“How do you make your money” is more-or-less the first question people ask us, after we’ve described our business to them. 

So, here’s a breakdown of exactly where our money comes from, and what we spend it on.

 

HOW WE DO (AND DON’T) MAKE MONEY

A tiny commission on tips for Busk.co

If the tipper opts not to pay the fees, we take 5% commission on buskers’ tips. We will likely lose a small amount of money every month, as we pay Stripe’s and PayPal’s fees from that. If the tipper pays the fees, we set that at ~7%, so we will normally make a small profit. In other words we make (a small amount of) money from tippers, not from the buskers on our platform.

Bank fees

There are unavoidable bank fees. We have to pay Stripe’s and PayPal’s transaction costs. So, of all the commissions we take from buskers and tippers, the vast majority of that money will go to them. What’s left will go to us. See more about the fees and pricing here.

Events

We also do NOT charge a commission or a fee, for either street performers or for the people hiring them. However, we do ask that both clients and buskers give us a voluntary donation if the event is successful.

Websites

We create websites for clients and outdoor arts festivals that may or may not include street performers (like this one). The technology for those websites is based on what we’ve built here – but tailored for brands, festivals and so on.

Grants + Donations

In 2015 we won a £50k Nominet Trust grant. In 2018 we got a £15,075 Paul Hamlyn Foundation grant, and have received more during the time of Covid. We’ve also run three successful crowd funding campaigns, and get donations through our site.

Other sources of funding

  • We have “PRO” accounts, which are accounts that give paying members some extra features, like a monthly list of festivals all over the world that they can apply to.
  • We also get “affiliate sales” from people who click specific links that take them to websites like Amazon.
  • We give buskers “branding audits”, giving them (for a fee) a complete run down of their social media profiles, website, and even the email they send festivals.
  • And every now and again we’ll have an event producer who’s looking for a lot of buskers, who agrees to pay us 10% on top of the fee they’re paying street performers.

 

HOW WE SPEND OUR MONEY

Staff

90% of our money goes towards paying staff; developers, designers, our social media manager and others who make our site run. We also pay freelancers when projects come up.

Office Space

Nick and Lily rent desks at inexpensive co-working spaces. Otherwise, our developers work from home, our social media manager too. It’s rare that we need more than two people in the same room at one time.

Accountant

Our wonderful accountant, Tasnim Mustafa, who does our books and helped us get £40,000 in a “research and development” grants over the years. That’s way more than we’ve ever paid him. If you’re in the UK, you can hire him here:  barnesandscott.com

Web Services

Slack, Google Apps, hosting of all our content, renting our domains, our “task management” software, Pivotal Tracker, our automatic email app, Mailchimp, and all the other things we use to make the site function. It’s complicated doing what we do!

Tidbits

We sometimes have to buy things like computers (when they die), and we pay for the odd Facebook Ad when we’re testing out new ideas. But, generally these costs are minimal. There are only a few of us, and we have what we need.


THE BOTTOM LINE

We pay no dividends to investors

We’re not a “for profit” – earning is secondary to our mission

Our team is small

Nobody’s making a fortune off this.

And most importantly – we don’t charge buskers to use the service. All your money? That’s all yours.