Nov. 19 marks National Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. To celebrate, I want to share the story of our business and the lessons I have learned in order to inspire the next generation of young women and girls to follow their dreams.
My best friend and I co-founded Trusting Connections in Tucson in 2011, and it has now become one of the fastest growing and most respected nanny agencies in the Southwest. We wanted to create an agency that connects families, churches, organizations and companies with exceptional nannies, sitters and other childcare staffing professionals 24/7, 365-days-a-year.
I truly believe the sky is the limit when women commit to growth and push themselves to adapt to challenges through innovation. Our story starts back at a coffee shop near the University of Arizona, where we imagined a completely new approach to local, private childcare.
As former nannies, we were committed to professionalizing the largely unregulated industry to ensure that families and nannies are connected in a safe and successful way for both parties. The following summer, Trusting Connections opened in Tucson with just two employees. In May 2015, we expanded to Southlake, Texas. And in April 2018, we opened our third location in Phoenix.
Our business had been growing at a steady rate, but when the pandemic hit, the demand for in-home childcare skyrocketed. Suddenly, the ability for nannies to meet with families was more challenging due to stay-at-home mandates. It also became much more difficult to find, interview, and hire new nannies. With these new challenges, we turned toward the same philosophy that led us to create Trusting Connections a decade ago: Innovation. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have supported our operations to allow us to connect with customers and nannies remotely.
The reputation we had built for ourselves and our referral base continues to generate most of our business leads, but we’ve noticed over the last few years that social media has been a driving force in directing leads to our website. We’ve seen a 98% increase in web traffic this year, which is directly attributed to our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts. We have also used the Facebook Jobs tool to help find nannies, and it’s really paid off. Nearly 10% of our current employees at Trusting Connections have come from social media and 14% of users who visited our apply page were directed from our Facebook page alone.
As the nation continues to struggle with the many long-term implications of the COVID-19, we must remember that small business is the heart of America. As we celebrate National Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we encourage fellow female entrepreneurs to follow your dreams and look for innovative ways to pursue them relentlessly.
We are incredibly grateful and proud to be one of Tucson’s most successful women-owned small businesses, and we encourage all women to find new innovative ways to turn their dreams into reality.
Author: Rosalind Prather, co-founder of Trusting Connections