February was a good month for us. We put some new systems in place that should help increase the quantity and quality of our jobs. Let’s dig into what happened.
6% growth to $64,220 USD monthly expected revenue (MER)
NOTE: We define MER as our monthly recurring revenue at the end of the month plus any one off jobs throughout the month.
We missed our 10% monthly growth goal in February increasing from $60,624 to $64,220 (6%). This is typical for being a slow time of year and a short month.
We reached 834 total customers with an increase of 38 customers for the month.
There was also a week or so during February when we stopped taking on new customers because response times were getting out of control. We wanted to ensure we maintained a great service for existing customers. The signup form was offline for about a week and we replaced it with an email opt in to be notified when we re-open. We had around 200 people opt in to be notified when we re-launched.
People, product and process
We are up to 38 people on our team now. We have begun more active recruitment of developers to keep up with our growing customer base. We’ve created a developer’s page and we are about to start running Facebook ads targeting developers with the help of Vincent Nguyen at Growth Ninja.
We are also seeing our team grow personally and achieve their own goals. One of our developers, Charles, has been saving to buy a snazzy new bike ever since he started working with us. This month he finally met his goal and shared his victory with us.
Out happiness score came out at 84, this month up from 81 last month. This is a good improvement and brings us closer to our long term goal of 95.
Featured Happy Customer – Don D. “Andrew – You have done a great job on the last two issues. You really went the extra mile to help me out and explain the solution. That is GREAT, GREAT work! I have been stuck with this problem and banging my head against a wall – and you fixed it beautifully and permanently! Thanks so much!”
903 jobs completed – This total number is slightly lower than last month (916) but our overall productivity is up since it was a short month.
Responding faster to customers is one of our big challenges and targets to improve. We reduced our average response time by over four hours from 15 hours 57 minutes to 11 hours 25 minutes.
We aim to have this below 8 hours. Right now the weekends are where most of the longer responses are happening.
- Average first response – 11 hours 25 minutes
- Lowest response time – 6 hours 33 minutes – Feb 16
- Highest response time – 21 hours 20 minutes – Feb 15
We have the whole team now using our own system for managing jobs. It’s still work in progress and it doesn’t have all of the functionality of Help Scout, so team members are having to go back in there from time to time. It’s been a bit of a process getting people across to use it and working out the integration with Help Scout (hit the API limit a few times and had to increase that).
We have successfully implemented a few things which we couldn’t do before, including:
- Prioritizing troublesome tickets.
- Support for VIP service (we will be announcing a new VIP plan soon).
- A quality assurance process where developers who haven’t hit their happiness metrics, send their jobs to QA and we have a QA team to review each ticket before it’s sent.
- We now auto assign developers jobs when they finish a job (we used to have someone assign a job to them or they picked it themselves).
We are just scratching the surface with it but we are using it now so we are making progress.
There are 4 changes we’ve made with performance management.
- We have 2 testimonials of the week where one team member from the US and one from Asia-Pacific teams wins for the best client testimonial. This is announced to the team via the general Slack channel.
- Developers now have a target for the number of tasks they have to get through in a day (averages 1 task per hour). We have a report each week that shows us their performance and we chat to them if they are under target. We use Lighthouse to document conversations with staff.
- Developers have a target happiness score of 90 (‘great’ % minus ‘not good’ %). Every Monday we have a team member provide us an average for the previous 3 weeks. If they are over 90, they can deal with clients directly for the week. If they are under 90, they have to use the QA process and have their tasks reviewed by the QA team.
- If customers leave a review of ‘not good’ we review the ticket specifically and if the developer is at fault we have a chat with them and explain how it could have been done better. We use Lighthouse to document conversations with staff.
It’s too early to really see if we are getting improved results from these changes, but we are hopeful it will result in higher quality and more productivity.
February saw a 13% decrease in traffic with 49,897 visits (down from 57,639 visits in January). We had an isolated spike in direct traffic last month and three extra days in January, which makes February’s numbers look small by comparison. Though traffic is down, there’s a lot of good news for content this month. We’re seeing a steady week over week increase in traffic, and more conversions.
Special thanks to Animonks for the cool animated GIFs for our graphs.
We started tagging the links in our email to get a better idea of where our traffic is coming from. We implemented the tags mid-month however, so the WP Curve Weekly Email tag won’t be accurate for February.
Our most popular new post this month was 12 remote workers reveal how to be happy, effective and valuable. Last month’s post How we effectively use Trello for project management has been driving organic traffic this month.
Email List Growth
We had 956 new subscribers added to our email list, up from 743 last month. Some of that was from the wait list, but our content and conversions have been strong.
We hit our content goal of 10 posts this month. This is the first month we’ve hit this goal. I have started to find my groove creating and managing our content. I have been refining our processes and editorial calendar, which is making content creation easier and faster. After four months I am starting to have a grasp on our systems, tools and culture, which helps with my efficiency, and with ideas for content. Putting the podcast on hold let me focus on written content and working with guest writers.
We consider 50+ tweets to be a break out hit. In February we had 4 break out hits. Our best posts were community driven content. They brought in ideas from many different influencers which added a lot of value to the articles. Having them share the posts with their audiences helped boost the engagement as well.
- 12 remote workers reveal how to be happy, effective and valuable – 2,645 visits, 213 Tweets
- 13 startup founders share what keeps them awake at night – 1,012 visits, 84 Tweets
- Content marketing: setting a purpose and measuring success – 443 visits, 67 Tweets
- The ultimate guide to using quizzes for your viral content marketing strategy in 2015 – 385 visits, 60 Tweets
- How to validate and promote a book idea with Udemy – 348 visits, 25 Tweets
- Brennen Byrne’s secrets to team culture, unforeseen challenges, and rapid growth – 327 visits, 27 Tweets
- Our content promotion strategy and process – 375 visits, 23 Tweets
- A To Z of using Asana for project management – 159 visits, 2 Tweets
- Calling all startups: content marketing research – 87 visits, 10 Tweets
- January 2015 monthly report – 725 visits, 12 Tweets
Please let us know in the comments below.
Info about this report
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