We’d been home for a few hours when I crashed and burned. I’d been looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family, as well as preparing our progress report from the 2nd quarter. I’d planned on simplifying: reorganizing and tightening up our business structure and this blog. But instead, all I wanted to do was sleep. I felt disorganized, disoriented, and woozy. The thought of writing our quarterly business progress report, even though it contained good news, was not particularly inspiring. The plans I had for simplifying seemed overwhelming. I knew enough to listen to and obey what my body was telling me it needed. It, too, was reorganizing and acclimating.
This felt like extreme jet lag, except we’d been on a road trip. We covered over 4,000 miles in the space of three weeks. We’d been in 12 states, some very much in depth (hello, central and western Pennsylvania, you are awesome!), and others just for a few miles (Maryland and Virginia). We fell in love all over again with the American heritage, reveling in its layers and eras from Revolution and Civil War, to Belle Epoque and mid-20th Century, and even September 11. We shared an ongoing progress report with social media: our Facebook pages, Tweets and Trip Advisor reviews.
When we began reconnecting with friends and family later in the week, I found myself (uncharacteristically, ha!) with less to say. Communicating the road trip experience was complicating instead of simplifying my personal re-entry. Travel can be the mother of all personal disruption (Read This Before You Head Out). Mitigating these effects in the future is going to require more attention.
Progress Report Q2 2012
This progress report will be shorter than our first one, in which we introduced our business model and organizational structure. Reorganizing and re-evaluating our business is an ongoing process. We’re setting out on another road trip in a couple of days, and its outcome will determine some of the more significant business and personal decisions that are looming.
Revenue Sources: Consulting income was received as expected, per contract (no increase either first quarter or over last year). Consulting-related commission income attributable by comparison with this quarter last year were actually received in the first quarter of this year. YTD overall income slightly down (due to fewer consulting-related commissions). This is minimal fluctuation, and not overly concerning. The big news: online stores income has increased 69% over Q2 last year. This is due in no small part to the sheer numbers of products Pete has created, as well as payouts being greater from higher-priced items. Publishing income has also significantly increased over the first quarter: +78%, with Pete’s How to Get Started on Zazzle e-book showing a very healthy start alongside increased revenues for The Narcissist: A User’s Guide. This revenue was non-existent last year. Travel Business Opportunity and Vacation Club Memberships showed increased team momentum throughout the first six months of the year. Revenue from PassingThru Travel was even with the first quarter as well as last year.
Expenses: Always a concern, especially when overall travel is up, are running about even with last year. Auto fuel expense is significantly greater, and we’ve had some repairs to our oldest vehicle. Increased dues and subscriptions were washed by curtailed office and administrative decreases. Planning for and incorporating measures to offset increased travel expenses will continue.
Travel: We spent eight weeks away from home during Q2. Most of this time was spent at the cabin, reorganizing and readying it for the family’s summer fun and simplifying our day-to-day. Our recent road trip began the last week of June, so counts for 2nd quarter travel as well. This is at least a 20% increase over Q1.
Coming Up: Using methods from our travel resources page, particularly the Travel Hacking Cartel and booking travel via PassingThru Travel enabled us to plan this latest road trip with minimal hotel expenditure. We’re headed out on another road trip to Western Canada: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, reconnecting with franchisees for a series of meetings in Edmonton, and then visiting the Canadian Rockies before returning to the U.S. via Montana and then home to Minnesota. We’re also headed to a family wedding in September along with a potential side trip.
Assessment: Overall, the business appears to be tracking right along the trajectory we envisioned:
- More revenue diversification
- Simplifying the overall structure
- Balancing road trip and destination travel.
Challenges to focus on will be increasing revenue, modifying our merchandising strategy in the online stores to capture emerging trends, and completing projects. It’s been a great first half for 2012!