Force of Good

100 Days

Aug 30, 2011

So give or take a day or two here or there I have been at Half Off Depot for 100 days. Time to take stock of what has transpired.

I joined the company as employee 21. We have about 50 now. The largest department remains sales, it has just about doubled in size. We have field sales folks now. Depending on how you count I have about 14 direct reports. 

We are also building out strong teams in dev and marketing. We have a part time CFO that put together a financial model any spreadsheet jockey would be proud of. Service and support are coming together. We are hiring solid and smart people that know what to do. We had an offsite where we laid out our strategic initiatives for the second half of the year.

My primary job is to lead our sales expansion. I have seen this movie before. In about two weeks time we set our sights on our first true expansion market. It was Tampa. We launched the effort on June 1. Started actively marketing to consumers on July 1. By mid July it was obvious that things were exceeding expectations. I told our board this and recommended that we accelerate our market expansion plan. They agreed to enter three additional markets by October 1. Two days later my leader bumped that up to August 30. Yesterday we started marketing local deals one day early. Today we officially launch in Charlotte, Nashville, and Orlando. From two to six. Boom baby.

As a partial result of all of this sales growth is quite nice. Partially because our sales is still mostly coming from three markets. Our monthly revenue run rate is up about 35% since May. This revenue growth is without the aid of the markets we just opened. Yesterday was a record sales day, beating the old record by 25%. We are learning to tune the engine. Add on the incremental markets we just opened. It's gonna work.

The downside at the moment is I am kinda killing myself to make it happen. Since I made that October 1 commit I have had a total of two days where I did not work at least six hours. My daughter's 13th birthday and a quick lake trip. The norm is 5:30am to midnight with a few hours for the family in the early evening. Several Fridays have not ended until nine. Cars, hotels, and planes. I have woken and could not remember what city I was in. Most Saturdays start at six in the morning. Not sustainable.

So we need to continue to build out revenue and start work on getting more leverage in the business. People, processes, and scale. That is going to be the focus on the next 100 days or so, which will pretty much land us in 2012.

Posted in Half Off Depot, Startups
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