It's that time of the year again, where we look back on what we've accomplished for the current year and set goals for the new year.
Overall, I say 2018 had been another good, low-stress year for me. I didn't run into any major problems and things had gone quite well especially on the business side of things.
It did feel like 2018 just flew by. It feels like I wrote the 2018 Goals not that long ago.
To start, I'd like to revisit my 2018 goals and see how I did.
1. Read more fiction.
Total fail here...I actually read mostly non-fiction this year. :(
2. Meditate more.
This one I'm actually really proud of. I've been doing a 10-minute guided meditation using Calm almost every day. I've missed very few days. I actually don't think I've missed even a single day in the last 4 months.
Meditating has really become a habit for me like brushing my teeth. It's now very hard for me to leave my apartment and start my day until I've done my 10-minute meditation.
3. Keep in touch with people I like.
Another fail here though not too bad. I say I checked in with probably half the people I wanted to keep in touch with.
1. Reach at least $100,000 in annual revenue.
2. Reach at least $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue across apps.
Nailed it. :)
3. Launch a referral program.
4. Put more effort in content marketing.
We did pretty good though we probably could've done better. We hired a freelance writer to write articles for us twice a month. We've also recently hired a marketing consultant to help us with our efforts and should hopefully see results next year.
5. Launch 2 new apps, where at least one is subscription-based.
Halfway there. We launched a Shopify inventory management app, EZ Inventory. We did add quite a lot of features on our existing apps, however, and we started thinking about porting some of our Shopify apps to other platforms to diversify risk.
Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the results as I've pretty much hit all the big goals especially on the business side.
Now, for 2019.
1. Focus more on health.
I've been thinking more about health lately now that I'm in my mid-30s (currently 34). I'm not getting any younger and I think this is one of the things I'm going to regret later as I get older if I don't take better care of my health now.
Basically a few things to focus on and make small improvements:
- Eat slightly healthier stuff (cut down on sugar).
- Sleep better (put away screens and stop working at least 3 hours before bedtime).
- Exercise more.
- Watch blood glucose level closer (I've had Type 1 diabetes since I was 13).
I don't have plans to make drastic changes to my lifestyle as I just don't think that would work for me. If I can slowly make improvements to the list above and let them become a habit, I think I'd be better off in the long term instead of making big changes and give up on them quickly. 6-pack abs are overrated. :)
2. Keep in touch with people and socialize more.
The first part with keeping in touch with people is basically the same as last year's. There's really not a lot of people that I get along with really well so I really need to put more effort into keeping in touch with those whose company I enjoy and nurture that relationship.
This year, I didn't really do much socializing. While I'm not antisocial, I'm quite introverted and often times I'd rather just hang out in a coffee shop and write code. But that's probably not healthy in the long term as we're social animals. So for this year, I'll set a minimum of socializing twice a week. Almost always, whenever I go to a social event I'm usually glad I did.
1. Reach at least $200,000 in annual revenue and $20,000 in MRR.
If we hit this number, both my co-founder and I will basically feel comfortable going full time on Highview Apps. It's a bit ambitious but we feel it's doable.
2. Double down on marketing.
We really feel this is the year that we should focus more on marketing if we want to hit our revenue goals. We now have 4 apps on the Shopify app store, where 3 of them are paid apps and we plan to make our free app more of a freemium app.
At this point, we also feel our infrastructure is in great shape and we have good processes in place. There's always something that can be improved of course, but we're now at a point that we feel we can allocate more time in growing the business and not get overwhelmed with the growth as the foundations are pretty solid.
3. Hire a support person.
While 3 of our 4 apps are actually very low maintenance and both my co-founder and I can handle the support load, we're now at a point that we feel it's time to hire one part-time support person to help us out. This way, we can free up a lot of the time we spend supporting customers and use that time to work on the other parts of the business instead.
The support person can also help us with creating new documentation and improving existing ones, making how-to videos, checking in with customers, and hopefully even with small IT-related tasks. Just writing documentation alone can be time-consuming so that could free up quite a bit of our time.
4. Build one new app and port at least one Shopify app to another platform.
Now that Highview Apps is really starting to feel like a real business, we feel it's time to start diversifying. While the Shopify ecosystem is really good and Shopify is constantly making improvements to their app store, having your entire business depend on one platform is just scary to us. Their app store is definitely getting more competitive as dozens of new apps get added every week.
Since it's their platform, they also reserve the right to ban you from it for any reason and while it's probably unlikely they'll do that unless you do something really against their ToS, you'll never know. We'll feel a lot better if we can diversify our revenue sources a bit.