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Growing the Company Culture and … Spending Money – Transparency Report #3

This is the third edition of our transparency report (#1 and #2). The series is meant to get you up to speed with everything that’s been going on inside CodeinWP (business-wise). We’re doing this as a way to give back to the community and be transparent about our operations, plans, and business models. Without further ado, here are the most interesting goings-on that happened in April 2015:

Edited by Karol K.

Revenue breakdown (Apr 1st – May 1st)

This isn’t necessarily the main part I want to focus on this month, but it’s always something that gets a lot of people’s attention, so here goes:

The numbers for the period of Apr 1st – May 1st:

Just to remind you, the previous month’s numbers were as follows:

  • # of customers: 954,
  • revenue per customer: $63.04,
  • total revenue: $60,140,70.

So, compared to last month, this month we have (approximately):

  • # of customers: -19%.
  • revenue per customer: +38.5%.
  • total revenue: +12.4%.

That’s another great step forward for us in terms of total revenue and revenue per customer. However, as you can see, the number of customers went down a bit. This has a lot to do with our recent pricing change and slight pivot in our business model. I’ll get to that in just a minute.

When it comes to our top-selling products, Zerif Pro – our flagship theme – is still at the top of the leaderboard. However, we’ve also managed to improve the sales of our primary theme bundle – “Treasure Chest.” Currently, it stands firmly at the no.2 spot, with higher average revenue per customer and higher overall revenue than the previous month.

Previously:

Now:

The cause of this improvement … again, the aforementioned pricing change (apart from our standard marketing efforts).

Okay, so what did we do exactly to grow this month?

It’s as simple as it can be … we’ve increased our prices.

Previously, we were offering a single theme for $47, Treasure Chest for $89, and our Pirate Club unrestricted membership for $135.

Right now, it’s $67 for a theme, $99 for Treasure Chest, and $199 for Pirate Club.

For me, changing the pricing is an experiment. I want to optimize our pricing table up to a point where we can serve as many happy customers as possible, and at the same time make the workload manageable on the team.

Apart from the price itself, we now offer two years of updates and support (instead of one) on Treasure Chest, and unlimited support and updates on Pirate Club.

Overall, I’m already seeing some great benefits of going with a different pricing strategy. Even though we might lose some customers over the long term due to higher pricing, we get better cash flow short term, which allows us to reinvest and grow faster.

At the same time, I realize that not all of our experiments will result in great success. That’s why I’m investing in getting advice from some of the leaders in the WordPress space who seem to have cracked the code a bit more.

For instance, I had a few Clarity calls with Chris Lema, Brad Touesnard, and Syed Balkhi. They are all incredible thought leaders and their tips are always gold. I encourage you to consider reaching out to them too if you’re running any type of WordPress business.

Spending money

They say that you have to spend money in order to make money. And that’s a statement as true for WordPress businesses as it is for everything else.

In April, we spent around $30,000 on running the business.

This includes:

  • $15,000-$18,000 on salaries and taxes (excuse the lack of exact numbers, math is hard),
  • $1,500-$2,000 on hosting, tools, and various software licenses,
  • $5,000 went to affiliates,
  • $5,000+ on different partnerships / advertising.

The team and company culture

One of the side-benefits of running a growing WordPress business is that we get to work with (and can hire) some great people who are passionate about the community and working in web development in general.

Right now, we are a team of 11. (Yay!)

And CodeinWP is a young team, by the way. The average age is 24. The youngest person is 18, and the oldest is 27.

See us here (and also here):

Eight of us are still students. So partly because of this, we introduced bi-monthly meetings at the office to help each other with schoolwork, homework or anything that’s school-related in general.

Marius was the one who came up with this idea, and I find it awesome! My strategy has always been to hire smart students, and help them grow and develop alongside the company. We simply all benefit when that happens.

Right now, any person can take as much time off as they need, and also work as much as they feel is fair for them to earn their salary. There’s no fixed schedule and no deadlines just for the sake of deadlines.

What matters is getting the job done rather than getting the hours in.

In other words, if you’re an expert at something and can get your work done in an hour a week, be my guest!

Also, as a way of saying thanks and appreciating the people who have been here since the very beginning, the first three employees also have shares in the company (2%, 2% and 4%).

Note. We’re looking for a 12th person to join us … a front-end developer to be exact. Know anyone? See more details here.

Bonus. WordPress business tip of the month

Okay, so if you’re in the premium WordPress themes market, make sure to always pay close attention to what the live demos of your themes look like.

I mean it!

Just a couple of weeks ago, we did a split test and put an alternative version of the Zerif Pro demo alongside the standard/old one. After just one week, Visual Website Optimizer said that the new version was 100% sure better than the previous one, ultimately giving us more clicks and downloads.

What did we change? Mainly the copy, but that’s not entirely the point I’m trying to convey here. What matters is doing this sort of experiment in the first place.

Maybe your demos need new copy too. But maybe they need new icons or new images … who knows. You will only find out once you start testing what it is in your case.

Okay, I guess that’s it for this edition of the transparency report. I hope it’s been inspiring/informative and that I got you on board for the next edition. Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for supporting CodeinWP, you rock!

Don’t forget to stay updated with what we have going on. Everything shared here:

Ionut Neagu: Love to travel, share and help others, I am working with WordPress at ThemeIsle.com. Passionated by Growth Hacking and the big things around me (trying to understand people, society, economy and our world ).
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