We don't need to be transparent on this, but we want to. Our philosophy is that we want Yireo as a business to be open just like our source code is open.
Our Yireo Manifest mentions as second point that we try to copy the concept of open source to the concept of an open business as well. While the concept of open source is well-defined, the concept of open business is not. As part of this experiment, we would like to share with you how we spend our profits, in other words how we spend the money we make of you (as paying customer).
We are a private business, which means that we are not a non-profit company. Not being a non-profit company actually means being a profit company, but that has a bad sound to it. While our enthousiasm for open source makes us create many free extensions and services, the business nature of Yireo also asks for the commercialization of some extensions and services. In the end, Yireo needs to make profit. The more income we make, the larger the profit will be.
Out of this profit, salary needs to be paid. With most larger businesses, the profit is the net-result of income minus salary (so the salaries are simply seen as costs). However, the Yireo team is only composed of freelancers and therefore the salary is variable - it depends on whatever the profit is. How the salary is spent is not in the scope.
Instead of increasing the profit (and therefore the salary), another way is to spend our profits on the growth of Yireo: This can be seen as an investment, because if Yireo grows, its income will likely grow as well and hence the future profit goes up. This is all straight forward.
Profits are either spent on salary or on investments to help Yireo grow. The bigger question is what kind of investments Yireo spends money on. Here is a listing of the most important areas of investments:
Event organizing: Organizing events does not make you rich. Lots of time is spent to pull off an event. This is for the major part a time investment. But because Yireo is small, this also translates into a shrink of income, during an event.
Event sponsoring: Yireo has sponsored dozen of events already, ranging from local usergroups to world-wide events. Sponsoring an event normally does not pay off within a reasonable amount of time. However, brand building is realized through these sponsorships. Because this kind of investment only as a benefit on the long term, it is seen as optional, not as required costs.
Marketing activities: Yireo tries to create a solid brand. While creating software and giving trainings are the things we do (and we do them well), selling those products/services requires marketing and sales activities. Investments are made using advertizing, partnerships and rebranding. A lot of time, monetary investments are minimized by making less income. Less income relates to less work, which consumes less time. Thus, time can be spent on different goals like expanding knowledge and open source extensions.
Last but not least, we spend money on things that don't benefit Yireo. Examples for this are donations to third party organizations (mostly in the area of new economy).