My Subscription Box Business

From the last post, you already know that I’m starting a subscription box business.  I love the business model because of a number of reasons, including:

i) Relatively easy to do. I mean, you simply need to find the products for your market, pack and ship them. Who can’t do that?

ii) Easy to Scale. If you choose the right market, it can be easy to scale the business from a few boxes a month to thousands of shipments.

iii) Less upfront cash. Since buyers are ordering the items first, you don’t have to spend your money  to buy inventory. Simply wait for buyers to order and use their money to purchase the items.

NB: This may not however apply in all situations.

iv) Variety of Marketing options.  The sub box business is one online venture that does not require SEO to be successful. To market a sub box business, you will simply need to find communities where your target market hang out.

Let’s be honest; SEO can take a long time to get results. But by reaching directly to the communities where your market is hanging out, you can make sales without having to wait for months for your website to rank.

With these in mind, I have jumped into the sub box business. To begin, I have already registered a domain name and at the moment, I am developing the website. I will be using WordPress for my site since I’m most familiar with it and it can handle ecommerce  well.

You however do not need to use WordPress. I have seen sub box sites hosted on Shopify, Magneto, made from ASP.NET and other platforms. Simply go for what you feel will be right for you.

I highly recommend WordPress is you have experience with it. If you don’t know anything about site development but want to get your hands dirty, a solution like Shopify would be great.

Inspiration for the Sub Box Business

I was a freelance writer for an ecommerce payment gateway startup when I was first exposed to the subscription business model. I wrote articles on SaaS (Software as a Service) and along the way, wrote about sub box businesses like Birchbox.

At the back of my mind, I wanted to own one of these babies. I mean, the allure or recurring revenue; who would pass that opportunity?

Now, here I am launching my sub box business. But where did I get the nudge or elbow push to


Subscription Box

I’ve always wanted to start a recurring subscription business. Imagine having a number of customers paying you X amount of dollars every month for a service?

I’d come across recurring subscription business in many forms in different forums. For instance, in BHW (Black Hat World), I would usually see guys renting links to high PR sites for $X per month.

I have also seen the SEO and inbound marketing agencies offering service packages for X amount of dollars every month or over a certain period. And then, of course, there are the numerous membership sites online.

I’ve subscribed to a couple of subscription based services in the past and for the most part, I found myself not using the services/tools. For instance, there was a time I kept my subscription for private proxies from a company on for more than one year. And then there was a time I rented a VPS for 8 months and perhaps only used it about  four or five times during the period.

What kept me subscribed to the services/tools was the low price. I mean, I was paying about $12 and $24 per month for the private proxies and VPS services per month. This isn’t a lot of money. But when you do the math over a year, you realize I just gave someone over $100 of my hard earned money and I wasn’t getting any value from them i.e. I wasn’t using their services.

When it came to subscription renewal, I always thought to myself: “This month, I’m going to use the service maximumly”. But you know, stuff happens. There are clients waiting for their articles from me and using the tools wasn’t going to earn any money for my rent et al.

Anyway, the whole point is I’ve lost quite some money staying subscribed to services that I did not need. Luckily, I pulled the plug on the subscriptions and now have other places where my money is going.

So, why would I want to start a subscription business?

Benefits of Subscription Business

The obvious benefit of having a subscription business is the almost guaranteed income you will have at the end of the month. If you have 10 customers paying $X, then you know every month you will have $10X in revenue.

There are a number of things that you should be on the lookout when dealing with subscription business. The most important are growth and customer retention. First, you want