My goal with Perfalytics is to hit $100,000 in annual recurring revenue by the end of 2019. To hit that goal, assuming each user is paying $99/month, I need to get to 85 paying users by the end of the year. Getting to 85 customers won’t be easy. It’s going to take a lot of work and careful planning. To ensure I’m on track to hitting that goal, I worked backwards to come up with a rough plan and milestones I’ll need to achieve along the way.

The high level plan I made has two distinct phases. At the beginning of the year, I’m going to focus on iterating and improving the product. During this time I’m going to make sure I’m making something that people want and are willing to pay for. If I don’t make something people want, Perfalytics will fail no matter what else I do.

Once I’ve got a small group of people who are getting value out of Perfalytics, I’m going to shift my focus to acquiring new customers. Initially I’ll focus on acquiring single individual customers. As time goes, I’ll work on building out a scalable and repeatable process for acquiring new users.

Based on this rough plan, I came up with the following four quarterly milestones:

By the end of Q1 2019, at least one person will be paying for Perfalytics.

During Q1, I’m going to be talking with potential customers and have people try out the product. I want to understand their needs and how a tool like Perfalytics can help them. Once I’ve got a good sense of what problems are the most important for me to work on, I’ll make sure Perfalytics solves those problems.

If I can get just one person to pay for Perfalytics, that means I have solved a need that someone else besides me has.

By the end of Q2, at least five people will be paying for Perfalytics.

Q2 is going to look a lot like Q1. I’m still going to be focusing on how to improve the product. The difference is I’m going to have more people trying out Perfalytics and getting more feedback on the product itself. Each person is going to have different needs and wants, so the product will need to change a bit as I sell to each of the first few customers.

Once I get to five paying customers, I’ll have strong evidence that Perfalytics is solving a need that many different people have.

By the end of Q3, at least 20 people will be paying for Perfalytics.

At this point I’ve built something that multiple people are geting value out of. Now I’ll shift my focus onto acquiring more and more customers. My main focus during Q3 will be on finding people who are are a good fit for Perfalytics and building out a repeatable sales process. I’m going to look at a few different approaches to acquriring customers and see which ones are the most effective. The main approaches I’m thinking about right now are email and Google ads.

By the end of Q4, at least 85 people will be paying for Perfalytics.

During Q4, I’ll take the sales process I built out in Q3 and scale it. I’ll need to be able to find more people who are good fits for Perfalytics faster. As a comparison, I’m going to need to acquire net 15 new customeres in Q3. In Q4 I’m going to need to find net 65 new customers. This means I’ll have to make the process way more efficient to acquire all the new users in Q4.

This plan and milestones are tentative, but they do give me a starting point. Now that I’ve got a sense of the milestones I need to hit along the way, I only need to make sure I hit each one and I’ll achieve my goal!

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