Niall Heaney aka ‘Client No. 1’
Better known today as head of implementation at the website goddess, Niall in a previous life started up a full service leisure boat dealership.
The early days followed the usual entrepreneurial path of struggling to make ends meet, working crazy hours and saying yes to everything; to the extent that 2 years in, Niall had a staff of 6 and as well as selling new boats, was now offering boat repairs and maintenance, used boat sales, a bricks and mortar watersports equipment shop and a full blown marine e-commerce site.
It was certainly a case of ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Turnover was growing all the time but profits were almost non-existent.
Making the most of family connections to the future website goddess (Niall is Megan Macedo’s brother), Megan was roped in to help with web design and marketing the business from the beginning.
Realising something had to change, both Niall and Megan attended a Chris Cardell conference on direct response marketing… and everything changed.
Almost 2 years after that first Chris Cardell meeting (Niall’s a slow learner!) and following some in depth 80/20 analysis of the business, the bold decision was taken to wind up all the low profit areas of the business and focus exclusively on the function that earns money… namely, used boat sales.
With that decision taken, a brand new direct response marketing-focused strategy and accompanying website was needed.
Together Megan and Niall designed a direct response strategy that would encompass as many of the key principles of effective direct response marketing as possible, including online video, irresistible calls to action, relentless follow up, high trust sales and ‘celebrity’ expert positioning of the business owner.
A boat sales website was built that looked like no other.
In spite of a reduced turnover for the business following the change in strategy, the increased profit margin resulting from a focus on only high-profit activity meant that in the first year, overall profits increased by 30%.
Not only that, but by stripping out the low value, mundane and often frustrating work from the business, the whole strategy change has allowed Niall to focus on those things that he is best at and most enjoys. He maintains that the whole exercise was life-changing.
Niall’s boat sales business now incorporates a lot of automation in the marketing and sales funnel and is made up of a fairly small number of high value transactions throughout the year.
This has allowed Niall to continue to indulge his passion and run the business as a lucrative hobby alongside his Website Goddess role.