Let’s jump right in with this December 2017 income report! I’m super excited to share with you guys what’s been going on with me lately.
What’s Up With These Income Reports, Anyway?
Ever since my very first month in business (I made a whopping $87), I’ve been sharing my income and expenses for each month, in order to give other online entrepreneurs a good baseline of what a real business looks like during its start-up phase.
My goal with these posts is to give you guys a super realistic look into what type of income and expenses you can expect from being a “girl next door” type of online entrepreneur who isn’t making 6-7 figures each month (yet!).
Let’s do this!
December 2017 Income Report: An Overview
After the pity party that was November’s income report, I was really hoping that things were going to start to look up in December! And I’m happy to say that we had a pretty good month. While our overall profit wasn’t that great, we successfully reduced our subcontracting expenses, and the additional costs were only because we had to spend so much on client holiday gifts!
I worked really hard this month to reduce my subcontractor expenses as much as possible. It’s such a hard thing to do, because it’s not like I have any more time in my schedule to take on more work. And if I don’t hire stuff out, I can’t take on more clients. Having a team is a little bit of a double-edged sword sometimes.
Specific things that I’m working on to continue to reduce these expenses are:
- To spend as much time delegating as possible. This means being super explicit in my directions, making sure all of the project details are gathered in one place and ready to go, trying to make the overall process super easy for my team, and reducing the amount of questions they have to ask about stuff. This can be difficult because sometimes it’s hard to know how little or how much detail to give about a task, and it varies for different team members (i.e. I have to remember to be really detailed with an intern, but I can be less detailed with a team member who has more experience). And trying to remember all the different pieces of a task is difficult, too. We aren’t that good at taking something from one person on the team and giving it to another person, as it’s not always obvious who needs what when. But we’re working on it! It’s a process. Over time, I hope these little improvements will add up to less unnecessary time spent on tasks.
- Improving my systems and processes in general. One of the biggest things I did in 2017 was launch all of my social media packages. Now that they’re launched, we’re working on creating systems for them that work on autopilot and are really easy for my team to complete on a monthly basis over and over again. Since some of these packages are fairly new, we’re still working on setting them up. So I want to continue to work on improving them.
- Hiring less expensive team members. This is tough for me, because deep down I want to pay everyone oodles of money. But…we still need to make a profit. I have to be able to pay my mortgage. And right now, that’s honestly a really big consideration for me. Now that I’ve quit my part-time job, every single dollar needs to be allocated correctly, so Brent and I have enough to live on. This means that I hired one new intern in December, plus three other less-experienced people to work with us, and I’ve been using Upwork more. I already used to use Upwork all the time for things like video editing and transcriptions, but now I have someone on Upwork to help with all the “busy work” we have. Especially for the newer social media packages, there’s a lot of stuff to do for clients like creating spreadsheets, updating spreadsheets, etc. Having someone on Upwork help with that instead of saddling it on an intern is cheaper for me and better for the intern!
- Focus more on passive income. I recently revamped my membership program, now called The Client Vault, and raised the price to $14/month. It was a great source of passive income for me in 2017, so I’m excited to see it grow in 2018. I’m also working on launching four new passive income products in 2018, to continue to help offset the cost of my subcontractors. The double-edged sword part is that I need my subcontractors’ help to launch these products…but I’m hoping the profits will help offset that cost as well. Here’s hoping! I didn’t launch any new passive income products in 2017, so I’m excited to see if a renewed focus on that can help my business get to where I want it to be.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
- I launched my Facebook Page package — Basic management starts at $150 per month!
- Revamped my membership program — The VA Vault is now The Client Vault and the price increased from $9/month to $14/month. I’m adding monthly guest experts to the program and we also switched over to ClickFunnels from Teachable.
- Hired four new team members — I’m officially maxed out on my Asana account at a total of 15 people on my team! A few of my previous interns left the nest to continue growing their businesses on their own (happy but sad!), so I hired one new intern as a replacement, and 3 additional people, including a back-up copywriter, a back-up graphic designer, and an assistant just for Brent!
Business Goal Setting
My Goals For December 2017: Success or Failure?
- Launch my webinar — FAILURE. So close! It’s almost completely done except for three little tiny things. It should launch mid-January!
- Keep expenses at less than 40% of revenue (let’s be a little more realistic this time) — FAILURE. I don’t even want to talk about it.
- Schedule out all blog posts for the first quarter of 2018 — FAILURE. I’m still catching up on December’s! Ugh.
- Finish my outline for February’s new free course — SUCCESS! Well at least I did one thing right this month haha.
My Goals for January 2018 — Let’s Do This!
- Launch my webinar.
- Make at least $3,500 in profit (our bare minimum to keep the lights on)
- Finish my outline for March’s new free course.
December 2017 Expenses
**Annual expenses not included (such as Tailwind* and hosting costs*).
- Deposit Photos* = $29.00
- Turquoise & Palm Stock Photos = $19.00
- ClickFunnels* = $97.00
- Active Campaign* = $70.00
- Teachable* = $39.00
- Adobe Creative Cloud = $21.39
- BoardBooster* = $10.00
- PeopleMap* = $35.47
- Buffer = $10.00
- Zapier = $20.00
- Quickbooks = $10.00
- PennyPipe = $9.95
- Client + Team Gifts = $335.25
- New Desks = $384.47
- Ads & Marketing = $0.00
- Referral Payouts = $370.80 (sign up to be a partner!)
- Transaction Fees = $274.88
- Team Member Payments = $4,690.48
Total Expenses = $6,901.95
December 2017 Income Report
- Affiliate & JV Sales = $278.40
- Passive Income Products + Coaching = $592.19
- Client Work = $8,821.50
Total Income = $9,692.09
Total Net Profit = $2,790.14
December 2017 Income Report: All the Stats & Analytics!
- Number of blog posts = 4
- Monthly blog page views = 7,789
- Email list subscribers = 7,177
- Facebook page followers = 885
- Grow Like Woah group members = 2,177
- Instagram followers = 4,748
- Twitter followers = 6,750
- Pinterest followers = 5,985
- YouTube subscribers = 70
Final Notes on My December 2017 Income Report:
Honestly, I’m kind of over being upset about my income. I’m doing the best I can, and hopefully we’ll be able to pay our bills. That’s kind of my mindset right now.
The only thing I don’t like is that my profit margin is super embarrassing. But, again, it’s something I’m working on. I realize it’s a problem, and I truly believe that if I continue to make changes, it will improve.
Right now, I’m focusing ahead to 2018 and I’m really excited to see where it takes me.