Let’s be clear, babies need a lot of stuff and it’s so easy to get carried away especially when there’s two of them! From lugging gear through crowded airports or just figuring out what big ticket items are actually worth it (strollers can cost upwards of AED5,000!) Hire4baby is a concept that solves both scenarios by allowing you to rent everything you’d need for a child, perfect for visiting relatives or friends with kids or if you’re looking to try out a product before you part with your money. I used the service to help figure out what brand of stroller would work best for our family and found the website comprehensive, ordering and delivery seamless and a really great experience with the whole team. Have a read of how Hire4baby came about and the powerful woman driving the business’ growth in the last two years!
Business Title and Company Name
I am the Founder and ‘Momager’ of Hire4Baby.com
What year did the business start?
2015. We started with 20-30 products available for rent, and now have a warehouse housing more than 300.
Why did you start the business?
The actual reason is that, as a parent, I use this kind of this service all around the world. You can rent baby and toddler gear in most major cities. I’ve done it from Bali to London, and considering that the UAE is one of the main contenders as a global tourist hub, it was only a matter of time before this kind of service was required here. Having said that, I knew nothing about what a parent or child requires until I became one! My background is in finance and prior to having my children (Mikah, 3 and Lua, 14 months) I was an equities trader. My experience from the corporate world has been invaluable in building the business, as has my journey as mother of two very active children!
Who is your target market and why are they so important to reach?
We at Hire4Baby.com really consider ourselves an ancillary service to UAE tourism, and the intention was always to provide convenience for parents visiting the country. But we have definitely seen our market expand throughout our two-year lifespan and have adapted the business to suit. A large number of our customers are UAE residents who use Hire4Baby.com to prepare their own homes and holiday lets for little visitors, for example. We also rent hospital grade breast pumps, which are hugely expensive and often scarce in this region, as well as wheelchairs, and we offer our cleaning and sanitising service for outside items. Our customers are mainly parents of children who are newborn through to age five, as this is the age group that needs the largest travel kit! We send orders to hotel guests every day, but we are seeing more and more clients wanting a long list of items to build their own ‘home from home’ in rented apartments and villas this year. And this only goes to show how pivotal our service can be in creating happier, less stressful, family holidays in the UAE.
Share 3 of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt so far in business.
- The customer is number one.
Our biggest focus at Hire4Baby.com is to ensure the best outcome for our customers. Our products are pretty standardised, but what sets us apart from our competitors, both locally and globally, is the level of service we can provide. Parents visiting the UAE are usually unsure and uncomfortable subscribing to a service for the first time, especially where the hygiene and safety of their children is involved. We try to comfort and assure them by treating their children exactly as we would our own. We deep clean and sanitise every piece of equipment, using trusted eco and baby-friendly products, and have extensive safety checks in place to ensure a happy parent!
- Invest in your employees and establish a sense of ownership.
As part of the service industry, my business wouldn’t survive if it weren’t for my employees. They are an integral part of ensuring that parents remain satisfied with our offering.
- Don’t take your eye off the ball.
A wise person once told me that starting a business is nothing more than a series of problems that have to be solved, and that, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. We have encountered our fair share of issues, roadblocks and struggles, but we persevere – and that’s what it’s all about.
Who do you admire or look up to in business?
I hate to sound cliché, but it would have to be my mother. Other than always being by my side and supporting me, I now understand the value raising two children without any family or help, while also holding down several jobs to make ends meet. She has taught me the value of commitment, diligence and perseverance and I look forward to instilling those values in my own children and into the business.
What is your one piece of advice to those looking to start a business in your same industry?
Sometimes I feel that when starting a business, ignorance is bliss. If I were aware of all the struggles I would face launching a business, I may not have gone through with it! However, on a serious note, it is extremely important to perform the requisite research before taking the plunge. Information and strategy are hugely underrated in business, and those that have them both on their side, succeed much more frequently.
What is a quote you live by?
There is nothing that I necessarily live by, but I do love a quote by Walt Disney that seems to fit both my business and my life quite aptly in this moment in time, and that is:
“My business is making people, especially children, happy.”
What’s next? Share your plans for the business in the future.
There is tremendous scope for growth for Hire4Baby.com. We see the business more closely aligned with the region’s most established airlines and hotel groups, and are taking steps to form those partnerships. The main pillar of the business will always remain the same, however, and that is to offer convenience to all parents visiting the UAE, while supporting the tourism industry.
Visit Hire4Baby.com for more information.