As you may have read elsewhere on this web site, one of my bigger business successes is a health products web site.
Here’s the story of how that came about.
“Brendon, I’ve made a cream”
I got a call from a guy who said “Brendon, I’ve made a cream for eczema. I want you to set up an Internet shop so I can sell it to people on the web.”
After a few meetings I gave this guy a quote. Wasn’t much… a couple of grand.
He said no.
“The kid up the road is a computer genius. He’s going to do it for $300.”
I kept in contact – sent him some newsletters and a Christmas card. I took a look at his web site about 3 months after my original quote and the young computer genius wasn’t such a genius. There are a few design principles you have to follow when developing a web site and this young web kid wasn’t aware of them.
The site took about 2 minutes to load – should be 10 seconds at most, the shopping cart wasn’t secure and the site was generally very poor.
All pretty basic stuff for a web developer.
The Sort Of Site You Get For $300
It was the sort of site you get when you pay $300. Anyway, I rang the prospect and told him a bit about the web site. He already knew most of it.
His response to me was was “Yeah, I know. I’m trying to get my money back from the kid.”
Zero sales in 3 months
He’d made zero sales after 3 months.
I asked him if he’d like us to re-quote.
“Nope. I found another guy who does web sites for $400.”
That site wasn’t much better and generated just a handful of sales over the next 12 months. By a handful, I mean about 20 sales.
About 18 months after I gave him the original quote I bumped into this prospect again.
1 Sale A Month
“How are sales going?”
“Hopeless. We’ve only made about 1 sale a month.”
I said “Mate, with a decent web site well marketed you should be able to sell plenty. Target US sales in US $. It’s a good product that can help a lot of people.”
His Famous Last Words
“If you think it could be so good you can be our Internet distributor.”
Thank God he said that!
That web site is today, 2 1/2 years after he uttered those words, one of Australia’s most successful health products web sites. We have 2 web sites to cope with the US and Australian sales.
We have 10,000 customers who buy from us on a regular basis – there is no cure for eczema. (Treatment controls eczema but doesn’t cure it.)
The site once made a staggering $200,000 in sales in 1 hour.
And I own it all.
All because the prospect didn’t pick the right person to develop his web site. Just because he wanted to save a few bucks (nothing wrong with that of course, but you have to weigh up the cost/benefit of every decision you make in business).
One of my mentors always told me the only thing she would always, always, always spend money on in business was those products or services that would get her more sales. Everything else was just peripheral.
Be tight with your money by all means… but know when to spend it and, importantly, who to spend it with.