Awesome April monthly report

Welcome to the Awesome April monthly report for WP Curve. I hope you like it. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Why we do these reports

Quite simply, we are passionate about helping entrepreneurs. We believe the best way we can do that is to share what is happening in our business, as openly and honestly as possible, with no agenda.

Whether our lessons are useful to you is for you to decide. You can trust that everything in these reports is accurate and honest. Some months are great and some aren’t. I’ve been writing these reports since before WP Curve existed and our monthly revenue was $0 (see the first one here).

Here is the full archive of monthly reports.

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) $15,763

Our monthly recurring revenue grew by 16% in April to $15,763, up from $13,604.

April_MRR_Growth

We had a net increase in the number of signups of 22 during the month. This is less than March, however a lot of our new customers have signed up on our Professional plan, which has a big impact on overall MRR growth.

We haven’t analyzed this too much, but it may have something to do with our updated design and the way the pricing table looks on the sign up page.

signup_page

These results are above our 10% monthly target, so we’re happy. We are growing at a pace that is exceeding our targets but is still manageable. We feel that growing any quicker would be difficult to manage so we aren’t doing any marketing at the moment.

Once things settle down, we have a GIANT list of things we can delve into from a marketing standpoint.

Team size

We welcome our new developer Charles (The Karate Kid) to the team, which brings our team size to 9. We are actively hiring 2 more positions and hiring a new developer every 2-3 weeks.

Hiring and dialing in our internal systems are our 2 main challenges at the moment.

Website traffic

Our traffic was pretty steady with a 2% drop to 22,131 visits (or Sessions as Google Analytics now calls it).

april_traffic

We produced slightly less content which had an impact on overall traffic volume. We had a few big hits content wise which made up for this.

Here are our top pages visited. It’s interesting to note that a lot of these are pieces of content that were written a while ago.

Most of them rank well in Google or have been linked to by a lot of places as a go-to resource for that topic. The WordPress speed article was a big hit in late March, and that has continued in April. The post is up to 175 tweets and 59 comments.

top_pages_visited

ICON14 Phoenix

Alex here! I attended the ICON14 conference in Phoenix. In case you’re not a marketing automation guru, Infusionsoft is the CRM and marketing tool of choice for more than 23,000 businesses. In 10 years, they’ve grown from a tiny operation to a venture-backed company with annual revenue of $60 million.

The ICON14 conference was the most useful and interesting conference I’ve attended and I will definitely return next year.

It was a different feeling to attend a conference without having an overwhelming urge to sell something – instead, I invested my time in listening to keynotes, meeting business owners and capturing actions we can apply to our business. I was very proud to watch fellow Aussies Hamish and Lisa McQueen win the Small Business Icon award with their cleaning company, Cleancorp.

Seth Godin was outstanding, but my favourite presenter was Brad Martineau. If you want to see why he beat Seth (for me…) check this clip out.

I’ve got more than 10 pages of detailed notes to synthesize into a post for the WP Curve blog – so keep an eye out for it next month.

Content

We produced 14 pieces of content in April which was down from 17 in March. This was a good effort given we have been predominantly focusing on internal systems and service quality.

Here is the content we put out on the WP Curve blog:

The most popular was The 9 elements of great bootstrapped business ideas. This article had over 700 visits and 68 tweets.

We had more success with offsite content in April. In addition to a bunch of podcast interviews, I also released the first chapter of my book on Medium – You don’t learn until you launch.

The post has had just under 5,000 views, 50 recommends and 256 tweets. That would make it the most successful piece of content we have ever done (based on vanity metrics).

Podcast

april_2014_podcast_downloads

It was a bit quiet on the podcast front in April with only 2 episodes. The total downloads were at 4,028 which was a 49% drop from last month. Both were great episodes:

The podcast has always been a bit up and down. Episodes don’t seem to stick like some of our best written content does. If they aren’t a big hit at the time, they don’t seem to provide too much ongoing value. Podcasts are great for networking and authority. But as a form of content marketing for overall traffic and opt ins, it’s not our best option.

We don’t really have any plans to change what we are doing with the podcast. We will keep doing them ad hoc as we can. I think down the track we will focus on more scalable forms of content marketing and just have the podcast there for fun and networking.

7 Day startup book progress

7day_startup_640

The book is progressing well. The editors are currently ripping it apart and it should be ready in a few weeks. It’s been a fun process and I’ve put out a bunch of content relating to the book, which has all been very well received. Here is some of the content:

There’s more coming. If you’d like me to write a guest post for your blog or do a podcast interview, check this out. If you want to get my emails and get a free copy of the book when it launches you can opt in below.

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Our priorities in April and May

It’s an amazing change for me to be running a business where our number 1 concern is not ‘getting more customers’. Since we launched 10 months ago, we’ve had solid and very consistent growth in new customers. It just means that our priorities are elsewhere.

For this month and next, the majority of our time will be spent on these 4 areas.

Internal systems

We’ve been doing a bunch of work getting our internal systems right. Up until a month or so ago, we didn’t even use a help desk. Now that we are doing 200-300 jobs / week, this is becoming important.

The focus for the last few weeks has been figuring out the best way to use the following systems.Some of this is writing procedures and training staff. Another component is working on a few custom integrations to make it flow well.

  • Infusionsoft – our communication and automation system.
  • HelpScout – our new help desk system
  • Stripe and PayPal – our payment gateways
  • Olark – Our public live chat tool.
  • Slack – our internal communication / chat tool.

Once this is complete I’d like to delve more into analytics with Infusionsoft.

Service quality

Our main concern at the moment is making sure we impress the customers that we already have. We are constantly looking for ways to improve this. We will be focusing on this more in the next month.

One  thing we’ve done is integrated Hively, to give us some basic metrics on customer satisfaction. The team get a weekly update of our results, and we investigate any issues where customers aren’t happy.

hively_feedback_april

It’s inevitable that some customers won’t be happy. It’s our job to make improvements to the process, where good customers have been left wanting. I’m confident we can improve on 92%, but these are small numbers so they might not become too meaningful until we get more ratings.

Hiring

This is fast becoming our biggest challenge. Me and Alex are now sharing the hiring duties and we are starting to put processes together around this. We might not be too far off hiring someone to do the hiring. For now, we are actively trying to hire 2 more people and we are hiring at a rate of about 1 new team member every 2-3 weeks.

There is a lot of work for us to do all the way from finding potential employees to onboarding, skilling them up to be able to take on client jobs etc. I’m getting flash backs to my days as a HR consultant.

Partnerships

While we aren’t desperate for more customers right now, we are constantly working on partnerships. Alex spends a lot of time on this and the results are starting to come to fruition in a big way.

We are hoping that in the next few months, we will have our internal systems running seamlessly. Once that happens we will be looking at capitalizing on these partnerships. We are laying the groundwork now for that to happen.

We’d love to hear from you!

We’re pretty excited about how things are going, and we love it that you are coming along for the ride.

We enjoy hearing from you so if you have any questions or thoughts, please comment below.

About

Dan Norris is a co-founder at WP Curve and a passionate entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing.

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