$9812 MRR, the war on churn & a rebrand – December monthly report

Welcome to the December 2013 monthly report.

We are proud of the progress we made in 2013. Here’s a chart that shows our monthly recurring revenue for the year.

mrr

We’ll start with our performance in December and talk about what we’re planning for 2014 at the end of this post.

Let’s do it!

178 customers and $9,812 monthly recurring revenue

We started December with 155 customers and welcomed the new year with 178 customers.

Considering the Christmas shutdown period which usually starts around mid-December, we were happy with the final result.

Our stretch target was the magic $10,000 MRR mark, but we fell $188 short with a final MRR of $9,812.

This represents a 17% increase in monthly recurring revenue of $8,371 in November. This puts us at an annual revenue run rate of $117,744.

We have a 10% monthly growth target, so we are extremely happy to hit 17% in December.

Our plan to combat churn

Churn is the silent killer of monthly recurring revenue.

Whether you run your own web app, have a recurring information product or a run a support service like WP Curve, churn is enemy #1.

In 2013 we focused on rapid customer acquisition. In 2014, we’re going to invest more energy into:

  1. Getting a clearer idea of the ideal client for each of our products and services
  2. Adding ongoing value to our existing customers
  3. Retaining our customers

Here are our some thoughts about how we will tackle churn for each business:

WP Curve – We’ve had a few customers sign up for WordPress support and cancel within the same month. The common thread is that all of these customers have been running  blogs, rather than businesses. Although they may have an established blog, $69 feels like a big cost. On our side – we’re happy with the price point of our service and instead of worrying too much about bloggers, we will spend more time marketing to business owners instead.

Speaking of email marketing, we’ve got a plan to drip feed value and also ask for referrals of qualified customers who fit our profile (hat-tip to Damian Thompson). This includes being more proactive, rather than reactive – plus sharing our best business-focused content on a monthly basis. 

Content Club – We love our community. But… we constrained ourselves within a niche that is a bit too small. We’ll be expanding the discussion forum and customer profile to not only include content marketing, but small business and start up strategy. We may have over-promised on the original Content Club landing page, so we’ve tidied it up to be more specific about what it is and how it works.

ConvertPress – We’re going to test a few alternative pricing models for this offering that more closely match the existing plugin model. We tried to force a round peg (monthly pricing) in a square hole (the WordPress plugin market) and we’ve got some ideas on how to rectify this.

Informly – This business more or less looks after itself – it grows slowly and customers churn from time to time. We are pouring 99% of our effort into the 3 other businesses, as we feel they have more potential and serve a larger market.

A new brand

startupchat.co blog will move to a new brand in January. Why?

To start with, startupchat.co is a silly name for a blog written by 2 founders. There’s no real customer funnel associated with this content. Plus – if you’ve seen The Social Network, you’ll know that having ‘the’ in the name of a business is an absolute no-no.

We want to build a brand around our startup strategy content and include a sensible route to monetization.

The new brand will be the home of our podcast, startup content and our private community.

We had a few name ideas:

  • Lifestyle Biz
  • Dan and Claff
  • Honest Founders
  • Co Founder Chat
  • Journey to 1 Million
  • Start Up Life

And they all suck!

Dan came up with Startup Chat, so we’ll run with that!

A… book?

We’ve started collating ideas for our very first book.

Even though Dan doesn’t really read many books, we know that we can offer a ton of useful information to business owners around content marketing, recurring revenue, outsourcing and escaping the project to project struggle.

We’ll be testing posts to see what really resonates with people.

Traffic

In December, we had 24,112 visits across our sites. This was a reduction of 10% from the 26,925, which feels about right for the Christmas period.

visits

Here are the breakdowns for our sites:

There only surprise is inform.ly. Dan noticed we were included in this list of top tools for freelancers which sent us a nice boost of 1,500 visits.

Content

December was a surprisingly solid month for content. We produced 6 onsite posts and 5 offsite posts, interviews or mentions.

Here’s a breakdown of the content we’ve produced this month with visits and tweets for each.

WP Curve

The Dan Norris

Offsite

Guest posts

Mentions

What are we doing in 2014?

To summarize, our goals for 2014 are to:

  • Produce 365 pieces of content
  • Generate $20,833 MRR ($250,000 ARRR) by the end of the year
  • Meet each other face to face in the USA

These goals may seem aggressive, but remember:

  • We produced around 250 pieces of content last year
  • We generated $9,812 MRR in 6 months and need to double that in 12 months

We try to set achievable goals and use systems and processes to achieve them. We published a podcast about how we will get there – please take a look 🙂

[leadplayer_vid id=”52C4F3E50655C”]

If you dig it, you can add your thoughts to the comments here.

What are your 2014 business targets? Please tell us in the comments below!

About

Hi, I'm Alex McClafferty. I'm the co-founder of WP Curve.

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