February's Figures

11 Mar 2016

This is part 12 in my series of blog posts documenting my attempt to take BugMuncher from Side Project to Profitable Startup. If you've not yet read the previous parts, you should definitely start from part 1.

If you read last month’s update, you’ll know February had a lot to live up to. Like the proverbial middle child, overshadowed by an older sibling, February didn’t stand a chance. I mean, it’s not even got as many days as January, how could it possibly compete?

The Figures

  This Month (Feb 2016) Last Month Change
Savings (end of month) £13,094.22 £14,563.71 10.1%
Monthly Recurring Revenue $1,290 $1,244 3.7%
Income £770.28 - -
Average Month on Month Growth 13.0% 14.9% 12.6%
Paying customers 27 24 12.5%
- Personal Plan 13 9 44%
- Startup Plan 10 11 9.1%
- Corporate Plan 4 4 -
Unique users on landing page 1,560 2,987 47.8%%
New Free Trial sign ups 34 55 38.2%
Free Trial sign up rate 2.18% 1.84% 18.5%
New Paying customers 4 3 33.3%
Lost Paying Customers 1 0 ∞%
Free Trial to Paying conversion 5.88% 7.27% 19.1%

To answer the to the question I posed before the table - it couldn’t. Last month I wrote “I know I’m unlikely to maintain [January’s] level of growth”, and of course I was right, yet it still feels pretty crappy. The really stupid thing is that back when BugMuncher was just my side project, a net increase of 3 paying customers in one month would have been amazing, best month ever even, yet now it’s disappointing. I suppose I should be happy that BugMuncher’s success over the last 6 months has vastly raised my standards for what counts as a good month.

The worst part is that the Startup plan is no longer the most popular, so I’ve had to remove my fancy ‘most popular’ banner from it on the pricing page, sad face.

On the other hand, I’m really happy to finally be able to add the Income row to table. In February a grand total of £770.28 landed in my business bank account, an effective exchange rate of 0.619. The actual exchange rate through February was more like 0.69, so I lost around 7% to Fastsrpring in fees. It’s by no means enough to live on yet, but it still feels pretty amazing to be getting nearly £800 every month from BugMuncher.

Last month I observed how even though unique users on the site was down, conversions was up. February continued that trend, I put practically zero effort into content marketing, resulting in the lowest number of users on the website since I started working on BugMuncher full time back in September. Yet, the free trial sign up conversion rate is the highest for the same six month period.

Revenue Growth

It’s a little saddening to see the graph level off so much after January’s awesome growth, but I’m still well ahead of my targets, and revenue did grow, so I can’t complain. I think I’m also starting to see the effect of something I’ve been fearing since I started on this mission - as revenue grows, growth targets get harder and harder to reach. Eg: I went into September 2015 with $620 MRR, that meant to achieve 10% growth I’d need 4 new Bootstrap customers, where as this month, 10% growth would have taken 7 new Bootstrap customers.

Now that I’ve finally got accurate income data, I’ve been able to use the good old Startup Growth Calculator to work out that using current income of £770 / month, £1,800 monthly expenses, and £13,000 in runway, BugMuncher could grow at just 4% and I’d still reach profitability before my savings ran out. Admittedly it would take nearly 2 years and I’d be cutting it fine, but it’s reassuring to know.

It’s been another short one this month, as I’m still wrestling with rebuilding the control panel, as well as trying to simultaneously add some new features to the existing control panel, and sort out a new marketing plan. More on all of that soon, but for now, thanks for reading, you’re awesome!

- Matt

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Continue to Part 13 - March's Maths

After a disappointing February, I’d been starting to wonder if growth would be in decline. After all, as revenue grows, it takes more and more new customers to achieve my 10% month-on-month growth target. Thankfully March proved that fear to be unfounded.

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