What you need to start a subscription business.

It’s no surprise you’re looking to start a subscription business. They’re trendy, they’re profitable, and among the hottest start up models right now.
The re-emergence of subscription commerce has resulted in the birth of services that make it easy to start a subscription business model.


So what does it take to start up a monthly subscription business?

  • A Unique Idea
  • A Purpose
  • Your Customer
  • Financial & Operating Plan
  • Marketing Plan

Unique Idea

A subscription business idea can be within a category that already exists. It’s the execution, purpose, presentation, and even niche that can make your subscription business model unique. For example, a monthly book subscription service does exist, but your offering could be catchy simply by choosing books with specific genres, or themes. Be creative, bold, fun, and offer unique value in the information, experience, or branding of your offer.

Purpose

You need to know what purpose your business serves to create a satisfied consumer. The subscriber business model relies on repeat customers. Being consistent with your purpose and your brand will help to foster a genuine connection with customers that will keep them onboard as loyal subscribers. Loyalty is a key metric, as you want your customers to stay on board month over month.

Customer

Before you even decide what you’ll be putting in your subscription, you need to know who your subscriber is. A strong understanding of your customers will give insights into what products make sense to attract new subscribers, while retaining existing ones.

Once you have your ideal customer established, you need to figure out how you are going to “take care” of them. Customer Relationship Management tools (often referred to as CRM systems) and Call Centers are a great way of managing your customers. These tools open up two-way communication for feedback, satisfaction benchmarking, and brand advocacy.

Financing and Operating Plan

The management of financing and operating a new subscription commerce model is where most start-ups hit a wall. There is a lot to consider! How much to charge, how to source product, how to budget, how to ship, how to bill, etc. With all the moving parts things can appear complicated. But don’t fret! There are some great tools out there.

For example, taking advantage of specific outsourced shipping and payment services means not only having the process simplified, but also having your operations consolidated. In other words, many outsourced billing and shipping providers can be integrated into a centralized hub. This migration of operating functions can simplify the process and remove some big barriers.

Marketing Plan

Great. You’ve got your idea, your purpose, you know your customer, and you even have all the financial details covered – how is anyone going to know about your product?

Launch. The pre-launch phase of your new monthly subscription business is one of the most important stages for your start up. In this phase you need to build awareness and generate interest. Presale campaigns, media buys, PR, and direct mail can all be important aspects in getting people aware of your launch. Think about your marketing budget, and begin split testing some channels. Remember, you can always tweak as you go. The important thing is to get started.

Remarketing. Oftentimes, start up sub-commerce businesses will put most of the emphasis on the launch. The result is an empty remarketing tank.  Plan for remarketing.  After launch you will want marketing funds leftover for analysis to adjust and optimize campaigns.

What Does it Take to Start a Subscription Business?

All the tools you need to start up a subscription business are available to you. With a bit of passion and a great idea you have everything you need. Contact us to get started on your new business today!