The sources of income of our business are from app sales, paid training, grants and donations. In addition, we have social investment funding which has to be repaid. As a non-profit, we don't issue shares or pay dividends, and all the proceeds from trading are reinvested so that we can help more children around the world.
Sales Taxes & Commission
In most countries, the prices of our apps on the App Store, Google Play or Amazon Appstore include VAT or similar sales taxes. This is typically around 20%, which is remitted directly by the stores to the relevant authorities. In addition, all app stores withhold 30% commission from the remainder. This means our proceeds are generally around 55% of the price you pay.
We always strive to keep our costs to a minimum, but running Special iApps entails unavoidable expenditure, with the main contributors being:
Salaries & Expenses
Members of our core team are all full-time paid staff. Their combined salaries are our biggest monthly outgoing. On top of that, the company pays National Insurance to the UK Government and makes a contribution to each employee's pension. When travelling or purchasing items for work, our staff are also entitled to claim legitimate expenses.
We are very fortunate to have obtained social investment funding to enable our growth. Some of this has been in the form of grants, but the remainder comprises loans whose capital we have to repay over a period with interest.
Tablets, Phones & Computers
To develop and test our apps, to provide training and to support our customers, we have to have a large number of iPhones, iPads, Android tablets and phones, across a wide range of models, with different screen sizes and running different versions of iOS, Android, and associated software.
In addition, our staff need computers for building and developing apps, and for general IT-based activities. Members of our development team in particular each need more than one computer (e.g. a PC and a Mac) in order to be able to run all the necessary tools.
Office & Equipment
We rent a small amount of office space in the Old Rectory (pictured above), a building which is shared by a number of social enterprises. The charges for this also include contributions to business rates and utility bills. Other related office costs include furniture and equipment such as printers.
We also have on-premises servers for file storage, email, web staging and other internal services, plus associated networking equipment such as routers and firewalls.
Insurance & Other Business Services
Like all businesses, Special iApps has to have insurance against public liability, professional indemnity, fire, theft and other risks. We outsource a number of services, including Human Resources and Accounting. In some cases, we also need to pay for staff training, consulting and other advice services.
Telephone, Internet & Cloud Services
We have ongoing costs for high speed and reliable Internet connectivity and telephone services. We also pay for hosting services (for our website), and subscriptions for a range of applications as well as analytic, productivity and email services.
Sales & Marketing
Printing brochures, exhibiting at events and advertising all contribute to our costs.
The lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 meant that all our staff had to work from home. We needed to purchase additional devices (as existing ones could not be shared) and services (to support virtual meetings and content sharing).
Planned face-to-face workshops had to be cancelled or postponed, reducing our income from training. These costs more than offset the temporary reduction in travelling costs and office rental charges.
Support Our Work
We are very grateful to all the people and organisations that have supported our work over many years, with financial and in kind contributions. If you would like to support us, there are many ways in which you can do so.
Beverley Dean MBE, founder.