December's Details

After an amazing November, I decided to take it easy for the rest of the year, essentially putting BugMuncher in maintenance mode of the month. Ie: just responding to emails and fixing issues. So considering I put zero effort into marketing or development, December was a surprisingly good month.

The Figures

  This Month (December 2016) Last Month Change
Savings (end of month) £4,366.73 £5,977.57 26.9%
Monthly Recurring Revenue $3,125 $3,009 3.9%
Actual Revenue $3,125 $3,038 2.9%
Fastspring fees $232.83 $252.19 7.7%
Expenses £3,819.96 £1,569.30 143.4%
Income £2,169.59 £1,849.47 17.3%
Average Month on Month Growth 10.6% 11.1% 4.5%
Paying customers 51 47 8.5%
- Personal Plan 25 21 19.0%
- Startup Plan 18 18 -
- Corporate Plan 8 8 -
Free plan subscribers 70 46 52.2%
Unique users on landing page 2,547 2,216 14.9%
New Free Trial sign ups 52 57 8.8%
Free Trial sign up rate 2.0% 2.6% 23.1%
New Paying customers 6 9 33.3%
Lost Paying Customers 2 2 -
Free Trial to Paying conversion 11.5% 15.8% 27.2%
New Free plan customers 24 13 84.6%
Free Trial to Free plan conversion 46.1% 22.8% 102.2%
Paying to Free plan downgrades 0 0 -
Profit £-1,610.84 £290.17 655.1%

Compared to last month’s epic leap into profit, you would be forgiven for thinking this month it all went to shit. Thankfully that’s not the case. There was a significant drop in savings, as well as huge increase in expenses this month as my accountants advised me it would be more tax efficient to take an extra £2,000 out of the business this year, especially as the new dividend tax comes into force next year.

Most of that £2,000 is still in my personal savings account, although I did spend some, I’m only human. But as it’s now out of the business, I’m not including it in this month’s numbers. As you can see, this month’s “loss” was less than £2,000, which means if I had kept that £2,000 in the business, this would have been another month of profit. £389.16 to be precise.

Other than that, the figures all look pretty healthy. Revenue growth wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t expecting much as December is always gonna be quiet, and I had decided to take a bit of a back seat for the month.


Supplier Expense Amount USD
Total £3,819.96
Me Salary £1,445.29 -
Me Christmas Bonus £2,000 -
Me Home office allowance £54.71 -
Linode Hosting £20.55 $25
Digital Ocean Hosting £8.22 $10.00
SauceLabs Selenium Servers £56.42 $69.00 Graphics Software £73.58 $90.00
Pingdom Uptime monitoring £9.95 -
Alfie Browns Staff Christmas Dinner £29.60 -
Talktalk Internet £37.95 -
O2 Mobile Phone £20.70 -
Amazon Backup HDD £62.99 -

There’s three unusual expenses this month. First is my £2,000 “Christmas Bonus”, which I detailed above. Then there’s the staff Christmas dinner - Sophie (my fiancée) and I have a tradition of going out for dinner on the business each year in December, and calling it the “Matt Bearman Ltd Staff Christmas Party”. And finally I had to buy a new backup drive as my last one gave up the ghost.


Nothing much to report here, still ahead of the 10% target, although it has gained on me a little.


December was a big month for freeloaders, 24 new freeloaders joined, bringing the total to 70, finally eclipsing the number of paying subscribers. Free trial to free plan conversion was also high, at 46.1%.

The freeloaders still haven’t had any negative impact on any resources, but 70 users isn’t exactly a huge number, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop with regard to the free plan throughout this year.

Plans for 2017

My plans have changed quite a bit - I’ve previously written about the upcoming custom questions update, but I’ve decided to put that on hold for now. It’s such a fundamental change to what BugMuncher is, and things have been going so well recently I don’t want to ruin a good thing. I’d still like to implement it in some way, but I’m going to rethink it a bit and try to do it as more of an MVP (Minimum Viable Pivot).

I’ve also found myself constantly fighting with Ember.js trying to get it to do what I want within BugMuncher’s control panel. It’s reached the point where I’m ready to give up on the whole thick Javascript client thing. It works well for BugMucnher’s feedback interface, but I really wish I’d stuck with a standard CRUD app for the control panel. Thankfully the API is still built with Ruby on Rails, so I’m considering building a CRUD control panel onto the Rails app, and abandoning the current control panel.

I’ve also started working on a new side project, but that’s a subject for another post 😉

Thanks for reading

- Matt