At the start of the year, I develop new objectives to aim for. Some of those objectives are revenue targets.
I’m considering this year to be a development phase of Packet6. And what I mean by that is identifying ways to keep the business relevant and continue to provide value to clients in this changing climate.
See my other Income Reports.
Highlights of Q1
In the last couple of months ending 2021, I was studying for the Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Administrator (PCNSA) exam. In January 2022, I was able to take the exam at home and pass! I’m glad I passed because I had been working on Palo Alto Networks firewalls for most of 2021.
A week after, I passed the JNCIA-MistAI exam.
Both certifications reflect the work I’ve been doing in the past year with Palo Alto Networks and Juniper. I wanted to put some certifications behind it.
One of the big things that will really pay off is hiring a podcast producer to work on Clear To Send episodes. It will allow more focus on recording and freeing time for things that need my attention. A big game changer for the podcast.
And as we focus on improving the business, we are learning and implementing tax strategies. We’re registered as an S-Corp which allows us to take on certain deductions. This lowers the business’ taxable income.
It’s a lot more strategic than that. Not as simple. There’s some additional management overhead but we’ll see how it works for Packet6 this year.
The first quarter was very busy. I took on too much weekend work filled with network cutovers, traveling, and performing validation surveys. I don’t want to overdo it again which means I need to bring in some help.
Sometimes weekend work is required since Packet6 is a side hustle. It can’t affect my full-time employment.
After having done that much work, I realized we didn’t leave space to do more regular reviews of how the business was performing. Tasks and projects were kept in Todoist but I didn’t have a method of properly reviewing what was completed.
We’ll be changing how we keep track of active projects, have end of week and quarterly reviews to make sure we’re not letting things slip.
And speaking of letting things slip, the Packet6 blog has been collecting dust. I’ve implemented a content calendar to keep track of publishing blog posts. We’ve been fortunate to have many new clients come in through the website that it would be a shame to let it wither on the vine.
Now we get to talk about numbers. I’ve always been nervous about sharing these but I’d like to be transparent to allow others to learn from my successes and mistakes.
Eventually, these income reports will expand in more detail. There is much more to organize when it comes to tracking finances.
We were fortunate to have great projects completed in Q1. We’ve embraced the help of subcontractors and it’s removed some weight off my shoulders. But Professional Services revenue dropped 11% compared to the previous quarter. It was offset by an increased in revenue from Managed Services.
I believe all of the Pro Services work came in as referrals or existing business.
The biggest challenge we’re facing is the shortage of equipment. Some clients waited 6 months, others 3 months, but they arrived in Q1 which allowed us to invoice for network hardware, increasing hardware revenue by 110%. All of Q1 hardware sales were Meraki products.
Our Q1 profit margin was 29.2% which is a -41.3% decrease compared to Q4FY21.
The biggest objective that has been carried from last year into 2022 was lowering expenses.
Maybe the most important expense goes to salary of two employees. I want to be sure we can always pay ourselves. You hear about business owners who forgo their income in order to keep the business afloat. That’s no way to live.
Another expense that is new this year will be reimbursements back to us for using a portion of our home as an office and for other business expenses incurred that we’ve personally paid for. Gas mileage is an example of this or reimbursement for your home office usage and Internet.
|Web Services – Subscriptions
|Legal & Professional Services
I saw travel expenses increase by 99% but most of it is charged back to clients. This is for airfare, lodging, and rental cars to locations such as Arizona, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, etc. I’ve stayed with Delta Airlines and Hertz for rewards. Sometimes the cost being higher compared to an airline such as Southwest.
We took a good look at all the SaaS services we use. Some are experimental and others become less utilized. So it was important to cut these subscriptions out and we were able to reduce this expense by 57%. Big win in my book so I’ll take it.
And in the previous quarter we spent a little more on Legal & Professional Services in the previous quarter but in Q1FY22 we reduced this expense by 56%.
We have other expense categories but need to clean it up for improved tracking.
Overall, expenses were down 21% compared to the previous quarter. I’ll take it!
We’re improving our business processes to keep things consistent and to ensure we’re operating with intent. I’m documenting technical processes for future training purposes.
Some examples of processes:
- Weekly reviews
- Quarterly reviews
- Project & task management
- Sales calls
- Podcast production
Our reason for working on processes is to have an overall system that allows us to work on the business instead of in the business.
Now that we have many of our processes documented, we’ll begin to offer Managed Services to more clients. This would bring in recurring revenue in addition to Professional Services & equipment reselling.
I’m also going to go back to creating useful content for technical audiences from my personal website. Packet6 content will have a content targeted for IT decision makers.
I hope this Income Report was valuable for you. Send your questions in the comment section below.