Online Tools I Use and Other I Know Will Make Your Health Business Run Smoother (Part 1 of 3)
updated 5/19/20 Cathy Sykora
When you start out in a brick and mortar business, you budget for an office, utilities, phone, a receptionist, office furniture…because you just know it’s the cost of doing business.
For some reason, it seems like many newbies who start an online business don’t budget for business expenses and then complain when they need to spend money on online tools and delivery solutions to operate the business because they just didn’t expect it. It’s expensive to invest in a business.
You have online expenses, they’re just different from a store, office, or restaurant.
Advertising can be a lot cheaper, but you still have to do it. If no one knows you’re there – you won’t have a business.
You’ll have online software expenses …those are some of the things I’m going to go over today. Look at the software and delivery solutions as taking the place of office machines, people, and systems, even an office space. Online software can add a new level of safety, professionalism, and convenience.
The nice thing, some software companies have layered pricing, so you can grow into their higher priced offerings as you need them.
Email is the most time consuming and clunky alternative to deliver programs, but if you have small programs and you’re just starting out, it’s an option. You will need a secure place to store the large files. We use AWS Amazon, you can use Dropbox or another file storage cloud software.
You link those files to the email. The problem with this is it’s not real secure and it’s not as professional. It works in a pinch.
We didn’t mess with delivery systems for you until we created the 12 Week Physician Weight Loss Program, Healthy Habits. It was huge. There are videos, audios, modules, graphics, workbooks, and, well, if you have a group of customers to send it to, it could be a full time job. That is why I say that emailing your programs can be the cheapest or most costly, depending on the value of your time, the inability to lock your programs up, and the number of customers you’ll be delivering them to.
What I Use
When you first start out in business…you look for everything you can to make work easier and less time consuming and more integrated.
That’s why I’m going to give you a list of all the things that I use…after years of accumulating information and trying out and discarding different tools.
Not all of these tools are for everyone, check it out though. I’ll tell you what it is, what it does, how I use it, the honest truth about it, and who should use it.
There is some software I recommend that I don’t use because it doesn’t apply to my business model. I will tell you that too, and why I chose that company to recommend.
There are some businesses I’m not going to recommend here, but I won’t list them. If you ever have any questions before you sign your life away with a company, ask me, I’ll be frank with you.
This particular article revolves around program delivery/ auto responders / marketing / CRM.
Infusionsoft by Keap $$$
Marketing / Customer Records Management / E-Commerce / Sales
It took me a while to appreciate it, like 3 years. I am a devoted fan now. I’ve done more than my share of shopping around and there just isn’t ANYTHING out there that integrates as much, reports as thoroughly, or offers as many features.
Its shortfall is customer service and e-commerce. The e-commerce is a little primitive, but at the same time, allows me what some other “like products” don’t, that is to use my own merchant account. Its strong point is CRM and marketing. It’s worth its weight in gold for that. I’ve stayed with them in spite of their customer service for years, because even though it’s not great, I haven’t had to use it that often. I’ve been in business long enough to know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
I first thought it was expensive – but it’s a workhorse. After spending some time comparing, it’s more than reasonable. Most of the other companies have better looking prices, but when you get to my size, it goes off their price brackets, so I’ve ended up with a pretty sweet deal on the price.
The people who work on it are overpaid for sure…but if you get it going and treat it right…it’s worth that too. That was one of my biggest problems was having the trained specialists work on it. I’d fire them after they made a huge mistake or handed me down to a new employee that didn’t do well, then the next person was just as bad or worse, but they always, always blamed the guy who had my account before them.
Just make sure you have the e-commerce audited regularly. My team can now work on it themselves, and it runs pretty smooth and makes me money instead of costing. For this reason, I consider Infusionsoft an investment that’s paid for itself. Click here to learn more
NOTE: I’m not an affiliate for Infusionsoft. Their affiliate system required it to be almost a full time job….and that’s not my business, so I share this out of the goodness of my heart.
Access Ally $$$$$
Interacts nicely with Infusionsoft for a nice and seamless integration. The release of the programs is done through Infusionsoft and tells Access Ally what to do. Access Ally has some nice features like an add on for the affiliate program and progress meter on the sequential release courses. We had a “trained expert” put in one program for $1800.00 Our team could do it quicker and cleaner and without the mistakes for around $350.00, so be careful when hiring experts. Learn more.
I’m an affiliate for this one, but have never benefited from commissions. I don’t recommend it for every health coach, only if you’re 100% invested in your business and intend it to be an investment. It’s an investment and we’ve seen a nice return. It’s heavy investment in the upkeep, imagine $1800 for each of our programs to load!
Starter-Membership $$ Year One $ After
Separate Starter-Site with the Membership Plugin and THCG Programs built in.
This is our product that we load right on to your server. If you’re techy, it’s a snap and offers unlimited programs, sequential release, emails, and we’ll even load your programs on at the start for a reasonable price. If you’re not techy, I don’t recommend that you try to do it without a technical assistant. This is the most reasonably priced of all the options for membership.
After you receive your Starter-Membership® all you need to do:
- Set up merchant account in Woo-Commerce
- Link your sales page to woo commerce product page
- Fill in the blanks in your main membership page
- Customize however you like
* Works with your existing website (or Starter-Site)
It’s that easy!
Practice Management and Program Delivery
It’s been almost two years since we made a special arrangement with Healthie to provide our clients with a special deal, and load our programs into their practice management platform for free.
This is the ultimate in easy. There’s nothing to customize, nothing to do but to link your sales page to Healthie, plus you get a ton of benefits in addition.
- Telehealth/Virtual Care
- Client Messaging
- Client Logging
- Client Education (our programs loaded right into the platform for you)
We have made a special arrangement for you to benefit with special pricing, loaded programs, and great service.
We found that when we created our first Premium Program, Healthy Habits, it was huge. There were 84 emails! 12 modules, 12 workbooks, videos, and a lot more. At the same time we arranged to build a software platform to deliver them. That wasn’t our cup of tea. We were constantly buried under IT people and at their mercy. Healthie came along just in time and offered an incredible solution that is easy, inexpensive and had everything that we wanted to add to our platform already. It’s been a good arrangement for everyone. We don’t use it because we don’t have a practice and our business is a whole different bird. For you, it’s a time saving, money saving solution.
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