Last Minute Tips for Q4
I'm finally back home, safe and sound in Miami. After 48 hours in Austin I have a new found love for the city and can start to understand the hype. Besides the beautiful weather and nature trails, I ate so much BBQ that I could l legit smell it coming out of my body.
I even took a trip out to a place called Franklins which was supposed to be the best BBQ in Austin. I got there at 10:30AM and there were over 100 people already there in folding chairs. The lady told me that it would ONLY be a three and a half hour wait and I’d get seated by 2PM. Your boy had other things to do but now I’m on a mission to come back and get it.
Besides that I hosted an epic founders' dinner with a sold-out crowd of 40 people, with nearly $1B of revenue in the room. I used to hate doing these networking events and getting out of my comfort zone, but I swear just making the time for a couple of hours a month has allowed me to meet so many incredible friends who have either helped transform my business, made me money, or just became good homies.
The coolest moment was the founder of Chubbies, Rainer, attended the dinner. Chubbies was the FIRST DTC brand I ever made a purchase from in my 2016 frat boy days, so it was just so crazy to see him in attendance and for that whole moment to come full circle. I'll be hosting a dinner in Miami in December and Salt Lake City in January, so reply back if you want to attend.
This newsletter will cover a few different topics:
- Last minute things to not forget for BFCM
- Homies for hire
- Things you need to do in 2022 to prep for 2023
So lets get into it!
Last Minute Tips
Stack Your Reviews:
I have no affiliation for any review software (I've been through them all) so regardless of who you use, take 30 minutes this week and do this:
1) Go into your review app and send a message to your previous customers to leave review and provide motivation such as a gift card, cash back, or free product. We went back all the way to the first ever CROSSNET customer. We sent the below email out last Friday and received over 800 brand new reviews in 24 hours
We’ve found that sending a review request coming from Reviews.IO's email domain (our review platform) is much better received than sending from the [email protected] domain. For whatever reason Reviews.IO has better deliverability which means more people will open, read and click the email
2) Post Purchase: For starters make sure you have a post purchase flow set up. This is common sense for most, but if you don’t have a series of emails and texts that are sent after a customer purchases you are missing out on providing your customer added value and making future money.
Here’s an example of how ours looks:
- Confirmation & thank you email
- You just got your game, here’s how to set up & the rules
- FEEDBACK REVIEW REQUEST
- We know you love CROSSNET, here’s three other products you’ll love
By including the review request at a strategic time, as well as automating it, you can ensure you’’re hitting these people at the perfect time to increase your feedback score.
3) Finally - Get into the habit (easy as setting a calendar reminder) of batch sending out feedback requests to older customers who haven’t left feedback and who did not click or open up your previous emails on a monthly basis. It’s a good way to get your customers to potentially remember or re-engage with your brand.
As Black Friday rapidly approaches your goal should be to get as many reviews as possible. Are you more likely to buy from a brand with 25 reviews or 4000?
We’re sending these postcards out nearly 10,000 of Danny Duncan’s biggest fans for Good Sport for the holidays.
Here’s what we looked for:
- Exported the top 10% of his highest paying customers over the past 12 months
- Exported customers who recently ordered in the last 2-3 months who may be itching for another purchase
- Created a postcard that made them feel like they were exclusive & receiving it only because they had a connection with Danny
- Since we launched an entire new brand we didn’t feel the need to offer a discount, but once we see success with this co-hort we will then double dip and resend them a free shipping OR 10-20% OFF postcard later on in the year
Understand Your Contribution Margins
I could spend months talking about this and honestly think I’ll have our CFO do a piece on this in a few weeks. This read does a REALLY good job of explaining contribution margin and understanding how to break down how much money you are actually making or losing. If I took away one thing from the Austin dinner it is the fact that its SHOCKING how many founders and marketers truly don't understand their numbers and the impact their spending has on the entire business.
Homies for Hire:
I have been through shitty agencies, shittier agencies, and people that would let you freeze in the cold before they helped you. Here's some of my favorite friends who may or may not be actively taking on new clients for Q4 & 2023.
Email Marketing - On any given month email & SMS makes up 20-30% of our revenue
Mason Doer - [email protected]
David Bozin - [email protected]
Facebook Ads, Creative Design, Influencer Marketing
Blake Driver - [email protected]
Daniel Graham - [email protected]
Podcast Hosting - Mitko's gotten me on over 250 podcasts in 24 months
Mitko Ivanov - [email protected]
Is alive and well at CROSSNET LLC. Here’s the things we got into this week:
- Bottoms Up Budget Build - Each department received a spreadsheet filled with our monthly recurring expenses in 2022. By Friday we had to meet with our teams, review each and every expense and see what was a NEED vs a WANT. Anything that was simply a WANT will be probably be chopped until we can prove to hit our budgets and goals
- Fulltime vs Freelance - As time goes on company needs simply change. It SUCKS telling somebody hey we don’t need your position any more or hey your 40 hours a week are turning to 20. But guess what sucks more? You going out of business or busting your ass all year long to not even pay yourself.
After you do the first two things above ask yourself why wait? Is there anything I can rip off RIGHT NOW to save the company money that will not impact our revenue and increase our profitalbity. If so, do it now instead of waiting to wipe the slate clean in 2023. My biggest mistake this year was waiting to lay off a few workers until Q2, when I should have just ripped the bandaid off 4-5 months earlier. Stupid, stupid Chris but you do gotta learn the hard way some times
Finally, ask yourself about inventory planning & negotiating:
- How much inventory do I have onhand and how long will it last?
- How can I reduce my manufacturing lead time?
- Have I pitched my product to other manufactures to put them up against one another?
- Can I fix my payment terms? Ideal situation: Pay as LITTLE up front as possible, get the goods, and pay as LATE as possible - stretching your cash
- Do I have the money? Where do I get it from? We’ve just started working with Wayflyer
Fund Your Black Friday with Wayflyer
Last year two things happened:
- We maxed out our credit card by 1PM
- We received a massive purchase order from DICK's Sporting Goods
We had no cash on hand (tied up in Shopify, Amazon, and credit cards) and had to begin a production run on this new Spring purchase order immediately. We turned to Wayflyer to keep Black Friday & Cyber Week alive.
With Wayflyer, we got approved for funding in hours and received the cash in our account almost immediately. The nicest thing? No interest rates or personal guarantees - just one simple fee.
I can write an entire newsletter about avoiding personal guarantees at all cost and the amount of sleepless nights I've had about having our entire business crashing down and being left on the hook. Wayflyer solves all of this.
This ecommerce holiday, Wayflyer wants to help you unlock your brand’s potential with maximum cash flow. If you can't afford a CFO yet or need an extra set of eyes, they've just released this amazing FREE Excel template that works exceptionally well to plan your cash flow and get the most out of Q4 and beyond. Building out a 13-week cash flow forecast with this has been the most important thing we've done at CROSSNET and allows us to get ahead of those sleepless nights.