Nice charts, eh? I’m pretty proud of our revenue growth (as shown in the top chart) as I reflect on our first-year anniversary.
We started with clients who came with us when I (amicably) parted from the previous company I had co-founded.
That first spike came in December from additional billings due to a one-off research project I did for a global company. Then, sales went back to their normal month-by-month improvement. The more recent plateau came from me reducing some services for a client when we realized they didn’t need all the site maintenance services we provide. They develop web-based applications for other companies and could do some of this work in-house; there was no reason for duplication of effort.
(Karma is a wonderful thing when it comes to growing revenue; I have never, ever regretted doing the right thing for a client. New clients soon replaced that revenue.)
Growth is great, but I am also careful about the speed of our growth, since we are a service business. I want clients to experience services that are constantly improving, no matter how fast we grow.
The second chart shows progress over the last year on the number of keywords our site is being found for. Yes, this is SpyFu, a tool that is very useful for this type of data. As you can see, organic search marketing takes time, even when you’re using the best specialists and best methods. (For faster returns, also do AdWords.) The plateaus are the times where I cut back on the amount of blogging I was doing, while growing the company. Content production matters.
(Of course, we don’t let up on content production when it comes to clients; our writers, managing editor, and production manager stick to a strict schedule.)
Thinking about all of this, I am convinced that this is what growth looks like when:
- You know what people need and you provide it in a way that works for them (I have the advantage of talking to clients constantly)
- You hire dedicated specialists who work well together
- You only work with clients who are kind, driven, and helpful
I confess: after years of being a revenue coach and helping other companies grow, it’s gratifying to build a company and manage our way through this kind of growth. It’s amazing to see what solid systems, a culture of helpfulness, and stellar people can do. All while continuing to help other companies grow!
Honestly, I’m having more fun working than I ever have in my life, which is saying a lot, because I’ve always loved my work. But this is extra special.