All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
- Sep 3, 2017
Hi Carol, thanks a lot for your reply! This is so insightful and impressive to read. I must say you really have what the book Unscripted refers to as a productocracy where the product itself pulls in customers like a black hole, without needing much for funnels and gimmicks. All the best!G'day @Xeon from Oz,
It's a pleasure to meet you.
How did we fund ourselves?
With great difficulty.
Remember. This is 24 years ago. Times were different.
The banks wouldn't lend to us. And wouldn't give us an overdraft. But a friend. Who was an accountant. Told us that the bank would issue a no questions asked credit card for a maximum of $500. Per person.
We were able to get 2 credit cards with a $500 limit. So we had a slush fund of $1,000 to work with. Which was a fortune to us.
All our orders were word of mouth. And cash up front. There was no Amazon Prime. Or eBay. That delivered the next day. Everything was mailorder. And people were prepared to wait 30 days to receive their order.
We would wait until the end of the month to see how many orders we had. And order enough fabric and accessories to fill those orders. So most of what we did came out of cash flow. We had no accounts. So these purchases were cash payments up front for us.
Face to face events and stocking up for them beforehand came out of the credit cards. Which we paid off at the end of every month.
Our marketing consisted of modest events. Which were mainly agricultural shows. And markets. That cost $10. To a maximum of $50. To attend.
We would leave our farmhouse at 2am to arrive at our destination by 6am. And arrive back at the farmhouse between midnight. And 2am. They were gruelling days.
We also did letterbox drops. We could do letterbox drops for 3 cents per letter. We produced the leaflets on my computer. And printed them off on our photocopier.
When we sold our possessions to pay off debt. We kept some things. My computer. Which was a bulky, boxy, CRT computer with a black screen and green lettering. No graphics. And our photocopier.
Victor, being an architect, was also a very good sketch artist. So our graphics consisted of his pencil sketches of the products.
We distributed the leaflets to rural areas only. Where rural women were still heavily into ironing. And were used to buying items mailorder. Also, it was rare to see a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on their rural mailboxes.
We did very well with those leaflets. And were able to build up a strong word of mouth business.
We lead a frugal life.
We only bought what we needed in the supermarket. No luxuries. No meat. We couldn't afford it. No chocolates.
We had a vegetable garden. And ate what we could grow.
We couldn't afford beer. Or wine. Or spirits. Neither of us smoke. We never so much as bought a cup of coffee in a cafe.
We didn't accept social invitations because we couldn't afford to bring a bottle of wine. Nor could we afford to reciprocate.
Those were hard times. But we had a goal. Which was to get out of debt. And we were prepared to make whatever sacrifices were required to reach that goal.
Regarding copy. All the copy was written by us. I know nothing about those books you mentioned. Or special words.
We just told our story. And described the products in great detail. And offered everyone a no questions asked money back guarantee if they weren't happy. And a twelve-month wear and tear guarantee. Meaning. We guaranteed that whatever they purchased, they couldn't wear it out in twelve months.
No one else did that at the time. We were a first. And that gave customers confidence when buying from us.
We included a black and white brochure, produced on our photocopier, to customers with every order. Including a handwritten thank you note. And mailed to them once a year with another black and white photocopied brochure. Telling them how much we loved them for choosing us over other companies.
That's how we built this business from nothing. To something. Purely on trust. And a willingness to have a special relationship with people who care enough to buy from us.
The only special words we use are . . . love . . . thank you . . . we hope you like what you've purchased.
And that's how we continue to build this business. By developing trustful, deeply personal relationships with our customers.
We don't need anything else.
I hope this answers your questions. And thank you for asking. ~Carol
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