MyKidds leisure portal: leisure tips for families
I am Silke Klingelhöfer (33), the founder and managing director of MyKidds. After my professional experience in the editorial department of specialist publishers and the marketing of a display distributor, I became self-employed in 2015 and founded my own company on parental leave.
MyKidds is a leisure portal for all who are looking for proven leisure activities and excursions for families. MyKidds should be more than just a database right from the start, so that parents in particular can find child-friendly offers quickly and easily. With MyKidds all entries are parent examined, i.e. the empiric reports are authentic and written from parents view. I attach great importance to important points such as child safety, age-appropriate offers but also the fun factor in order to provide parents with a reliable guide.
How did the idea for MyKidds come about? I currently live with my family in Hessen. But in my heart I am a real “Münchener Kindl”. Due to our move from Bavaria to Hesse, I suddenly had the problem “Where to put my children in my spare time”. I had to ask around laboriously and try the Internet in tedious searches. In the end I knew only after trying it out whether an excursion destination was really recommendable for me and my family. One or the other “failure” was unfortunately already there. I was of the opinion that this would be avoidable. For example with a Germany-wide leisure portal especially for families.
Why did you decide to found a company? I founded it primarily with the incentive to help parents through my offer, which I missed and still miss as a mother. In addition, I was on parental leave and had the opportunity to build something up at the same time.
From the idea to the start. What have been the biggest challenges so far and how have you financed yourself? More than 4 years have passed between the idea and the launch of my website in January. It was a long process and especially during parental leave also a question of priority setting. Since the thought of my own leisure portal for parents, especially with authentic and helpful reviews, did not let me go and accompanied me over all the years, I have always worked on the idea. The biggest challenge was and still is the financing, because so far I do without outside funds and see myself as a solo preneur. This means that I am responsible for everything from conception and editing to marketing. However, when it comes to the demanding, technical programming of the website, I reach my limits and have to fall back on programmers who support me.
Who is the target group of MyKidds?MyKidds is aimed at expectant parents and parents with children up to 16 years of age, or other adults such as grandparents, godparents, etc. who spend their free time with children.
What can you find on MyKidds? On the website www.mykidds.com you can currently find over 200 excursion destinations all over Germany with the special feature that they have been tested and evaluated on site by parents. New entries are added almost every day and each of them contains important basic information such as address, opening hours and website, but above all a personal report from the parents’ point of view: Are there changing facilities and stroller-friendly routes? What is the gastronomic offer like? And what is the best age for the children?
How do you choose your destinations? Are they tested by you? First of all, the destinations are tested personally by me. This can also be recognized by a “Parents tested” button, which marks these articles. In addition, I invite other parents to send me their personal leisure favorites, which I then publish with the submitted experience report.
How’s the feedback? Since the website was launched at the beginning of the year, I’ve received a lot of feedback, e.g. in the form of submissions from popular leisure destinations of other parents. In addition, the website is currently well visited by 1,000 to 1,500 visitors per month – and that’s where the marketing measures are just starting. I explain this with the need of the parents to find reliable experience reports after a move, on vacation or in their usual environment.
MyKidds, where are we going? Where do you see yourself in five years? My 5-year plan is for MyKidds to evolve into an interactive community. I’m already working on the technical development of the portal to make it easier for visitors to navigate and use. For example, a radius search is planned, which will make it easy to search for offers in a certain environment. An additional goal is the implementation of a small team to support ad management and “local scouts”, who will work with me to test offers against our criteria.
Finally: What 3 tips would you give to prospective founders? I recommend that future founders first sketch their idea very well. A detailed business plan helped me. During this process, questions often arise about which you have not thought deeply about before, even if you thought you had already planned very well.
In addition, I advise anyone who wants to start a business to prepare themselves so that some of the previously so clearly set goals and perfectly planned deadlines may not be achieved as planned. In this case, please do not despair: in my experience, this is the rule. So don’t give up and question the whole project, but rather look for alternatives and other implementation possibilities!
My last but no less important advice is that every founder should prepare himself or herself so that he or she will most likely reach a point where the overall implementation is doubted. Then one has to ask oneself quite clearly: Do I want to go this way with all the consequences? If you continue to be convinced of your idea and the added value for others and are still willing to put all your efforts into it, then you have a good chance of being successful.
Further information can be found here
We would like to thank Silke Klingelhöfer for the interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial staff and the publisher.
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.