Let me start by saying a very happy new year to you.
I know I have been ignoring Startupdesi for a while now, but it does not mean I am ignoring my company. Quite the opposite instead, as I was busy for most of 2012 growing Chandoo.org and taking good care of it. May be this year, I can spend some more time and at least write 30 articles here. 🙂
Why you should set goals for your startup?
As a business owner and manager, I am strictly against micr0-management and excessive tracking. I think you should keep your start-up flexible and nimble to survive. That said, a start-up with no goal is like a horse without blinders. It might win a race one day, but it will be distracted for sure.
Refer to startup goals & metrics for more.
Year in review – 2012 goals & performance
Lets see what our goals for 2012 are and how we did.
- Get $500k revenues: Once again we had a bumper year with lots of customer support. We have earned close to $630k in revenues. I will know the exact figure after we close the year & audit our books (which is in April). A rough break-up of revenues is,
- Product sales – 69%
- Advertising & affiliate sales – 22%
- Training programs – 7%
- Consulting – 2%
- Continue to spend less: There were no drastic changes in our expense patterns this year. We ended up hiring 2 more employees, migrated our server to KnownHost etc. but our focus on low expenses was never disturbed. Our expense ratio continues to be less than 20%. The only exception to this is when I went to Australia to conduct live training classes:
- We ended up spending quite a bit on hotels, venues & flights. The expense ration on that trip was close to 50%.
- To train 3,000 professionals: As one of my product launches was killed midway, we could not reach this target. We trained close to 2,500 professionals this year.
- To get 5,000 customers: Thanks to few new product upgrades and support from our partners, we got more than 5,400 new customers this year.
- To reach 50,000 members level:We started 2012 with 35,000 members. And we closed it with 55,000+. Again, organic growth, word-of-mouth and free sign-up gift helped boost these numbers.
- To have a million visitor month: Failed to reach this goal. Although our traffic grew by 90% YoY, we are yet to experience a million visitor month. The highest we got is 880k visitors per month in 2012.
- Simplify website for new visitors: In 2012, we added many more landing pages and created a separate welcome section on our website to help new visitors understand what we do and how we can help them. This has paid off beautifully.
- Register a Pvt. Limited Firm: Failed. I have decided to run our company as a proprietorship for one more year.
- Visit 2 new countries: In 2012, I visited Australia & Thailand. Both experiences were really beautiful and fulfilling.
- Read more: In 2012, I read more than a dozen books. I also spent a lot of time reading from iPad and on my computer. New skills I picked up are Excel PowerPivot, Objective C programming (basics), VPS hosting & maintenance, advanced VBA, value investing principles.
- Play more: During start of 2012, I learned how to play squash and thoroughly enjoyed it. But as year progressed, I developed severe knee pains and could not work out or play that often.
- Give more: We (our family) continued to share a portion of our wealth to those who need. We contributed to 2 schools & few other causes.
- Spend less: As our wealth grows, it is always tempting to spend and splurge it on things we do not need. Although we had lavish time in Thailand during beginning of year, we still managed to spend less than 10% of what we earn last year.
Our goals for 2013
- Get $750k revenues: As we inch towards a million dollar company, we need lots of imagination, clarity and kickass products to grow. I am hoping to increase our revenues by 20% this year. These things should help in that,
- Launch 2-3 new courses
- Release an iphone app
- Encourage more members to become customers
- Collaborate with other industry leaders in product launches & promos
- Conduct live classes in Dubai, UK or US
- Continue to spend less: Nothing new to say. Just stick to what we are already doing better.
- To train 3,000 professionals and make them awesome in Excel & their work.
- To reach 75,000 members level
- To have a million visitor month
- To make people awesome thru more channels – Youtube videos, iphone app, a print book, live classes and more
- Improve website navigation: This continues to be No.1 request I hear from our visitors. So this year, I am focusing on making our site more navigable and friendly to new & repeat visitors.
- Simplify internal processes: As we add more employees, it is important that I empower them with right tools & processes so that they feel awesome too. I will creating internal portal (only for our employees) where they can finish their day to day work easily.
- Visit 2 new countries: Although I have not made any plans, this year I am hoping to visit Dubai , UK (or US).
- Become fit: Last year due to knee problems I could not work out or play as much as I wanted. This year, I am hoping to stay fit and work out very often.
- Write a book: I have been postponing this for a few years. But I am glad I already started my first book and finished 2 chapters. I am hoping to get it out very soon.
- Consume less: We have not planned for any major purchases this year. I am hopeful that we stay frugal, calm & content this year too.
What are your startup goals this year?
So what is going to keep you busy and focused this year? Go ahead and tell me how you are planning to grow your startup & improve your life this year.
And once again, I wish you, your family & your company a fantastic 2013.