AskPat 780 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody, Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 780 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, now here's today's question from Nathan:
Nathan: Hey Pat, my name is Nathan Young. My wife and I run a home-based baking business. You can find us at www.honeybunnybaking.com. We regularly attend farmer's markets, and we were looking for something to do outside of that. Well, I just finished the book Will It Fly?, so I went through the validation steps and we got initial customers, they pre-purchased. We decided to do a pastry subscription, I was really inspired by Noah Kagan's SumoJerky. We went kind of the opposite way, so we did a pastry box subscription that we deliver, hyper-local. So we're actually making things and delivering them to people's doors. Well, we had as many customers as we wanted for the first month. So they bought subscriptions and we made everything and delivered them. Got a lot of really great feedback and we were ready to kick it up a notch.
Well, the second month, all of our subscribers dropped off. So now we're at zero customers. So my question is: What do you do when you validate, you get validation, and then all your customers leave? Is that a sign of failure? Or is that. . . do you press on and say this is definitely worth continuing? That's all. Hope I get an answer to that. Thank you very much.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Nathan, what's up? I appreciate you picking up Will It Fly? And more importantly I appreciate you taking action. Honey Bunny Bakery you said. And you validated your idea, a subscription box service, hyper-local. You're out there delivering it, people wanted it, that's great. That's the first part. You got people interested in a product, you got people to pay for it, and you got people to enjoy it.
And now people aren't enjoying it any longer or they decided not to continue to subscribe. So you might remember the story about Nathan, or excuse me not Nathan you're Nathan, Noah Kagan right? From SumoJerky. When he was validating it he was trying to get people to subscribe for longer months, for a little bit cheaper, right? So that was one thing that I think you could have done instead of just one month, asking people to subscribe for three months because one of the benefits of the subscription boxes, right, is getting them automatically delivered to you or automatically sent to you. And that's one of the benefits of actually signing up for a longer period of time. And then at the end of the time period or the trial period that they have with you, then you can sign them up again at a discount price or at the same price before the price goes up and things like that. So that's the first thing.
So, now that you're at this point though, I mean you can't go back into time we don't have access to a Delorean or whatever but you can be confident that you have an idea that works. That's huge, right? You've tested this out, people want this, they're parting with their money for this thing. But why aren't they continuing? That's the big question. Well the best way to get this answer is to ask your audience and get feedback. Ask your subscribers, the people who got that first round, “Hey how did you enjoy it?” And “Why didn't you continue your subscription?” I mean, just literally just straight up ask them why. I mean this is one of the best things that you can do as somebody who sells anything. If there's a change in behavior with your customer you need to dig and find out what that answer is and why that happened and since you have access to these customers, you've probably, you probably have their phone number and/or email address call them. Talk to them. Email them. Straight up ask them. They are going to tell you some amazing answers that are going to help you moving forward.
So, it's not a product issue I feel. I feel like it is a offer issue or benefit issue. They don't quite understand the benefit or maybe they just didn't quite enjoy the experience. Maybe there was something wrong with having the experience of that product but the idea of that product is something they were able to part money with. Now it's the execution part and now this is where you're digging in to find out exactly what's wrong and that' the beauty of this validation process, right? Its the idea that you can put stuff out there and understand what's going on. You want to take all the guess work out and that's what you are doing here. I mean, you've done a lot of the work already and now you just have to take a few more steps and go out there and do it. Again, I would recommend that the next time you sell this, to sell multiple subscriptions for a cheaper price; you know, three months, six months, a year even. And that way you're going to have these customers who pay upfront, hopefully, for a lot of these things, maybe some of them will want to continually pay monthly; but either way they are going to agree to a longer time with you and then they're going to have the experience of the benefit of the subscription boxes which is a surprise, right?
That's the cool thing about the subscription box, is it’s a surprise, right? You forget that you subscribed to these boxes right and then they come in and you're like, “Wow this is awesome!” That's why subscription boxes are one of my favorite gifts to give people, because . . . and typically if you give a subscription box to somebody you're going to do it for longer than one month. I've done this for my in-laws, for some friends and colleagues and what's really cool is every month I'll get an email or a call from these people saying “Thanks” because it reminds them again that I had something, this gift. So subscription boxes are a great idea and it seems like you would have one that would work but let's dig deeper, ask your audience for feedback, ask your customers for feedback, and ask them, “Well how come we didn't renew?” And let them tell you the answer and then based on their answer you're going to make changes right? That's what it's all about. Collecting feedback, making changes, collecting more feedback, making more changes, collecting feedback, making changes. And so some of that feedback might be like, “Oh well, the price was too much.” In which case, you could then talk about what else is going to be included in that batch, or maybe we didn't share enough information about why this is valuable or maybe the price is just wrong so you can focus on changing the price.
Maybe the feedback is, “There was something with the packaging that just was a turn off.” That you wouldn't have even expected. You don't know until you ask. So ask, Nathan. That's the answer. So, I would love to follow up, or have you follow up with me and share with me what the results of this are but until then I want to tell you that we are going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show which is really cool, so thank you for that.
And anybody out there who is listening, or watching right now actually, just a fun tidbit Nathan, I am live broadcasting this recording right now on Facebook. So you can check that out back in the archives I'm recording this on, what's the date right now? December 14th so almost a month ahead of time, actually more than a month ahead of time because it's the 16th that the date that this episode comes out in January. So you can go back into my Facebook group or Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/smartpassiveincome on December 14th you can watch the video that's there and watch me cough a couple times in the middle because I'm still getting over being sick which you didn't hear because we edited that out.
Ah, the beauty of audio editing. Anyway, thank you again, Nathan. For those of you who have questions and would love your question potentially featured here on the show and a free shirt, head on over to www.AskPat.com you can ask right there on that page and finally, as always, here is a quote to finish of the day by Robert F. Kennedy, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Awesome.
Thanks so much I appreciate you and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers.