August 2019 Income Report

05 Sep 2019

This is part 51 in my series of blog posts documenting my attempt to take Saber from Side Project to Profitable Startup. If you've not yet read the previous parts, you should definitely start from part 1.

August was my first full month with Saber in “maintenance mode”, and it went pretty well. I had my first week working for FreeAgent on the 5th August, which I spent working in their offices in Edinburgh. Conveniently there was very little that I needed to do to Saber during that week. However, my first week working from home seemed to be more of a test, as bugs and support requests came in thick and fast. I think I spent at least half an hour every morning working on Saber that week. At least since then it’s all settled down quite nicely.

In terms of the figures, August was a bit of a shit one. I don’t know if there was an increase in cancellations due to the news that I’d no longer be working on Saber full time, or if it was just a coincidence, but there was a lot of churn.

The Figures

  August 2019 July 2019 Change
Monthly Recurring Revenue $4,030 $4,136
Paying customers 50 54
- Personal Plan 12 16
- Startup Plan 27 27
- Corporate Plan 11 11
Unique users on landing page 946 753
New Free Trial sign ups 11 19
Free Trial sign up rate
New Paying customers 1 0
Lost Paying Customers 5 1
Free Trial to Paying conversion
End to End conversion
Support Tickets Closed 8
Bugs fixed 1

Once more I’ve made some changes to the table. First, as I’m no longer taking a salary from Saber, I’ve removed the profit row. I’ve also added two new rows, to help me track how much work is involved when Saber is in maintenance mode. I’ll also be tracking actual time spent starting in September.

As I mentioned before, I had an influx of support emails around the middle of the month, and one fairly difficult bug to fix, but other than that, it was a fairly easy month.

Thankfully most of the churn was from the bottom plan, so revenue loss wasn’t so bad, and I’ve still managed to stay above $4k MRR. Free trial signups were surprisingly bad, especially considering page views were up.

Revenue & Growth

Life at FreeAgent

Of course, I’m still very much in the “honeymoon period”, but my first 4 weeks working full time for FreeAgent have been amazing. I’ve been able to get really stuck into their frankly gargantuan code base, and already been able to deploy a bunch of fixes and updates. I’ve also been able to learn a load of new things, particularly regarding CD/CI and more advanced git stuff, ie: the kinds of things I didn’t need to know when working as a solo developer.

I’ve also loved being able to be just a developer. In the last four weeks I’ve had to do zero marketing, design, server administration, copywriting, or any of the other bullshit I have to do for Saber. What I have done is write code, read code, review code and learn about code. More importantly, even as a remote employee, I’ve always got people to talk to, to learn from, to ask for advice, and to offer my help.

Basically, it’s exactly the job I didn’t realise I was looking for, and I love it.

- Matt

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