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Hey! If you’re new here, for the last few months we’ve been sharing numbers behind the business we purchased in late 2022. Our goal is to share the ups and downs of our experience buying our first business (so you can learn from our mistakes!).
As a whole, the business is focused on helping you make your RV feel like home and the renovated RV marketplace helps people sell their beautifully restored RVs.
Okay, let’s get into it!
RV Inspiration Revenue By Month:
What Went Well in April
Revenue increased while we took time off.
For the last two months, we’ve been on a campervan trip across Japan & New Zealand. Because of that, we didn’t actively work on the business. This means we didn’t write new posts, edit, or otherwise do much at all.
Literally, at all.
(Including writing this recap, which is a month late! Sorry not sorry)
However, we had our best month to date! I attribute this to a handful of things.
One, it was leading into RV season.
Two, we front-loaded a lot of content & processes before we left on our trip. Blogs and newsletters went out without us needing to lift a finger.
Three, we have a couple of amazing people helping us run RV Inspiration.
We hired our friend Brooke to help us edit and send out weekly newsletters and we have an awesome VA who runs our Instagram & customer support for RenovatedRVsforSale.com.
Without this team and processes in place, I have no doubt the business would’ve had a sharp tank in traffic and revenue. But they kept the boat afloat in our absence and we are extremely grateful to them!
Our Profit Margin Increased
I’m not 100% sure what we should aim for in a “stabilized” profit margin each month. However, our margin on income that hit our bank account in April was 83.59% (which was up considerably from previous months).
Our goal is to reinvest a considerable amount back into content & growth but to also set aside enough profit to pay ourselves back on the initial $100K we invested to buy the business.
During our first five months, we’ve had a handful of large one-off expenses, such as building out our new website and purchasing a 100K-member Facebook group. Therefore, it’s been a bit hard to calculate what our running expenses should be.
Moving forward, we are targeting to spend around $3k per month on running the two websites. This would go to our VA, writers, hosting, software tools, and editor. This would mean once we hit $10k/month we’ll be at a 70% profit margin. I believe we can and should try to get this number up closer to 80-90%, but we will see!
Finally Figuring Out What to Do with Our FB Group
I’m not sure that I mentioned it in any previous updates, but in February we bought a 90K-member Facebook group focused on RV renovations. We bought this from Debra and Barry of The Virtual Campground, whom we met many years ago at our RVE Summit.
I can’t stress this enough…
We bought this without a plan.
We knew from our past experience running the RV Entrepreneur Facebook Group that groups like this are great for cultivating fans, growing brand recognition, and getting content ideas. They can be good for traffic and we were hoping that it would be a great way to push our marketplace.
The group’s existing rules when we purchased it were to not allow anyone to sell their RV—not that the rule deterred people from trying. What if we switched to “If you’re listed with us, you can share your listing in the group”?
This has been a great value add to our customers and has gotten a ton of exposure to our listings page.
Plus, we use the intake form when people ask to be in the group as a way to collect email sign-ups for our email list. Our email list has grown by over 10K from this! (Don’t quote me on it, but I think the email list when we bought the business was around 8,000 subs and is now around 25,000.)
Our email list now has constant weekly growth from new members joining the group and that in turn has more people opening and clicking through our newsletters, growing our traffic and our ad revenue—hopefully.
(And before you ask, you do not have to join our email list to get into the group. It’s just a field for people to opt into the list.)
We didn’t dial in this system until the end of April, so I’m hoping May shows a major increase in traffic because of this setup, but who knows?
Shout out to my mom who is admitting people to the group and adding all those emails to a spreadsheet (which we have automated to get people instantly into our email sequences on Convertkit).
What Didn’t Go Well
Lack of real growth
Yes, our revenue grew in April. But the business as a whole didn’t grow. Our ad revenue and listings revenue stayed the same.
There was one anomaly that really pushed our revenue forward in April.
Amazon Creator Rewards
In February or March, Alyssa opened an email that sounded like a typical Amazon newsletter but was actually an invitation to join Amazon Creator Rewards for Q2. She opted into the program and learned that if we meet certain metrics, Amazon will pay us bonus rewards on top of our affiliate earnings.
This is why April grew by $1,000 over March. We earned a $1,200 bonus!
Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong. We should get the bonus for May and June as well.
But once this quarter is over and we don’t earn the bonuses anymore, I’m a bit nervous that we will see our July revenue dip. So we need to focus on growth in other areas so that these $1,200 bonuses are great extra money, but the rest of the business is growing actively too.
April Numbers at a Glance
Pageviews on RV Inspiration: 155,991 (down from 164,315 in March)
Total revenue: $8,816
April Revenue Breakdown
RV Inspiration Ads: $4,074
RV Inspiration Marketplace Ads: $539.20
Amazon Affiliates: $2,320 (bonus included)
Other affiliates: $304
Product Sales: $4.55
I’m definitely glad we took a month off. The adventures were totally worth it!
But the numbers reveal that we do not have the business in a place where we can be fully hands-off yet. This is really good to know since our ultimate goal is to have this business run without constant upkeep.
We are working on a plan moving forward on how to make moves that allow the business to grow without us.
As always, drop your comments and questions below!