After writing my notes for my recent interview on the Matt Report I wanted to expand on two things I wrote:
- I don’t have a goal for “$15k a month” because I don’t have a plan at the moment to get there…
- …at the moment I’m fine tuning my business process in order to continue to grow at 15-20% without having to put in 15-20% more work. In fact I want to decrease my workload and continue a stable business. If I end up having to work really hard later because I took my “foot off the gas” than so-be-it.
Yes, in the beginning I had aspirations to earn enough to hire a developer and some other support folks, allowing me to build the business into something more than WordPress. However that all changed after my first year of doing Sprout Apps; since that first year was an arduous battle (struggling to continue, & losing money); my outlook/perspective on the business changed, I learned something — there’s a sweet-spot.
The sweet spot (to me) is continually hitting the monthly financial goal while reducing workload 1.
My financial goal is about 35% over my nut (AKA the amount I need to make before I tap into savings to pay the bills). The majority of the 35% (~75%) is used for business savings — since I depleted most of it in the first year of Sprout Apps.
aside: if you’re running any type of business (i.e. product or services) start saving, get a rainy day fund of 1.5 years. The only reason I was able to build Sprout Apps, without spending a lot more time moonlighting on the product, was because of this savings strategy.
The rest of that 35% is added to our personal savings, so we can take awesome family vacations (like Europe this last summer) 2
A Chart with some history
I’m going to talk about this chart in more detail in a soon to be published post. A short overview for this the sake of this post would be:
The first six months of Sprout Invoices was brutal, and my trend line has finally hit my monthly goal.
Guarding the Goal
I expect over the next 6-8 months to be rather difficult. The business took a hit in July (review-gate) and after expanding some marketing efforts (i.e PPC) the big June hasn’t been reproducible. Sprout Invoices and Sprout Clients have features coming that will not be easy to develop and will take months, all while daily support increases. However if this trend line continues, I’ll be able to hire some help (without slumping below the net goal).
All That Said…
I’m extremely lucky, seriously. I have a supportive wife/friend that pushes me to pursue growth, personally and professionally. She’s the reason I was able to quite my job 8 years ago, and without her trust over two years ago I couldn’t have pursued this business.
My true “sweet spot” is being able to have a business that supports our family, and providing me the time to spend with them.
Hopefully it’s a place I can stay for a while.