July's Juxtaposition

July saw me finally launch the new version of BugMuncher, the development of which had been bogarting almost all of my time for the last 3 months. This allowed me to focus the last few days of the month on growth and marketing. Unfortunately it was too little, too late, and July’s figures look pretty dire:

The Figures

  This Month (July 2016) Last Month Change
Savings (end of month) £7,796.97 £8,778.04 11.2%
Monthly Recurring Revenue $2,080 $2,058 1.1%
Income £1,375.24 £1,151.12 19.5%
Average Month on Month Growth 11.63% 12.75% 8.8%
Paying customers 36 38 5.3%
- Personal Plan 20 21 4.8%
- Startup Plan 10 11 9.1%
- Corporate Plan 6 6 -
Unique users on landing page ~1,400 1,751 20.0%
New Free Trial sign ups 36 45 20.0%
Free Trial sign up rate 2.5% 2.57% 2.7%
New Paying customers 1 6 83.3%
Lost Paying Customers 3 4 25.0%
Free Trial to Paying conversion 2.8% 6.7% 58.2%
Monthly Burn Rate £464.12 £688.24 32.6%
Runway 16.8 Months 12.8 Months 31.3%

That has to be one of the most red filled tables in the history of the blog series. At least BugMuncher didn’t quite drop in to a recession, although I fear if I had spent any more time developing the new version, negative growth would have been inevitable. Still, growth is growth, and I’m holding on to that 1.1% like England holds on to their 1966 World Cup victory (seriously, it was 50 years ago, we need to move on as a nation).

You may have noticed that the unique visitors on the landing page is not an exact number this month, this is because in making the new version live, I temporarily broke the Google Analytics installation, so had to extrapolate based on the data I did have for July, arriving at a figure or about 1,400.

It’s kind of sad to see the revenue graph level off like that, but I’m not actually worried. I’m reminded of the second part or this blog series, “Suspiciously Optimistic” - things are looking pretty bleak, but I’m feeling confident.

Since launching the new version of BugMuncher, I’ve already been able make some big improvements, and add some cool new features. I’ve also started working on marketing again, written two new non-journey blog posts, and started to see the fruit of that labour. I’ve also started reaching out to my customers on the phone, to find out how they’re getting on and how I can do better, which has already taught me a great deal. It’s still too early to say for sure, but I feel like August will be a much better month.

That’s not to say I think it’s gonna be easy, far from it, from here on out it’s only going to get harder. This is the first month in which I can clearly see the upward curve of that 10% growth target. The first time the gap between it and my actual growth has visibly diminished due to it gaining on me. Each month the exponential growth of that target line will give it a sharper, more pronounced upward curve, making it increasingly more difficult for me to keep ahead of it.

This feels like a turning point in more ways one, up until now staying ahead of my 10% month on month growth target has been relatively easy. Now it’s snapping at my heels, I really need to knuckle down and focus all my energy on growth. My priority will always be keeping existing customers happy, but if I don’t also bring in new ones, growth will become stagnation, will become decline.

Shit just got real.

- Matt