Small business

How to Start a Subscription Business

The main benefit of a subscription business model is recurring revenue. It helps increase the value of the business, provides steady cash flow, and makes the business predictable. Beyond that, it helps build sustainable and lasting relationships with customers.

Subscription businesses are exploding with each day and no business wants to be left behind. To start your own, start by evaluating if your products are subscription friendly. If you are looking to start a standalone subscription business, then come up with a unique niche. There are tons of subscription services out there offering makeup, snacks, clothing, and a lot more. Let’s dig deeper and see the best way to start your own subscription business.

Plot Your Business Purchase Cycle

First things first, who is the ideal customer for your business? What is your target market? What would an ideal customer buy from you over a span of three to five years? What other larger items would they get from you apart from the regular consumables or services they get? The ideal customer does not necessarily mean the most prominent client you have. Place more focus on the relationships that involve customers who purchase the highest-margin products that are easy to deliver. Products or services that they would need on a recurring basis.

Rough Out the Business Model

Come up with a concept of the ideal purchase cycle and create a draft for the service. Then, round off the edges and fine-tune the offering to make it appealing to the majority of your customers. For instance, you can include some elements that only appeal to the most loyal customers. However, it should be appealing enough to new customers so they can also subscribe to the service.

What Are the Ideal Products?

When customers contact your business, are they looking for additional products, inquiring about new products, or asking product questions? A list of these reasons will help you figure out how successful a subscription service could be for your business. Source for the products you are going to include in your boxes and ensure that they will be both space and cost-effective. If you already have the products in your business, move on to the next step.

Source Shipping Materials

You need the actual subscription boxes, and you’ll need shipping materials as well. Consider everything you need, including labels and packing supplies. Start small with a few supplies, and later on, when the model picks up, you can buy them in bulk. Ensure that the supplies are easy to get in bulk for future references.

Design the Boxes

With so many subscription boxes out there, you need to have something unique that will capture attention at the moment of eye contact. Beyond that, the unboxing experience is highly valuable to customers. Keep in mind that first impressions count so make it memorable. First, however, you need to create a prototype to ensure all the products fit. Ensure it ships safely without any damages to the products, and creates a lasting impression for the customers who receive it. This means you need to test a few samples before settling on the design.

Source the Best Shipping Rate

Shipping costs are a major factor in the subscription business, and they could make all the difference. This is to say that you should take drop shipping and how it works very seriously. Check if the service offers discounts for regular or bulk shipments. Regardless, ensure that the costs make business sense depending on the weight and size of your packages. How fast the products get to your customers is just as important.

Plan the Fulfillment Process

This is a major step that should not be overlooked. Depending on how large your target market is, consider whether you should do the packing and shipping in-house or hire a fulfillment service. You can start in-house and find the best fulfillment later as you accumulate customers. Consider this carefully because you need to have a seamless process that will not disappoint customers.

Find the Ideal Places to Sell the Boxes

Of course, your customers need to sign up, and if you already have a business website, it’s a great place to start. However, to get the box in front of more eyes, find other marketplaces where your target market frequents.

Have a Solid Marketing Plan

Creating a buzz around your subscription box will get your customers excited and eager to sign up. Take advantage of social media and email addresses. You may even feel compelled to use online advertising. Pre-launching the box is also a great and practical idea where you offer the boxes to loyal customers and influencers who will help build the buzz.

Launch Your Subscription Business

After all that, you need to launch the business officially and get the message out there. Marketing and creating a buzz should not stop here. It is imperative that you continue with your marketing strategies and offering an exceptional experience to your customers.

If you have any questions, please ask below!