I'm Gonna Need Some Australian Pitchforks

Its funny. Chargeflow agreed to sponsor this newsletter about five weeks ago. Now the week’s come and they are actually about to save my ass. We’re about to have 5000+ unhappy customers in just a few weeks.

We launched SmashNet in Australia back on November 17th and within the first four days were able to start selling 200+ units a day profitably. Great problem to have…. until you realize I’m an idiot and only imported 150 units into the country hahhhah

I had no idea how many we were going to sell. Let alone sell through all of our inventory in 72 hours. I had zero data of how the game was going to sell and hated running to my team telling them that we’re paying crazy storage charges cause Chris guessed wrong again.

So yah we kinda sold through all of our inventory and I have our manufacturer rushing 7500 more units into the country immediately. Thank god they are already finished and boxed up and have been just sitting there waiting for us to ship.

But that’s where Chargeflow comes into play. I have an angry mob on my doorstep for the next three weeks with the pressure of Christmas coming and they are going to help big time.

If you’ve been through this before you know that chargebacks are the most annoying thing of running a business. No matter how clear you make the verbiage, shipping message, sending countless emails, and having a hassle no questions asked refund policy nobody will ever be 100% happy.

Chargeflow is a killer chargeback management app that automatically handles chargebacks on your behalf, and wins an average of 70%-80% of them without you having to lift a finger. I have it installed in Australia right now and they are already winning more than that daily.

“Just by installing their app, we have added $7,820 to our bottom-line revenue without doing anything. That's an annual saving of $21,508 with $15,640 added in revenue. Not too bad for an app that we installed in less than two minutes.”

Ron Shah | Co-founder & CEO of Obvi

They have come through to offer my readers exclusive FREE chargeback management until the end of the year. No commitment, no contracts - just connect the Chargeflow app and let it win chargebacks for you without having to lift a finger. Offer is limited to the first 15 brands.

Black Friday Breakdown

I don’t pretend to ever be a data nerd so I don’t have the newest Shopify data reports on how Black Friday & Cyber Monday went for merchants. From the grumblings I’ve seen online, I’ve seen some loud flexers but mostly flat or 20-30% growth. If you fall in that bucket just know you’re not alone.

In the USA & Canada, CROSSNET had a difficult time catching traction as always. It might make a great gift for that volleyball superfamily or if you live in a constantly warm client, but most of the time its a perfect spring & summer gift. No matter if you’re saving $10 or $30, it probably makes sense to just hold off the big purchase until six months from now and not keep the box collecting dust in your closet.

So what did we do?

We first set an all-time revenue record day in Australia!

24 hours later, we set a new all-time record for units sold on Amazon.

So how’d we do it?

Besides working with some incredible partners, and having some amazing products (I think we should take some credit), we actually have a firm understanding of what the business needs. Its okay if that answer is different per channel, or per country, but collectively what’s the mission and is everyone onboard?

CROSSNET January 1st - July 30th = SURVIVE AT ALL COSTS

CROSSNET August 1st - October 30th = FIX ALL BROKEN SHIT

Current Day CROSSNET =

  • Reduce our storage bill in Amazon that we got surprised with 20 days ago. We have over 15,000 units in stock and our products are massive and bulky

  • Sell all units at our USA & Canada warehouse for as much profit as possible

  • Discover a fine balance of maximizing profit on each Australian order while making sure we have as little inventory as possible at the end of the season when Australia stops converting in the middle of January

  • Ensure every day is as profitable as possible by not getting surprised with hidden fees that have constantly whacked us for years

  • Negotiate & trim all wasted spend across the org

Launching in Australia & Thousands of Pissed off Customers

I get alot of questions about what it takes to launch your product in a different country. I see alot of people saying its not worth the time and to stay focused on your home turf. While I think this is true in alot of cases, I think you need to think outside the box if you’re a seasonal business.

You’re not going to see Burton pushing snowboard ads in the middle of June?

So why would we expect CROSSNET to crush in the middle of February?

We’re pretty damn good marketers, but if these billion-dollar brands cant make snowboarding cool in the summer how can we make going to the beach in the snow sexy?

Flipping the script and obtaining 365 days of sunshine with opening our business in Australia has been a game changer for us. I’m just guessing but Australia will probably make up 15-20% of our revenue in 2023. Our goal? Get Australia to be a $5M business.

So here’s the mini playbook -

Business License: Every country is different, I can’t pretend to know the intricacies of each. But for us, we needed to get the business registered in Australia before we could even make a website! This process took almost a full year. We also made sure to get our international trademark and copyright protection at the same time.

Warehousing: We learned from our own mistake of running our own warehouse in Canada that we didn’t want to have our own facility. Why pay $5000+ a month for a warehouse, a salary for a warehouse worker and then temps when things get even crazier. I want to pay for the few months that the business is cranking and do everything I can to have as little inventory as possible in the offseason. We just switched to a new 3PL in AU, super excited.

Website: Shopify has this new thing called Markets that I don’t necessarily trust too much at the moment. We simply spun up crossnetgame.com.au, duplicated the theme from our main website and then put the Aussie spin on it. Little things like incorporating “mate” into your lingo and changing “favorite” to “favourite” seem to go a long way.

Content: The nice thing about our content is that a video outside in somebody’s backyard can easily be taken for a backyard in Australia or Florida. We’ve been in Australia for three years now and have not spent a single dollar on localized content. As I type this out it seems like an area ripe for atleast a test, but for now I can confidently say our United States content is fine, is working, and I have not seen a single comment saying “Thats a Florida backyard and not an Australian one.”

Product: The stupidest thing we could have done was to import every product we sell into a new country. Its one thing to be paying storage fees for products people don’t want in the United States (inflatables, random color ways of pickleball paddles, etc.) so why would we make the same mistake in Australia. We brought over our four staples (CROSSNET, H2O, Ultimate Bundle and Soccer) and then tested a new product a week before Black Friday…. that’s when everything took a twist

That’s All She Wrote

In a few weeks, I’ll be hosting a 2024 planning and strategy session. Want to be involved? Send me an email back here to RSVP your spot. We will be capping this - [email protected] 

If you haven’t applied yet for The Founders Club do so today! The price is doubling on December 1st and we’d love to have you.

Best of luck locking in on your goals for the rest of 2023 and make sure to end the year as strong as possible.

I’ll leave you with a quote that I just made up that I wish I had read a year ago.

Don’t wait to do things on January 1st that you could have done back in November.

Chris Meade