In this episode, we take a look at adding a service offer to supplement your product-based subscription boxes. It's a great way to add more revenue or you could even use it for some pre-launch funds! We chat about Sparkle Hustle Grow, offering business coaching and advising, and Blue Sky Scout, providing emergency preparedness training. We round out the episode with giving you 3 steps to get started on offering a service through your sub box business.
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Hi everybody. Welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. I'm Julie and I'm here with Renee. And today we are gonna talk about how you can supplement with a service. A couple weeks back, we talked about during the summer, a lot of subscription boxes will experience this natural. decrease in the demand for their box. And it's for a lot of reasons, as we discussed on that podcast episode. Sometimes it's just cyclical. Sometimes people are using that money to take a vacation or for camp for their kids. But as a business owner, how do we combat that? So if you didn't listen to that episode, go back, go listen to some strategies and some ways that you can have a cash injection. But Rena and I were just talking more about this the other day and we're like, You know what, there's a really good opportunity as a subscription box business owner to supplement your product-based business with a service. Right, Renee? Totally. And it's something that if you're listening right now and you're thinking, oh no, I cannot add another thing to my plate. I'm, I'm already doing too much as it is, it's much more natural possibly than your thinking and. You could have a service right there that you didn't even think of. So we're gonna give some examples today and talk a little bit about it. And hopefully by the end of this episode it'll spark some ideas for you and your business. Yes. So if you're watching the video on YouTube, I'm gonna actually share my screen. So the first example that we want to share is shocker Sparkle Hustle Grow. This one is so near and dear to our hearts. This is the subscription box. Business that I launched in 2016 and then sold in 2022. Now I absolutely adore the new owners. Carol and her husband Ahmar are now running Sparkle Hustle Grow, and I thought one of the things that they did, After they took over the business was brilliant and we'll make sure that we shared the link in the show notes, but it's sparkle hustle grow.com/advisory. So what they are doing is offering business coaching and advising. It is absolutely brilliant. Renee, here's if you're looking at the screen, why don't you share, share with them some of the things that Carolyn, ah, Omar are talking about the, in these Zoom calls, these like coaching calls. Absolutely. As Julie mentioned we love Sparkle Hustle, grow , , and I still am on the team and they keep adding and just making it even more of something that is, is something that we're really bond of. So here are some of , the topics that they can talk to you about. Something simple as clarifying your message. If you are in a rut in your business, they'll help you. They are auditing websites. They're both brilliant in what they do for Sparkle Hustle Grow, and they're taking that and they're helping you look at your website. Something like streamlining your text. Stack , develop emails and marketing flows or talk about sourcing or operations. So really behind the scenes business, things that they're very gifted in that they can help you and it works so well with their subscription box because their clientele is female entrepreneurs. Mm-hmm. That is what Sparkle Hustle grow is for. So if you're a female entrepreneur, a lot of the things I just mentioned are things that are sometimes tough for you, but they're something that is in their Wheel of Genius and their expertise, so they're able to offer their. Love it. So if you go check that firstname.lastname@example.org slash advisory, you'll see that the service that they're providing is this advisory call. Like they have a free intro call. I did see, so you, you can do this intro call to see if you're even a good fit for what they do. But having two entrepreneurs advise you, share their mistakes, share systems that they use, I think it's just a brilliant way for the two of them to supplement the subscription box revenue with a service that's totally their zone of genius. So that's the first example that we wanted to share. The second example is one of our box besties, Jenny from Blue Sky Scout, and she runs a preparedness box for women. So think about. If you get a flat tire or if there's an earthquake like Renee just experienced, right. Last night. Yes. I, I messaged Jenny and I was like, start targeting East the east Bay, California. We just had an earthquake, so, yes. Yeah. Some things like earthquakes in natural disasters. Jenny covers in her box as. Yeah, she's such like such a smart woman, but also what a brilliant box idea. It's, from what I understand, is like a 12 month program where mm-hmm. You're basically building your emergency preparedness kit over time. So it's not one huge investment where you're buying all the things at once, but you are slowly building your emergency kit and she provides training and advice on how to prepare and how to use the things. So how does she then offer a service through the subscription. Well, again, she's using her zone of genius. She not only prepares these boxes, but she's taken extensive courses. She really is an expert in this field, and she is a woman and someone you can relate to. I feel like jumping on a call with with Jenny eases your mind a lot more and you can feel more relatable to her than if you were to jump on a call with some preparedness expert that is, is not necessarily targeting who you are. I think she really speaks to her audience and you could be like there's been many times where I've been like like cuz again, California, like the power went out and I didn't know where any flashlights were and she, she'll have like really good ideas, like, make sure you have batteries too, you know, or yeah. Even better ideas than that. But yeah, so I think this reminds me both for Sparkle Hustle Grow and Jenny's example of household preparedness, even if you're not a subscriber yet. This is a really good I way to get a feel for them too and use their services. Because you may not be getting this box and building up your preparedness kit for the whole year. Mm-hmm. But you're like, you know what? I don't even know where to start. I don't even know if this is. For me, jumping on a call with, with Carol and or Jenny or anyone else who offers these services can really help you get a feel, not only take away things for you that help you, but get a feel for their box as well too. Mm-hmm. And, and really get tangible stuff you can take away before you actually get the tangible stuff sent to you. Yeah, agreed. And so what Jenny offers ultimately is a consultation, and so that includes a one hour zoom call with her. She's going to talk through your unique circumstances with you, and she's gonna help you create your threat assessment and an emergency communication plan. I believe she delivers it as a P D F maybe a Google Doc, something like that. So, super simple, but it also includes a shopping list that's specific to where you live and what type of emergencies that you may experience. So I think she was absolutely brilliant in adding this as a service in addition to her subscription. So the third example we wanted to share is a little bit different. One of our box besties, Gwen from Butterfly Ballet Club, has a service and a subscription box, but she started her business as a service, right? She runs a ballet studio. So maybe you're listening and you already do have some sort of service. This just shows you how well that a service and a subscription box can go hand in. And so what Gwen did was she's had this studio for years and years. She's already a successful business owner. And then I think it was during the pandemic, right, Renee, where she decided to add a product, a subscription box, so that she could still reach her students even though they couldn't be in the studio. So you can see how this is such a good, like I said, hand in hand fit. She does prerecorded ballet dances that go along with the theme of that month's box. It's just, it's brilliant. It's such a genius idea, and it's something that so many business owners can take away. Like you said, it's like what came first, the chicken or the egg? Mm-hmm. Like if you, if you have a box, you can 100% supplement it with a service, but if you have a service, Think of a way to supplement it with a box as well, because then you're just, the whole point of subscription boxes really are to have that community feel, and whether you have a box or a service, this is just a great way to make that community even stronger. And if you're, Wondering, like where do I even start? Like what would I even offer as a service? We wanna give you a few steps to start with. And of course, you know, our dms are always open. So if you jump on Instagram at subscription box basics, ask us like, we'll help brainstorm with you, like what kind of service could you provide through your subscription box, or in addition as additional revenue to your subscription box. So here's how you do it yourself. That first step is going to just be brainstorm. What are some of the services that you could provide? Is that something like time where you spend a one hour zoom call with someone talking over something or coaching on something? Or is that some sort of deliverable, like is it a P D F of something? Is it a video recording of something? I know Renee, at one point you had done some audits, some like Instagram audits. That could be a good example of a service that could be. Added to any entrepreneur box. So that first step is going to be just sitting down with a pen and paper, brainstorming some ideas of what service could I provide that makes a good fit for the same audience. And like Julie mentioned, we're always available to brainstorm with you, but also use your audience. You have, you, you may or may not have subscribers already if you've launched or not, but you have an audience on social media. You have people that you can ask, keep them in the process. Just like when you're launching your box. Let let them be a part of this process and ask them, would you like to see this? If I did this, what would you think? Do you have ideas? That I could help offer that you're struggling with. I know. One of the ways, using Jenny as an example, again, I know a lot of times I think people were starting to come to her first and, and asking her. Mm-hmm. And then that's sort of how she decided to use this as a service. If you get asked questions a lot, I mean, and I know Julie, this is sort of how subscription box bootcamp came into be. Yeah. You would get questions a. And then it sort of forms its own it. It starts getting legs on its own. So if there are those questions that people ask you repetitively, is there a way that you can turn that into a service too? Yeah, exactly. So if they're asking you, Hey, can I pick your brain on this? Or if you have a Facebook group for your subscription box, go back through it back months and , look, what are the questions that people are asking in the Facebook group? And one other way that you could do that is. And pick a few of your loyal subscribers, invite them on a call and ask them some questions. That's a normal thing for a business owner to do. Not only is it market research, it's getting customer feedback, it is showing your customer that you care and you want to provide them with better and more services. So that first step is to just brainstorm some ideas, narrow down one or two, and get some feedback from the. The second step is setting up your operations for it. So how are you gonna actually sell it? And I want to encourage you to just keep it simple, guys. This can be as simple as a landing page. You could even, I've seen high level entrepreneurs do this where they map out a program on a Google Doc and they share that. They share a view only version of that and say, Hey, if you're interested, here's more details. So if tech scares you, Just outline. Very simply on a Google Doc and then set up some way to collect that money. So if you want to, like Jenny does, it looks like she put it on her website almost like a shop item. Whereas Sparkle Hustle grow, Carolyn, ah, Omar put that intro call where you can book a call directly, you know, using the software that they already have. So don't overthink it. And if you use. Or PayPal, you can send direct links to a customer. They have ways of either invoicing or you can, especially in Stripe. I can, I can't remember what they call it, if it's a, a payment page or something like that where you literally just put in a description of what it is, the cost, and , it generates a link for you to, to send to someone. So don't overthink the ops side of it. The more you complicate it, the less you're going to end up taking action on it. Yes. So just keep it simple. Yes. Two and step three is to promote it. So Renee, what are some of the ways they could promote it, especially, you know, social media, email list, like so many ways. Yeah, don't forget to take advantage again, and for lack of better words, take advantage, but use your audience that you already have. Whether it's letting them know on an email, like Julie mentioned, if you have a Facebook group putting it out there don't be afraid to mention it multiple times or have it in your rotation where you mention it month after month. People do. See everything you post. Mm-hmm. It feels awkward or salesy sometimes to post things over and over again. But you have to do that. You have to continue to remind people to keep it top of mind, and you have to let them know in case they didn't see it the first time. So definitely once you have that service, don't just create it and forget about it. You have to continue to let people know about. Yeah. And if you need to put it as a reminder in your calendar where once a week you mention it, or once every other week, whatever you're comfortable with, you can also put some quantity limits on it and say, I'm only available to do one of these a week, so who's in for next week? You know what I mean? So if you kind of put that quantity limit on it, you can make it a little more desirable. K. Kind of create that demand. And one other place where you can promote it, which would make it so simple, is to create it as an add-on in your subscribe flow. So say, Someone is just joining the preparedness box by Blue Sky Scout and they're like, okay, I'm all in. I'm gonna subscribe to this box. I cannot wait for it to show up. And as they're going through the subscribe flow, offer them, Hey, we're so glad you're a new subscriber. Would you like to get a personal consultation for preparedness in your own household based off of your unique circumstances? Add to cart. Yes, please. Boom. Yes, exactly. Totally. They're already in that buying mode. Yeah. I love that idea. I think that's such a great idea. And the more you talk about it and the more you get comfortable talking about it, you, you really are just like, you created your box, you cr you're creating this service to help people. Mm-hmm. So don't be afraid to let them know that. I think another place Still on social media, but go to your Instagram stories. A lot of times that's where people go to, to talk face to camera and really let them know continuously why you created that service, who you can help. That's a great place to put those little question bubbles if they have any questions, really start to get your followers in the mode of asking you questions and you providing a little bit. Feedback and answers. Mm. So then they're like, that was so helpful. I'm gonna take advantage of this service and jump on this call or, or book this extra with them because they're already helping me so much. Yeah. They'll see you as a expert in that field. I love your Instagram story's idea, and I would even encourage you, as you're, say, you're Jenny and you're building a preparedness plan, do a story while you're building the plan. Do a story about maybe while you're on the Zoom call with that person. If you need to do a few free ones to kind of get your systems ready, to get some testimonials and to get, some feedback on it, then do that. But the, the important thing here is to take action, not to overthink it and think, just think about what service would really make an impact in that pain point of your audience that you're ultimately trying to solve with your subscription box. So hopefully this was helpful. Let's recap that real quick. In today's episode, we talked about how you can use services to supplement your subscription box, and this can be used at any time. But again, the reason why we're talking about it right now is because a lot of business owners will experience that summer slump. So to kind of lessen that gap and to to fill it in , you can offer some sort of service, whether that's consulting, whether that's some sort of P D F or deliverable, maybe a video. And the way that you do it yourself is step. Brainstorm what services you can provide. Step two, set up your operations so you can do the transaction. And step three, promote it. Easy peasy. Do it. Yes, we, and again, we are here to help you along the way. Dms at Subscription box basics on Instagram. We would love to chat a little bit with you and help you with that first step of brainstorming. We are here for you and if you have ideas and you're listening to this and you're like, oh my gosh, I have something that I'm gonna do share with us cuz we wanna hear what your services will be. Yep. And at that, that's a wrap. This was a quick little episode. Hopefully you can take it, run with it and make some revenue. So thanks for joining us today, and we'll see you in the next episode. Bye bye.