Starting A Business - 1st Month Review

I've had a brilliant first month working for myself and running this blog, and as it's the last day of February tomorrow I thought I'd take a quick look back at what I have and haven't managed to do, what's succeeded and what hasn't. I'll also take a quick look at my plans for the coming month!

The Business

I had so much to do in setting up to become self employed on a full time basis, and while it's been an enjoyable month, it's been pretty stressful at times too. Here are most of the things that I managed to get done business wise.

  • Set up my home office (though there's still room for improvement)
  • Started using DropBox to access all clients files from multiple computers
  • Started working with a great accounting company
  • Set up Lyrical Media Ltd (very proud of this one!)
  • Organised all my invoices and expenses up till now
  • Purchased SitePoint's Web Design Business Kit (review when it arrives!)
  • Joined up to offer my SEO services as part of the Poppen Design team
  • Networked with a lot of really great people!
  • Completed one large client site, and acquired 2 new (small) projects
  • Finished designing a brand new version of Lyrical Media (live next month)

What I haven't had much luck with yet

  • Getting help with any sort of finance, thanks to the ever ridiculous Natwest who screwed up my credit rating and refuse to fix it!
  • Finding an invoicing / project management app that I really like
  • Establishing a work/life balance (more on this on Monday)

The Blog

I set this little site up on the 2nd of February and it's been the most successful site launch I've ever had. Comparing my 1st month stats to the logo designer blog 1st week stats, it seems pretty pitiful - but I'm pretty happy with everything and I'm looking forward to growing this site throughout the year.

Here's what this site's managed in its first month

  • 5,000+ visits
  • 20,000+ page views
  • 2gb of bandwidth
  • 20 posts
  • 3 great interviews
  • 1 competition and software giveaway
  • 127 comments
  • 120 spam comments blocked
  • 150,000 average alexa rank
  • 556 inbound links
  • 74 pages indexed in google
  • 12 features on css showcase websites
  • 1 feature on Smashing Magazine
  • 440 followers on twitter (250 new this month)
  • 27 rss subscribers

And here are a couple of things planned for this blog "coming soon"

  • Lots more interviews web design business owners
  • Some more free software and ebooks in competitions
  • Some extensive reviews of freelancers books and software
  • Some video based content (maybe)
  • A fresh design (eventually)

Plans for March

So that brings us promptly to the coming month! I'm quite excited to get cracking this month, now that I've got most of the 'set up' done I really want to start churning out some awsome client sites. I've got a couple of small sites lined up for the beginning of the month, but I need to actively start finding some more big projects. Here are some of the things on my to-do list for March:

  • Grow my twitter account to 700 followers
  • Grow my rss subscribers to 60
  • Look into an advertising budget with BuySellAds
  • Set up a monthly newsletter with Campaign Monitor
  • Complete and release the Neophyte wordpress theme
  • Learn some more PHP, Javascript, and Ruby

What About You?

If you've recently gone freelance or started your own company what are you doing to grow your business? Let me know in the comments!

John O'Nolan

Founder at Ghost.org. Writes about open source, startup life, non-profits, and publishing platforms. Travels the world with a bag of kites.