Even before Heather Alvis joined the A-Team at DARREN HARDY, LLC, she knew Darren himself and the brand were exceptional. DARREN HARDY is a successful and growing business centered on a mission to help business leaders and high achievers make a positive impact.
As a high-performance trainer and motivational speaker, Hardy teaches success strategies to a wide range of people. including executives, CEOs, fledgling entrepreneurs, and small business owners. He has mentored thousands of people throughout his career and continues to do so every morning through his complimentary mentorship program called DarrenDaily (DarrenDaily.com).
Years before she took the role of Director of Operations at DARREN HARDY, Alvis had already read Hardy’s book The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster twice and was fascinated by his insights:
Says Alvis, “Sixty-six percent of small businesses fail—and it’s not for the reasons you think. Hardy’s book is a culmination of his investigations into why. His discovery was startling and contrary to most assumptions. Failure was not due to outside factors—they were internal. They weren’t economic—they were emotional. The unexpected and terrifying emotional roller coaster an entrepreneur experiences is the greatest factor in why most quit and ultimately fail.”
A serial entrepreneur, Hardy started his own business in real estate at the age of 18. He went on to launch several ventures, including a successful magazine and a television network. By the age of 24, he was earning more than a million dollars a year. By the time he was 27, he owned a company producing 50 million dollars a year in revenue.
Impact is a core value for Hardy, who demonstrates his principles with action in his quest for achievement. An accomplished writer without even having completed college, Hardy is a New York Times best-selling author and is widely known for several books, including The Compound Effect—a motivational book that focuses on the impact everyday decisions have on achieving long-term big goals. Working with Hardy is “intense” according to Alvis, who relishes the regular one-on-one coaching she gets from him as part of her personal and professional development.
According to Alvis, “It’s always challenging. Darren pushes and supports all his employees to become great leaders and the best versions of themselves.”
All team members continually strive for personal and professional achievement. And Alvis enjoys the experience of working with a tightly integrated team that is so committed to the pursuit of excellence.
The key to success: focusing on the membership
Hardy fulfills his mission of helping people to become high performers through a variety of workshops and online training resources offered through DarrenHardy.com.
More than 350,000 people subscribe to DarrenDaily to receive a free daily motivational email, and more than 700,000 members make use of the Hardy’s online courses, mentoring, and motivation packages and products, as well as intensive workshops and custom training programs.
“It has been proven countless times by average people with meager beginnings who have risen to become extraordinary, world-changing achievers: Anything you can clearly visualize and genuinely desire is within the realm of possibility for you.”Darren Hardy
The key to the success of the DARREN HARDY business revolves around supporting its members to achieve the highest levels of excellence in their careers, businesses, and lives.
As Alvis explains, DARREN HARDY members have unique needs that vary according to their situations, goals, and expectations. Whether it’s a busy CEO undertaking an intensive, accelerated coaching engagement, or someone just getting started on the path to entrepreneurship, DARREN HARDY’s content is singularly focused on helping its members achieve tangible results.
To an organization that’s so focused on the success of its members, the membership experience is of paramount importance.
Growing the business and looking to outgrow challenges
When Alvis joined DARREN HARDY, the business was running with a basic shopping cart, many manual processes, and a multitude of spreadsheets. Despite the best efforts of the team, it was a challenge to keep things running smoothly with so many workarounds built into their processes.
The membership experience team was handling an increasing cadence of subscriptions. DARREN HARDY offers several different programs and installment options, so managing the experience for each unique member was as complex and nuanced as each of their situations.
To both scale up as well as meet its membership’s growing needs, the business had been accommodating personalized payment plans. And the complexity of managing these plans was only compounded by the number of individual plans.
As with customized payment plans, adjusting ongoing subscriptions was important to maintaining member satisfaction. However, manually adjusting and updating the subscriptions was cumbersome and time-consuming. The need for flexibility in its subscription management would only increase with the growth of the business.
Adding new products and subscriptions was testing the limits of the team’s resources and was limiting expansion opportunities.
Billing was another unwieldy operation. With no automated process to produce invoices, the team at DARREN HARDY often created invoices manually in order to meet the needs of its members.
Managing credit card billing failures and recovering payments were also handled manually. The billing team was piecing together data from incomplete reports and performing manual comparisons of data and Google Sheets. It was a slow, time-consuming process.
With limited automated notifications to proactively identify failing payments, the team was struggling to give the personalized, compassionate service they knew they could otherwise provide. Addressing and reporting recovered payments were also piecemeal processes. It was hardly surprising that DARREN HARDY’s payment recovery rates were low (around 60%) and the risks of leaking revenue were a real concern.
Manual reporting processes were also slowing things down, limiting the team’s ability to produce accurate reports on a timely basis. According to Alvis, the burden of juggling a multitude of spreadsheets and meticulous record keeping meant it was taking more than two hours per week just to collate data and produce weekly financial reports. And with no dashboard or holistic view of the business’s subscription activity, generating insights from analytics was onerous.
The time and effort to manually manage subscriptions and billing—plus the costs of inefficient processes — meant daily operations, as well as the long-term growth of the business, was being limited by legacy technology.
With an ever-growing roster of members and plans to expand its product line and increase sales, the organization was facing some fundamental business challenges, including a growing need for flexibility in its subscription management.
Dynamic subscription billing solution for scale-up
Alvis knew the DARREN HARDY business required a new solution.
After trying to cobble together a system based on Shopify—a situation she inherited from a predecessor—she took the reins and started looking for an automated and comprehensive solution.
Alvis evaluated a number of competing platforms, but ultimately chose Stax Bill and its dynamic and flexible subscription billing and management platform for many reasons. By the end of her first demonstration call with Stax Bill, Alvis already knew, as she puts it, that the business’s solution “checked all the boxes”.
The move has resulted in significant benefits for DARREN HARDY:
- revenue recovery from failed payments lifted from 60% to nearly 100%
- reporting has shifted from juggling spreadsheets for days to real-time business intelligence with customized dashboard and robust analytics
- manual billing has been transformed into dynamic and automated invoicing and billing management, eliminating workarounds and inefficiencies
- managing subscriptions with manual and cumbersome processes have evolved into dynamic, flexible, and sustainable automated subscription management
- a static and flat online-member user interface has been transformed into a branded and seamless experience with the flexibility and freedom to customize member-facing portals
- abandoned shopping carts can be proactively addressed with the integration to Zendesk, allowing for prompt follow-up
- growth and scalability have been unlocked
- new campaigns have been successfully implemented, including upsells and cross-sells, which have always been desired by the marketing teams in order to expand on the depth and breadth of the range of offerings
By having transformed the engine of the business with automated billing, the resources previously applied to checking, fixing, and performing manual updates are now freed up and being applied to more important value-added activities.
DARREN HARDY members are now being supported by the team with a comprehensive billing and subscription management system that has transformed how they experience the brand.
For example, DARREN HARDY can now deliver custom emails that provide members with complete information, while also fully reflecting the DARREN HARDY brand. Another important improvement is DARREN HARDY members now enjoy their own unique experience with a branded and user-friendly subscription process that supports their success.
Empowered by the ability to effectively manage ongoing member subscriptions, the A-Team can now focus on delivering new levels of excellence to its members and its widespread community of followers.
The business is now fully enabled to introduce new products, bundles, and pricing with flexibility whenever and however it’s needed. And growth initiatives can be introduced quickly and reliably. Just recently, the business launched a new free book campaign, and there are more integrated campaigns being planned.
DARREN HARDY’s team is equipped to take on new business on the scale of thousands of members per day. It’s also poised and ready to deliver new coaching programs and implement new initiatives to deliver excellence to its membership.
How was the overall experience of implementing and running the Stax Bill platform for DARREN HARDY? Alvis describes it in this way:
“With Stax Bill, we feel like we’re their only client.”