Money talk, take 2

We’ve had a very successful second trimester at Muxu.Muxu, with some big news in recruitment. David has joined us full time as a developer, and in early October we’ve welcomed Floriane and Valentin. Floriane is joining us from Deezer to handle administrative tasks and client support for Cactomain, Papier and our apps in the Apple Store. Valentin will help on everything design related. We’ve signed the acquisition of Cactomain, and have embarked on exciting new projects with Slite at eFounders, Echoes of House, Sqreen and with Payfit to name a few.

Our current turnover for this financial year stands at €271,800, which has once again far exceeded our expectations. Three months ago when we reflected on our first trimester, we set ourselves the objective of continuing to be as productive as we’d been thus far and stabilising our revenue. But we were by no means certain of achieving this.

Fundamentally, we didn’t want to raise our monthly cash burn. It’s important that this figure stays in line with our income. Currently we know that our outgoings are in the region of €12,500 every month, and revenue is at €25–30,000. This trimester has been defined by transition, more precisely by the move into our new offices. Above all, our priority was that this wouldn’t have a knock-on effect on the quality we deliver to our clients.

Our revenue this trimester has mostly been generated from our design work. Our clients are still from the digital industries, but within that bracket there’s great diversity in the products we’ve been working on. For example, Slite’s note-taking app is a completely virtual service, whilst Payfit’s product is rooted in human resources management. We’ve also signed a large project to develop an iPhone application, thanks to David’s arrival.

When we created Muxu.Muxu we expected to initially just work on simple interfaces and integration. This trimester we’ve further developed our branding and identity services. What’s more, clients are now approaching us by word of mouth. Just last month, we were approached by someone to whom Muxu.Muxu had been recommended by a contact in San Francisco! We couldn’t believe it, especially when we saw the work of the agency that had put him in contact with us. That was a real boost for us, and confirmed that we’re making the right choices.

Our outgoing costs this trimester have been distributed between recruitment, and preparing our new offices. The key take-away has been the importance of investing time and money into our workspace. We knew that it would be costly, but you can’t put a price on having the right working setup. We now all have the equipment we need to deliver a quality service, plus those little extras to bring a bit of charm and make the Muxu.Muxu house a comfortable space to work. A small company is not often able to afford these expenses at such an early stage, but we consider them to be crucial. It’s a pleasure to welcome our clients to offices that really reflect our identity.

So what’s next? Almost everyone is on a salary now — Audrey will soon become a salaried employee thanks to the acquisition of Cactomain. We’ve already exceeded the financial targets we set ourselves upon launching. So our main hope for 2017 into 2018 is that we continue to feel the same excitement and enthusiasm as we did at the start of this adventure. We are not concerned about our financial future, and can now fully concentrate on the human element: working with the people we want to work with, and on projects that really motivate us.

Of course, this will not be without challenges: it’s key to identify and anticipate potential obstacles. So far we’ve not yet experienced a shallow period in our productivity and revenue. But of course, this could happen at any point — especially as we depend largely on word of mouth. So the question is, when this time comes, how will we react? Will we stay motivated and confident? How will we bounce back? Our in-house projects such as Papier will hopefully keep us boosted, financially and emotionally. We’ve already brainstormed lots of ideas of where to take these projects next, so we’ll never find ourselves sat at our desks, wondering what to do next.

We do have one regret for this second semester. We’ve been working with Ben, who is very skilled in motion design. We hoped to recruit him to certain projects, and turn these projects into a permanent contract. But in the end, we weren’t able to. We’d never promised him a position as such — in our industry nothing is ever certain. But we had been very vocal about how enthusiastic we were to recruit him. So for the time being we’ll just work with him on a mission-by-mission basis, and in fact we should have done so from the start. Financially we could have let the situation drag on, but that’s unhealthy on a human level and goes against everything that we are about.

This year has been very successful in many aspects, so sometimes it’s easy to forget we are still in our very early phases. Some things, such as recruitment, require patience. But by waiting to recruit, we can be sure that we have the means to keep that person in the team.

Once again, the list of people we have to thank is a long one! There’s the Muxu.Muxu team, plus our freelancers — Emily who writes our articles, Cathy who helps us with administrative tasks, plus Charlotte, Thierry, Valentin, Christophe, Ben, Arnaud, Lauren, Elsa, Victor and Matthieu. These contributors are, or have become, our friends and part of the Muxu.Muxu family. Last but not least, there is our office caretaker. She prepares the battlefield for us each day, and makes sure that we have a clean and calm space to work, so she plays an invisible but essential role.

Thank you for reading, you can follow our daily adventures on Twitter & Instagram 💚

Article written by the amazing Emily Fiennes