The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A **** About Your Business Systems and Tools
Lesson 8: The Perfect System For Acquiring Customers Is NOT What You Think!
Included FREE in this lesson: the “Getting In Front Of Your Customers – A Systems Comparison” spreadsheet.
Warning! This is a very long lesson that shows you exactly what systems and tools you need to get profitable customers for your business.
It’s worth reading, because this lesson will save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, allowing you to spend that money and time instead on getting and keeping profitable customers.
As a business owner, are you frustrated by the conflicting advice around what systems you need to run your business effectively?
If you don’t want to admit it publicly, that’s ok.
I never do.
But if you just said, “yes” to yourself silently, I have good news and bad news.
Bad news first.
Fact. Unless you spend $3-5 million on SAP or Oracle, there is NEVER any correlation between the issues you face as a business owner and the countless solutions offered by hundreds of software and hardware vendors.
Fact. Every month, there are hundreds of new apps, programs, upgrades that all start off free but end up costing you thousands in terms of licences, integrations and developer fees. And you’re still no closer to your customers.
Fact. Chasing the newest shiny toy, investing in the wrong type of tools and systems and trying to copy the best companies websites will waste your time and money. Time and money you could have spent on acquiring more profitable customers.
And it gets worse.
Now add to this your biggest priorities as a business owner.
- You want to get started quickly and cost effectively with the best and latest systems and tools to get yourself in front of your customers,
- You don’t want to get complicated systems that require hundreds of hours of HTML coding and developer’s fees and
- You need sales revenues and cash quickly, preferably today, instead of in 6 or worse, 12 months time.
So what’s the best solution for you as a business owner?
Now, the good news.
By the end of this article, you will be knowledgeable about three things:
- The 4 main systems and tools options that are being used in today’s economy to get products and services in front of prospects, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
- You can then compare the four main types of systems and tools for your business so that you can select the right option the first time, no matter what type of business you have or are planning.
- You will have a clear picture of the costs of running each of the four main options.
At the end of this article is a checklist that summarizes (1) the requirements you must have in your system and which systems provide them and (2) the likely costs of running the chosen system.
This is a detailed analysis, so grab a coffee and then continue reading.
Everything You Need To Know About Getting The Best System For Your Business
Do you remember packing for your first foreign holiday?
If you’re like everybody else, you didn’t use half the things you packed.
So how can you tell what features you need for your first system to run your business?
- Will you end up wasting time and money on selecting a system or creating a website that has lots of shiny features you’ll just never use?
- Will you invest your business cash in a beautifully designed website with lots of advanced features that your customers never use?
- And then, in sheer frustration, will you then redesign everything and hope and pray that the new one works?
That’s EXACTLY what I did. It was painful, expensive and a waste of time.
And here’s what I learned the HARD way.
What you think you want is often DIFFERENT than what you actually need.
As a certified partner for Digital Marketer, we have 43 completely different businesses that generate over $600 million in revenues, deliver over 20,000 products every day and send out over a billion emails a year.
Digital Marketer, and I for that matter, use a SYSTEM. Note that I haven’t talked about websites, domain names, hosting or any of that……STUFF.
For your business, your system needs to do just FOUR things:
- Be mobile responsive, fast to load no matter where you customer is and be secure at all times,
- Be able to create a predictable selling system that allows you to attract, engage and eventually sell repeatedly to your customers through landing pages, email systems, sales pages and blog articles,
- Be capable of automatically sending emails to your customers based on their behaviour and things they respond to,
- Have the ability to easily integrate payment systems, sell in different currencies, create membership schemes and provide accurate reporting.
Let’s compare the main systems available today, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
If you want to sell a range of eligible products, Amazon offers two plans – A Professional plan for $40 a month plus a percentage of your sales if you sell more than 40 items a month and also an Individual plan for those selling less than 40 items a month which works out at $1 per item.
eBay charges anything between $0.50 and $4.00 for listing fees for individuals and a range of charges for setting up eBay stores, which include store subscription fees, insertion fees, final valuation fees, promotional and services fees.
I have not reviewed Gumtree or Etsy but both work on similar principles to Amazon and eBay.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Selling On Amazon and eBay.
|Due to their existing customer base and extensive reach, these marketplaces allow sellers to scale their online presence.||Huge competition, especially from overseas countries where costs and therefore prices are lower. You lose significant revenue this way.|
|A range of marketing benefits to help sellers.||Marketplace fees will impact companies that sell low margin products.|
|You can test products in different countries to see what works||Little or no branding allowed which means you get very little exposure for your brand.|
|Excellent back end infrastructure means very low downtime.||Buyers have the advantage over sellers in being able to write negative reviews or return items without the sellers consent.|
|High credibility||Synchronizing your inventory to match your sales is a real headache.|
|Product recommendations||Counterfeiters are everywhere and will probably copy your products and sell them cheaper|
|Lots of traffic received across all categories.||Vendors can shut your account down for minor infringements without your permission.|
|The vendors CAN change rules overnight, making your “online shop” redundant.|
Set up a Facebook Page, then create a Facebook store to enable buyers to buy products directly from your online Facebook store.
|You can build a custom page for your business that engages prospects better.||Facebook’s privacy guidelines catch many sellers by surprise, leading to your business getting suspended or banned.|
|The analytics are first class, especially with the new Facebook pixel.||If Facebook changes it’s algorithms, you will either pay to access your clients or lose your client list.|
|Link your Facebook page to your website allows you to improve website SEO.||Fake Facebook profiles created by marketers for their own campaigns|
|Facebook video is becoming the baseline for future communication||Facebook advertising is expensive if not done properly|
|Facebook advertising allows you to reach large groups of prospects|
With online sales now at almost 10% of all global sales, almost every business needs a website to scale their growth. Businesses who ignore e-commerce may find their market share declining as competitors steal customers via online advertising.
|You own your own brand and your audience. They can’t be removed or deleted without your consent,||Depending on where you host your website, you may issues with spam, hacking and cyber crime.|
|Your site can be accessed 24/7 globally and users can access your latest blog articles, which in turn drives more traffic.||Your coding and hosting may result in reliability issues which could lead to your site crashing and staying offline for periods of time.|
|You obtain higher levels of credibility and relevance when readers link back to your articles and content.||Your SEO (based on your content and its’ layout) may be negatively impacted, meaning you’ll struggle to reach the right audience.|
|There are varying levels and quality of design depending on your budget.||Website and infrastructure costs, along with all the apps, tools and software can be hugely expensive.|
|Create your own customer intelligence and satisfy unique, personalized needs based on your list of prospects.||Creating all the functionality you need requires careful planning and significant designer and developer input (and costs).|
4. Funnel based systems
Taking your customer on a journey that ends with them becoming a loyal returning customer is the end goal of sales funnel systems.
Automated sales and marketing systems have grown up and now offer a “one stop” service for new entrepreneurs who don’t want to pay high prices for expensive marketing solutions.
The critical feature and differences between funnel systems and other e-commerce platforms are that you get the following functionality as standard:
- Automated sales funnels that seamlessly take your customer on a journey by acquiring them, engaging them and ascending them through your sales sequence. All on autopilot.
- Segmentation of your customers and engaging with them on a personalized, real time basis using funnels, smart opt-ins and built in email marketing management.
The automated process provides the information for prospects to enter the funnel and then prompts them accordingly with professional and efficient calls to action.
|Ability to customize your funnel system to your unique business.||Matching the customer journey to the funnel design: Customer behaviour has changed and funnel systems need to understand how customers engage and buy within the funnel using services like Facebook Messenger and chat services.|
|Built in email systems, marketing automation and customer segmentation makes it easier to identify which customers will buy more accurately||Requires integration with a website to build customer trust and confidence.|
|Full integration with many other systems, meaning you don’t need expensive developers||Attracting traffic to the top of your sales funnel is expensive if you don’t target the right audience.|
|In depth and best in class analytics that allow you to analyse all aspects of your sales and marketing funnels, lead generation and customer behaviour.|
|A sales funnel system increases your conversion rates as non targeted prospects are filtered out in the sales process.|
|It’s simple to automatically add payment processing, customer surveys, landing pages and email sequences with simple “drag, drop and click” functionality|
|The funnel system enables you to build a relationship with your prospect and gain trust.|
|Very low cost of buying and implementing a system to sell quickly to customers.|
Now that you have a broad understanding of how the main routes to market stack up, what EXACTLY are you getting within each system?
Before we get to that, you may need another coffee so grab one and come back ready for more!
2. What Bang Am I Getting For My Buck? What Each Of The Four Main Selling Systems Does and Doesn’t Do For Your Business.
For each of the four main systems that we compared above, we’re now going to do a deep dive to see EXACTLY what you’re getting for your money.
It’s a little technical but stick with it – you need to know what you’re getting.
There are eight categories that you need to know before you invest in a system:
- What critical functionality is included and supported
- Can you add in these important technical gizmos?
- Can you add these tools to quickly grow my sales?
- Reaching customers with email and text marketing
- Getting accurate analytics on my business
- Getting the technical support I need
- How difficult is it to learn the system?
- Development costs over and above the basic system
So go ahead and download the attached Excel spreadsheet called “Systems and Tools Checklist” and go through each of the items.
Click on the blue link to download the Systems and Tools Checklist
My insights and observations:
- If you have a products business, Amazon, eBay and Facebook offer incredible opportunities for promotions and sales, but my biggest concern with all of them is that you are building your brand on someone else’s platform. If they change the rules, you could end up losing your business, customers and even having your site closed.
- A well designed website with the full functionality you need to attract prospects, engage them and then sell to them is the best long term solution. However, the cost of developing a beautiful, fully functional “fit for purpose” website is between $2,000 – $50,000 with annual running costs of around $1,000 – $30,000 a year.
- If you want to get started quickly and get in front of your customers in less than a week with a robust sales funnel system that has everything you need built in from day one without all the additional development costs, then a funnel based system is ideal.
Take Action Now:
Download the attached PDF called “Getting In Front Of Your Customers – A Systems Comparison” here and do the following:
- Think about your business idea and what system will work for you, both now and for the next 12-18 months.
- What system will allow you to get started quickly and provide a great experience for your customers? Is it a website, Facebook store or a funnel system?
- Whatever your answer, you’ll be stuck with the system for at least 12 months, so make sure that your selected system gives you the ability to QUICKLY and EASILY:
- Create landing pages to collect customer sign ups
- Integrate fully and seamlessly with the main email systems
- Provide value through digital content
- Build sales funnels and upsells and downsells
- Integrates into a simple website to build relationships with your customers.
- I have deliberately not provided the names of any website companies, vendors or developers for now.
The funnels system I’ve reviewed is Clickfunnels but I would prefer you not to sign up now if that’s your chosen option.
- Take the time, preferably 24-36 hours to think about the best and quickest approach to market and if that’s really what works for you. I don’t want you to waste your money or time.
Look out for tomorrow’s important lesson.
You’re now only days away from getting your first customer and if you’ve done all the work so far, you’re just one funnel away from being successful!
You’ve come a long way in building your perfect business and I honour you for your commitment and dedication.
PS – If you’re stuck, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll personally help you through your business issue. No call centres, help desks or customer services – just plain ol’ me. And a sneaky tequila shot I had when you weren’t looking.