Nannies, you can visit their website at www.iowaelitenannies.com/ or their Facebook Page, Iowa Elite Nannies.