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Small Biz Matters

Welcome to Small Biz Matters, where IBJ discusses issues of interest to small-business owners and entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Associate Editor Andrea Davis.

Small Business

What's New: Ready the Nest

May 30, 2012
KEYWORDS Small Business

Welcome to What’s New Wednesday, where we profile local startups—and the entrepreneurs behind them. This week meet Becky Drummy, a registered nurse who established Ready the Nest LLC in January.

Type of business: Maternity/baby concierge service

Location: Indianapolis

Phone: 210-2992

E-mail: becky@readythenest.net

Website: readythenest.net

Founded: January 2012

Owner: Becky Drummy

Owner’s background: Drummy, 32, is a registered nurse who has worked in the newborn intensive care unit at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital since 2007. She also teaches some of the hospital’s classes for expectant parents.

Becky Drummy, Ready the NestBecky Drummy has always loved babies. (Provided photo)

Although she studied public relations at Butler University, after graduation Drummy took a job as a live-in nanny in a New York City suburb—rekindling her childhood love of care giving. (At 8, she and her twin brother recorded a home video they called “Baby TV” to teach others how to care for infants.)

So when she returned after a year in New York, Drummy enrolled in nursing school at Indiana State University and set her sights on a career tending to babies and their families.

Why started business: Teaching St. Vincent’s newborn care classes helped Drummy realize that not everyone is a natural when it comes to babies. And some parents need more guidance than they can get in a three-hour group lesson.

“I started thinking about how nice it would be to offer private classes, where parents could ask whatever questions they have,” she said.

Ready the Nest evolved from there. Drummy compares her services to those of a wedding planner. In addition to classes, she guides parents-to-be through the laborious process of, well, readying their nest for their new arrivals—everything from nursery design and organization to car seat installation.

She also is available to help after the big day, assisting with the first bath, providing breastfeeding support and offering her expertise on topics like soothing the baby and setting a routine.

Competitive advantage: Drummy’s day job ensures that she stays up-to-date on the latest infant-safety guidelines, something she thinks sets her service apart from a handful of local competitors.

“Everything’s always changing,” she said, referring to expert recommendations on topics such as sleeping arrangements and car-seat selections. “There will always be a need for someone to sort through it all.”

Startup cost: less than $1,000

Funding source: Personal savings

Potential problem and contingency plan: Ready the Nest isn’t blazing a trail in the maternity concierge business, but such services aren’t as common in Indianapolis as in bigger cities. So Drummy has to work harder to spread the word.

She is drawing on her PR training to do that, preparing flyers to distribute at doctors’ offices, for example. Response has been positive so far.

“I’m happy with where things are going now,” Drummy said.

Ready the Nest offers a range of standard packages and an array of custom services, with prices averaging about $50 an hour—about the same as local wedding planners, she said.

Most clients have been expectant parents, with a few new grandparents taking “refresher” courses, but Drummy also hopes to work with adoptive parents adding to their families.

First-year goal: Drummy is content to let her business grow slowly as she continues to work three 12-hour shifts each week at the hospital. Eventually, she’d love to make enough money to hire professionals to help with tasks like Web design and marketing.

“The business part isn’t who I am, it’s what I have to do,” she said.

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