One technique that has become popular over the past couple years is businesses sharing income reports.
That is, reports that show exactly what the business earned and spent within a specific time frame (generally a month).
Types of business this has become popular include tech startups, bloggers and podcasters.
Why do businesses share their income details?
Talking about income and money has in the past been a big taboo and personally I don’t see it becoming main stream.
However people who share income reports say it provides transparency that their audience appreciates and gives their business a credibility and trust worthiness that leads to people buying from them.
Dan from WP Curve, a WordPress startup that provides tech support to people who use WordPress says
Put simply, our business would not exist in any recognizable form, without our monthly income reports.
He says by sharing their income reports, WP Curve has built a reputation and a brand based on their transparency and has directly contributed to many awesome things.
Along with transparency to their customers, sharing income reports probably feeds the human desire to peek behind the curtains a little. To see what other people are doing in business, how they are doing and how much money they are making.
They can also provide motivation for people looking to start their own business, or people in similar markets looking to build their business.
A potential downside of sharing your income report is the opportunity for people to steal your ideas and build identical services.
However it remains to be seen if this is really a huge problem. For example many similar WordPress support sites have sprung up since WP Curve started sharing their stats however none have reached the heights that Dan and Alex has.
In his article Why Some Bloggers Transparently Report Their Income, Simon Owens interviewed content marketer Alexis Grant about why she shares income reports one part of her business and not another.
While Grant is happy to blog about revenue from affiliate marketing and advertising, she doesn’t share income generated from the client side of her business.
The reason for this she says is “But I wouldn’t do this for the client side of my business, specifically because I just feel like some of our clients pay us more than others.”
As Simon notes, “it essentially removes her bargaining power”.
If you’re interested in learning more about income reports and the kind of detail that people share, here are some examples:
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income shares the details on his different websites and where the income comes from
Along with their own monthly income reports,WP Curve have also put together a list of businesses that share income stats, including Entrepreneur on Fire, Baremetrics and Empire Flippers.
On Bloggers Passion, Anil Agarwal has created a list of bloggers who share their income reports. This includes a food blog, a number of travel blogs, internet marketing blogs and Anil’s own income report.
WpLift.com have compiled a list of WordPress focused companies that share income reports. This includes theme developers, support services and plugin developers.
WP Curve – http://wpcurve.com/income-reports/
Simon Owens – http://www.simonowens.net/why-some-bloggers-transparently-report-their-income