I’ll be honest with you. The first quarter was pretty subpar in terms of domain sales my company closed.
After the record breaking year I had last year, my expectations for Q1 2014 were pretty high. Unfortunately, domain sales in the first quarter were below my high expectations.
Looking at things objectively, it wasn’t all bad. Had I closed on the profitable offers I received, I would be on track to exceed last year’s sales numbers. Because of the steady nature of my company’s other revenue streams, I have the luxury of holding out for better offers, and when those didn’t materialize, my quarter was below my expectations.
There were several factors that I think caused the lower sales numbers for me:
Too much travel – Before the year began, I was concerned that my travel schedule would impact my business. I have been traveling for pleasure more than usual at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t focus on end user outreach. I am not complaining, but I haven’t been as focused on sales as I usually am, and it showed.
Fewer offers received – Prior to the past two weeks when I saw an increase in offers, the number of qualified offers was down compared to past quarters. I don’t know why I received fewer offers, but combined with initiating fewer outbound offers, it wasn’t a great sales quarter.
Steady alternative revenue streams – When cash is flowing into my business from alternative revenue streams, there is less incentive to sell domain names for lower offers. Blog and other website revenue remains solid, so I haven’t felt the need to sell for less than ideal prices, and I didn’t close some deals that I might have closed otherwise. For instance, a $25k offer on a name I bought for $15k might make sense on some days, but when I think it’s a $50-75k name, it makes it more difficult to pull the trigger when I don’t need to make a deal.
Tax uncertainty – As a result of the great year I had in 2013, I have a sizeable tax bill due on April 15. Until last week, I didn’t know what the bill would be (and what my 2014 quarterly estimated tax numbers are), which led me to spend less on domain acquisitions. The lack of new saleable inventory has also slowed my sales down. With fewer exceptional names coming in, there was even less incentive to undersell my domain names.
Now that my tax numbers are final and I closed a couple of quarter-end deals, the wheels will begin churning. I’ve been making some good offers on domain names, and that should help drive additional sales revenue. I have high hopes that things will get back on track in Q2.
How was your quarter?