264 - The Road to a Million Dollar Company - A Year in Review with Claire Pelletreau

On today's episode of the podcast I'm sharing my interview with Claire Pelletreau to discuss her year in review that was originally featured on Claire's Get Paid Podcast. 

I had Claire on my podcast last December to look at her 2021 year end review and kick off my profit and loss series where I've interviewed business owners to review their P&L numbers. Check out Episode 204 - Discussing a Multi-Six Figure P&L with Claire Pelletreau here. During this episode Claire talked about what wasn't really working in her business and what she wanted to change and here we are a year later reviewing 2022 and the changes she made that led to her having her best year yet this year. 

Claire does not typically do annual planning due to past thoughts that do not serve here around her ability to plan and execute a plan combined with last year when she was reevaluating her business and if she wanted to continue with it. That led to the end of last year when she launched The Get Paid Mastermind (not Get Paid Marketing) that resulted in seven members paying $9,000 each. In 2022 she focused on the program. Heading into 2022 she had the program on evergreen and didn't focus on selling anything in January since she didn't have content for the program, it was coaching with a custom marketing plan so she focused on the clients. She was having mindset problems around sales and results until she joined a mastermind. Claire made another sale of the mastermind in February of 2022 and parted ways with her mastermind around the same time due to not being a good fit for one another.  In March, Claire started to make some changes and got some new students in but also made the decision to stop offering it on evergreen because she was not fully focused on delivery nor fully focused on selling. Claire's program, Absolute FB Ads, continued to remain on evergreen. 

With The Get Paid Program, Claire had her previous course content but the big thing she wanted to dive into was conversion optimization and talking to leads coming from cold traffic because that was the biggest issue for some students which was not something Claire had experienced herself. 

From January 1, 2022 to February 28, Claire brought in $25,000 which might sound like a lot but between what Claire was paying her team and herself, that brought the business into the red. Fast forward to the beginning of December 2022 when this episode was recorded and Claire had brought in $437,000. January and February made up just 5% of the year's revenue. 

In 2022, the only ads Claire ran were to her podcast and retargeting ads for enrollment periods but no ads to any sales funnel webinars. In 2021, Claire had been focused on doing all her launches in evergreen and not as part of a live launch but it didn't help with selling very well. In May 2022, Claire did two launches in one which she discussed with me in the episode Launch Postmortem: “I Didn’t Even Care At The End.” She decided to live launch with an enrollment cap to better serve her students and also with hopes to improve conversions. The enrollment cap helped Claire's mindset and found that bringing everyone in at the same time into the same cohort creates greater student bonding but doesn't mean those relationships can't be built with evergreen. The last day to join through the May launch was June 2, 2022 and the year-to-date revenue through June 2 was $158,500. Through the end of June it came to about $168,000 for the first half of the year. 

Claire did a second launch that ended in November but all the spots were spoken for by the end of October. Looking at the numbers between the launches, July and August were about the same. August through September 30, 2022 was $21,000 which is less than 5% of the annual revenue. Because most of the program members were pay in full members, there was not monthly recurring revenue coming in every month. Claire said having her business slush fund helped her better handle her down months. And in the slow season in the beginning of the year Claire was also paying $5,000 a year for coaching so it looked so unprofitable for so long. It was not until recently Claire had this business slush fund and got off the WTF Happened to My Money Hamster Wheel. 

For the October launch, applications for the 20 spots opened on October 20 and cart closed on November 3. All spots but one were paid by Halloween. Due to timing, some were not able to be let in. She considered taking seat deposits for next launch but isn't sure what she wants the price point to be next time. I recommend that Claire start a lead list of those interested for the next launch. 

Having hit capacity, I ask Claire if she's interested in bringing in additional coaches to take on more clients for future launches. For this current cohort Claire brought in a new ads coach to replace a team member who was leaving and adding increased hours to the position and to another member of her team. Next launch she is focusing on higher price point, lower student number. The October launch at $9,000 with 20 students brought in $180,000. With the payment plan it came to $186,000 with 16 members doing pay in full and for using the payment plan which came to about $158,000 cash in hand at the end of the launch. In the May launch she had 50% take the payment plan. 

Looking at where Claire spent the $158,000, she already knew she was going to re-enroll her in her mastermind which was a $25,000 investment in the beginning of November. Also in November she decided to go to Life Coach Live last minute using airline miles (which she said was not great choice since it could have been a business deduction) and spent about $1,500 on the hotel and $2,000 on the VIP conference ticket upgrade. While there she decided to join Life Coach Certification for $18,000. She also donated heavily and bought expensive gifts for others and herself. At the event Claire met enough people who bought her evergreen Absolute FB Ads which more than paid for the event. Claire said her takeaways from the event will lead to her making a million dollars in 2023. Looking at $50,000 being 30% of her launch revenue, $50,000 to make one million dollars was a great investment for Claire because she is someone who invests and makes money off her investment. 

Claire shares that she has to be really cognizant now of what gets spent to make it to the next launch which she says may be a scheduling issue to start the year with so many months of no revenue but knowing that the launches will be so big that it will make up for that. 

In addition to Claire's regular slush fund, all of which she pulled out during the year for the down payment on a house, what she also has is the EIDL loan for $150,000 that she has started to pay back but has very low interest which allows Claire to view it as additional cushion and allows her to take risk. 

With a goal of seven figures in 2023, to get there Claire will need to double her revenue from 2022. Earlier in 2022 Claire did a revenue projecting exercise now that she has the belief in herself to sell 20 slots each time in her program so she can do revenue projections around 20 people each time. Next year she projects the price may be $15,000 times 20 people times two launches comes to $600,000. She also plans to decrease the program from six months to five as she has seen decreased engagement right after month five. In addition to the $600,000, Claire did a very conservative estimate of Absolute FB Ads sales being $120,000. She plans for this to be the course that everyone considers for Facebook ads. This course also could make Claire $1,000,000 if she she sells just 400 of the courses currently priced at $2,500. Believing something is possible without yet knowing how is Claire's new mindset. Claire is also mentally blocking out time for a possible round of IVF in 2023 which she knows could impact her time and energy in her business. 

In 2022, expenses to date were $245,000 so round to $255,000 for 2022 for the year and includes Claire's salary through payroll. Taking the $437,000 year-to-date revenue and rounding to a $450,000 estimate for 2022 and $255,000 in expenses and the $60,000 from the business savings that Claire took out for the down payment on the house and then an additional $10 or 20,000 on top of her usual as an owner's equity draw. Also included in owner's equity is the small handful of expenses business owners run into when they accidently buy something on the business card. In Claire's case, this looked like a dry cleaning expense when she forgot she didn't have her personal card on her at pick-up. I make my personal credit card payments directly form my business bank account and classify them as owner distributions. Everything left in the bank after expenses and owner's equity draw would be retained earnings. 

In 2022 Claire's payroll was almost $38,000 bringing profit to about $230,000 making it Claire's best profit year which is a little over 50% profit. Ultimately, what most of us care about is what we're able to pay ourselves. The higher our profit before salary, the more we can pay ourselves. 

Going into the live event that Claire attended for her mastermind, she told people that she felt embarrassed about her revenue given how many years she'd been in business. Looking back at 2022, Claire shares that her people pleasing got in the way but with two six-figure launches in 2022 she sees that the money is now reflecting that she's saying "fuck that" and liking who she is more now. She doesn't feel fear about needing to repeat this success next year based on the current tools she has. Claire ends the podcast sharing that in 2023 or 2024 she will be hosting a life event, the details are still to be determined. 


Get in Touch with Our Guest Host

Claire Pelletreau, Facebook and Instagram Ads expert
Listen to the Get Paid Podcast 
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