Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d be well aware of the popularity and demand for subscription box services. Whether you’re into subscription boxes that offer men’s razors, fashion, herbs, tea, cosmetics, coffee or underwear, there is a subscription box for almost every taste.
The sampling and subscription box market is a clever business concept that takes the guesswork and pain points from customer’s shopping jaunts and generates lucrative monthly incomes through e-commerce.
By removing the hassle of remembering to purchase razors at the supermarket, offering freshly ground coffee to your door each fortnight or providing a range of innovative cosmetics to fashion lovers, home subscription box services provide a solution to a problem most of us haven’t realised we even had.
If you’ve got a cracking idea for a subscription box and you’re keen to kick off a service, there’s no better time to start.
We’ve put together a ‘how to’ guide to create a subscription box service in 10 days!
Day 10: Get Your Name And Determine What You're Selling
So, you have an idea and you’ve made the decision you are going to launch a subscription box service. The two key things to understand are what you are going to sell and what your name is going to be.
Consider some of the top subscription box services out there, they all have super catchy names such as ‘Birchbox’ (beauty products), ‘BarkBox’ (dog treats), Whimseybox’ (DIY craft), ‘Graze’ (healthy snacks), ‘Conscious Box’ (environmentally conscious items), ‘BroBox’ (men’s grooming and snacks) and ‘TasteTrunk’ (gourmet food).
If you’ve developed a rocking name, make sure you get it registered stat. If you’re a little stuck for the name, you can engage a freelance marketing expert to do the hard yards for you. Simply get your freelance marketing expert to come up with a list of names for your subscription box (ensuring they aren’t already in use and available to be registered as a business).
Day 9: Get a Marketing Plan
Research is the key to the success of the launch of your subscription box service. Having only ten days to launch you’re going to need to engage an expert marketer to help line your ducks in a row so you can come out to the market with all guns blazing.
Get a marketing plan created by a freelance marketer and ensure they provide a document that includes an industry analysis, research into your market, a market segmentation and breakdown of who your customers are – then finally an action plan and budget to go and get them!
A marketing plan is essential; you MUST understand your market and who you are selling to, otherwise you may as well be providing makeup services to a rugby team.
Day 8: Get a Brand Designed
Subscription box services such as Dollar Shave Club have a look and feel that portrays their brand and speaks to the target market. Getting branding and design is simple when you engage the services of talented graphic designers who know their stuff.
Get yourself a freelance graphic designer and engage their services to create a logo plus a brand look and feel including icons for social media platforms.
Freelance graphic designers are specialists in creating new and edgy brand guidelines and blueprints for e-commerce platforms such as subscription boxes.
Now is also a good time to start setting up your social media pages. Your freelance graphic designer can provide cover images and icons for Facebook, Instagram, and any other platform that suits your target market.
Day 7: Purchase The Domain Name And Create an Ecommerce Platform
Now that you have a registered business name, now is the time to create some magic with an e-commerce platform. Once you’ve purchased your domain name, it’s time to find a website designer and website developer that can make your subscription box sing to your target audience.
To get the most bang for your buck, it’s worth engaging the services of a website designer and a website developer to create the perfect site for your subscription box service. Integrate an online payment systems and create a website that gives your target market a taste of how amazing your service is for them and how they can’t live without you.
As well as engaging amazing freelance web developers and designers you might also want to consider finding a wordsmith to create content for your website that captures your audience and gives them no choice but to sign up for your subscription box.
Freelance copywriters and content writers are a great option and can craft engaging copy that makes your target market sit up and listen. As well as the copy for your website, your freelance copywriter can also create content for newsletters, social media posts and any other marketing you have set your sights on doing when you launch to the market.
Day 6: Put Together a Prototype
Your potential customers aren’t mind readers, so you’ll need to create some prototype boxes with all the products or items you’ll be sending in your subscription boxes and take some photos for your website and marketing activity.
A freelance photographer can help you with imagery and has the lighting and layout experience to make your subscription box be eye-catching and appealing to your customer base.
Don’t skimp on this part of the process, you need to ensure your subscription box is visually appealing and using a freelance photographer to help create awesome imagery is important to ensure your potential customers know what they’re signing up for.
Once this is created, think about the packaging you will put your items in, do you need a packaging designer to help you with this or even a freelance graphic designer who can help you with labels, stickers, and any other items that add branding to your delivery.
Day 5: Source What You Are Selling
If you don’t have the right items featured in your box readily available, then it's time to source them.
What you’re selling, for example whether it is a ‘sample box’ (such as Ispy) or a full solution (such as Kent & Lime), will determine if you need to source samples or if you need to source stock on consignment/purchase arrangement to fulfil your expected orders.
Don’t expect everything to be available on demand; you’ll need to do a little bit of legwork and planning to ensure the products you need are available and can be turned around quickly when you get orders.
If you’re short on time to source items yourself, you can use the services of a virtual assistant to help you track down and source the samples or items you need for your boxes. Freelance virtual assistants can work at a time that suits you to help with the administration side of things and ensure your business runs smoothly.
Day 4: Get Your Shipping Sorted
Shipping is a key consideration of the launch of any subscription box service, as the product needs to get from you to your customers in record time otherwise customers will walk away.
Looking into the costs and the delivery frequency to areas around your catchment is vital to ensure that you can deliver on your subscription box promise. You can have the best subscription box in the land, but if your customers constantly gets it late or if the postage is a nightmare they will lose interest and possibly cancel their subscription.
Take the time to do some research and find out shipping costs for wherever you’re willing to send your subscription boxes. If you need an extra hand, arrange a freelance virtual assistant to do the hard yards and find out costs for shipping and what can and can’t be shipped, so you’re up to speed with the postage requirements.
Day 3: Confirm Your Pricing Model And Set up Some Forecasts
As a small business or start-up, you are in business to make money. Based on this, you’ll need to work out a pricing matrix on how much your products cost, including the items inside, the packaging, the distribution, staff (your) time and marketing/sales costs.
You’re not in business to work for free, so make sure you have created a detailed forecast that ensures you’re making money and you are growing your business.
If you’re not experienced with forecasting, sales and business there are plenty of freelance sales and marketing experts that specialize in sales projections and forecasting that can lend you a hand. These experts will be able to work with you to establish how much you need to charge for your products to make money while ensuring that people are still buying your subscription box service on a regular basis.
Day 2: Prepare Your Products For Distribution And Testing
You’re getting to the business end of the planning and almost ready to launch, now it’s time to get your subscription box ready for distribution and testing.
Where possible, have a stack of pre-packaged subscription boxes ready to go when the orders start rolling in, this will save time and ensure you’re ready to post and get the word out that your subscription box service is open for business.
Before you launch, it’s important to test your website and service, ensuring that you understand any potential issues with the website or functionality that may cause you not to deliver on your promise.
At this stage of the game, you’re also going to want to find a brilliant freelance public relations expert who can get a bit of publicity for your new subscription box. Arrange for a press release to be sent out and utilize their skill set to try and get some media attention ahead of your big launch.
Day 1: Launch Your Subscription Box to The Market
The big day is here; you have a brand, product, marketing, website and design all done within ten days and you are now ready to launch to market. Rather than kicking back and treating yourself with a pina colada, it’s time to get moving and get your product in front of your potential audience.
Start spreading the word on social media, media sites, through your marketing channels and any other way you can beat the drum.
If you need a hand, get some freelance marketers to help you get the word out so you can drive orders to your site and profits to your bottom line.
Need to Hire Some Amazing Freelancer To Help Launch Your Subscription Box Service?
Launching a new business doesn’t need to be a one-man job, you can tap into a global pool of freelance talent on Freelancer.com.
Freelancer.com makes hiring the best talent easy! Whether it’s graphic design, copywriting, website development or data entry you’ll find the perfect match for your business needs. Post a project today, and receive bids within seconds.