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Get your biz out there in 3 steps

 
I want to start babysitting or pet sitting or something this summer to earn some money before school starts, but I have no idea how to get my name out there! How should I advertise my biz?
 
Building a business as a teen is a great idea. You get work experience, learn how to be responsible and professional and earn a li’l extra dough, too. The tricky bit is starting out. It can be hard to get customers, especially since so many other girls are doing the same thing. Here’s how to get started and stand out!
 
Experience
 
Parents want to trust their sitters. They won’t leave their precious kiddies or pets with someone who they don’t think can handle the job. To get some references, ask to tag along with a more experienced sitter, like an older sibling or bestie who has been babysitting or pet sitting for a while. Even if you don’t get paid, you can still ask the parents for a recommendation for future customers, which will show that you have proven skill.
 

Network

 
Once you’ve built up your resume, it’s time to get the word out. Make some cute business cards with your name, job you’re looking for (babysitter, pet sitter, etc.) and your contact information. If you have a little sib, go to their piano recital or school play and introduce yourself to the parents, making sure to mention your business and leave them with a card. Be polite, not pushy, and respect their answer if they say no. If your church, synagogue, school or local area has a list serv, send an email advertising your services and watch your inbox fill up with potential clients!
 
Ask for help
 

Parents know other parents. Ask Mom and Pop to spread the word to their coworkers and friends with young kids or pets who could use some help. They can vouch for your skills and give a glowing recommendation.

Most importantly, keep trying! It might take a dozen phone calls and emails, but you can’t get your business going without some hard work. Just keep your head up, act professional, and do your job well, and you’ll be the best babysitter on the block.
 

BY SARAH GOLDBERG ON 7/15/2011 7:00:00 AM

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