March 2017 Income Report

04 Apr 2017

This is part 27 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.

March was a pretty decent month, loads better than February, but then that’s not really much of an achievement. This was my first month with the new pricing structure, and without the free plan, which definitely had an effect, and mostly it was for the better.

The Figures

  This Month (March 2017) Last Month Change
Monthly Recurring Revenue $3,655 $3,419 6.9%
Actual Revenue $4,171.00 $2,917.25 43.0%
Fastspring fees $307.84 $243.17 26.6%
Expenses £1,680.84 £1,724.71 25.4%
Income £2,118.54 £2,737.33 22.6%
Average Month on Month Growth 9.8% 9.9% 1.0%
Paying customers 61 57 7.0%
- Personal Plan 27 27 -
- Startup Plan 26 22 18.2%
- Corporate Plan 8 8 -
Unique users on landing page 2,255 2,368 4.8%
New Free Trial sign ups 31 48 35.4%
Free Trial sign up rate 1.4% 2.0% 30.0%
New Paying customers 6 4 50.0%
Lost Paying Customers 2 3 33.3%
Free Trial to Paying conversion 19.4% 8.3% 133.7%
Profit £437.70 £1,012.62 56.8%

It was another month with lots of red figures, but all is not what it seems - income looks like it’s way down, but it’s actually due to February having less days, and Fastspring paying me a month in arrears. Ie: the same thing that caused revenue to drop last month, and as I predicted, revenue is up above where it should be this month, as it some of February’s subscriptions were rolled over in to March. Next month the same thing will happen with income, and then everything should return to normality.

Once I finally get round to setting up Stripe for payment processing, I’m just going to charge every subscription on the first of the month, and prorate new subscriptions to avoid this kind of confusion.

Free trial signups, and consequently conversions, were also down quite a bit, but I had a feeling this would happen, as signups increased when I introduced the free plan, so it makes sense that they’d drop again when now I’ve killed it. What’s more important is the free trial to paying conversion rate - 19.4% That’s a new record! The previous record was 15%, and usually I’m lucky to break 10%. It’s a bit early to draw any conclusions, but I’m definitely feeling good about the new pricing structure.

Profit is also down, but this is again due to the drop in income from February’s stupid lack of days. And it’s good to know that I’m still in profit even when revenue drops.

New Pricing Structure

I’ve mentioned a new pricing structure a few times, but I don’t think I’ve elaborated. Keen eyed regular readers could probably guess what I did just by looking at the table above, or you could just look at the pricing page, but where’s the fun in that?

Anyway, the big clue is that the only plan to have a net increase in subscribers is the middle Startup plan, and it’s had 4 new subscribers. Clearly I did something to make it more desirable, and it worked. I made one simple change, and that was remove the screenshots feature from any new bottom level Bootstrap subscriptions. Of course all existing Bootstrap customers got to keep their screenshot function, I’m not an animal.

Once I’ve got some more data, I’m going to do a detailed post about this change, including my thought process behind it, and the effect it’s had.

Expenses

Supplier Expense Amount USD
Total £1,680.84
Me Salary £1,445.29 -
Me Home office allowance £54.71 -
Linode Hosting £41.83 $45
Digital Ocean Hosting £8.36 $10.00
SauceLabs Selenium Servers £57.92 $69.00
Pingdom Uptime monitoring £9.95 -
Facebook Adverts £4.53 -
Talktalk Internet £37.95 -
O2 Mobile Phone £20.30 -

Nothing interesting to report here. I didn’t actually buy any more Facebook ads, that £4.53 is the final payment for last month’s experiment.

Revenue

Didn’t quite get back in front of the 10% growth target, but I wasn’t too far off. I’ll need at least $516.06 in growth next month to get back in front of 10% target, which would be a new record, but not totally unachievable. Wish me luck!

Plans for April

All hands on deck for growth, I’ve got a few small features and bug fixes to implement, but mostly I really want to get back in front of that exponentially evasive 10% growth target.

Thanks for reading

- Matt

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Continue to Part 28 - April 2017 Income Report

Usually, I hate the phrase ‘emotional roller coaster’, but fuck me, was April an emotional roller coaster. It started well, really well, I was up $260 monthly recurring revenue in the first week! Then in the middle of the month things started to go down hill.

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