Small Business/Big Challenges: Maribel Avery, Founder & CEO, 808Nanny
What has been 808Nanny’s latest pivot or innovation?
Our company’s latest innovation is creating a new platform called Nexus that will allow for job listing creation, continuing education courses and a marketplace to sell items. Additionally, we are building out another platform called Una, layered on top of Nexus. Developing both platforms has been extremely challenging, but we are getting closer to completion. Now we are extensively testing both Nexus and Una until we are confident that they are successfully operable for both vendors/household employees and users/clients alike. Una, specifically, will allow those in childcare and the household employment industry to create listings for their services/business and clients to look up the reviews of potential household employees to hire, as well as enable users to place bookings/reservations with vendors and leave reviews.
What has been your company’s latest opportunity or opportunities?
Our latest opportunity is joining the Executive Women International organization (EWI). We are excited to be part of this community and to network with other professional women. We believe that this organization will help us to grow and to support one another to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Especially at this moment, we need to collaborate and help each other to overcome this crisis. One of the many reasons we like this organization is because they are actively involved in the community. We think it is essential always to give back and to help others in the community.
How has your company’s experience been with any level of government during this crisis?
Unfortunately, we have not received any government-level nor state-level support. My savings is what is helping us at the moment. We are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic will end soon. Due to its worldwide devastation, our agency has been impacted and so has the in-home childcare industry.
In what ways do you think your business will be different at the end of this year?
Our business model will be drastically different by the end of this year because we will be operating our new platforms that will be nationwide. They are being designed with household employees and those in the childcare industry in mind. Moreover, our business model will change from taking client calls directly and dispatching them to the nannies we work with to a membership-based model. Clients will create an account on Nexus and have access to all its features, including Una. They will be able to place bookings/reservations directly with the nannies listed on the platform. Of course, all the nannies we currently work with will be migrated to Nexus/Una. That said, although Nexus will be available nationwide, the nannies we specifically work with here in Hawaiʻi will have a badge listed on their profile/listing pages that will signify their affiliation with us. Other profiles/listings will not have this badge but will still be accessible to all.
In what ways have you been able to support the broader community beyond your employees and customers?
We have amped up our donation efforts to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities Hawaiʻi, Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi, Aloha Diaper Bank, Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank, Hawaiʻi Foodbank, and just recently, Nanny Relief Fund. Each of these organizations is committed to helping those in need during these trying times.