Last month I shared with you our first month’s revenue report.

To continue the transparency, I’m planning on providing a monthly series that dives into revenue numbers, business lessons learned, growth tactics, and more.

I’m providing this series to help other startups learn some key early lessons from a company in the trenches. In addition, it holds us accountable since we’re planning to be very open about things.

You may have noticed I just used the word “us” in that last sentence. This is because the big news from this past month is that I now have a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in place.

I had two developers approach for this role completely unsolicited shortly after I posted the revenue report from last month. I decided to move forward with Dominic St. Pierre, who I have known for a few months. We had several discussions about different software applications in the past, and I felt like he was someone I could count on as LeadFuze moved forward.

Special Note: Later in this post I’m making a special announcement. So check it out below in the “What We are Working on Now” section.

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Revenue

Let’s get right to it. Last month I mentioned wanting to hit $2,500/mo in revenue by day 60. I’m proud to say we hit $3,080/mo in revenue and now have 12 active customers.

Revenue Goal for February 2015

Customer Goal for February 2015

Some customers pay less if they supply their own list. Our very first customer also got a 33% discount for being the guinea pig. I’m happy to say that this customer upgraded for his second month as well, which means we have our first customer on an upgraded plan (more on this later).

Overall we had a 180% increase from our first month.

What We Did to Get Customers

So interestingly enough, I slowed the sales and marketing down quite a bit after the first revenue report last month. This was because we had a pretty good pipeline in place already and I was concerned about how much manual effort things were requiring. I’ll talk more about this in the “What We Are Working On” section below.

That said, I’m ready to amp things up again now that we have some more automation in place on the fulfillment side. This will let me really focus more on sales.

We had our first customer referral sign up as well. I am putting more of a focus on getting our customers to promote us, like in our new customer onboarding form:

revenue report

In addition, I also signed up for BeStunning to handle all emailing of receipts, failed charges, card expirations, etc. As part of the receipt email, I made reference to our referral rewards:

receipt with CTA for referral

You’ll see I also push an upsell to more leads as well. This is an initial attempt to increase average revenue amount per customer, while simultaneously helping them get more value out of the service since we’ll have more opportunities to generate leads for them.

What We Are Working On

I brought on Dominic shortly after the last revenue report as well and this required me to spend 20+ hours hammering out a technical specs document that outlined how we needed to rebuild our current systems based on the LeadFuze workflow.

I haven’t actually sent out any cold emails for LeadFuze in about three weeks. This will be changing now that we have rebuilt one of our two major software components. We are still refining the lead fetching and validating process, but it’s running much smoother now. We still need our emailing component integrated with our lead finding component to really have a unified system. This is the major project over the next couple of months from a development standpoint.

I’m looking to line up quite a few guest posts over the next couple of months to really gain some traction there. We will see how things progress on that front.

Special Announcement:

The big news is I will soon be launching a podcast that goes into even more detail about growing a business, marketing, LeadFuze strategies, and more. If you’re interested in building and growing a business, you’ll want to subscribe. More details will be announced via email, so if this is something you want to listen to, then subscribe at the bottom of this post to be sure you get sent the launch email.

Future Considerations

Starting this week I will be doing consistent outreach to three different audiences. One of which is based on how effective an existing customer campaign has been (5.3% conversion from cold email to HOT lead), and two new one’s that I feel are logical fits. I’ll share more details in a later post once we see how things are working.

Working on a product for people to actually build their own list and do their own emailing, calling, etc. We have partnered with a separate company to build and launch this product. I’ll share more about this in a future post as things are still being finalized.

I’ll also start putting some effort into increasing the average revenue per customer (which I started by including the upsell inside of receipt emails) and I also want to look into how we can “WOW” new customers early on. Part of the increase in revenue, will be a small bump in our pricing. Initial package will be going up to $349 in the next couple of weeks for new customers.

Goals

Since we stopped the sales efforts after last month’s report, I’ll be basically starting over this next month. For the leads that haven’t closed that I feel are qualified, I’ll be following back up with them.

That said, I’m going to try and increase revenue by the same amount we hit this past month which was close to $2,000. This means I’m setting the goal at $5,000 for day 90 and I’d like to get to 19 customers.

monthly recurring revenue goal

Conclusion

Still don’t know what to expect long term. We are still seeing which customers perform the best, how long customers will stay onboard, etc. I’m personally spending time with them as well to try to make sure they are getting as much value as possible. I would think I’ll have a better idea on things in a few months as far as what to expect.

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