FY2012 did not have a formal budget. However, expenses averaged about $2000/mo. The negative variance in Q1 and Q2 offset the positive variance in Q3 and Q4, so Freeside posted close to zero net revenue for 2012.
Freeside depleted most of its reserves over the course of the first several months, and in particular an expensive Q3 also lowered the balance. One reason for a decline in reserves during Q3 is that no transfer of funds in the Paypal account were transferred to the operating account during this time. At the same time, membership was growing but it wasn’t until Q4 that Freeside reached positive net revenue. At year’s end, Freeside has about 1.43mo of operating expenses.
The largest growth in income came from new membership. We increased average monthly membership income by 75% from the average income in February.
The month of June 2012 was the “class sprint” experiment and it provided 46% of the month’s income. Although it was difficult work to both manage and sustain the initial classes, the proof of concept was a success and demonstrated that classes can provide a viable income stream for Freeside, among other benefits.
Although the class sprint in June 2012 was largely successful, net revenue fell during the summer months for a number of reasons: payments to teachers, increases in electric utility costs due to weather and A/C use, and some late fees on rent payments.
Note: Education expenses are teacher payments. Online services is the category for Paypal and Google checkout fees, which are presented in aggregate at year’s end vs. amortized, because of how these fees are applied and calculated.
2012 was a turnaround year for new membership. The chart below illustrates the historical trend of the membership from Freeside’s inception to the present. The period from May 2012 onward was the highest sustained month-on-month membership growth. We are now at a membership level not seen since the end of 2009 at 32 members, up from a low of 14 in April 2012.