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Subscription boxes are big business right now. People just love getting a curated box of goodies sent to their door without thinking about all of the details.
Whether you’re thinking about starting one based on books or beard products, starting a subscription box business can be a lucrative way to earn a decent living.
Here’s how you can get started.
But first, the perks.
Benefits of Running a Subscription Box Business
Running a subscription box business means reoccurring revenue every month since customers have to sign up for a monthly subscription. This business model means the potential for even more profit and a nice, steady cashflow.
You can also scale your business pretty easily by offering different types of boxes to attract a wider customer base.
Plus, you can gain long-term customer relationships that are really invaluable.
Are Subscription Boxes in Demand?
Subscription boxes are in high demand. In fact, today, the subscription box business is worth $15 billion (compared to $2.6 billion in 2015).
Other interesting facts to note about the demand for subscription box businesses is that people subscribing to these boxes tend to be between the ages of 25 and 44 (so think about that when deciding what products to put in your boxes).
Also, men tend to have more active subscriptions at once than women.
Now that you know that, let’s dig deeper into who buy subscription boxes and why.
Who Buys Subscription Boxes and Why?
Like I said in the last section, men tend to hold more subscriptions than women.
The most popular subscription boxes do one (or more) of the following:
- Promote self-care
- Satisfy a recurring need
- Make reoccurring billing easy
- Make it more convenient for customers to access the products they love
- Help customers avoid running out of something they like to keep in stock
Subscription boxes are usually purchased:
- As gifts
- To try new products
- To keep products in stock
- Support a cause
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Subscription Box Business?
Starting a subscription box business will cost you a little bit of money, but you should look at it as an investment and not spending money because eventually it’ll make you money.
Consider the following costs:
- Legal costs (incorporation, trademarks, etc.) (Northwest Registered Agent, Swyft Filings)
- Website hosting (Site Ground, Hostinger, Blue Host, etc.)
- Website theme (Envato)
- Domain name (Name Cheap – I only pay $8.88/year)
- eCommerce software (BigCommerce, WooComerce)
- Shipping & Packaging costs
- Accounting costs (FreshBooks)
- Cost to purchase products you want to put in your boxes
- Email marketing software (ConvertKit, Constant Contact)
- CRM (customer relationship management) software (HubSpot)
- Payment processing costs
Can I Really Make Money with a Subscription Box Business?
Subscription boxes can be profitable as long as you work hard and ensure your expenses don’t outpace your income.
In other words, you can be successful with a subscription box business as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work to maintain and grow it.
I won’t promise you a dollar amount, but you can easily make thousands of dollars a month if you do it right.
Ready to try it out?
Here’s how to start your own subscription box business.
How to Start Your Own Subscription Box Business
Starting your own subscription box business isn’t really all that hard. You’re going to need a few things to get started, though.
What You’ll Need
1. A Niche
I know, I know. Niche-down this, niche-up that. But a niche is pretty important if you want to make money in almost any business. Focusing on on specific segment of the population increases your chances of making more money (as counterintuitive as it sounds).
2. A Website
To sell your subscription boxes, you’ll need a website where customers can go and see what you have available and in stock. You’re going to want to spend some time making your website as appealing as possible. You want to invite people in immediately and if your website doesn’t do that, you might have trouble getting sales.
So take your time with this.
3. Payment Processing for Your Website
Once you’ve set up your website, make sure people have a way to pay. That means setting up payment processing solutions that work well for you and your customers.
Some of the top payment processing solutions for small businesses include Payline Data, Stripe, or Braintree.
4. To Create Content
Creating content is almost a business necessity these days. It’s how you draw in customers organically.
Content is king.
And everyone knows it, which is why so many companies are dedicating large chunks of their resources to creating content. People are consuming content like crazy and companies are well aware of this fact.
You should be, too.
Aim to create content on a consistent basis. Some small businesses use a content calendar to plan their content out months in advance. To save time in creating new content each day, it’s better to dedicate a little bit of time each month to creating content in bulk.
5. Social Media Accounts
Social media is like a given.
You’ve gotta have a social media account these days if you want to be noticed by potential customers.
Website traffic alone may not cut it, especially when you’re competing with big brands with even bigger pockets.
So get your social media profiles in order and start posting content consistently.
Website traffic is another must. How will people buy your products if they can’t find you?
One word: SEO.
If you don’t know it, now’s the time to learn it because it’s essential to getting found on the web by customers searching for what you’re selling.
Try an SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Looking for something low-cost or free? Try Answer The Public or Woorank’s SEO & Website Analysis Tool.
You can also try to bring in organic traffic, which might take a little longer, but cost you nothing.
7. Shipping and Packing Supplies
Obviously, you’re going to need packing shipping supplies because you’re going to need to ship out orders to customers.
You’ll need the boxes you’re going to be shipping your other boxes in. Don’t spend too much money on these because people are just going to end up throwing them out anyway.
Instead, focus more of your budget on the actual subscriptions boxes.
8. The Actual Subscription Boxes
Speaking of actual subscription boxes, you’ll need some.
Spend a little time on the design because it’ll help cement your brand identity into the minds of your customers when they get their subscription boxes.
So think about what colors, fonts, and accessories you might want to include with each box (i.e., a personalized thank you card, a ribbon to tie the box, etc.).
Get Your Subscription Box Business Up and Running
Once you’ve got all of the above, you’re ready to plan your official business launch. If you’re going to be doing this as more than just a side hobby, I recommend going through the process of making your business official.
Did I leave anything out? Don’t be afraid to let me know. And feel free to share with your friends and family considering starting a business. 👩💻