|Founder Names:||Adrian Graham, Regina Graham|
History of your startup:
I am a software developer by trade and have good experience in web development and software engineering.
An opportunity presented itself about a year ago which lead to the creation of MyChildcare.ie When we were looking for childcare for our little girl for 3 days per week we were unable to find an online resource with decent photos and descriptions of crèches in our area. We were also a bit confused by all the terms like “sessional”, “part time”, “minder ratios” and the other terms that go with the childcare industry. Given this lack of a good resource for Ireland MyChildcare.ie was conceived one year ago. The website went live 9 months ago and is becoming very popular. We manage everything ourselves; the website creation, the online marketing, the Google advertising campaign, the sales calls and accounts and the networks and computing. Only last week we reached visitor number 24,000, which is something we never imagined within our first year. We are getting 4,000 unique visitors a month now.
One popular feature of the site is the Parent Coach section. Marian Byrne is the parent coach on programmes on TV such as “How Long Will You Live?” as well as having regular features on National Radio like Newstalk. We were so impressed with Marian that we approached her to have a regular slot on the MyChildcare.ie Parent Information section and she took our offer.
The “Parent Zone” is another section of the site that has grown from strength to strength and is now a very visited area of MyChildcare.ie.
Why do you deserve to win?
We are extremely excited about the possibility of getting awarded this funding. After the last 12 months we surely feel we know whatâs involved in making an online business work (as well as keeping 2 children happy!) but we also know what’s needed to bring it to the next level.
We really could make this money work. The main reason I say this is that we were recently approached by MyHome.ie to become an anchor tennant on their site to provide childcare listings on all property broschure pages of their site as well as to run a dedicated parent area on their site. MyHome get over half a million visit per month, and we would be featured on 70,000 property pages of their site. The cost of this exposure to us would be 1,000 a month (this is a much smaller amount if one was to but the same exposure on MyHome.ie, the fact the we are providing them the service makes the price lower). The cost at the moment is too restrictive as we have other advertising medium to fund (mainly Google Adwords).
We work hard, and often long hours. We develop and promote the entire operation inhouse. We are trying to hard to get the name MYCHILDCARE.IE out there. We have deals with sponsors of prizes for draws to keep the site interesting for parents and business owners alike and we find this is a great way of getting people taking about the brand MyChildcare.ie
We try to keep very current. We brodcast all updates on the main social networking sites linked from each page my MyChildcare.ie.
We are commited and we know our business. We have developed every aspect of it inhouse.
What will you do with the money?
In a word “Exposure”!. I outlined in the “Why do you deserve to win” section our recent approach from MyHome.ie. Such a large site being attracted by us proves that there is a massive market for our website. There has been a large increase in visitor numbers week and week as we get more popular, but we want more.
Since our development costs (monetary) are practically zero (as all development, content, graphics and layout are done by me in house) we would plan to invest in some advertising like the MyHome.ie venture. This would give us massive exposure and get more creche owners to see MyChildcare.ie as the one-stop-shop for advertising a childcare business.
We would love to have a stand at the Early Years Education show where childcare business owners come to visit the latest and greatest innovations for their sector.
We would also love to invest more in facebook advertising; this is a really new and effective way of reaching a profiled target audience. We have some facebook adverts running, but the cost of advertising is often a tough hill to climb.
What will we do with the money? We would aim to become the most recognisable childcare finder and parent information portal in Ireland.
Thanks so much for your time in reading about our work and our pride in it.