I’ve been waiting to write this post for a long time now and have actually been writing it for about 3 days, its not long and it is a bit ranty, but there has been a lot of thought into it. Why do some businesses fail, but the very same businesses (same products, same services) succeed?
It’s the age old question in business, some people say its due to lack of motivation for the industry you are in, which is a good point. Others say its 100% down to funding, if you can’t utilise funding and sort cash-flow for your business, again this is 100% true but its not the number 1 reason why businesses fail, especially in the modern age.
Businesses fail because your customers are not “impressed” by your business.
Let me explain.
In 2015 I set-up a business called Ghost Fitness with a couple of other partners. We wrote the business plan and were all happy with it. Today this business is coming along nicely but we made 1 HUGE mistake in the start that was involved around people being un-impressed by the products and the service of “purchasing” in general.
The issue was we all had other businesses or full time jobs, which meant fulfilling orders that had come through sometimes took 2 or 3 days, adding the delivery cost on top of this meant people were looking at 7-10 days for their items. Although individuals loved the products and the response we got from them was overwhelmingly positive, the main issue was people simply didn’t get the products fast enough.
The solution? – Well it was a difficult one at first as none of us could just send all day packing orders, and the business itself wasn’t profitable enough to pay someone else to do so, instead we decided to think to the future and scale. The solution was to utilise Amazon and their FBA projects. FBA allows amazon to store, pack and deliver your item for you, they take a fee but as long as your product is over £10, the fee is usually only £3.20. This means that if it costs you below £1.80 to produce, which it did in our case, we could still make £5 profit per sale. Get up to 20 sales a day and that’s a cool £100 / day which was our short term aim.
This made customers a lot more “impressed” by the process of purchasing and hence had a knock-on effect for the business in its entirety. By this I mean people started telling others and the word of mouth knock-on effect came along nicely! Also reviews started to flow in from Amazon, most of these being extremely positive. Reviews also sell products, so these reviews led to more reviews which lead to more sales and so on! The knock on compound effect is for real! Start the ball rolling and it will keep rolling as long as you started it down the right way!
Another example of this impressive change in action is the transformation of 2 sites that I marketed on for a friend of mine, they are: http://www.ferrarihire.co.uk/ and http://www.astonmartincarhire.com/ although these businesses are a level above what most people consider feasible, they allowed me to get an ensight into what works for marketing in top level industries AKA supercar rental. Todd asked me to give him a hand and I said he had to re-build the sites, they were so freckin confusing. Model click-through options, push to call buttons, skype options, multiple clickable images, scroll options… It was built like an eCommerce store! I said this is not the way.
Simplifying the business was the best way, people could see the price list for each model and then call or email to book, that’s it! That’s all he needed! So we stripped the site and made it painfully simple to use. Then we worked on ranking him in Google itself for the keywords that got the most searches, this was a lot easier with a simple site and Google responded well with some great ranking increases. This mixed with old school marketing methods and PPC ads was enough to generate £10,000 worth of sales a month! That’s a £120,000 per year business in 5 months, not a bad return on time investment!