I admit that I have been working too much recently and so I've not had the time or indeed motivation to check my results and do my usual monthly report. Since January, I feel like I have been working solidly and I'm finally starting to step back and enjoy a decent work / life balance again. Good news for me as it means I can spend more time away from my desk, less time working and hopefully doing more of the things that I enjoy including writing and working on a new project idea that I have. We'll see!
Profit and Loss
As I've been swamped with work I haven't written a full post on May on June's profit / loss numbers however I've done the workings on and May saw a 3.92% drop in overall profits but I bounced back in June with a 8.58% increase. July saw a modest 1.92% increase as well. May's decrease was due to a couple of my SEO customers dropping out - understandable as they were focussing on other things but that lead to a sharp decrease on my charts!
I've pretty much been doing a 8a.m. to 5p.m. days for the last few months. I was getting down to 140 hours a month. Now things have settled down - I've finished a few large one-off web design projects - things will hopefully start going back to normal again.
Despite stopping my marketing for the web design businesses, I have still managed to take on two new customers this month with another three who have expressed an interest. I'm in that wonderful position where I am busy enough and would like to reduce my working hours but I also don't like saying no to business. As I said, I'm not actively marketing so I am just taking on the work from referrals or people who are finding me.
One project which I am just awaiting confirmation from the customer for is a new build for a business web site. They initially expressed an interest back in January but things had gone a bit quiet. I assumed it was because the quote that I gave them was a good 60% higher in price than what I normally charge they would find someone else to do the project. Back in January I was swamped with work and didn't want to take on any more customers but I thought if I charge a ridiculous price and they say yes, I would do it. If they fell over after looking at the quote and went to someone else, I wouldn't be worried. They came back to me this week and said that yes, they did want to go ahead! Sometimes it is worth testing the water to see if you can make more money for doing the same amount of work.
I'm trying to shift my main source of income from web site design to pure hosting and so I've started an e-mail marketing campaign. Although the numbers look terrible - I sent around 600 e-mails and managed to get one customer signed up, the time / effort / reward ratio is quite good. I spent quite a while constructing a simple marketing e-mail and then set it to auto-send over the course of a few weeks. From that, one customer has moved over to my hosting site. Other than word of mouth referrals, e-mail marketing is the only marketing that I do and what I've noticed is that it can be a slow burner. I sent another marketing e-mail out a few months ago for one of my web site design businesses and two new customers have signed up in the last few weeks on the back of this - they had saved the e-mail and got in touch when it was convenient for them. My point is, we should not be downbeat if we do not get people signing up straight after we send the e-mails - sometimes it takes a little while for people to decide the time is right.
The Business Backpack (this site)
Visitor numbers have been decreasing over the last few months - that's what you get when you stop writing blog posts! I'm determined to add more stuff simply because I enjoy writing and this is a good way for me to combine a hobby with actually looking at how my businesses are performing and making changes based on my findings. In July I had a drop of 64.29% in visitor numbers so I need to start working on more, better and more regular content.