When you write your income reports about 2-3 weeks after the month has ended, it can be tricky to remember the specific things you got up to that month. Detailing the income itself is easy, I keep good records of that, but keeping on top of whatever changes were made and when they happened can get confusing.
For example, as I wanted to write this report, I asked myself, “What's been going on lately?” but the three major things I wanted to talk about all happened in the last 2-3 weeks, meaning they'll need to wait for March!
The difficulty of remembering what happened just makes these reports all the more important. It can be easy to get lost in the day to day workings of your company and forget about the small things that happened (both good and bad), as recently as a few weeks ago. Now as I'm forced to dig into my inbox, review posts published, and various other happenings, I get a great opportunity to stick my head above the parapet and take a look around.
Despite the traveling I did in January, and the travelling I have coming up in the rest of the year, February was a month where I didn't even leave the city where I'm based (Taipei). It was a quiet month on that front, made even more quiet by the fact that it was bisected by Chinese New Year.
During CNY, also known as lunar New Year, the whole city empties as everyone heads back to their hometowns to spend 5-10 days with families. The whole of Taipei goes from a bustling concrete jungle, to an eerily empty ghost town.
This year is the year of the monkey, so for those of you born in 1968, 1980, 1992, or if you're really young, 2004, it's your time to shine!
Me? I was born in 1985, the year of the cow. Moo.
What Else Happened?
As I mentioned in January, I took over control of AuthorityAzon in February, so this month's income will include some profit from AA too. For the most part I didn't do any work on the business itself, aside from announcing the takeover, and making a few other blog posts.
The team and I do have some good plans for the theme, and with a solid team already in place upon buying it, we could implement those changes right away. However, I'd prefer to let things marinate some and see how the business does without me being aggressive with growth right from the beginning.
The good news is, people were positive about the takeover, and income was pretty similar to what it had been before taking control of the business. Phew! It would be terrible to buy a business and watch its income tank.
We didn't know exactly how it happened at first, but someone managed to gain access to one of the cpanels on our server. This cpanel was home to various sites, some of our own, some belonging to customers.
All of a sudden, the server started sending out spam email after spam email, and we realized someone had got in through an out-of-date site on our cpanel, and gained access from there. It was a major headache, and virtually every site on the server got infected with some spam code.
Long story short, we invested many hours (over 50 man hours) in manually combing through each site's files, restoring it on a clean cpanel, segregating cpanels to prevent a further mass infection, and then transferring customer sites off our server.
This is one of those things where you think “We really should clean up our server with old/abandoned sites before something happens”, and then it happens and you think “Ok, we deserved that”.
It took about 2 weeks to recover, and as a result some sites we were working on fell behind their schedules. The good thing to come out of this is we made sure to improve the security on our server and won't have to deal with this again.
We may also consider asking customers to buy their own domain and hosting before we even build the site, to limit how many sites are ever on our server in the first place.
There are lot's of options to consider, and we'll see which works best for those involved.
The Overall Picture
Efforts are still revolving around improving processes and operations, and the long-term picture is looking a lot better, even if immediate results will take a bit longer to turn around. We are investing a few thousand dollars into developing our own software, and once that's finished, getting on top of deadlines and projects will be virtually seamless.
For now, we will just keep working and striving to deliver.
Income Report – February 2016
Just a quick reminder than in 2016 I will be reporting on gross revenue for each service rather than net profit, then I will be showing expenses at the end. This gives us a better overall picture of revenue/expenses/profit rather than just profit.
Whether you need some additional content for your site, or want to outsource the whole process, these can help you out.
This isn't something we officially do, but from time to time will take on some SEO work for customers.
Total HPD Service Revenue: $28,863
HPD Affiliate Commissions
While we educate you for free and recommend services we use, some of these pay us a commission for sending you to them. Here is a breakdown of how much HPD earned from each service.
Long Tail Pro: $129
Wealthy Affiliate: $546
The Hoth: N/A
Seemed to be a change over with The Hoth's affiliate platform this month and my pay is still pending, but there is over $1,100 in there. I'll discount it this month while I figure out if everything is still tracking correctly.
Total Affiliate Revenue: $1915 (Minus Hoth Income)
Done-for-you-sites and WordPress theme sales: $1,244
Total Gross Revenue: $32,032
This includes expenses for services, virtual assistant fees, affiliate commissions paid out, and various paid tools.
Total Profit: $17,508
It seems to be going strongly even without me focusing on growth, which is incredible. Once we have finished fixing up our operations so we can handle everything more effectively and can in turn promote even more, things should be looking very healthy.