Pretty good point there Travis.
I would say the reason some get stuck in that frame of mind is because when some people start out in their business, whether its a wisp business or a widget business they start that way because they don't have much money but plenty of time. So they figure they can stretch their money by using their spare time.

Maybe in the very early days that might be true, but once a business gets going, then they have to shift their frame of mind.

Being able to realize this early is a key to growth and success.

My opinion.

George

Travis Johnson wrote:
Hi,

I think that's the #1 mistake that small or startup operators make: Time is money, so don't waste time or money.

I hear stories of people literally spending hours and hours and hours "building" something because they don't want to pay $xxx for it already built. Everyone reading this list should remember - Your time is worth something. For some it may be $10/hour and for others it may be $200/hour. The question you have to always ask is "Can I generate more income by doing it myself, or having it already done so I can work on xxxxxxxx".

Quick example: You can spend 3-4 hours building a new email server for your network (hardware cost=$500). Or you can buy a ready to run mail server for $1,000. However, if you could generate 5 new clients in that same amount of time each paying $40 per month, you just wasted your time. The 5 clients will pay for that extra $500 in less than 6 months (after costs, etc.) and you will be making more money in the long run.

Time is money... don't waste time. :)

Travis
Microserv

Pete Davis wrote:

Here is an example of a ROI period ending.

I put in a $500/mo T1 and rent a $100/mo tower space. My fixed costs are $600/mo I put in a $1000 AP and router, and buy 100 $200 CPE. I am now $21000 in the hole.
Each customer is paying me $50/mo. ($5000/mo total)
My ROI is 5 months, and my fixed cost per customer is $6 (upstream bandwidth and tower rent), leaving me $32/mo ($3200) "after ROI" profit. That's all fine and good if this is your hobby, and you are not trying to make a living at this.

I just need 5 of these towers/AP's/model to pay for salaries, trucks, replacement CPE, installers, tools, and trips to conventions and trade shows.

I also need 3 more of these towers to pay interest on the bank note from borrowing the original $21,000, which was more like $200,000 by the time we over-spent, under planned, over estimated the demand, underestimated the costs, overestimated the employees abilities to work, underestimated the damage that lighting can cause, and so on and so forth.

I also need 7 more of these towers to offset the cost of not actually installing 100 clients on day 1, and not getting $100 tower rent, not getting 100 clients per AP, and not getting $200 CPE, and to offset the deadbeats who write hot checks, paying the cell phone bill, buy the fender when an antenna falls off of the roof during an install, buy the insurance to pay for it next time, buy new PCs, put tires on the trucks, change the oil, buying a mail server, buying another server to remove the spam from the first mail server, buying spare servers, routers, tools, and paying consultants when I cannot figure it out.

Then I need another 14 towers to pay for the psychotherapist when go nuts trying to manage 2900 subscribers, who are all bitching and moaning because their PC has a virus, or their kid is downloading porn, or maybe they are getting spam, or they can't get their bittorrent client to download more than 500kbps.

I am not there yet. We are still working on getting tower number 7 online, and installing customer number 350'ish, and I am not on the mood altering drugs... yet.

Eventually, there is a model there for making money in this business somewhere between the hobby stage and the looney bin.

The ways to do that should be the same as any other business whether you are selling internet, real estate, health care, computers, or donuts.

   1: Time is money, so don't waste time or money.
   2. Don't cut corners.
   3. Don't piss off the customers.

Pete Davis
NoDial.net




Travis Johnson wrote:

Tom,

There is no such thing as "average profit per sub after ROI period". Let me give an example:

I lease all my CPE. It is a recurring monthly debt that will never go away. Even after 3 years, when I own the CPE, there will be new CPE that needs purchased... and thus new towers, new AP's, new backhauls, new routers, new bandwidth, new whatever. Even if I move that paid for CPE to a new customer on the edges of my network, there are still costs mentioned above for that customer.

Maybe I'm not thinking the same as you, but I can never see an "after ROI period". It never happens.

Travis
Microserv


Tom DeReggi wrote:

I agree current profit is irrelevant, when considering company totals during the early growth period. But calcualted future Profit clearly is relevant, as far as how much profit will be made per sub, and how soon. Profitabilty can be misleading when jsut considering accounting paperwork (profit loss / balance sheets)

I'll give an example:

Lets say a company gets an ROI in 1 year. And had 4 years of selling subs. And by the 4th year, profit would be being made from each sub. But then lets says a company had a 100% growth spurt in the 5th year. And lets say there is a 1 year ROI, meaning 12 dollars needs to be spent for ever new dollar that is made. Because the growth rate of the company is so much higher in the later year, the expendatures are far greater than the revenue comming in from the samller customer base taken on the first 4 years. Thus, it appears the company is losing money and not profiting.

When in actuallity, the company has record high success. All pre-existing subs ARE 100% profitable, and lot of new growth has been made to replicate the previous years successful model.

So yes, profitable books may mean a company is not growing and not making new sales.

However, showing the average profit per sub, after the ROI period is a VERY relevant bit of information. Its what defines the value of the business model in my mind.

In other words:

Forcasted Profit margin based on current years proven track record.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband


----- Original Message ----- From: "Matt Liotta" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] This is HUGE!


Profit is irrelevant for an early stage growth company.

-Matt

Peter R. wrote:

Because number of subs is the measuring stick.
Revenue is more important; but profit is the most important.
Not many can speak to profit, so they measure in subs.

- Peter


Matt Liotta wrote:

Not sure why the number of customers is even important when the quality of customers can vary so wildly. I run into WISPs regularly whose ARPU is barely above $100. At 1000 customers an ARPU of $100 is only $1.2M per year. That's a lot of radios and a lot of customers for very little revenue. Compare this to CBeyond, which is an Atlanta-based CLEC that in recent time went public. Today they have about 17,000 customers, but their ARPU is $761. With just 1000 customers, an ARPU of $761 would be worth $9.1M. Or to look at it a different way, with 17,000 customers an ARPU of $100 would only be $20.4M compared with the $155.2M they pull in now.

A WISP would be wise to raise their ARPU as opposed to the number of customers.

-Matt






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