As 2021 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting back on all the ups, downs and all-around from the last two years. 2020 hit Hello Sitter hard, just like it did to many other small businesses across the globe. Not many of you know this, but we almost shut down in September 2020! The fear and uncertainty from that time was devastating. I had insomnia for weeks trying to figure out a way to keep us going…
Luckily, we were able to secure an SBA loan which lifted us out of the mud and put us back on track to some kind of normalcy. 2021 was no picnic either! Just when things would start to feel stable, the pandemic would rev back up to a swell of new or worsening Covid cases. Not knowing what to expect anymore has all of us on edge, and some of us are still feeling depleted. We’re all just taking it day by day, moment by moment.
I am so thankful for all of you, all of our families who continue to support and use our platform, our amazing sitters, our hardworking app development staff…I’ve been wanting to give back to all of you for believing in us for so long, so we cooked up a few awesome little surprises for 2022 to help make your experience easier – something we could all use a little of these days! Here’s what’s coming up first:
- Pre-Tipping – Many of you have asked how you can offer more money to our sitters and we think we found the best way! You’ll soon be able to add a ‘pre-tip’ to show your appreciation – or to let your sitter know you’ve got them covered, especially if the job is small. How it works: just add the amount when submitting your request, and the sitter will see the adjusted amount in the details. There is a small transactional fee based on the amount you add to cover the credit card processing fee. Hello Sitter will not be charging clients or sitters for this extra feature.
- Transportation Coverage – We have had many sitters decline requests simply because getting back home on the subway past 11 pm can be very challenging – yet we have parents who are ready to help! This new option will allow you to send word during the booking request process that you’d like to contribute to your sitter’s safe travels up to an amount of your choosing. This amount won’t be added to the final cost shown when requesting the sitter but the sitter will be able to see the amount they will be reimbursed for if needed. You can either tell them to add the expense to their invoice for reimbursement when they get home, directly provide a rideshare or hand them cash on their way out!
- Directions – If you don’t live in a walking or metro-heavy city like our NYC fam, most of our sitters are driving to and from jobs. As a customer, maybe you are staying at a hotel in a metropolitan area; maybe you live somewhere with scarce parking; perhaps there’s a local event happening and your typical roads are blocked – either way, you will soon be able to let your sitter know when submitting a request. On their end, the sitter will be able to see your instructions, and once confirmed will ask for your directions on where to park or how to get to the job safely. For all of our New Orleans families – you will now be able to tell your sitter if you are in the Jazz Fest area or have a special parking area in the French Quarter!
Thank you again for all of your patience and loyalty to Hello Sitter over the years. I have learned so much as the owner of this company and I will always strive to do better to bring our families and our sitters the best experience possible. Regardless of the ups and downs behind and ahead of us in this post-pandemic era, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world, and that’s thanks to YOU. I have received so many emails from our families lately who have wanted to share that their lives were completely changed since finding Hello Sitter, or expressing how much they love our sitters!
…Okay, one last time – thank you, thank you, thank you for your love and support!
If there is anything that I can do to help you have a better experience or if you’d like to offer any suggestions or tips, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We wouldn’t still be here today if it wasn’t for you. I and the rest of the Hello Sitter team are looking forward to hearing from you.