Bootstrapping requires patience
Open Startup Report May 2024

We experience a dip and just end the month with a minimal profit: Welcome to our Open Startup Report for May 2024.

May at Friendly in Numbers

  • 🤖 Software revenue: 19 295 CHF (+1%)
  • 🧠 Consulting revenue: 7 214 CHF (-38%)
  • 💰 Total revenue: 26 509 CHF (-14%)
  • 💸 Costs: 26 193 CHF (+2%)
  • 🧾 Profit: 316 CHF (-94%)
  • 👩 Active customers: 129 (+2%)
  • 💔 Churn rate (lost customers): 2.4% (-25%)
  • 👋 New trials: 12 (+100%)
  • 🔎 Website visits: 4 186 (+14%)

These were the key developments in May:

Revenues: Software revenue increases, total revenue falls for the first time this year

Our monthly recurring revenue (MRR) from software subscriptions rose by just under 1% to CHF 19 295 in May. This is the lowest growth we have seen so far in 2024.

At the same time, consulting revenue slumped in May: by -38% to CHF 7 214 compared to CHF 11 556 in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the number of our active clients rose by 3 to 129, an increase of 2%.

Total revenue thus fell by -14% to CHF 26 509 in May.

Costs: Slight increase in costs due to new freelancer, marketing and events

Last month, we were proud to report that we can now pay Stefan a (symbolic) salary. We will maintain the “salary” of CHF 500 until we can gradually increase it.

In May, we paid an additional CHF 500 to an external freelancer who is helping us to implement ISO standards 27 001 and 9 001.

Product and administration costs remained largely unchanged, while marketing and event costs increased marginally.

This results in a slight overall cost increase of 2% to CHF 26 193.

Here are all our costs including salaries for May 2024 in detail:

We are bootstrapped, and that takes patience

Friendly is self-funded: our founder Stefan Vetter has built up the company from his own private funds, without external investors.

For us, this is not just a financial strategy or a buzzword, but a conscious decision. It has consequences that we consciously live with.

On the one hand, we retain full control over our company, we are flexible and agile. All decisions are made by our small team. We can focus on sustainable growth and create a friendly and appreciative environment for ourselves and our customers.

On the other hand, we need patience and perseverance. We have to plan carefully and manage the available resources. We cannot set new growth records every month, but experience many months in which things are “just” solid. Just like this month.

However, the need for perseverance is not a necessary evil for us. We are just as interested in personal growth as we are in financial growth. And character is not built on flying high.

We want our customers to find in us an honest, friendly company that is more interested in sustainable relationships than quick profits. And we can offer that with confidence.

Conclusion

Friendly: Revenue vs. costs from May 2023 to May 2024

At the end of this month we just have a minimal “profit”* of CHF 316. This represents a drop of -94% compared to the profit in April.

Nevertheless, the last time we posted a loss was in January and we planned to sustainably consolidate our finances this year.

Since then, we have managed to be in the “black figures”* every month. Even with Stefan’s new salary.

* “Profit” and “black figures” are put in quotation marks because Stefan has not yet paid himself a full salary for his work and, as the sole founder without investors, still has to make up for the loss so far.


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