Well, I just woke up on the 26th and checked my mail, and it seems I’ve now sold 100 copies of Bingo Card Creator on the dot (since launching the program — not, regrettably, since December 1st). Yay. Aside from being great fun and a nice learning experience, thats about $1500 or so that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Not a shabby bit of money, as my newly paid-off student loan can attest.
Its not quite New Years yet but I thought I’d go ahead and set some business goals for the New Year:
1) Release BCC v1.05 sometime in the month of January. On the list of stuff to accomplish:
- Fix minor printing niggles when you only have numeric “words” on the card.
- Add Halloween/Christmas bingo to get ready for next year (low priority).
- Improve printing of word lists to allow more than 25 words on them (done already on local machine).
- Give option for advanced users to select printer (done already on local machine).
- Make sure its Vista compatible. This will probably involve changing on Windows boxes where I drop the serial key, user name, and timestamp for the last program update. Oh, and I should move the document folder to My Documents, too.
- Let people put in column headers (B-I-N-G-O or configurable).
- Option for headers/footers, at least for single cards on a page.
2) Retool the website.
- Improve purchasing.htm so it makes the sales presentation better.
- Eliminate eSellerate.net. I have yet to be paid from a single sale from them, due to low volume, and having the option there when no one uses it needlessly complicates things.
- Create a version (or versions) of the website which broadens the niche a wee bit from teachers. Most of my search traffic these days is coming in for bingo stuff rather than teaching stuff, might as well oblige them.
- Resume some content-writing SEO activities.
- Blog some stuff of use to folks, out of my totally charitable desire to
collect free linksimprove the sum of human knowledge.
- Spend some time reaquainting myself with Adwords and AdCenter to see if I can’t squeeze a little more juice out of the turnip. In particular, AdWords is still at $.40-$.45 a conversion and I want to fight that down to $.30 again.
3) And some financial goals:
- $1,000 a month in sales by April
- Yearly sales of $10,000.
- Maxxing a Roth-IRA from self employment (I am not eligible for any IRA normally as I don’t pay taxes in the US due to the Foreign Earned Income Exemption. Incidentally, if you are a US taxperson, you run a uISV as a hobby, and you don’t have an IRA, for the love of all that is holy fix that this year.)
- Get legal in Japan (I am so NOT looking forward to those forms) and at least one American state. The Japanese taxman “Oh, thats just a hobby, don’t worry about it” immunity phases out at 1 million yen (at 120 yen to the dollar thats about US$8,300) and I’d like to have stuff squared away by then. Additionally, a legal entity in the US for my software company will make launching a more amibitious product much easier.
- A wee bit more robustness from sales when the teaching market isn’t in a buying mood (wait a few days for my December stats, you’ll see what I mean). In particular, I don’t really want to see income drop to $0 over the summer months (particularly because I have a move coming up in August and won’t be able to save as much from my day job as I usually can).
- Locate a new day job by August. My contract on the current job is expiring and while its been a wonderful three years its time to part ways. My current thought is employment somewhere in the Nagoya area.
- Start a new, more ambitious uISV project. I’ve got a thought for one at the moment but am wondering if the market is big enough (think “consumer finance” and a ticket price, uh, a wee bit above $24.95).
- Continue search for Ms. Right.