Automation Doesn’t Just Save You Time… It Makes You Money

In my article, “Why You Can’t Just Work ‘In’ Your Business“, I talked about a concept known as “Opportunity Cost.”

According to Investopedia, the definition of “Opportunity Cost” is:

[quote]The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.[/quote]

In other words, when something stops you from focusing on what really makes you money, it becomes a real cost… a real expense… a real liability. And as business owners, it’s really easy to overlook this because opportunity costs don’t show up tangibly in our income reports and balance sheets.

What coulda been… shoulda been… or woulda been doesn’t affect us as much as what’s in front of us. And quite frankly, when the phones are ringing, the e-mails are flooding our inbox, and the products and brochures need shipping, we hardly think of what we “could” be doing with our time.

It’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You can’t worry about finding love or “becoming your best” when you’re starving and homeless. There is a hierarchy and once the basic needs are met, we move on to the next group of needs.

In business, thinking that “YOU” have to meet those needs is the problem. It was my problem. I was the proverbial “Chief Cook & Bottle Washer” for a while. And while I was thrilled to be making 6-figures at 19 years old (a long way from grandma’s one bedroom apartment and the $70 that got me started), my opportunity costs were mounting. Simply put, it was costing me millions, as I’d soon discover, by not automating, outsourcing, and relegating unworthy tasks.

As it relates to marketing, sure, you may be spending time sending personalized letters and direct mail pieces to highly qualified prospects. In your mind, this is “A” level work because it has the potential to lead to increased income, sales, retention, etc. What you probably haven’t realized is that technology can take your place and not only do a good job but be more efficient than you could EVER be.

In any given day, my automation system for HearandPlay.com is sending:

  • 11,000+ personalized and highly targeted e-mails to prospects and existing customers
  • 150-200 birthday cards to past customers (a different card for each year… up to 3 years)
  • 100-130 automated voicemails in my own voice thanking first time buyers for their order
  • 100-130 post cards to first time buyers thanking them for their order
  • 150 catalogs to customers who have ordered in the last 45 days
  • 100-130 thirty day follow up letters to last month’s buyers
  • 3000 text messages to my “Monday Music Minute” club (if a monday)
  • 200 “How are you doing with our lessons” text messages
  • 150-200 birthday text messages (if mobile phone on file)
  • 150-200 birthday e-mails (yup… text message, e-mail, and birthday card in the mail)
  • 100 “Where have you been?” 6-month retention letters
  • 80 “Where have you been?” 9-month retention letters (to those who haven’t replied)

Should I continue?

(To be honest, this only scratches the surface of the sort of automated marketing we’re doing.)

The brutal truth is that I would NEVER be able to keep up with this on my own. In fact, it would take probably 5-6 employees to do this by hand everyday.

While thankful for where I’ve come from, the opportunity costs of being back in 2003 trying to do everything myself (even seemingly “A” level work) would clearly be in the millions. Or worse, a business that I could no longer sustain.

If you’re looking for a good Automation Platform, here’s what makes all this happen for me.

 

 

  • CPAYNE says:

    Your automation system is on point! Any automation tips for entrepreneurs that are still waiting to land their first customers?

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