So… it’s been a long old while since I did any kind of a project update! Ahem, sorry - bit of a busy year so far…
I seem to remember promising a quarterly update last year - and it feeling as if not enough new stuff happened to justify a weekly or monthly update - but the problem with quarterly is it just ends up slipping my mind and/or becoming a mountain of new things to explain.
So this time round, I’m going to try a weekly post - which will be news/developments when there are any to report, and just ‘what I’m thinking about mostly’ when nothing has actually changed…
I hope you’ll find it an interesting insight into everything that’s going on, and I’m always happy to answer any questions you have, and very keen to hear your suggestions…
The main BIG news is that we’ve had a couple of important shifts in terms of organisational structure (which we’re confident are going to help us crack on with some serious growth in the next couple of years).
SaySomethingin.com Ltd now has 4 owners - Jeff, Jesse, Iestyn and myself. Jeff you’ve seen on the forum for years, helping people troubleshoot the iOS app which he so kindly built for us - Jesse you haven’t seen on the forum, but if you’ve been watching any of our ads on Facebook or YouTube, you’ve seen the hugely important work he’s been doing - it’s largely because of Jesse that we now have far more active, subscribing learners than ever before. Both Jeff and Jesse have made significant cash investments in SaySomethingin.com Ltd as well, and bring a huge amount of experience and expertise to the table - we’re absolutely delighted to have them on board.
As well as 4 owners/share-holders, SaySomethingin.com now also has a board of directors, consisting of Jeff, Jesse, Iestyn, myself and - drum-roll! - Justine. Justine you’ve seen on the forum from time to time - she lives just down the road from Catrin and myself, in Penygroes - and if you were at the 10th birthday party, you felt the benefits of her remarkable organisational skills. By day, she’s a trouble-shooting chief operating officer, who gets called in to fix universities and health trusts and so on - and now by night she’s our operations director, and we really couldn’t be luckier to have someone with such vast experience making sure that we’re properly ready for the next stages of growth.
So what next stages of growth are those?!
Most of you know that we’ve been ramping up our Facebook advertising - and we now have very steady patterns of growth based on that advertising (and we’ve just started testing some stuff on YouTube as well). We want to keep fine-tuning so that we can grow faster - we’re held back slightly by the fact that it takes us about 7 to 8 months to get to breakeven on new learners at the moment, but that just means that we need to be a little more patient than is natural… We’ve got some fantastic new creative marketing videos on the way from the terrific folk at wearebak.com (Memet and Dave), and we’ll be starting to test ads for our Spanish course over the next few weeks.
We’re also continuing to talk to a number of possible investors - don’t worry, we’re not going to get snapped up by some big hidebound organisation and stop being SSiW as you have known it! - we’ve got a range of possible investment/loan structures that leave a majority ownership with Iestyn and myself, so this is NOT about being taken over, it’s about increasing our capitalisation so that we can grow faster (which means more courses and more tutors more quickly).
Finally, we’re also talking to people with whom we can do some partnership work - at the moment, we’re focusing on publishing, to see what sort of difference to our growth it might make to have some books on shelves - and we’re also doing some work that should reach your TV screens at some point next spring.
Getting all these strands lined up has taken a lot of time and energy - which is a large part of why I haven’t been on the forum as much as usual this year (which I’m looking forward to changing).
Now, we’re getting close to being in a position where those varying elements are all set up and running smoothly - which means we are very close to being at the long-awaited point where we can start to produce courses in new languages - so you can expect the first few new flowers this coming spring…