wiki:business_model_committee

Business Model Committee

Members: Eric, Alfredo, Jon, Ana, Ross, Jamie

Attached are profit loss for 2006, profit loss for the first 3 quarters of 2007, and a monthly breakdown of this data from April 1 2006 to September 30, 2007. Note: this is accrual based accounting - meaning this is what we earned and what we owed, not necessarily what we received and what we paid.

Proposal:

The single biggest request from the September retreat was to begin paying staff for support - I've been scrutinizing our data to try to figure out how and when we could expect that to happen. In looking through the data, however, I realized that our trends don't happen on a monthly basis. While I was expecting to be able to see a year of monthly statistics and be able to accurately guage monthly averages, the data suggests otherwise. For example, October and January we regularly have a huge number of renewals based on the fact that those months are the months we initiated the system with the People Link members and the May First Technology Collective members. As a result, my projection approach to planning when we could hire people seems to be more error prone than I had hoped.

So - I'm proposing a balance approach instead. Rather than attempt to project a date when we can afford to spend X dollars on staff, I would suggest that we make those moves based on bank balance. I'm starting very conservatively based on our current operations.

Current growth/Status Quo

Documentation and Standardization

Trigger: When our balance reaches $10,000

Budget $2100 to hire Jamie plus two other people with system administration skills for a one month project ($700/each with expectations of 4 full days of work). The goals are:

  • Fully document all aspects of the current system
  • Identity and fix areas that are non-standardized
  • Bring two other people fully up to speed on all aspects of the system in use by May First/People Link

Goal: Reach this point by February 2008.

Substitution/Vacation planning

Trigger: this could happen at any time

Whenever Jamie plans to be out of town for more than 3 days, identity one or two people to be on call. Figure out appropriate payment ($50/day? $100/day?). Duties would include watching the support queue and being available to make a visit to Telehouse in case of emergency.

Part time mode

Trigger: when our balance reaches $20,000

For a defined 6 month period (with option to extend), hire four people at a part time rate of $500/month:

  1. Jamie (to continue doing what he does now for free)
  2. Alfredo (ditto)
  3. System administrator
  4. Membership coordinator

If the organization cannot sustain this - in the worst case scenario we would burn through $12,000 in 6 months. With a balance of $20,000 we could still handle it. Ideally, this expansion would help us grow as well, which would enable us to continue or even begin adding to the monthly stipends.

Goal: Reach this point by September 2008

Grant/Proposal

These projects are ones that we would expect to see funding earliest in the Fall of 2008. Although there is a long and glorious tradition of organizations submitting funding proposals the night before the deadline, the most effective approach is to organize well in advance. In particular, I think our strongest proposal would come out of collaborating with other providers. This approach would also help us build the ecosystem and contribute to some of our bigger goals.

We should take the list of proposed projects and campaign as a starting point for thinking about funding.

I believe all of the projects are worthy of pursuing in one shape or another with or without funding. I also think that's an important approach to not getting bent out of shape by funder demands.

Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on Oct 26, 2007, 1:37:12 PM

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