As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent with our clients and the world, we decided to publish a monthly transparency report. This information shows the financials of Insanitek. The goal is to be open and honest about the money flow of a bootstrapped science incubator.
This month was aÂ poorÂ month for Insanitek. Grace was able to bring in $1,404.04 through tutoring efforts, but we bought in nothing via other sales.
The expenditures, on the other hand, have been normal. We had 2 subcontractors through October, and near the end we hired a third. We didn’t need any supplies, so all of that category was diverted to growth investments. Software hasÂ recurring fees that never change, thankfully, so they are predictable. We use:
- Buffer ($50/month) to manage our social media
- Aweber ($19/month, paid annually*) to reach out via email
- Instapage ($29/month, paid annually*) to make our landing pages awesome
- Zapier ($15/month) to help automate things while we all go about our lives
- Xero ($30/month) to keep the accounts in order and legal
- Â PNC bank ($30/month, plus 1.5% fee for every use)Â to be able to take credit cards online.
Grace’s take home is to cover some of the living expenses, such as bills, while her fiancÃ© pays the rent. She takes home only the income she makes from private tutoring, while reinvesting the rest into Insanitek.
What’s left after paying subcontractors, software fees, and some of the bills goes to what we call Growth Investments. These growth investments is the money we use to spend on something in the future that will allow us to grow. You’ll be able to learn more about what we intend to do with this money in the Goal Transparency section below.
*A note about monthly fees that are paid annually: By paying annually, we save ourselves a bit of money. However, we still store the money away as if we were paying monthly so when next year rolls around and the payments comes out, we already have it in the bank. This isn’t as easy to do as it sounds when you’re excited about buying gear, supplies, or other things that can help growth. In the end it guarantees sustainability.Â
Last month we set the goal to simply get organised with our financials and bring the Insanitek Transparency Report into being. This has been part of a long-standing goal to use Insanitek as a case study for bootstrapping a science company and business incubator. Grace decided now was the time to do because Insanitek was finally gaining financial stability so there wouldn’t be much disappointment, but also to make a point to us: It’s now or never. Thus, these reports also serve as a rallying cry to Insanitekians to keep pushing forward to better ends.
This month’s goal is to continue on with that plan while growing our nest egg. With the holiday season coming up, we plan to turn most of this money into Giftly cards for our subcontractors as a way to share the love and make it easier on them this holiday season. Frankly, we like Giftly because they are very flexible as gift cards go. They can get the funds any way they want, then spend them any way they want. But, it makes a really awesome, personalised card. It’s like having money in an envelope, but with a personal flair and touch.
Q4 goals are simple and straightforward: Survive.
Yes, that may seem dramatic, but trust us, there are a lot of things going on in the background that means money might be a little tight due to needing supplies and the like. Mostly in the way of marketing. We are stepping up our marketing efforts in order to get our name out there. This means potentially more money spent for graphic designers to make things look awesome, marketing tools like adverts on sites, and other such things. However, if we can keep at least this minimum coming in, it shouldn’t be a huge deficit. We will be keeping advertising costs as low as possible by using other avenues that we already have or are free.
One tool we are looking at investing in, though, is Wistia. It’s a video hosting services for professionals. As in, it’s not laden down with YouTube advertisements, distractions and other things. Also, from a business aspect we can see where people are tuning out of our videos at so we can make them more engaging. We’ve been using the free tier for a while for training videos, but we are thinking it might be time to upgrade and use that more.