What can I say about June?
Not my favorite month income-wise. Or work-wise either…
It turns out that online business isn’t a linear thing – who woulda thunk? What I can say about June is that it was full of lessons.
And while sometimes education is expensive, it’s usually worthwhile and contributes to longer term business gains. Or something! 😉
So what happened? Read on for the full lowdown.
A Little Freelance Income Report Backstory
I keep a profit-and-loss statement for each month, as well as a rolling total for the year. I enter in income as it is received (rather than as it is billed) and do the same for expenses.
2015 & 2016
I started looking into freelancing in April, 2014. I launched this site in May and secured my first client in June, 2014. My total income was $16,512 – $3,782 expenses = $12,730 total profit for 2014. During this time, I also worked full-time at my day job.
Taxes: 25% of net income
I continue to transfer 25% of my net monthly profit into a separate savings account for taxes. Fully Booked VA was established as an S-corp in May, 2015 and we began payroll practices later that year. (Guess we’re legit, huh?)
Tithing: 10% of net income
I split my tithe to our church and this missionary family in Costa Rica, both of which are extremely important to me. The latter makes a direct impact into the community – in 2015 they opened a daycare to take care of migrant farm worker’s children, so their parents don’t have to bring them with to pick coffee beans, which surprisingly can be very dangerous!
Side note: On Thursday I’m sharing the Hutchins’ story on the blog – I’d really appreciate it if you read it, shared it and showed them some love.
Gross Income: $15,641
A 23% decrease month-over-month.
Business Expenses: $8,545
Even though they were less than last month’s, my expenses totaled more than 50% of my gross income, which is well… gross! (See the expense section for the full breakdown.)
Net Income: $7,096
(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 39% decrease month-over-month. Eeeeek!
It’s amazing how volatile online income can be, especially when a large portion comes from products. (This is also why I’ve been hesitant to shift away from service work too!)
So while my service income hasn’t changed, course sales were down pretty significantly. Whomp, whomp!
At least I’m not the only one feeling the summer hit in traffic and sales though. It seems to go hand-in-hand with folks enjoying the warm weather and taking vacation. I just wish I would have planned as much and decreased my expenses ahead of time. 😉
Here’s what the breakdown looked like for June:
- Writing: 10%
- Virtual Assistance Work: 39%
- Course Sales: 29%
- Coaching: 10%
- Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 12%
Writing: This month’s writing income came in at $1,600 – that’s the bare minimum I have in retainer work. I anticipate July to look the same unless Contently assigns me some more pieces.
VA: Status quo on the virtual assistant side of things. No complaints from me and none (voiced) from them. I’ve really been blessed at the stability from this one source of income. And I really like my clients, so that’s a plus!
This is where my income fluctuated the most. And it makes sense that a dip in traffic would affect sales.
The hard part is that I bank on product and affiliate sales to pay the bills when it comes to my business expenses though (my service income pays our family’s bills). It turns out that maybe I’ve been trying to grow too fast?
And sadly, The Course Course launch fell a little flat. We collected some great feedback from those that visited the checkout page but didn’t buy though. And learned a lot during the process.
What’s next? I’m currently rewriting 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success and really excited about how the outline took shape. We ended up splitting the content into a beginner and an advanced version and the plan is to relaunch the beginner in mid-September and the advanced sometime in October.
I now have three main coaching clients that I work with on a regular basis. I also collected payment from my mentorship duties in a peer’s course.
The rest is from pre-sales of The Freelance Writing Intensive. This is a one-day writing workshop that I’m putting on with my gal pals Sarah and Andrea on July 20th. I’m really excited to see how it turns out – I’ve wanted to do more live teaching/group coaching for awhile and think this will be a great opportunity to dip my toe in it.
I’d have to look back, but I think that June was actually my highest affiliate income month ever! I made $1,853 in affiliate income from a few main sources (Contena, Web Hosting Hub and a couple of courses).
I’d love to see this category continue to grow and plan on signing up for my girl Michelle’s new online course on the subject coming out in the next week or so.
June’s expenses were “normal.” They’re just high compared to the amount of income I made.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I think it’s an area that needs some more attention. I’ve always been pretty diligent (and am a bootstrapper at heart!) with them, but as I alluded to above, I think I’ve been trying to grow too fast.
And when I think about it, I’m not really sure why. If I can make a comfortable living, who cares how quickly I’m growing? Can’t maintaining be enough?
Deep thoughts from Gina Horkey… 😉
What’d I spend it all on?
- Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 2%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 30%
- Support (VA, Writing, Website): 36%
- Affiliate Payouts: 15%
- Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 7%
- Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.): 10%
Again, nothing surprising in June. I finished my home office remodel and lumped the workshop JV payments into the affiliate category since I collected the payments through my PayPal account.
2016 Goals Progress (as of 7/1/16)
My ‘A’ Goal: $250k+ gross income ($122,360 YTD) – just a hair behind.
My 3 ‘B’ Goals:
- Pay-off land loan – $19,488 to go!
- $20,000 in savings – $16,350 in savings (part of this is earmarked for clearing the above land).
- 20,000+ newsletter subscribers – 6,723, a bit behind!
Now that half of the year is over, I may have to retool my goals a bit. I.e. gross income isn’t as important as net. And instead of focusing on a specific number for newsletter subs, I want to measure building authentic relationships instead.
Remember, We’re Totally in This Together
If you’re currently hustling to build a freelance or online business, we’re in this together. I’d love to support you, if you’re willing to do the same.
Leave a comment letting me know we’re in the trenches together or a place that I can go to support you. Fan my FB page, connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+ to stay in touch! We’ve got this!
How are you doing on your 2016 goals so far? It’s now officially halfway over…