It’s time to look at how our virtual tour business has evolved in the past year. This is our second full year
operating Vision Quest Virtual Tours as our full time job and sole
source of income. It’s been said that you can’t EXPECT what you don’t
INSPECT so this exercise is very helpful in seeing how far we’ve come
and also in setting our goals for 2013. Here’s how we did on the
specific goals we set for ourselves:
GEOGRAPHIC GOALS —
Having traveled almost full time in 2011 and then bought a small house
on the Mississippi River at the end of the year, we decided that we
wanted to concentrate our travel on a corridor between Illinois and
Charleston, SC. We accomplished this goal and were able to spend a
great deal of time at our home in Illinois and as well as with our
families in Georgia and South Carolina.
We are a national virtual tour company and
we photographed tours in 13 states and logged 37,500 business miles —
however it was all in the Southeast and Midwest which meant that we
spent many weekends at home. We discovered some new places we love such
as bike trails in Iowa and Wisconsin but we also got to enjoy the
beaches in Charleston and the Gulf Coast and got to enjoy the beauty of
our own backyard.
CORE BUSINESS FOCUS —
At Vision Quest Virtual Tours, we specialize in virtual tours for
healthcare, hospitality and education. This is our core business but
this year, we also began doing more real estate and created a secondary
business focus. The great thing about local real estate is that it is a
consistent stream of income but when we were traveling full time, it
was difficult to service those clients in a time efficient manner. This
year we solved that by hiring an additional photographer who is
available to shoot our Quincy, IL real estate virtual tours when we are
on the road.
There’s an old saying that you can add to your income or multiply it.
With limited hours in the day, the only way to multiply your income is
to find a way to make money passively. Rather than stray from our core
business sectors, by adding the other photographer, we simply added
another division that operates in a self sufficient manner. Last year,
real estate accounted for 5% of our virtual tour business…this year real estate
accounted for 20% of our business!
Our business was split between the following sectors:
44.8% — Hospitality
29.7% — Healthcare and Education
19.6% — Residential Real Estate
6% — Architecture and Design Photography
INCOME AND VOLUME GOALS —
Our goal was to average at least one virtual tour per day and we exceeded
that. We will end the year with about 370 tours completed. What that
means is that many days we shot anywhere from 5 – 10 and many days we
shot none. We also had specific income goals — both for annual income,
average monthly income and also for a specific amount of income in a
single month — we exceeded each of those. We had a good ratio of
smaller jobs (like houses and cabins) and larger jobs (such as hospitals
and nursing homes).
SOURCE OF BUSINESS —
We reached a huge milestone this year in that only 26% of our virtual tour business
was attained by cold calling. This year the vast majority of our
virtual tour business came from repeat customers, referrals from existing customers
and leads from our website. In all honesty, we could have made an even
higher income by focusing more on new business but it was so delightful
to have the phone ringing with referrals and repeat business that it was
not as necessary to do aggressive cold calling to meet our income
39% — Repeat Customer
26% — New Customers
20% — Web Leads
18% — Referrals
The most important goal we accomplished this year was less tangible.
We ran ourselves ragged the first year we were in business and we wanted
more balance this year. Achieving that goal is our greatest
accomplishment of all. We reached fitness goals — losing over 80
pounds between the two of us; I ran my first half marathon, a 10k and 5k
race; we rode our bikes in lots of new places. We spent a lot more
quality time with our families, we became more involved in our church,
took more time to relax and rest and enjoy our virtual tour business and our lives.
All in all, 2012 was a very good year indeed and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!