Read how, when software tester Kemi Osinloye couldn’t find the right childcare for her children, she started her own successful childcare business – EM3 Kids Club.
What’s your career background?
I graduated from the University of Greenwich with a BSc in Information Systems, and went on to work as a software tester for Trinity Mirror in Canary Wharf, London for eight years.
How did your career change after having children?
Following the birth of my second child, I wanted to leave my job in the city, for something that would enable me to spend more time at home with the children. I decided to go to college to study childcare, I then launched EM3 Kids Club and have not looked back since.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea for my business came from my own experience. I found it hard to find local childcare that suited my needs so I decided to create that kind of childcare that I was looking for to meet the needs of other local working mums and dads.
What’s your USP?
The unique selling point for my business is the personal touch, I have a hands on approach to my work, I know all of the children that attend the kids club and run a number of programmes that encourage the children to get involved with the wider community.
I also work with mums hoping to step into business or particularly looking to move into childcare.
Who’s your target audience?
Parents and carers looking for childcare, organisations and event planners looking for a mobile creche and mums who need advice on starting their own business.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
I use social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, through local press, local community groups and organisations and shops.
What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?
Social media, word of mouth and relationship-building with the community.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
Generating start up funds was tough initially, I had to save up a good chunk of it before I left my full time role in the city, also overcoming self belief and forging forward despite being let down of put off by others.
And your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment so far was when the after school club became full to capacity and we had a waiting list. This said to me that our services were in demand and it showed that we were definitly doing something right.
A close second was winning a contract to run the mobile creche for one of the family services for our local council, it was quite flattering to be chosen by the local council as the childcare service provider of choice.
Why is work so important to you?
For me it’s impoortant to have my own independence by being able to go out earn money and contribute towards the quality of life that I’d like for my family.
What I do is particularly important, as through EM3 Kids Club I’m able to solve childcare problems for working parents, and provide a safe and fun environment for local children. I am also able to meet loads of new people and encourage, advice and help mums like me.
Who inspires you?
My mum is a huge inspiration. Growing up I watched her raise three children while working hard as a full time teacher. She went on to open her own school in Africa, which has positively impacted families in the community.
How do you balance your business with your family?
I have a daily routine and try to prioritise my tasks for the day. I discipline myself so that business doesn’t takeover family life.
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
- Know your stuff – you can’t cut corners with childcare so it’s important that you do a course and read up understand the law, how best to look after a childs health and safety, safeguarding these are all so important when going into childcare.
- Persevere – keep working hard, you never know who could be watching, don’t give up, childcare is rewarding once you get off the ground.
- Tap into the wider community – no man is an island, it’s always good to network, know what’s going on around you and see how you can support others and how they might be able to support you.
You can find out more about EM3 Kids Club on their website.