This is the story of a small business that was able to automate their business and double sales in a very short time. We thought it was an interesting story to share here.
All About Spelling owner Marie Rippel was suffering from the same issues other entrepreneurs experience: not enough hours in the day.
All About Spelling is an online resource for teachers and homeschooling parents. It offers tools, testing and inventive solutions to help students improve their spelling skills. Marie and her husband Greg, started their business in December 2006. Each month, through search engine optimization, word of mouth and other resources, they have watched their business grow.
Like many new businesses, they managed the details manually: responding to email requests, newsletter sign-ups, requests for product, and specific questions from teachers seeking a solution to help their students.
“We were working crazy hours, trying to respond to the needs of our customers,” said Marie. “We were missing out on opportunities because the lack of systems meant that some prospects simply slipped through the cracks.”
Then earlier this year Infusionsoft, which makes CRM and online marketing software, sponsored a contest. Businesses were asked to submit a 60-second video about how they might use the automation to grow their business. The winner was promised something unusual: that they would experience double digit sales growth in just three months by using the software.
All About Spelling entered the contest and won. It’s been about ninety days — and the result?
“We have doubled our sales,” said Marie.
Some of the changes All About Spelling made to their business illustrate ways we may be able to automate and improve our own businesses:
- Produced automated e-mail response templates for the most common requests which saves time
- Created weekly tips to automatically email members
- Produced a free report, which offers readers 20 tips for improved spelling
- Included the ability to classify prospects as teachers or home schooling parents so that audience-appropriate materials are sent in response to inquiries
- More easily meet the needs of their customers and prospects because automation frees them up to handle unique requests
- Launched an affiliate program which pays customers for spreading the word about All About Spelling
“We have a new employee starting next month that will help with customer service. We couldn’t do that in the past because all of our systems, information and instructions were in our head or on little pieces of paper all over the office. The automation allows us to grow our staff,” said Marie.
Congratulations to All About Spelling for winning the contest and the growth they’ve experienced to date. According to Marie, the first step was when she downloaded a report by Infusionsoft’s CEO, Clate Mask (a guest expert here), called The Edge of Success.
[Note: Infusionsoft is a sponsor of the Small Business Trends radio show.]