The idea to start my subscription box business came from a desire to treat my business’s loyal customers like the VIPs that they were. I had already taken a huge step, leaving my job at a Fortune 500 company in order to open my own shop and pursue a more fulfilling life with freedom, room to be creative and more time with my family. It was the idea of a subscription box that kept me awake at night, imagining what I would include in my boxes, the packaging and special touches that would make them special, and how much my customers would love them.
My subscription box journey started in 2017. At the time, subscription boxes were just starting to hit the mainstream market, and only big brands were doing them. I spent months doing research, finding products, ordering boxes, creating a logo and figuring out all the tech and logistics needed to make a subscription box work for my business. Once the prep work was complete, it was time to set a goal and plan my launch. I had done the math and knew if I could get 100 subscribers, that revenue would allow me to pay the bills at my retail location and pay myself. I hit my goal in just three months.
Starting a subscription box safeguarded my business
In 2017, no one knew that a pandemic was just around the corner. I spent the first three years learning everything I could about how to run my business. I invested in training and learned how to show up on camera for my customers. When I was forced to close my brick-and-mortar store for 45 days at the beginning of the pandemic, my subscription box business continued to grow. Like many online businesses, I experienced a great deal of growth in 2020, ending the year with record sales and nearly 3,000 subscribers. We’ve maintained our growth and continue to curate boxes for our subscribers each month.
According to UBS, the subscription box business is estimated to be worth $650 billion now and it’s on track to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025. If a subscription box makes sense for your business, what are you waiting for?
5 ways a subscription box will boost your business
A subscription box builds stability
The beauty of a subscription box is that the subscription is sold once and the revenue recurs monthly as long as the subscriber is retained. Having a subscription box builds stability in your business by providing revenue you can count on every single month. Not only will that revenue safeguard your business through low periods, but it gives you so much more freedom as a business owner.
If you knew a certain amount of money would hit your bank account on the 1st of each month, what could you do? Could you invest in more equipment? Hire more help? Expand? Think about what consistent revenue could mean to your business.
The inventory you order is already sold
One of the biggest stressors for product-based businesses is the investment you have in your products. It’s a constant balancing act to make sure you have enough inventory to meet customer demand, but not so much that you end up with unsold items. Unsold items not only take up valuable space in a warehouse or back room, they eat into your bottom line.
When you order inventory for your subscription boxes, the product is already sold. It’s going into boxes you already have subscribers for. You don’t have to guess how many items you will need. You already know.
You can hire without fear
Having consistent, recurring revenue you can depend on allows you to hire employees without worrying about whether you’ll have the money to pay them. This was a total game-changer for me. I went from being a solo entrepreneur doing all the things to employing seven in-store employees and nearly as many remote team members in a few short years.
You won’t be able to grow and scale your business without help. For many entrepreneurs, this means hiring before they are ready. A subscription box business helps eliminate the anxiety around hiring.
You don’t have to constantly sell
When I ran just my retail store, every day brought pressure to sell. If I didn’t sell products, I worried about paying the rent on the shop, paying my employees and having enough cash flow to order more products. I felt the stress of needing to make enough sales every single day. On the flip side, once I added a subscription box, I could relax. My subscriber numbers quickly grew to a level where I knew the revenue from those boxes would cover the bills in my business.
I still showed up at my shop and happily served my customers, but the stress of worrying about making enough sales every day was gone. What would it mean for you and your business to say goodbye to that daily anxiety?
The hard work is done
Building an audience is the hardest part of starting a subscription box company. The great news is that if you are already running a business, the hard work is done. Capitalize on the fact that you already have an established niche and area of expertise and consider offering your customers something new.
Adding a subscription box company changed my business and my life. I was able to grow my business, provide jobs in my town and provide for my family in a way I’d never been able to do, all by simply focusing on my customers and giving them what they wanted. More than five years after my launch, I’m still curating amazing boxes every month and still finding new ways to surprise and delight my thousands of subscribers.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: A free resource for learning basic business skills, the latest digital technology and more.