Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in child care, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Chang co-founder and CEO of WeeCare, from Los Angeles, USA.
Tell us all about your business...
WeeCare is a tech-powered early childcare marketplace for families, providers, organizations, and communities. We supply providers with tools to help them operate more efficiently, become financially sound, reduce stress, and grow their businesses. WeeCare’s marketplace provides flexible care options to provide families the convenience they need to balance work and family.
WeeCare offers employers a wide range of corporate partnership and benefit programs that increase retention and recruitment, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, boost productivity, and improve wellness. We work with communities to fill needs for more childcare supplies, giving qualified teachers and caregivers the opportunity to start and successfully run their own childcare businesses.
Our customers are families, providers, and employers utilizing WeeCare’s Childcare Benefits program. I’m very proud to say that WeeCare has even recently become the largest childcare network in the United States!
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
I’ve always been passionate about childcare. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a dual degree in Psychology, with focuses on Early Childhood Development and Economics. When I was pregnant with my first child, I started touring childcare options only to discover that all spots were full with long waitlists and exorbitant costs. I couldn’t understand why there were so few spots available and so many families searching for childcare. Wanting to learn more and figure out this problem, I decided to dive into the childcare space and become an investor and owner of my preschool. I applied my background in finance and business to streamline the school’s operations and gained a handle on the various supply and demand issues that were the source of ongoing challenges in childcare.
I co-founded WeeCare in 2017 to empower educators and childcare directors to start and efficiently operate a licensed home childcare business. We eliminate parents' stress of finding quality care by matching them with the best childcare environment for their kids. I am motivated every day to help solve the childcare crisis for more families and proud to support women and minority-owned small businesses in the process.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the ability to affect change — when a mama can go back to work. After all, she found childcare she loves for her newborn with WeeCare when a provider can keep their small business open due to our support, or an organization can build a happier workforce because they offer WeeCare Childcare Benefits, these are the wins that keep me going.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the daily ups and downs that come along with it. As a startup founder, the concept that you’re building the parachute as you’re jumping off the cliff is quite real. There is the risk of not knowing what the next day is going to bring, which can be challenging for any business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just do it — there are always doubts and questions (“What if I do this or that?” “What if it doesn’t work out?”), so we need to ignore the “what ifs” and just go for it.
- Understand that it’s going to put a lot of pressure on your family and those around you. You have to be okay with that and be prepared to deal with those pressures.
- Be willing to pivot if it doesn’t work out. Stay nimble and realize that a big pivot may be required at some point if the plan doesn’t go as expected.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
One thing I could do repeatedly to help grow our business is to increase our brand awareness opportunities. The more people that know what we’re doing, the more customers we can help.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
Something I’ve put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance is instituting mandatory date nights, which means there is no skipping! :) I’ve found that you must block off time to spend with family, as well as block off time that is specifically for work. These measures have allowed me to keep a healthy work/life balance, even with a very busy schedule.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yes, one other thought I’d like to share is that I want to encourage others to push themselves and take the leap if and when they can. We are responsible for so much of the innovation going on right now, it’s a very exciting time to share new ideas and solve complex problems that have been overlooked for too long. In our case, WeeCare is set on solving the childcare crisis and lately, we have seen very encouraging results by involving employers in the childcare equation. When companies and organizations provide childcare benefits to their employees, we can bridge the gaps in childcare access that are so vital for working families across the country.
Where can people find you?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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