Customer Success: Prescribed for Life

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pforlife

Interview with Benton Tait, Owner of Prescribed for Life

Tell us about your business.  What products do you sell?

We offer diet, health and nutritional products and bulk ingredients to online retail customers and to retail outlets. Besides our own site pforlife.com (built on Bigcommerce), we also promote our products on Amazon, with much success. We have some products on eBay but, have not seen much success there. We have recently started marketing on Facebook and am waiting to see the results.

I started this business in 1984. At that time, I was developing, manufacturing and distributing nutritional supplements and personal care products to our customer base. I also made private label products for the network marketing industry. We predominately marketed our products through wholesale showrooms in Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta.

Due to increased overhead showroom expenses, poor product exposure by contract representatives, limited distribution channels and frustration with employees, I decided to move away from that model. I wanted to consolidate these issues into a more controlled environment. Higher profit margins, from retail sales, seemed to be a more appealing alternative to our past business model.

Last year our company tripled in sales. We expect to triple again this year. But, this is the year of profit whereas, last years’ growth was to cover overhead.

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Was there an “A HA!” moment?

The evolution of what the company and product line is now, came about 5 years ago, when contemplating how to simplify and streamline the operation. It was mostly family and friends who encouraged me to consolidate, downsize and simplify. I discarded the excess and retained the most valuable and effective products and set the operation up on an online system.

It was a major decision, an exciting one but, a fearful one, since I had heard the horror stories of the scam artists that were out there. But, after seeing those first few thousand dollars come in from customers, when I had not even spent any advertising or representative dollars, I was hooked on the idea.

What is your marketing secret?

We participate in about two trade shows per month. These shows help build, not only retail income but, great product exposure and repeat customers. We get to “really” represent our product and secure long term customers. These customers are great referrals and encourage local retail outlets to carry our products. The product exposure we get through the online channels, particularly Amazon, also helps us build a strong customer base.

What is your advice to other small ecommerce retailers?

People entering this industry must be sure they know how to represent their products properly. Don’t rely on long explanations on your website. Be concise, specific and get to your target customer. Then, make sure you put a great online help team together. Without that, you may never grow.

How has Ordoro benefited you?

Ordoro’s system has definitely streamlined our efforts. It has cut our order processing time in half and consolidated our inventory and other data. They have always been concerned about our specific needs and have specifically provided requested program changes because, it was a practical application and would also benefit their other customers. I am excited to see the new features that they have planned in the near future, and am confident that they will always provide what we need. It may not happen in a week or two but, if it can be done, I feel sure that it will be done.