Welcome to August, and thanks for stopping by. Below is a summary of what I and the family got up to during the months of June & July.
I usually touch upon this area last, but June brought about our long-awaited second child, as Robin Rush officially entered the world on 26th June 2020. That’s also why I am a month late on my June update.
The ‘little guy’ is not so little now, and is eating and sleeping well. He’s 5 weeks old at time of writing, and already moved into wearing 3-6 month old clothes. Given I and my wife are pretty small and slight, it’s quite amusing how quickly this guy is growing, but I am sure he’ll eventually slow down.
The other one is finally back to pre-school between 8:30 – 12:30, so finally I am able to get a little bit of work done uninterrupted for a few hours a day.
To be honest, not much else to share – everything is consumed by a new baby!
Work took a bit of a back seat in July in particular, but I’ve still been keeping busy with the usual client work and side projects, but progress with FrameIT and the launch of a couple of new websites were notable achievements.
FrameIT recorded another record revenue month [in June & July]
May had seen a record month for FrameIT in terms of revenue, and this positive trend continued in both June & July. The growth in June was 20% whilst July grew a further 174%. August has started pretty slowly, so I may struggle to match the July performance.
A lot of the growth can be attributed to improvements in organic search rankings. I am still not actively investing any dollars into paid advertising.
I took some time during June to also shoot a simple video on how to frame a jigsaw without glue, and will try to develop some similar instructional style videos in the next couple of months and see how it goes. Considering I DIY’d it myself and had an editor fix it up on Upwork, I think the results are not to bad.
I am also planning for some small UI improvements before perhaps considering a soft launch into Malaysia.
Launched The Handyman website
Whilst its still very early stages, I managed to get my new website out of the door in July. Its called The Handyman, and is designed to consolidate lots of professional contractors into a single source, enabling prospective customers to find, review, and contact them more easily.
I decided to tackle this given personal challenges we’ve had finding reliable people to do jobs around the home. There are a few other similar sites in Singapore, but they are mostly coming from overseas, and expanding into the market, so they have perhaps less local focus, and we hope to try and steal a bit of a march by focusing on a single market.
As with any platform website such as this, it will only work if we bring two components together:
- Convincing vendors to add themselves or let us add them.
- Ranking the site in search and generating relevant visitors to the site.
It’s going to be easier to convince vendors to list themselves given the platform is totally free [at least for now], but eventually, we need a steady stream of visitors in order to generate quantifiable leads for the vendors.
I have to say that so far, it’s a challenge to get the vendors to list themselves, so we’ve started cold calling to gradually push things over the line. I’ll let you know how it’s going next month, but its definitely going to be a very slow burn project.
Launched a new legal website called JRQ Legal
Not content with just launching one website in a month, I also managed to squeeze out a new law firm based site called JCP Law. I’m working on this one in conjunction with my client I.R.B Law, but this site will be using a commission model. Effectively the upfront effort and cost are on me, but if I can get it to rank and generate leads, I’ll take a cut of the revenue. Looking forward to seeing how it goes, but doubtless going to take a number of months before any traction is evident.
I made a lot of changes in June & July. Mostly I sold a lot of my existing stuff off and banked the profits, then reinvested in different companies.
Firstly, I sold off the following
- Microsoft – I cashed out at around $192, in hindsight to early, but still took an 18% overall gain.
- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – decided it was time to exit, took a much smaller gain than I could have, but still 17% overall.
- Alibaba – I shouldn’t have sold this frankly. I banked a 3% gain, but in recent weeks they moved north in value by a fair amount.
- Carnival Corp – took 31% gain and cashed out.
- JD Sports – wish I had sold when it went over 700GBX, but in the end I sold at 628GBX and banked a 30% gain.
- Heineken – took at 30% gain and cashed out.
- Sanofi – banked small profits of 13%.
- I also bought and then later sold Rolls-Royce, which turned out to be a stinker, and lost me 30%, admittedly from a small outlay.
My current holdings
I’m continuing to periodically add to Alphabet [Google] and SAP, whilst I have also taken new positions in both Pinterest and Fastly. Boeing and Airbus are both a deep shade of red, but I am planning to hold on through to some form of recovery. I suspect the only addition I will make in August is my usual monthly purchase of SAP shares.
Thats it for this one – stay safe out there kids.