My January Business Report : A Behind the Scenes Look

One of the best things you can do to grow your business is to start paying attention to your finances. You might do a great job of inputting your sales and expenses into your accounting platform, but if you're not looking at monthly reports, those numbers are meaningless. Maybe you don't even have an accounting system set up.

Every month our team is going to share our finances, stats and monthly outlook. I hope this will be a little motivation for you to start getting your business under control and help our team be more accountable for our sales and expenses each month.

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01. Financials

After swapping around (a lot) between different accounting platforms, we've landed on Wave Accounting once again. It's easy for us all to use and it has awesome reporting. They recently redesigned many of their features, which is what made us move back after many months of using a different program.

In the past few year's we've noticed the beginning of the year is always a slow time for us. It takes awhile to build up momentum after the holidays, and because of that, I choose not to take on any new coaching clients at the beginning of the year. This was actually very beneficial, although we didn't make a ton of money this month, we were able to get a ton of foundational work done to set us up for the rest of the year.

We ended up earning $462.30 in income this month.

Income Breakdown

Last year my husband and I walked through all our business expenses and cut out everything that wasn't absolutely necessary. We even dipped into our business savings to purchase yearly memberships on everything we could. That way we could save as much money during the year as possible.

We now have only 2 regular monthly expenses aside from payroll, Adobe Creative Cloud ($19.99) and G Suite ($10). We pay for Squarespace ($216), GoPaywall ($134.95), our domain names ($78) and CoSchedule ($144) once per year. After all of that, we found out we were saving $945.45 every year, just by paying for our subscriptions on a yearly basis. That's money that can now go towards savings, investing in training and paying freelancers to help us with larger products.

This month was time to update our domains. We use Google domains, and pay only $12 per domain name. We also purchased a giant monthly calendar for the office to brainstorm content for the next year. We always include service fees in our expenses as well. These are the fees we pay to transfer funds from PayPal to our bank or fees from Etsy listings. 

Something I want to quickly note. I see a TON of questions like this:

What payment processor should I use to avoid paying fees?
— every new business owner ever

There is no way to avoid those fees y'all. Actually... there might be, but it will require checks or bank transfers or sketchy ways to get paid. Fees are a part of business. Count them as an expense. They're deductible from your taxes. Stop stressing about them.

We ended up spending $204.89 on expenses this month.

Expense Breakdown

Our total profit for the month was $257.41

02. Social Media

For a long time, I stopped tracking my social media accounts. I was spending more time watching the stats than actually posting valuable content. So, instead of posting how many followers I have every month, my goal instead is to share stats that actually reflect how many people visit the site through our social media channels.

We do this through Google Analytics by going to "Acquisition" > "Social" > "Network Referrals". At the bottom of this page, we can see a full list of different networks and which ones brought us the most traffic. No surprise here that Pinterest accounts for 95% of our traffic from social media. 

While that stat is important (and tells us to focus a lot of effort on Pinterest marketing), it's equally important to note that users who come to us from our YouTube channel typically look at 3.43 pages vs the 1.26 pages from Pinterest visitors. That means we're getting more value from our YouTube audience and so, we might want to spend more time marketing in our videos as well.

Here's a look at our January stats:

03. Website Stats

In a similar way that we look at our social media stats, we use Google Analytics to watch our users and bounce rate. It's important to note that the Google bounce rate is actually a little misleading. The way they calculate the rate can cause it to be higher than the true number, but we're going to put that aside for now. 

Our goal is to get people to stay on our site as long as possible and offering links or related content in prime positions on our blog posts, one way we track this is by using a tool called SumoMe. With SumoMe we can track where we lose readers. So maybe 20% of the way through a blog post, people get bored. This is where we stick images, infographics, downloadable content or a link to a related post. If they're going to leave the post anyway, we might as well give them somewhere else to go!

Here's a quick look at our Google Analytics for the month:

04. Goals and Overview

The start of the new year was all about getting organized for our team. We have a lot of projects that we're in the process of finishing up and now that we're almost done, we can get back to content creation and growing our profits. One of our big goals for the year is to begin making $2000 in profit each month. Here's a look at how we plan to break down that goal:

February

Goal: Focus on growing our audience by being more intentional with our content. This includes spending more time on SEO, keyword usage, and Pinterest optimization. We're working toward growing both our regular readership as well as our newsletter list. 

March

Goal: Spend time developing the ConradHub brand. The ConradHub is one of the most fun sources of income for us. We're able to connect with so many amazing people, and since many of our profits come from monthly memberships, we want to make it as valuable as possible. We also plan to create more strategic social campaigns for the ConradHub. 

April

Goal: Update and create new shop products. Our shop sales have been a tiny percentage of our profits, mostly because of the lack of time we spend updating and advertising our products. This month we're working on updating all our current products as well as adding new content. We'll also roll out the new social campaign for products.

2017 is just beginning and with our team growing bigger and our community growing stronger, we can't wait to see what this new year has in store for us!

Nora Conrad