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In Today’s post, you will learn how to make money by working from home and starting a subscription business.

Work from Home – How to Start a Subscription Box Business

A subscription box is a service that people can sign up for in order to receive products that they are interested in right at their doorsteps. Starting a subscription box brand is a fun, exciting business idea that can begin as a hobby and even grow into a full-time occupation. To launch a successful subscription box venture, it’s important that you brainstorm a unique idea for your box, market it effectively to potential customers, then make sure those first boxes get to them in one piece and on time!

Part 1 Brainstorming Your Subscription Box Business

  1. Choose a unique niche for your subscription box. There are many subscription box services that offer a wide range of products, so do your best to come up with an idea that sets your subscription box apart from the rest. To find a niche, try to find an area in the market that is not already covered by another subscription box service.
    • This could be an emerging trend or a particular target market that is interested in something unique that isn’t yet offered by a subscription box service.
    • It’s ok to sell the same genre of products as another subscription box service, but try to do something different to make yours special. For instance, if you want to start a coffee subscription box, you could sell only organic coffee to set yourself apart.
    • Make sure that your products are not so obscure that there will be no market for them. Do some research online and make sure that there will be a number of people who are passionate about the products you want to offer.
  2. Research your target audience and competitors. Do research online and on social media to determine what kinds of people are likely to subscribe to your box and what other similar subscription services there are. This will allow you to tailor your marketing messaging to connect with potential customers and differentiate yourself from competitors.
    • Search different hashtags related to your products and to subscription boxes on social media to see what people are talking about.
    • Take note of any social media influencers that you might be able to work with to market your subscription box.
  3. Come up with a name and logo for your business. Choose a name that is catchy and unique and make sure it is not already taken by another brand. Work with a graphic designer to design a logo for the brand if you don’t have any graphic design skills yourself.
    • You can use a program like Adobe Illustrator to make a business logo.
    • Make sure that you’ll be able to use your brand name to create social media accounts, and that a good URL is available for a website. Search social media platforms for your desired name to make sure it’s not taken, and search a web hosting site to find available URLs that include the name.

Part 2 Prototyping Your First Subscription Box

  1. Find sources for the types of products that you will include. Make sure that you will be able to acquire a variety of the types of products you want to sell. Remember that every subscription box needs to be different to keep people interested, so you should have multiple sources from which you will be able to get the products.
    • When you first start out, it’s a good idea to plan the products you will include in the first 6 boxes ahead of time. This way, you won’t be scrambling to find new products at the last minute!
    • Make sure the products you source will be easy to ship. They shouldn’t be very fragile or too big to fit easily in a box with other products. Remember that the bigger the box, the higher your shipping costs will be.
  2. Order samples or small amounts of products from suppliers to try them out. Try the products yourself or give them out to friends to get their feedback. Create some sort of evaluation scorecard or survey for each product, then fill them out alongside your enlisted product testers in order to select the best of the best.
    • You can make this part fun by hosting a sampling party to try out products with your friends.
  3. Select packaging and shipping materials. Find a reliable source of packaging supplies. Choose the actual boxes that you will ship and any other necessary packaging material, such as padding to protect the products.
    • Make sure that you can get the packaging supplies in bulk each month (or however often you plan on shipping the box).
    • If you can find a packaging supplier that can also provide printing and design services, this can save you a lot of time in the design and decoration process.
  4. Design and decorate the box and packaging. Decide how you will decorate the boxes and what packaging materials to use inside. Print your logo and designs directly on the boxes for a professional-looking and time-saving option, or print stickers for a cheaper more versatile option.
    • Think about the whole unboxing experience for your customers and try to make it a special experience. The inside of the box should look nice as well as the outside.
    • You can find a printing service in your area that will be able to transfer your designs to the boxes, or sometimes the suppliers of packing materials themselves are able to do this.
  5. Put together products for the first subscription box. Make a final decision about what products will go into the first subscription box you send out. Make sure you know how much of each product you will be able to provide and set a cap on orders if necessary.
    • Package up a prototype box and take pictures for your website and social media channels.
    • Some subscription boxes are a surprise every month, while others tell their subscribers what they will be getting. It’s up to you which route you want to go.
  6. Set a price for your subscription box. Calculate your costs for each box by adding up the costs of the products inside, the cost of all packaging, and the shipping costs. Set a price that allows you to make a profit, but not so high that it is not affordable for your customers to pay continuously.
    • Factor in how much time you will be spending fulfilling orders to determine how much profit you want to make.
    • A 40% profit margin is considered a good margin to aim for with a subscription box business.

Part 3 Marketing Your Subscription Box

  1. Create a website for your subscription box. Use a free service that lets you create a website using templates, or hire a web developer to create a site for your brand. Make sure to include eCommerce plugins that allow customers to sign up for the subscription service and make payments.
    • There are also several online subscription box marketplaces that you can sign up for to make the process easier (since they already have the infrastructure to sell subscription boxes), or to supplement your own website.
    • Keep your site simple and design-focused. People are buying the experience of the subscription box, so make your site visually attractive, include some professional-looking pictures of your boxes, and a little bit of info about your niche.
    • If you want to get organic traffic to your site, make sure to work on the site’s SEO to position it in search engine results.
  2. Start a buzz on social media about your brand. Create channels on the main social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Start posting content and photos with popular and relevant hashtags in the descriptions to attract followers and generate a buzz.
    • Social media is a great way to get a lot of free publicity for your subscription box. Once you grow your followers organically, you can move on to paid social media advertising if it’s within your budget.
  3. Pay for advertising if you have the budget for it. Pay for ads on search engines or on social media networks to put your brand in front of more people. This is a good second step after you grow traffic to your site and followings on social media organically.
    • If you don’t know anything about paid advertising, ask a friend who works in digital marketing or hire a freelance digital marketer to help you get started.
    • Many social media influencers work with brands for a set fee or commission. Reach out to social media influencers who could potentially promote your product to a large audience to see if this is a viable option.

Part 4 Launching Your Subscription Box

  1. Set a date for the first box to ship and start taking orders. Choose a shipping date and a deadline by which customers have to subscribe. Keep an eye on how many orders are coming in and make sure you will be able to fulfill all of them.
    • Stop allowing early orders if you will not be able to get enough products to fulfill all of them.
    • Send customers a confirmation email after they subscribe and pay to let them know when they should expect to receive their boxes.
    • Stay active on social media to keep followers informed about deadlines for subscriptions, shipping dates, and any information about products you want to share. Keep paying for advertising to keep the orders rolling in.
  2. Order the products for the first box after the deadline for customer subscriptions. You will know how many boxes you need to ship after the deadline by which customers have to sign up for the box. Order all of your chosen products and get ready to package them.
    • Make sure that there is enough time between the customer subscription deadline date and the shipping date that you chose to acquire all of the products.
  3. Package your first orders and ship them out on time. Carefully package up all the products in the boxes that you will send out. Take care that you package products in a visually appealing and consistent way to give the customer a nice unboxing experience.
    • When you first start out, you will probably be able to handle shipping yourself, or with the help of some friends. After your customer base grows, you may want to look into fulfillment services that can take care of this part for you.
  4. Evaluate your first shipment’s success. Think about how the whole process went and if there is anything you need to change for the second shipment. Stop working with any suppliers that were difficult to receive products from, analyze which marketing tactics worked best, and make any necessary changes to your fulfillment process.
    • If sending out boxes on your own was too stressful or inefficient, then you should find a fulfillment service to help you with the second shipment.
    • It’s a good idea to send out a short survey by email to your subscribers to ask how their experience was and see if they have any feedback you can use to make your service better.

Thank you for reading today’s Work from Home post. See you tomorrow 

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