Karla Lemmon, App Creator, Little Peanut on the Go

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When Karla Lemmon couldn’t find an easy way to combine packing lists with childcare for her on-the-go lifestyle, she built her own app.  With the Little Peanut on the Go, parents can create packing lists and to-do lists, build care schedules to share with caregivers, and connect with their children with updates and photos while they’re away.

AHA Moment:

When I was single, I traveled often, and it was easy. After I got married, we still traveled often, and it was still easy. Then we had a baby and suddenly, travel was difficult. Actually going anywhere was difficult.

The baby had so much stuff that had to be brought along, no matter where we went. My life became a pile of lists. Lots and lots of lists! I made a packing list every time we went somewhere. I was constantly writing down information for babysitters. When we left our son with my parents for a few days I’d have to make a packing list plus tell them how to take care of him. List after list after list.

Eventually I started using a smart phone and mobile apps. I found an app for nearly everything I needed to do on my phone.

What I couldn’t find, though, was an app that helped me prepare for outings or trips by combining a packing list with a care schedule. So I asked my friends, but none of them knew of any such app, either.

They thought an app was a great idea since they were all making lists, too – by hand, on the computer – some even made spreadsheets for Grandma and Grandpa.

So why not build an app?

Product:

Little Peanut on the Go is a personal assistant mobile app used by parents for occasions when they or their children are away from home. Parents can create packing lists and to-do lists, build care schedules to share with caregivers, and connect with their children with updates and photos while they’re away.

The greatest aspect of the app is its flexibility since you can use it for a simple schedule for a sitter, a quick packing list for daycare, a whole week with grandparents, or communication with your full time nanny. It’s an easy way to simplify your on-the-go life, plus you will be assured that your children are well cared for. The app is available for both iOS and Android!

Target Audience + How to Reach them:

The primary target is moms with secondary targets of dads, grandparents, and caregivers. I’m reaching them by social media and have started working on traditional media reach as well. I exhibited at my first two day moms expo as well this past weekend.

Greatest Success:

It’s a tie. Last Fall I entered a mobile app competition. I was one of 8 finalists (and the only woman) out of a field of 20 applicants.

The other finalists were quite well known in the IT community and their apps were far more mature than mine. The conference audience of several hundred voted for the most viable app, and Little Peanut on the Go won the competition! And for the tie, taking my app from idea to launch in just one year!

Biggest Challenge:

My biggest challenge is that I’m doing this alone without a business partner to rely on.

Overcoming the Challenge:

I overcome this challenge on a daily basis by reaching out to my network for support, whether it’s bouncing ideas off of them, asking for recommendations for contractors or vendors, or just taking a moment to get together to socialize and take a break.

When you imagine success, what does it look like?

I have plans for two additional apps in different market segments and would like to launch those within the next two years. Near term success would be a goal of 10,000 app downloads. Long term success could potentially be acquisition.

What steps are you taking to achieve your goals?

I’m working on the design of my next app, but will need funding to support development as well as continue marketing efforts. As a result, I’ve launched a crowd funding campaign on Plum Alley, a crowd funding platform for female entrepreneurs and business owners.

What PR + Marketing activities have you done and what were the results?

I tweet several times a day and I’m starting to gain traction and new followers. I create promotional posts for my Facebook page several times a week and occasionally pay for ads or boosted posts.

I’ve started reaching out to local media and have secured a feature article in my city’s magazine, as well as a local TV news interview.

I exhibited at a moms expo, but due to the fantastic weather that weekend, overall attendance was much lower than expected but I did connect with several local bloggers and mom newsletter editors. I’m starting to contact national mom and travel bloggers as well.

As an entrepreneur, how do you decide what to do yourself and what to hire someone to do?

These decisions are a combination of time, money, and outcome. If I can produce something with decent quality without spending too much time on it, I will do it myself. If I know that my end result won’t be to my standards, then I will consider the cost to outsource it and whether it is necessary to pursue.

How do you manage family and business?

I attempt to keep the two separate, but there are times where it’s just not possible. I try very hard to keep family time as technology free as possible so I can concentrate on what’s most important – family.

What advice do you have to fellow mom entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea you’re passionate about, just keep working at it and go for it! You don’t want to have regrets later in life for not making the attempt.

What have you learned about yourself being an entrepreneur?

I’m stronger than I thought I was and that I’ve gained self-confidence in the last year.

If you could wave a magic wand and be given anything to help your business right now, what would it be?

$25,000 and direct connections to travel and mom bloggers.

What is your favorite go-to resource, tool, book, app and why?

Google, as it has helped me research so many things.  Lately I’ve been referring to The Art of Social Media for tips on how to best utilize social media channels.  Canva, Buffer, and TweetDeck have all been very helpful as well from the social media perspective.

What is your favorite indulgence?

Chocolate!

How to Support Little Peanut on the Go:

If you’d like to support Karla in her effort to make parents lives’ easier, you can check out her crowd funding campaign HERE.

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