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From €240,000 to €330,000/monthly: Working in uncertain times

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When I finished my last article in November, it was very hard to imagine the global situation we would be in today. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to completely adapt the way we work as a company. Yet, I am aware we are the lucky ones: Weglot was not impacted by this crisis as we are 100% online and dealing with many types of websites across all regions of the world.

As a result, our 6 months objective was passed as we reached €330K MRR at the end of April, making these last 6 months our best ones in terms of growth.

Let’s take a step back and see what happened in the last 6 months.

The rise of remote working 

In December 2019, France was hit by a massive transportation strike. No more buses, metros or trains. At the time, it was a really bad situation for Weglot as many people in the team could not come to the office. But looking back, it was a preview of what was coming 3 months later. In a way, this strike forced us into working remotely.

This strike lasted for a month and by mid-January, we were all back at the office, but during this strike month, we had to make it work. We maintained all scheduled weekly team meetings as we believed it was important to keep these going, so we moved them online. With many tools like Whereby or Zoom, it was pretty easy to organize. As the strike would go on and off, we were able to keep most social events and we always had a few people at the office that could come by other means of transportation.

Mid-February, we started to hear a lot about coronavirus and we decided to take early measures at Weglot. We were still all at the office but started adopting transmission precautions. We stopped handshakes and insisted on washing hands regularly and displayed those measures on the walls to remind everyone. Then, as the pandemic accelerated, we closed our Paris office on 13 March. It was quite a strange atmosphere on this day as we all said “bye” to each other without knowing what would happen and when we would be able to see each other again. 2 months later, on this day, we are still all working remotely and the physical office is still closed.

empty weglot office

We quickly adapted to remote working as we did in December. Only this time it’s longer, thus obviously harder. We try to communicate a lot on Slack, say “Hi” in the morning, and wish everyone a good evening when we finish the day. I personally also use Slack status when I’m on lunch break. I believe this is important because when physically here, people can know that you are not available, but remotely they cannot see if you are having lunch or not. By showing you’re unavailable, they can postpone their questions.

We organized a few online social events like sports lessons or cooking classes and sometimes played Pictionary online to take a break in the day (it’s not the same as our beloved table soccer but still!).

We are not sure when we will all be at the office again, but we will slowly be coming back starting in June/July.

Releasing a new major version

Although the Covid-19 has a big place in this last semester, it’s not the only thing I wanted to talk about. Indeed, one of the major milestones was the release of our new dashboard version. I talked about it in my last article but after several months working on it, we released it in March. It was a common team effort, with the developer team working relentlessly on it and the whole team participating in the beta testing to find bugs and give feedback. We also asked Emmanuel, our freelance designer, to have a last look on it to fix alignments and small design details before we released the version.

We had very good feedback overall from this new version. 

weglot dashboard new

The platform got a full new redesign but also brought new features, among them:

  • An improve translation editor that handles HTML tags
  • The ability to add labels to translations
  • A new statistics page
  • A more advanced usage page
  • An activity timeline

We are currently working on a bunch of new features, to better detect content, increase performance, and further ease the translation process.

We also added a public “features request” board where people can suggest features that they want, and vote on features they like. Feel free to have a look: https://roadmap.weglot.com/

A new era of marketing events

Since the beginning, we used to participate in community events. We have attended dozens of WordCamp / meetups around the world. Actually, Weglot was really launched after the Paris WordCamp event in 2016. So when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we had to cancel many events that we had planned to attend. The good news was that these physical events started to adapt and move online. 

We were a bit skeptical at the beginning…How is it possible to move a physical event online? What does it mean to still have a “booth” at that event? So we jumped in on the experience and participated in the WP FeedBack Summit. Here was our booth:

weglot online booth

So basically people could just come and speak to us online, ask for contact/demo and we would show them, as we would in a physical event. We also offered a discount and free plan via a “Spin the wheel” online game 😉

We will be returning on May 25 for the Ecom Services Summit with our online booth!

Moreover, we organized an online webinar on “Optimize e-commerce internationalization” which will be returning in June, sign up here! (It will be in French).

What lies ahead

The next semester is more uncertain than the last. With the world progressively lifting its lockdown, it’s unsure how much will change. What is certain is that we will have to adapt the way we work and develop remote working even more.

However, we will maintain a challenging goal with the release of several key features for the product that will improve the global Weglot experience and an increase of our online marketing to compensate for the lack of physical events. Our goal will be to reach 420,000€ MRR in the next 6 months.

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