Horkey HandBook: 2017 Q2 Business Results

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Half of 2017 is officially over, can you believe it?

I used to publish income reports on a monthly basis, but I stopped at the end of 2016.

Why? They took a bit of effort to put together and apparently some people find you less relateable the more successful you get…

Weird, right? But I guess I get it.

I’ve never put my income on the internets to brag though – rather income or business reports have been helpful for three reasons:

  1. Public accountability
  2. Inspiring others
  3. Credibility

I.e. These reports show that I know what I’m talking about when teaching others how to break into virtual assistance work or freelance writing. Because that’s where I got my start after all!

Since I’ve made the change from monthly to quarterly reporting (at least publicly), I pay way less attention to my business finances… but in a good way. I.e. I still do monthly profit-and-loss statements, but I look at the big picture one quarter (rather than one month) at a time. And a quarter’s worth of data is way more representative.

Because a lot can change from month-to-month. And anyone in this business can have a bad one! But you don’t want to make big business decisions based off of one bad month.

To further catch you up, I announced my goals for 2017 in 2016’s  year in review post and here’s Q1’s biz report. You can also read the backstory below (feel free to skip ahead if it sounds familiar to you):

My 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.

2014

I started looking into freelancing in April, 2014. I launched this site in May and secured my first client in June, 2014. My gross income was $16,512 (minus $3,782 expenses) or $12,730 in total profit for 2014. During this time, I also worked full-time at my day job.

2015 and 2016

incomechart12-16

Aren’t numbers interesting?

I started freelancing full-time in 2015 and have been hustling ever since! While my business has become less service-oriented over time, I still maintain a handful of writing and VA clients that equal my former day job salary on very part-time hours.

Additional Deductions

Taxes: 30% of net income

I used to transfer 25% of my net monthly profit into a separate savings account for taxes, but recently bumped it up to 30% to be safe. Mo’ money equals mo’ tax problems, right? 😉

Additionally, I operated my business under my own name (and social security number) for the first year. Horkey HandBook was established as an S-corp in May, 2015 and we began payroll practices later that year.

Tithing: 10% of net income

I still tithe 10% of my net income. I can honestly say that our personal finances turned around the month (April, 2013) we decided to trust God with it all (since it IS His anyway…). He hasn’t let us down yet. 😉

2017 Q2 Results

Gross Income: $127,496

Or an average of $42,499 per month (up from 28,277 last quarter).

Year-over-year that’s a 110% increase. And quarter-over-quarter, it’s a 51% increase. Cool, huh?

It wasn’t always so grand though.

I.e. My VERY first quarter income was $2,345. Totally respectable as a brand new freelance writing side hustle. And again, how this whole thing got started!

Business Expenses: $70,218

Or an average of $23,406 per month. More than double last quarter, eek!

Net Income: $57,278

Or an average of $19,093 per month. Not quite double the net, hrm… 😉

Income Breakdown

I used to break my income down into three categories:

  1. Services
  2. Products
  3. Affiliate

I might again in the future as my new bookkeeper and I bring my accounting into the 21st century. Until then, it’s way too manual. And I ain’t got time for that. 😉

Back of the napkin math tells me that I still earn about 14% from services (I have two regular VA clients and two regular writing clients), 5% from affiliate marketing and the rest from product sales.

Full disclosure: One of my products, Become a Pinterest VA TODAY! is a joint venture product (meaning my friend Kristin Larsen and I created it together) and since we use my checkout provider, it inflates both my income and expenses a bit. As we move this product onto its own courseware next month, it will hopefully be more accurately reflected.

  • Q1 of 2017 was dedicated to getting our blogging house in order (getting extra clear on who we are and who we help, re-categorizing and/or deleting irrelevent content and optimizing posts for SEO).
  • Q2’s focus on the other hand was designing/implementing a new sales funnel (which is working splendidly I might add).
  • The plan for Q3 is to bring a new product to market (VA Leads and Training) and take an existing one (the PVA course) to the next level.
  • Q4? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. 😉

Expense Breakdown

Since I’m no longer doing daily accounting, I don’t have as clear of a picture of exactly where my money is going.

I do have a monthly budget for my business though, which is currently $18,000 per month. When I stop to think about it, that number seems completely nuts! Basically my monthly expenses right now are three times what I used to earn in one month at my old 9-5.

But I am running a proper business these days with a team and all. I also have a pretty generous affiliate program, which makes up about 22% of that budget, fees (gross!) make up another 6% or so and subscriptions (aka tools/software) are currently at 2.5%. There’s a short-term, but pretty significant amount (18%) dedicated to high-level business coaching through August and the rest is paid out via support (i.e. contractors).

Side note: There are MANY bloggers that have FAR less expenses than I. In fact, everyone has their own journey to success PERIOD. This is what works for me, but might look completely different for you. And that’s totally okay!

2017 Goal Results

My ‘A’ Goal: $400k+ gross income; $211,877 – ahead of schedule baby!

My 3 ‘B’ Goals:

  1. Pay-off land loan; current balance = $0 – we paid the balance off in May, so that goal has been MET!
  2. 25,000+ newsletter subscribers; current balance = 26,201 – we reached this goal on June 21st, over SIX MONTHS ahead of schedule!
  3. Compete in a fitness competition; I started training for this goal mid-May and am planning on signing up soon for the actual competition, which takes place on October 28th, 2017.

What a 180 from Q1, huh? I’m on track for ALL of my goals, which ultimately support one another. Squee!

What’s most interesting to me, is that I had a little freak out during the last week or two of Q2 – I guess I did that last year around this time too? See, I still don’t have it all figured out (nor do I claim to mind you!).

How did Q2 of 2017 end for you? Share in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Horkey HandBook: 2017 Q2 Business Results”

  1. You’re doing such an awesone job, Gina! I wish you even greater success in the next quarter!

  2. I love your income reports and find them very inspirational. I hope that you’ll continue to share your progress with us. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you should be proud of that. Keep us the good work!

  3. What a testament to your faith and His keeping. I am so happy for you and all that has happened for you and your family because you chose to trust Him most of all. This is a beautiful message to end my day on! 🙂

  4. Hi Gina, love your blog! I’ve been freelance copywriting since 2010 and would like to branch into creating products and generating affiliate income. How did you make that transition? Any resources you’d recommend? TIA!

    • Hey Katie! In a nutshell, test out your product idea by fleshing out an outline and offering it for sale as a beta to your audience. If you don’t already have any audience, I’d start there and build one. You can always outline your course as you’re building it and get input from them. Hope that helps!

  5. You paid off the land loan! Yay! That’s been a goal since the beginning and I remember the income report you posted where the land loan fell back a little and you were so disappointed (not that you fell behind, but it didn’t get the extra bump you were hoping to give it that month, just to be clear). I was ridiculously happy for you when I saw that Zero, up there! Congrats!! Keep it up, you’ve worked so hard and continue to inspire us all.
    So….question….Now that two of the three goals you have been sharing for a long time are met, will we see new goals? Like, perhaps plans for that land? 🙂 So excited for you and the family!

    • Thanks Lisa! We actually want to pay off our home mortgage next (along with some improvements to our house), but that’s a biggie. Can’t wait to be 100% debt-free though!

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