First, I wish a very happy & prosperous New Year to all our readers.
Time to understand how we fared in last year (2011) and set our annual goals for 2012.
Goals for 2011
Lets take a look my startup goals for 2011 & see how I did.
- Generate $200,000 in revenues: Thanks to so many loving customers, we did much better. We recorded ~ $420,000 in sales last year.
- Keep expenses ridiculously low: This year we had a few major expenses for new trainers, affiliate commissions, paypal charges etc. That said, given the healthy revenues, our expenses continue to be less than 20%.
- To train 1000 students: We did so much better here, thanks to repeat students, word of mouth and our luck. We have trained more than 2,500 students this year.
- To get 2,500 customers: Again, we were blessed in 2011. We had more than 4,200 customers in last year.
- To have 25,000 members: A lot of our regular readers spread good news about our website thru out last year. Even though we did not have any press coverage or major website features in last year, we have added 17,000 new members last year, ending with 35,000 member count (member = RSS readers or newsletter subscriber).
- To have a million page view month: We reached this milestone in September 2011. Since then we are getting more than a million hits every month.
- To simplify product purchase process: This year I have added 2 employees, an Indian payment gateway and automated many processes so that our customers can get what they want with least friction. It has helped in lowering refund requests, increasing customer satisfaction and freed my time for other important things.
- To register a private limited firm: This is one goal we did not meet. We are still running our business as sole proprietorship, but it should change in next year.
Our goals for 2012
This year too, I am defining our goals around the startup metrics discussed earlier.
- Get $500,000 in revenues: This is a steep task. Although we were very lucky last year, adding extra $100k to our top line requires a lot of imagination, marketing & luck. I will share how I am planning for this with you all as we go.
- Continue to spend less: As of now, I have no plans to hire more people or spend on advertising etc. So our expenses should continue to be low & reasonable.
- To train 3,000 students: That means 250 new students every month. Again a very difficult task, but not impossible.
- To get 5,000 customers: I am relying on organic website growth, new partnerships & SEO to help me get to this mark.
- To get 50,000 members: I am planning to start a weekly newsletter, add a new sign-up gift to encourage more people to join us.
- To have a million visitor month: We closed the year with 500,000 visitors per month. This year, I am hoping to have at least one month with million visitors.
- Simplify website for new visitors: 70% of our visitors continue to be first time visitors. I want to simplify top 5 landing pages so that they encourage new readers to become regulars.
- Register a Pvt. Limited Firm: This year, finally we should go for this.
This year, I am adding a new section with life goals. While it is important to run a successful company, it is more important to do it with balance. So here goes our life goals:
- Visit 2 new countries: Last year we visited Maldives & Singapore. This year, we are going to Thailand & one other new country.
- Read more: Last year, I read 2 dozen or so books. Many of them gave me fresh perspectives, heightened my imagination and made me happy. This year I am hoping to continue the trend.
- Play more: Last year we started playing badminton. We want to play more this year, may be learn new sports too. Plus, we got an xbox with kinect for the Christmas. So…,
- Give more: Now that we are settled down with a own house, we want to give more to some of the causes we identify with. We already donate to a school. We want to share more of our fortune with those in need.
- Spend less: Due to the new house, last year we spent a lot on one time things (new furniture, tv, stove, xbox etc.) This year, we want to consume less.
What are your goals?
One of my all time favorite quotes is, “Whatever the mind of a man can conceive, it can achieve” by Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich.
I think setting audacious, big & fun goals makes life more fulfilling. So what about you? What awesome things you are planning to achieve this year? Please share using comments.