January 2020 income report

Profile image of Mattias Geniar

Mattias Geniar, February 11, 2020

Follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar

Here it is, the first open financial report of my business as an independent creator and consultant!

Let’s start with the summary first and do a break-down further down this post. If all you care about is “how much money is Mattias making", you can probably stop looking after the first table.

My income comes from 3 main sources: DNS Spy, Oh Dear! and consultancy.

Total revenue Total costs Net profit
€2,943.00 €1,832.00 €1,111.00

These numbers don’t mean much in and of themselves, so let’s dive in.

Business costs

Costs were particularly high in January due to a higher-than-usual accounting cost (start-up fees and extra legal requirements for something called Ultimate Beneficiary Owner in Belgium).

Overall, most money was spent on:

  • Social security, healthcare & pension plan
  • VAT pre-payments
  • Mailcoach, a new e-mail newsletter system in Laravel to replace Sendy
  • Digital Ocean server equipment
  • Mailgun subscription for sending the cron.weekly newsletter
  • Internet, cell phone subscription, electricity & gas for my home office

I sincerely hope next month will have less expenses.

Oh Dear revenue and breakdown

We had a pretty worrying December month, so I’m happy to see January has been showing growth and strength again.

Overall, Oh Dear! is growing nicely and I feel like our marketing efforts are paying of.

We employ a 30/35/35 rule for Oh Dear revenue: 30% of our revenue gets re-invested in the company (advertising, art designs, external freelancers, …), 35% goes to Freek, 35% goes to me.

Type Amount
Total revenue (VAT excluded) €5,196.00
Costs €500.00
30% to marketing/investment €1,408.00
35% to Freek/Me €1,643.60

Note 1: costs are averaged and rounded to the upside, to keep budget available for sudden spikes in activity (aka: more server capacity needed).

Note 2: taxes are excluded from these numbers

DNS Spy revenue and breakdown

DNS Spy is a much simpler product than Oh Dear. It has less features and only focusses on DNS, a much more narrow use case. As a result, its proceeds are also lower.

DNS Spy is owned and operated by me, so all profits flow to me directly.

Type Amount
Total revenue (VAT excluded) €1,118.00
Server costs €95.00
Total profit €1,023.00

It’s been a pretty good month for DNS Spy as well, with a +37.9% growth compared to December 2019. Revenue can be spiky due to yearly subscriptions though, so I take that growth with a big grain of salt and expect February to show a drop in revenue.

Consultancy revenue

My consultancy revenue was laughably low at €240.00.

I contribute this to a few things:

  1. I haven’t been actively looking for clients in 2019, I only started doing that in January 2020 (and it takes a while for a lead to turn into a consultancy assignment)
  2. Start of school was tricky for our kids, lots of illness which meant I was the one responsible for keeping them home from school (spoiler: it’s hard to get work done with a 3yo + 5yo at home)
  3. I can realistically only do remote work

That last bit makes it tricky to work with Belgian companies. Belgium is so small, everyone just expects you to show up at their office and work for 8 hours straight. I can’t combine that with dropping of & picking up kids from school (an average school day lasts about 7 hours here in Belgium).

This means I’m limited to either 1) very small assignments on-site or 2) remote work only, both of which are hard to book & do.

It’s something I’ll have to work on in the next few months if I want consultancy to be the gap-filler for my monthly revenue.

Revenue summary

To summarize, here’s the revenue and costs per income stream.

Revenue Costs Profit
Oh Dear! €1,643.60 €1,643.60
DNS Spy €1,118.00 -€95.00 €1,023.00
Consultancy €240.00 €240.00
Business costs -€1,832.00 - €1,832.00
Total profit €1,074.60

Gross revenue of €3,001.00 but due to the high costs of this month, it only leaves €1,074.60 in the bank account.

Net results

I payed myself a net salary of €1,000.00 in January, which is actually a bit too high for the revenue vs. costs I had. I prefer to keep a buffer in the bank for unexpected expenses, but that wasn’t possible this month.

My most important factor of whether or not I’m successful is if I’ve had to touch my savings account to make ends meet this month. That answer is: unfortunately, I’ve had to touch my savings account. 😢

Gotta work harder next month!

Extra note: because I now own a business, I get to (partially) pay things like my home office internet, electricity, heating, … with pre-tax revenue. This allows me to receive a lower-than-before salary while keeping the same standard of living.

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