Episode 184: The Recap: August 2019
It’s time for the recap! In this episode, we’re going behind-the-scenes, and I’m sharing what happened in August — the good, the uncomfortable, and the unexpected.
I’m a few days into September when I’m recording this, and honestly, I don’t know how to feel about August. It was bittersweet with summer coming to a close, but it was an unexpectedly solid month revenue-wise.
I definitely had my head back in the game business-wise but still got lots of time out of the office and, more importantly, spent a lot of time up in my head before we jumped into fall. After several months of serious activity in my personal life, I had time to take a breath.
I kicked off the month with a week’s vacation, and let me tell you, it NEVER fails. As soon as I’m out of the office, I start getting new clients saying YES.
The first day of vacation, I had two emails telling me YES before noon. These are the type of “problems” I like to have on vacation, especially as I was waiting for these two new clients to land. Both are projects, one of which I’m crossing all the things that it will turn into an ongoing engagement.
Full disclosure: One of these new clients, I had a bit of a crisis of confidence around because I was so excited that we’d won the work. I knew it was competitive, and we’re getting to work on some high profile customer stories. Our first project is the type of project we’ve been wanting to land for the last year or more, and it’s at a price point that feels very aligned with where I want to go for 2020.
Speaking of 2020, Sara and I sat down in late August and had a planning session for fall so that we had a clear path ahead before the new year rolls around. As part of this, we set some aggressive revenue goals for the agency for 2020 and 2021. We’ve definitely seen growth this year; we’re pacing ahead of 2018 with a lift in average monthly revenue.
The more telling metric is profitability. We’re currently sitting at the same amount of profit at the end of August as we were for all of 2018. While revenue is a great metric, it’s only part of the picture, and this metric is a key indicator that we’ve been able to make more money without adding more hours to the mix. If anything, our evolution with pricing + types of clients has meant fewer hours.
Also, I want a gold star for this because we’re sticking to the budget. At the beginning of the year, I really committed to being extremely mindful and intentional about money because it’s so easy to spend profit.
A final note on this, I’m sharing this as a way to help you wrap your head around REAL metrics, what to look for, and what’s realistic.
So in terms of quarterly goals, even with new clients coming, we’ve got some work to do. I’m in big time lead gen and follow-up mode from here on out. Proposals are out, follow-up is being done, and I’m going to have a little faith that we’ll find the right clients in the next few weeks.
That seems especially important right now as one of our clients has made some internal team changes, and that always makes me uncomfortable. It’s in no way shocking, but it goes to show that things change, and there are no guarantees. I’m crossing all the things that we make it through the restructuring, and we’re pulling out all the stops to wow our new contact. And if not, we’ll have lead gen in play, so we’re ready to go.
More to come on growth plans for 2020 — but let’s wrap up 2019 first!
Small Business Boss
As a reminder, there were two goals for Small Business Boss this quarter. The first one was to launch Freelancer Proposals, which I’m happy to report is ready to go. You can head over to Freelancerproposals.com to check out all of the resources and tools over there. Next, we need to start creating more content to maximize SEO opportunities and build an audience for it.
Speaking of proposals, if you want an extra hand, check out my 14-day free trial with Proposify. You can find the link over at Freelancer Proposals or on the show notes.
The other goal is to get our “sales” bundle for freelancers ready to roll, and we’ll be ready to go at the end of the quarter. Right now, the sales page is nearly done, and I need to sit my butt down and record the trainings. (Because, OMG, I am resistant to sitting still for that long!)
And in a surprise move, I decided to launch a test run of a new format for the Double It Mastermind. I’d mapped this out back in March and have been quietly working on it ever since. Once I got out of vacation mode, I realized I wanted to do this test run now, ahead of 2020, so we had a clear offering for the coming year.
Yes, I’m talking about 2020 a lot, but there’s a method to what we’re doing right now as it all leads into the next year. Thinking ahead in this way really helps me as an “ideas” person to avoid wasting time with the wild ideas I have that shouldn’t see the light of day and ensures that everything is done in a way that serves not just me, but our community.
That, bosses, is the month that was. But I realized that I’ve not talked that much lately about books or what I’m listening to, so I wanted to give you a few recommendations.
For books, I’ve got a few recommendations. For fiction, check out Mrs. Everything and Never Look Back. And for non-fiction, Love Lives Here is outstanding. I’m mid-read with Atomic Habits, and I’m loving it so far. (I just keep putting it down for fiction books…) And if you’re on Goodreads, you can keep track of all my reads there.
As for podcasts, I’ve been on a bit of a true crime listening spree, and if that’s your thing, I can’t recommend Confronting with Kim Goldman, and Bear Brook. Another one I enjoyed, but I’m going to give a big old trigger warning for it is Something Was Wrong.