Scaling Your Passion Into Profit With Carson Wagner

Carson Wagner 10:19

No way. We tried a few different ones. And then we fell across an engine hire who’s been fantastic. The CEO actually flew out and helped us when we had a large event and needed some help with the software. And it’s fantastic. We reach out to them and just say, hey, here’s what’s needed. And they just kind of build as we go. And it’s been really cool to be with kind of a startup in that sense to where they’re still building their software to where we kind of have a say, of, you know, what’s needed or what we’d prefer, and they make it happen.

John Corcoran 10:52

That’s always a great relationship. As long as I stay in business, it’s mutually kind of supportive of one another. And then, you know, a lot of companies experience a ton of growth with COVID, maybe not right away, but in the latter half of 2020 or 2021. And then a crash later did that happen for you?

Carson Wagner 11:10

Yeah, um, I, I wouldn’t say so. I mean, our numbers, we’ve been growing at least 20%, since I opened each year in revenue. So I would not say so. I think that the needs of childcare have definitely changed. Within the four years, I built my company. Now there’s large corporations such as Tesla, or Starbucks, that partner with third parties to provide child care as an incentive for when their kids are sick. Or maybe it’s Memorial Day and their daycare is not open. And then we partner with those third parties to offer that backup care. And I didn’t know much about that. 

When I first started. Maybe I just wasn’t educated within that field. But yeah, it’s definitely ever changing. I mean, we do nannies in casinos, that families want to go downstairs and you know, have fun, we’ll send a nanny to make sure their kids are well taken care for in the hotel, we do large event, corporate care, we’re going down to Florida, to provide a kid’s camp in June. I mean, there’s just so many different like hands, we can put ourselves like so many different pots, we can put our hands in, within childcare, which I definitely did not envision when I first started, I just thought hey nannies babysitters in home care, but it is so much greater than that.

John Corcoran 12:31

And it diversifies the business and kind of minimizes your risk as a business because you have these kinds of larger customers that might provide, you know, might account for 10% of revenue 15-20% of the revenue. 

Carson Wagner 12:44

Most definitely, most definitely event care. We just started that last year. That is we have the greatest margin within adventcare. I mean, it’s anywhere from 60 to 80%. It’s fantastic. Um, yeah, we love event care, the backup care is fantastic for pet sitting. The housekeeping, like just diversifying, like you said is definitely something I work on and then also opening our new location, which we did last year for Las Vegas. 

John Corcoran 13:16

That was definitely a shock to me just talking about that, because that’s not so easy. And I forget exactly how far it is from Reno to Las Vegas, let’s call it three hours, four hours, something like that, like that, that can be hard to open something, something so far away. Yeah, it’s like a seven hour drive.

Carson Wagner 13:31

It’s pretty far and I didn’t know anything about Las Vegas. I’ve lived in Reno for such a long time. I just feel like I’ve really learned this market well as a consumer from a consumer standpoint, and opening in such a different city that’s known for such different things than Reno is on a bigger scale. I found a lot of different setbacks on managing the location from our headquarters is here in Reno, all my office staff is here, managing a location completely off site was definitely something that took getting used to because I’m a very hands on entrepreneur and not being able to be as hands on out there was a very big shift. But we’ve definitely been able to work through that. And we’d love the outcome. 

John Corcoran 14:14

Did you work in a crate settle on a rhythm of some sort or reporting process? Like how do you manage it from afar? Yeah, we

Carson Wagner 14:23

basically just have an engine hire a different setting to just manage either Reno or Las Vegas, they’re just separate within the portal. And when a booking request comes in, we just staff it with a Reno or a Vegas nanny, depending on you know what location they’re needing. And it’s, it’s now that we’re in a good rhythm. And we’ve kind of learned how to mark it out there. And you know, how to be active within the community even from afar. That has definitely been helpful. Google is our number one friend, everyone finds us from Google. And the more we put into Google, the higher the results we receive, quite frankly.

John Corcoran 14:59

And then talk a little bit about getting yourself out of the business, especially as the business has grown. Like I know you and I talked about, like, we were hanging out in person and you received a call, it was about let me see 11 o’clock at night, I think. And I was giving you a bit of a hard time for that. But you’ve recently replaced yourself on that. So that’s awesome. But talking about, like, kind of the challenges of doing that replacing yourself?

Carson Wagner 15:26

Oh, yeah, no, most definitely. I mean, just like, even when I first started the company, and just placing my trust in someone knowing that they might not love and cherish the business as much as I do, which is an unrealistic expectation for me to ask, I think that was really hard for me, because I knew what pride I took in my company and the customer and, you know, employee experience that I wanted. And I didn’t really know what company culture was at that time. And I feel like since I’ve built that, we just make sure that it checks the boxes of what we look for as our culture. And if it doesn’t match it, it’s not for us, it’s nothing personal. It’s just not for us. 

And so I think since we really started instilling company culture, which AEO actually kind of brought to my attention, that was a thing. It has been absolutely fantastic. And when I first had started at hiring someone, and just learning like, uh, you know, I do all of this. Now, here’s all the things I do, what do you want to do? And that’s kind of just how I started making positions. I’m like, What do you thrive in? Are you really great at marketing? Are you really great at billing? Are you fantastic with customers? What is it, and then just really having them excel in that role. And that’s how I’ve created the three full time positions we have in the office here today. 

And then, like you said, when we were out, going to a little Kansas venture together, yeah, answering the phone are our services 24/7, our clients know that they can contact us anytime that they need us, that’s really important that they have that support at all times. And so we obviously do not have someone in the office, outside of the typical nine to five, Monday through Friday. So I was the one taking all of the calls at 11pm 5am weekends, it’s me. And that definitely caused a burnout factor for myself, because I felt like I could just never be fully present in my personal relationships. And that was really, really challenging. So on Monday, I just hired a fantastic woman who is doing our after a horse and I am so forever grateful. And I’m excited to see the stress that it takes off my plate, because I just know it’s gonna take off a lot. 

John Corcoran 17:37

That is great. Yeah, it’s funny, those little things make such a big difference for you know, your own personal satisfaction. You also recently opened a housekeeping location for a different housekeeping service, which is different from childcare. So talk a little about that.

Carson Wagner 17:55

Yeah, so my little sister, she’s 21. She’s been working for me for about a year and some change. Now, she was really into just the housekeeping side of things. We constantly get clients asking us for referrals. So we thought we might as well just send them our way and provide the service that’s needed. And it’s been a huge difference. With nannies, for example, we see the nannies go, they don’t need any supplies, they don’t need vacuums, they don’t need all of these different things. And so I’ve just never had to look at the overhead outside of our payroll and admin costs. 

And so actually looking at okay, how much cymbal break are we using per house? How many vacuums are we needing to buy a week? Like, how does that break into our margin? What does that look like? That has been such a vastly different experience for me? i It’s definitely a challenge and it was in the beginning and I I think like just the quoting and everything is so different because we quote per hour for nannies we quote per job for housekeeping, you never know.

John Corcoran 19:03

How big it is, how messy it is, all that kind of stuff. 

Carson Wagner 19:05

Yeah, a lot different, much, much different. But we’re just trialing an error. That’s my whole life trial and error and it will become a thing and we’ll figure it out at some point. 

John Corcoran 19:18

Do you see you going into any other related or maybe not related areas? 

Carson Wagner 19:26

Yeah, so my goal is definitely to either franchise or just own and put the right people in place and delegate into all 50 states. I would love to just be in every single, you know, city and state possible that really needs our care. What’s really special about us is for Special Needs families. We are state funded through respite and Palko which are just these funds that families can utilize to where some don’t even have to pay out a cost for service which that’s my passion and that’s what really warms my heart and fills my cup. And I would just love For that to be the case in every state because I know it’s such a needed resource.

John Corcoran 20:05

Yeah, for sure. What are you most excited about as we’re recording this in the middle of 2024. You’ve got the housekeeping service, you’ve got the Las Vegas location, like as you look at the second half a year, what are you most excited about?

Carson Wagner 20:22

Hmm, I’m most excited about just building a community and more support systems that help us flourish like AEO has been fantastic for me. And just expanding and seeing what cities and states we want to get into, and just getting in after it. And you know, putting her all into it.

John Corcoran 20:40

That’s great. And I want to wrap up with my gratitude question. So I’m a big fan of gratitude, especially expressing gratitude to those who’ve helped you along the way. I know there is Meghan, who has been a mentor to you, maybe some others that you would acknowledge as well. But who would you want to recognize?

Carson Wagner 20:57

Yeah, I definitely would want to recognize Megan, she was a mentor for me. When I first started my business about a year in, she actually found out about my agency and flew down here and helped me re brand or branding was rough. When I first started, I made the logo and I am not artistic.

John Corcoran 21:14

Suppose the first brand was still a lifetime of love or a lifetime of love. 

Carson Wagner 21:17

But it was like a blob of blue in the background and cursive. And it just looked horrendous. So she helped us with that with our website, just everything contracts, like legality. And she’s just been someone I always know if I have questions regarding the industry. She’s so knowledgeable that I can call her. She really helps me to not feel alone. And I think that was a huge awakening for me, because I felt really alone in my business when I first started. And so having someone that was supportive and was 20 years ahead of me in the game just was a huge eye opener, eye opener for me, and I’m still in contact with her to this day. She’s a dear friend of mine, and I’m forever grateful for her support.

John Corcoran 21:58

How did you connect with her? Like, how did that come about? 

Carson Wagner 22:02

Yeah, she was actually mentoring another agency, and they were looking for someone to provide nanny care and Tahoe and so she found me online and called me and we got to talking and I was like, Listen, you sound like you know what you’re talking about? I need help. So she flew down here from North Carolina about a week later and stayed at my house with me and worked 14 hour days with me and just completely turned things around. So yeah, she’s a gem. I am so appreciative of her.

John Corcoran 22:30

And the logo is great. Now your website looks super slick. So a It’s got a cute little dragonfly flying around it there so people have to go check that out. And where can people go to Carson to learn more about you and connect with you. Learn more about the business. 

Carson Wagner 22:50

Yeah, We’re also on Facebook at Lifetime of Love Nannies and Instagram. Excellent. Carson. Thanks so much. Yeah. Thanks so much, John.

Outro 23:05

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