Mid-month Stats Update

I seem to have fallen into the pattern of doing these every two weeks or so.  Seems reasonable.  Same disclaimers as all the other stats: these have analog accuracy in a digital world, my customers are across the date line from me so there might be edge effects with other stats updates, my accounting practices are horrific, yadda yadda.

Sales:

Full price: 14, +1 refund (customer purchased twice)
Bits du Jour promotion (40% off): 2

Gross sales after refund:  $354.25

Net sales after Paypal/Bits du Jour commission:  $332.06

Expenses:

Hosting: $5.01 (half of $10.02, my GoDaddy bill every month)

AdWords: $37.47

Subtotal: $42.48

Profit: $289.95*  

Well, that’s certainly a sliiiiiight increase from my last two months ($25 and -$2, as I recall).  And the month isn’t over yet.  I also expect to spend approximately $50 on getting my software onto Tucows, but they seem to be having verification trouble with my credit card at the moment so I suppose I’ll have to sort that out first.

My goal this month is to break $600 in sales and profits of about $450.  This might be a little on the aggressive side, but I think I can do it if the Mac version gets up on the major download sites inside of a week and starts kicking booty.

Oh, here’s a fun progression for you: my sales every two week interval since launch.

1, 2, 6, 8, 16.

Unfortunately, I think the “it will continue increasing geometrically!” assumption you might have from high school algebra is a tad aggressive.  But I think I’m well below the maximum amount of sales I can get with reasonable effort — I’ve got more promotions to try (getting my Halloween bingo page ready this weekend so it gets search engine rankings in advance of the actual day), more advertising campaigns to run, more tricks up my sleeve, more products to launch (I’m rolling out Bingo Card Creator on a CD this week — you can actually buy it now if you want), and more optimizations for my website (the purchase page is not as much of a tour-de-force as I want it to be, so that will be getting changed).

* While normally I’m not a very spendy person this is already earmarked: I’m increasing my payment on my student loan by $300 so I can afford to pay $300 less in October (when, incidentally, I will be paid off in full — yaaaaaaaaaaay, debt free).  Then that $300 which would have been transferred home in October gets to stay in Japan with me until December 2nd, when I will exchange it for a Wii.  So expect blog posting in December to be very, very light.  🙂

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8 Comments on “Mid-month Stats Update”

  1. Ali Says:

    Best of luck Pat. Whenever I read one of your stats reports, I can’t help but think that:

    1 product = $300, 2 products=$600, 5 products=$1,500, 100 products=$300,000!

  2. Phil Says:

    Just out of curiosity Patrick, since you are a US citizen and a Japanese resident, which country would the profit of this business be taxed by?

  3. jz Says:

    Usually you pay tax in the country the money was earned.

  4. Patrick Says:

    As a US citizen with 330+ days overseas every year, I have an $80k exemption for personal income. I leave my Japanese return to my company to do.

  5. Patrick Says:

    If it were 1 product = $1000, 5 products = $5000, then that would be a pretty reasonable way to make a living even in my neck of the woods. You could organize the product lifecycles in a flying V curve, too — assuming 1 month of coding and 2 months to ramp up the marketing to a stable stopping point, you could continuously have 1 program being developed, 2 being actively marketed, and N being essentially milked. I could never press another button aside from responding to emails and Bingo Card Creator would still kick me a few thousand dollars a year until, minimally, 2010 or so when my target market starts to transition to Vista in mass numbers.

  6. Patrick Says:

    >>
    As a US citizen with 330+ days overseas every year, I have an $80k exemption for personal income. I leave my Japanese return to my company to do.
    >>

    It occurs to me that this is a useless answer. Alright, here we go: the first thing is, are the profits earned or unearned income. For a sole proprietorship, which is the only thing my business could qualify for, its earned income if its from the “sweat of your brow” and unearned if capital investment is a significant part of the machine (See Publication 54, Chapter 4). Well, hmm, considering my capital investment in this business was $60 I’m going for an earned income on this one. The next test: where did I perform the services for my business? Japan, exclusively.

    Then the next test: do I count as “abroad”, by either passing the bona-fide residence test or the residency requirement test? I’m a judgement call on bona-fide residence: I have some ties back to America, such as a student loan, a bank account which is frequently active, etc. But thats moot because I live 330+ days of every year in Japan (the entire year minus 2 weeks every Christmas, give or take).

    On the Japanese side of the equation: Egads it gets hairy. The Japanese test is not where income is earned, but where it is *paid*. And all of my uISV income gets paid to a US bank account. Which, so long as I don’t bring it to Japan, stays non-taxable here. I get taxed on my regular salary, which owing to the particulars of my day job situation probably requires a team of lawyers several weeks to figure out, but the upshot of it is they write a number on every paycheck, that number vanishes, and I don’t worry about the details (my contract specifies my take-home pay only, so whatever the tax return gyrates I just leave it up to the lawyers and the bottom line of the notice-of-deposit always stays the same).

  7. Phil Says:

    hehe thanks for clearing that up Patrick. Just trying to figure out if I could live tax free off my ISV income by moving to Costa Rica or Bermuda or somewhere ;).


  8. I hear southern Brazil is cheap… 🙂


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