Business Update: July 2021


Lockdown Luck

July 2021 was McKenzie’s Meats’ best month yet. Sydney has been in lockdown since the 26th of June and fortunately for us, we’ve continued to operate as an essential service.

Not everyone has been so lucky, my fiancee Grace is a Pilates instructor and she hasn’t worked (outside of helping me) for 5 weeks (at time of writing). It has been a devastating period for many Sydney-siders.

With lockdown, leaving your home is much less desirable and eating quality food at home has become a priority for many. As a result, we’ve seen a 22% increase in our monthly revenue vs June. This is a wonderful result for McKenzie’s Meats and we’re very grateful! 

Some businesses have done even better, my friend who runs an on-demand oyster delivery business has seen a 500% increase this month. Wow.

Here's a breakdown of our numbers at present relative to the previous month and our end of year goals:

Across the board the numbers look great (imagine if we had this growth every month!).

The two stats I'm most pleased with are Email subscribers and 5 star reviews

Growing our email subscriber list is super important for a number of reasons:
- Helps to develop a long-term relationship with the list via regular emails with messaging segmented based on their behaviour
- 'Owning' the audience means we are not at the mercy of 3rd parties like Facebook or Google who can tweak algorithms controlling who sees our content
- Cost of communicating with the list is effectively $0 (except for Klaviyo fees)

 Also, using a 3rd party like Trustpilot to collect reviews is good for SEO. When you Google 'McKenzie's Meats', the third listing that comes up is Trustpilot. Click through and you have 29 5 star reviews to read!

With more business comes more enthusiasm!

July 2021 has been our best month yet. It's also been my most productive in terms of content creation. Coincidence? I don't think so.

On Instagram I posted 19 grid posts and 222 stories in July compared to 5 grid posts and 95 stories in June. 

I also wrote 5 longform blogs in July vs 2 in June.

And I began a series of interviews with health experts (including Dr. Pran Yoganathan, Steph Miller and Desiree Taylor) which have been well received and very educational for myself. These interviews are on YouTube and the links are on my website.

I've expanded my mission beyond giving people access to the best nutrient-dense food to also aiming to educate and inform our community. I'm loving interviewing experts and sharing my discoveries, this is something I'm going to continue! The plan is to interview at least one thought leader per week. I'm committed to improving my production quality including audio, video and editing, so keep an eye out for more content to come.

Back to the point of this subheading.. With more interest in McKenzie's Meats (and home delivery in general), I became more enthusiastic and started creating more content, it was like someone lit a firecracker under my a**! This feels a little backwards, shouldn't we try harder to find what will work when nothing is working? Unfortunately, I don't think the human psyche works like that. It is much easier to push a boulder down a hill then try to create the momentum yourself. I'm going to double down on my attitude of making hay while the sun shines and hopefully this momentum will carry on post lockdown.

Paid advertising update

I'm currently running 4 x Google Ads and spending around $15 per day on each.

It's costing me just under $1 to get someone to visit my page. Is this worth it? I'm not sure.

In my Google Ads account it says 0 conversions but my email subscribers have been increasing and I wonder if some of these people have subscribed to the Weekly Specials email and have since purchased a meatbox.

Upskilling on Google Ads is something I'm working on. I've been listening to the podcast Honest Ecommerce among others and a key theme for ecommerce business owners is the challenge of hiring agencies. It seems very difficult to make an effective hire unless you know how to do their task yourself, or atleast understand it from a high-level.

In one of the Honest Ecommerce episodes the owner of a golf club business was explaining his hiring strategy for Facebook ads. He said he did a video call where he challenged the agency to set-up ads that performed better than the ones he set-up himself. He tested 10 agencies and only one beat him, they were hired. Interesting strategy. My goal is to get to the level where I can do the same.

I am still locked out of Facebook and Instagram ads!

This is extremely frustrating. I think I've made some progress by chatting to the support staff (not easy to get through to) and deleting my Facebook Shop products then re-uploading them. 

I will get this sorted in August because it is limiting my reach and I now have plenty of good performing organic posts ready to promote.

The silver lining is that it's forcing me to focus on creating lots of quality organic content and that can only be a good thing long term.

Collaborations do work

We are lucky enough to be partnering with Body By Brando to assist with their gut cleanse. We've had 5 people purchase a meatbox so far using the 20% discount I've provided them with.

I think there are two reasons this collaboration is working:
1. Brando's community are my target audience, health focused, time poor people who understand the importance of eating nutrient-dense.
2. It's endorsed by Brando. Brando has a powerful brand and his followers trust him. Fortunately, Brando has been a long term MM customer and he's a great advocate for our business.

Upping the professionalism

Our Meat Club members will have noticed our brand new stickers on every cut of meat. They are custom made in our branding and they look very professional. Nailing every touch point for the customer is crucial and the stickers definitely help with this. Might not seem like a big deal but it was a big moment for the business.

The MM delivery drivers continue to get rave reviews. Our team does an outstanding job of delivering meatboxes every single week. They go above and beyond solving problems and ensuring the meat is always safe and fresh. The team are also collecting more cooler bags and gel packs for recycling than ever before (this might be because everyone's locked down at home..)!

MM merch is on it's way! We have partnered with Ringers Western (awesome Australian brand, follow them on Instagram @ringerswestern), to create high quality work shirts and hats in McKenzie's Meats branding. Keep an eye out for the merch in the next couple of weeks. We're going to list it for sale at cost price so you can access quality workwear in our branding.

Two Meat Days in Sydney!

Every week we get a rush of orders late in the week before Meat Day cut-off. Makes sense right?

Well, what if we had two Meat Days? Would we get this rush of orders twice?

Only one way to find out.

Starting next week, we will now be delivering Sydney-wide every Tuesday AND Firday. 

I'm looking forward to writing August's Business Update and assessing whether this new strategy worked...

Hopefully we will see an uptick in sales as we provide customers with faster turn-arounds and more flexibility.

But, there will be more costs, including an extra day of kitchen rent and staff to pack and deliver the meatboxes.

Time will tell. But, as ever, I'm optimistic.

Thank you for reading this far

I truly hope you got something out of this Business Update. Writing it was cathartic for me and gave me a greater sense of clarity.

I'm learning as much as I can, as fast as I can about running an online meat business and I will continue to share my learnings with you!

If you want more business insights/stories/learnings etc, there are three things you can do:

1. Make sure you're subscribed to our mail list as I'll share these updates via email.
2. Shoot me a DM on Instagram or an email with a question, let's connect.
3. If you're committed to go deep and learn more send me an email and I'll share a whole stack of free resources that have helped me learn what I've learnt so far.

Speak soon,

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