Category Archives: Goals

Revenue and the many hats of a genealogy professional

hats by Beverley Goodwin/creative commons

Recently I wrote about how to project your revenue for 2015. The example I used was a bit simplistic. It only included one source of revenue – client research. In reality most genealogy professional wear many hats. We are client researchers, speakers, writers, editors, authors, bloggers and much more.

How do we project our revenue when we have multiple income streams? Let’s walk through it. Let’s say you made $18,000 from genealogy income in 2014. Here’s how it might have broken down:

2014 revenue: $18,000
Client Research $14,400
Speaking $   1,800
Writing $   1,260
Affiliate income $     540

This is a good break down but to help us make it useful for 2015 we need the percentages. That way we can use the percentages to determine projected income in each category for 2015.

For instance, if we divide $14,400 by $18,000 (yes, use your calculator!) we get a result of 0.8 which is the equivalent of 80%. That means 80% of all revenue earned in 2014 came from client research.

If we divide all the other numbers also by $18,000 we learn that speaking was 10% of the total income, writing was 7%  and affiliate income was 3%.

Our chart now looks like this:

2014 revenue: $18,000 Percentage of total income
Client Research $14,400 80%
Speaking $   1,800 10%
Writing $   1,260 7%
Affiliate income $     540 3%

Let’s say in 2015 you’d like to make $22,000. Keep your percentages the same. Here’s your new chart:

2015 revenue: $22,000
Client Research 80%
Speaking 10%
Writing 7%
Affiliate income 3%

To find your new target revenue take $22,000 and times it by the percentage (.80, .10, .07 and .03). So in the case of client research $22,000 times .80 will equal $17,600. That’s a $3,200 increase from 2014. Work your way through the chart to determine your projected revenue for the other revenue streams. The chart will look like this in the end:

2015 revenue: $22,000
Client Research $17,600 80%
Speaking $   2,200 10%
Writing $   1,540 7%
Affiliate income $     660 3%

This is great because you now have a concrete dollar figure to work toward. These are your revenue goals for 2015. But it’s not as simple as that, is it? In order to achieve the new revenue target for 2015 we’ll have to have a plan to help you achieve this goal. We’ll work on that in the next blog post!


Photo: by Beverley Goodwin/creative commons

Will You Make Enough Money in 2015?

dollars and cents

Genealogy professionals can be a little squeamish about money. We would prefer to think about research and clients. But we need to think about money if we are going to accomplish our goals. So you want to go to that national conference in the spring? You won’t be able to do it unless you have the funds to pay for all the expenses.

Let’s take a moment to think about what we are going to earn this year. You know what you earned last year. What would you like to earn in 2015?

If you have a set hourly rate then take that annual figure and divide it by your hourly rate. So if you’d like to earn $20,000 and your hourly rate is $35 then the number of project hours you need to work to achieve that in 2015 is 572 hours. That seems like a scary number doesn’t it?!!

Let’s make it more manageable. Take that 572 hours and divide by 12 months.  Rounded up that comes out to 48 hours per month.  That seems a lot more manageable, doesn’t it?

Let’s break it down even further. Take the same 572 hours and divide by 50 for the number of weeks  you will work (We’ll give you two weeks vacation. You’ll need to adjust the number if you’re taking more time off). That comes out to 12 hours per week. Is this a realistic number to strive for? This is realistic even for part-time genealogy professionals.  Keep in mind that everything you do is not covered by your billable hourly rate. There are still many tasks that you do that are not billable such as marketing, accounting, networking, business development and educational development.

Try this activity for your own business. Project the annual revenue that you would like to earn. Try to make it a bit more than you earned last year so that you can push yourself. Then calculate it out as shown above. When you get the billable hours you need to work, ask yourself if it is reasonable and manageable for you. If not, adjust up or down as needed.