How Nanny Network turned their service business into a digital platform for parents to source childcare
The founder of the Nanny Network told us how they started their service, which was initially a childcare agency, and how Softr helped them build an online platform for parents to submit jobs and source childcare.
Lucia is the founder of Nanny Network, which was established in 2011 as a childcare agency and has since evolved to become an online platform for parents to source childcare with all the security and quality of an agency. The platform consists of a variety of components, one of which is a job portal website, where parents can post a detailed job for nannies. Further on, it allows booking free childcare consultations with the Nanny Network team as well as provides a growing library of guides for parents and nannies. The platform is built with Softr, and we talked with Lucia to find out how she and her team built the platform, what challenges they've faced, and how Softr and the Softr team were able to help them.
At the very start of building the platform, the Nanny Network team was using a custom-built backend, which was fine while the project was in MVP stage but gradually became expensive and cumbersome. They couldn't test ideas and make changes easily. Therefore, the team started looking for alternatives and tried out numerous. However, every time they faced significant limitations and were not able to build what they really wanted. The whole process was not only frustrating and time-consuming but also costly.
After a long period of search and trial, Lucia and her team finally came across Softr, and it turned out to be what they had been looking for.
“We needed to use a tool that could grow with us – we feel that this is what Softr offers us. From the first days of using Softr, I felt like finally, after all these years we found something we could really work with. I think the thing that really stood out for me was that they also had a real startup mentality – knowing how important value for money is when it comes to young businesses. I felt like with Softr we could learn along the way and adapt when we need to, and that is priceless.”
Lucia Borraccino, Founder, "Nanny Network"
Using Softr, Lucia and her team built an online job board for parents seeking for childcare. Parents make a payment for posting a job, and then the Nanny Network team gets to work, sourcing great candidates that satisfy the job requirements. The online marketplace also allows job candidates to create profiles and apply for jobs.
Lucia pointed out that Softr's rapid growth allows the platform to expand as well, and they are constantly introducing new features and improvements. In particular, she stressed the importance of Softr's SEO capabilities and the various integrations that are available to the users. The Nanny Network platform is using both built-in integrations (e.g. live chat) and custom ones (e.g. Calendly via custom code block).
What are Softr's biggest advantages?
According to Lucia, Softr's biggest advantage is its flexibility in terms of how quickly you can create pages/menus and make all sorts of adjustments along the way. Although she doesn't have any technical background, she was able to get started with Softr easily and build and test all the ideas very quickly. Another important aspect was the ability to fully customize the Softr app to be in line with the Nanny Network brand and create an aesthetically-pleasing experience for the users.
"In case of Softr, the functionality is not lost with the design, which is a problem with website builders like Squarespace – very good to look at but severely lacking in functionality. We also used a Wordpress site for years, and now with Softr it feels like Wordpress is really ancient for a website builder. Softr is the future! I keep telling everybody about it."
Lucia Borraccino, Founder, Nanny Network
Another important aspect that Lucia emphasized was the help she received from the technical support on a regular basis. According to her, the support team was patient and was able to explain complex things in a simple way, which really helped her while exploring the capabilities of the platform and addressing different issues when building.
Current results and next steps
The new version of the platform built with Softr went live just recently, but the Nanny Network team is already seeing some good results.
"We have just been live for one month, but we have already seen more profit, more fantastic feedback, and more interest in our service. I am not sure how we managed to run our business before without Softr."
Lucia Borraccino, Founder, Nanny Network
Lucia and her team are still tweaking their business to make it bulletproof as a business model serving parents in London. They'll soon be making their service available in other European cities as well and are sure that Softr will allow them to scale and achieve even better results.
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