Starting A Business – 6th Month Review

Well here we are again, another month's review, though admittedly this month is going to be looking back across both June and July as I totally missed the "5th month" review completely. Incidentally, while the numbering of months will stay the same, this is going to be the last "Starting A Business" post. Half a year in, I think that the business is well and truly 'started' - so from now on these posts will be called "Running A Business" - which seems more appropriate! (edit: I've decided to wait until after the 1-year mark to do this.)

The Business

So here's a rough guide to what I've been doing for the last two months, which have been admittedly rather quiet on the blog-front.

  • Completed about 5 client projects
  • Won about 4 more client projects
  • Won a small piece of design work for one very large client
  • Wrote 2 book proposals for 2 publishers
  • Got my typographic layout featured on Smashing Magazine
  • Had my reader-mail featured in .NET Magazine
  • Launched a couple of mini sites
  • Learned some important lessons about communication, and finance

In Detail

To say that the last couple of months have been difficult would be the understatement of my year so far! A few good things happened, but generally it was a whole lot of very hard work and disappointing results.

The highlight of the last couple of months was definitely the feature in .NET Mag (one of my 2009 goals). There's just something really satisfying about seeing your name in print for the first time, I was chuffed to bits! The other highlight was the book proposals which I've been working on. Both were web design related, and as of now I've turned down one offer from a London based publisher, and am waiting to hear back from another (fingers crossed).

My biggest failure has been still not launching the new design for this blog! The worst part is the the CSS and html is all done, and I had the whole thing almost completely integrated into a Wordpress theme... then I overwrote the files, and didn't have a backup. So I'm back to square one :( - hopefully this month I'll find some time to get it done!

Reviewing Goals for June

Not a bad success rate this month really, though I suppose I did have a bit longer than usual to get them all done.

  • Complete 3 client projects - Success!
  • Relaunch this blog with the new design - Fail
  • Win 3 client projects - Success!
  • Grow twitter account to 4,500 followers - Success! 6,000
  • Grow rss subscribers to 200 people - Success! 392
  • Write a book proposal (more on this another time) - Success! x2!
  • Design a Wordpress theme for release on ThemeForest - Technically a Fail, but I'm going to give myself a half-success for designing and releasing the typographic layout for Smashing Magazine.

Goals for August

I'm going to go easy on myself this month, there seems to be so much going on at the moment, so I want to focus on really meaningful goals.

  • Take home a salary equivalent to what I was making at my job before I went freelance. This is my number 1 most important goal for the month.
  • Launch this blog with the new design - MUST do this month.
  • Write two (high quality) guest posts for other blogs
  • Finally get around to reading and reviewing "How To Be a Rockstar Freelancer"

Not many goals for this month, but all of them are fairly significant and will take a fair amount of work. Quality of quantity and all that. No Twitter or RSS goals for this month either, I think 6 months of aggressively growing these numbers has been fantastic, but I'm now ready to scale back a little in favour of more organic growth.

What About You?

How's all your work going? Are you being hit by the credit crunch at all? Keep me updated, I always love hearing what you guys are up to!

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.