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The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry Hardcover – February 5, 2015
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“Whether your business is exploding or stuck in a rut, there’s something you can learn from John Warrillow in this book. Read, apply, and watch your bank deposits grow every month.”
—CHRIS GUILLEBEAU, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
“By page 40, The Automatic Customer will have you fundamentally reexamining your entire business. This is a brilliantly made case for why subscription revenue should be a part of every company. Highly recommended!”
—JAY BAER, New York Times bestselling author of Youtility
“It’s rare that a book is able to have such a universal, immediate, and profound impact on the strategy of almost every business okay, every business. Warrillow’s case for adding a recurring revenue stream to your business model is convincing and he shows you nine ways to do it, as well as how to navigate the potential pitfalls.”
—VERNE HARNISH, CEO of Gazelles and author of Scaling Up, The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time, and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
“The Holy Grail in business today is the eternally loyal customer. The Automatic Customer is your blueprint for building a business that generates profit over and over again.”
—JOHN JANTSCH, author of Duct Tape Marketing and Duct Tape Selling
“In this fantastic book, John Warrillow provides a clear path to turning your company from one that needs to start from scratch every month to one in which your work and, most important, your results, are predictable. If you want to build a business with a very healthy bottom line and extremely well-served customers, this book is an invaluable resource.”
—BOB BURG, coauthor of The Go-Giver and author of Adversaries into Allies
About the Author
JOHN WARRILLOW, the author of Built to Sell, is the founder of a subscription-based company called The Value Builder System™, where advisers help company owners increase the value of their businesses. Before that he founded Warrillow & Co., a subscription-based research business dedicated to helping Fortune 500 companies market to small business owners. A sought-after speaker and popular Inc.com columnist, he lives in Toronto, Canada.
Top customer reviews
The book gets you thinking in completely different ways about your revenues, your customers, your marketing, and most importantly - the future of your business using the subscription model.
It's both exciting and enlightening while also making you uncomfortable in 2 different ways:
1. The discomfort of changes required to make the "Automatic Customer" models work in your business, industry, and niche
2. The discomfort of NOT implementing a monthly recurring revenue model and all the potential revenue you're leaving on the table if you don't act on Warrillow's wise and balanced advice
Buy this book - read it - and then implement a few of its "uncomfortable" ideas. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
-- David Newman,
Author of Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
The author has listed 9 specific models/approaches to take:
1. Membership Website Model: Works best in a tightly defined niche with specialized knowledge is needed
2. All you can eat library model: Evergreen content is an example. Think netflix - even the most addicted watcher could not go through it all
3. Private Club Model: Limited supply being sold to an affluent clientele. High prices, low numbers
4. Front of the line model: Different prices for different levels of service/support. works best on complex products/services.Think salesforce.com's model for how your complaints are dealt with
5.The Consumables Model: Selling products that naturally run out as a service, where ordering things can be a chore. Food, blades, vitamins etc.
6. Surprise Box Model: when you have a network that is willing to buy deeply discounted consumables from manufacturers at deep discount. The idea being some of the consumers will then order a subscription service at regular prices.
7. Simplifier Model: Its a complex word, simply the buying process and choice. Works best with an affluent consumer needing a service on an ongoing basis
8. Network Model: fixed price, and value of service grows as number of subscribers grow. Think phones
9. Peace of Mind Model: this is the insurance sale , where you pay for a peace of mind in the event you may need the service.
He closes the book out with the new math of the subscription game with concents such as Customer acquisition cost, Monthly renewal rate, Life time Value of customer, Margins and Churn.
The book is a good way to think about what models will work best in your industry / Excellent premier.
If you are in a service biz or work with technology - BUY THE BOOK to learn the new language and math of business!
What would have made it more powerful was a workbook or a step by step process to figure out which combinations of business models work best in the type of industries. Further commentary on the drawbacks of each model would have made this an invaluable text.
1) explains the financial and freedom rewards that come with subscription businesses;
2) provides a breakdown of the different types of subscription models and illustrates them with instructive and inspiring examples; and
3) gives us the playbook on how to market, manage and grow subscription businesses.
What sets this book apart is John Warrillow's credibility. He's done it. He successfully transformed a traditional business (sell the work/do the work) to a subscription model and then sold it. Combine this with his wealth of experience advising business owners and track record of authorship and you have the makings of a must-have book: The Automatic Customer. It has a wealth of practical and profitable ideas for business owners, whatever the existing business model.
After inhaling this book in a day, I've made important changes/additions to my business models.
Timing couldn't have been better to read this. On my second business and organizing a global network of other young entrepreneurs, both of which will now include subscription models.
Warrillow simply makes sense. His writing is easy. It's fun. It's worth your time.
I even bought a copy for one of my clients. I recommend it for you too.
Get into this book.
In The Automatic Customer, John Warrillow spells out the benefits of, and more importantly, the path towards creating a subscription based business model. I've had 2 x subscription businesses for a few years now so some of this was just affirmation and research for me. However, when it came to measuring the success of the subscription business model, Warrillow crystallizes exactly what you should be measuring and the benchmarks to aim for. This was music to my ears.
He has clearly done his research (and references it for further reading - thank you) and distills the complexities of running a subscription based business into clear, actionable steps.
This book was recommended to me by one of my students and I am eternally grateful. Our Director's meetings have a new agenda with new metrics and a whole new conversation about our viability threshold.