Plan My Kids is a digital service to connect busy parents with providers of enrichment programs to find activities for their children outside of school. Parents are busy managing their careers, households, and families—and sometimes they don’t have time to find unique programs that fit the specific needs of their children. They want to provide the best experiences for their kids, but it’s hard to see what’s available and even harder to plan calendars and carpools. Information about activities for children is fragmented across communities and all over the internet.
Plan My Kids is a web app that works like a travel agent to provide parents with personalized services to facilitate the right enrichment programs for their kids.
Founder David Watkins has already seen success with his app locally. Providers and parents in the Raleigh-Durham market already use Plan My Kids to book great summer camp experiences for kids. But today, Watkins is a team of one, running a young company with big goals to become a nation-wide marketplace that facilitates enrichment programs for kids all over the country.
“We’ve had a lot of early success, but my goal is to scale this resource and make it available for more and more parents,” said Watkins. “We want to grow geographically, as well as growing the inventory in our marketplace.”
As is the case with most startup founders and small business owners, Watkins wears a number of hats. He leads the direction of the product, the growth strategy, and the financials—which are growing complicated as he plans to scale up.
“My Background was in software development, product management, and product marketing,” said Watkins. “I did not have experience as a CPA or controller, but it’s up to me to make this work for now.”
That lack of financial management background makes it difficult to track expenses, format financial reports, project cash flow, and forecast a budget—all of which are critical elements of scaling the business.
“I spent way too much time in spreadsheets,” said Watkins. “I needed a way to categorize my expenses, and also to find outliers that I wouldn’t know to look for.”
He also knows that in order to build faster, he’ll need financing.
“As a startup founder, I know we’ll need capital,” said Watkins. “But in order to fundraise, I need to show a clear understanding of cash flow and financial management, which is really hard to do in spreadsheets and accounting software.”
When Watkins heard about Viably, he thought it might fill some of the gaps he had in expense tracking and cash projections.
“I saw a tool that could potentially take spreadsheets out of my life,” said Watkins. “Viably can give me all of my categorized expenses in real-time.”
Like many small business owners, Watkins’ needed a way to overcome his lack of accounting experience.
“Tracking and analyzing financial data is time-consuming, which is why larger businesses have finance teams,” said Watkins. “But smaller businesses need a way to extract that data too, and Viably can give it to you instantly.”
Viably’s financial insights make it easier for Watkins to plan, and it also helps him prepare to raise capital.
“Now, I have a quick way to track my expenses and my income in real-time,” said Watkins. “It cuts reporting down into minutes instead of hours or days, and I can get back to building Plan My Kids.”
Watkins already knows that Plan My Kids solves a real problem for parents, and it puts programs in front of more potential customers than traditional word-of-mouth marketing.
“I think we have a solution that works for both sides, and now we need to scale it,” said Watkins. “Now I’m in a better position to do so. As I need additional capital, Viably provides the financial data I’ll need for investors.”