Subscription Box Basics

Why Start a Subscription Box Business?

January 22, 2024 Julie Ball
Subscription Box Basics
Why Start a Subscription Box Business?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever dreamed of crafting your own subscription box business, one that weaves together passion and profit? From the thrill of personalizing your business to creating a flexible work-life balance, we reveal how subscription boxes can be a platform for both financial growth and individual expression.

Why do YOU want to start a subscription box business?

Plus, we're buzzing to share our just-launched free video training series & new free resources for aspiring box creators.

Not registered yet? Register here: subscriptionboxbasics.com/video-series

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Speaker 1:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place.

Speaker 2:

I'm Julie Ball and I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box.

Speaker 1:

Basics a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm.

Speaker 2:

So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun.

Speaker 1:

Hey everybody and welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. Renee and I are here today to do like a little fireside chat about why you should start a subscription box business. I'm super excited to do this episode because today, the day that this actually goes live, Monday, January 22nd is the day our new three-part video training series goes live too. I'm so, so excited about that. If you are on the list for that already, you should have gotten your email to watch the first video. If you're not on that list yet, you can use the link in the show notes. It's subscriptionboxbasicscom slash video dash series and you can still get in on it. It's no big deal. There's nothing live that you've missed already. There's nothing live to show up for. You can watch these videos on demand. So that is your invitation.

Speaker 2:

And I think I'm not quite sure, but I don't think you mentioned. It's free too.

Speaker 1:

It's a free video series, it is completely free and the videos are super short. I was telling Renee I think one is like six minutes, another is like seven or eight minutes. They're all less than 10 minutes and that makes it so easy to just watch these. And heck, you can watch them on one and a half or two speed, like I do, if you want.

Speaker 2:

Make it under five minutes. That was speeding Julie up. And they all include a little tool too, that you can actually do the work after the video. So definitely go check that out if you are not on that list. If you are already signed up for that, make sure and check your inbox to start watching the videos.

Speaker 1:

Yep, if you need more details, just listen to the last episode. So let's dive in. I feel like there's so many reasons why people want to start a business in general, but we were talking specifically about a subscription box business because, man, the recurring revenue model structure like, ah, it's so good. It is not just a business model, it's a financial strategy, because you think long term, month over month, you're getting this revenue. So let's start with starting a box business for the impact. I know that so many of you are helpers. You want to solve problems. It's just in your heart. Like that is one of the reasons you want to start a subscription box business. And in fact, that is the topic of video one, so we're not going to dive too deep on that. You can go watch video one on that free training series. But I think about some of our boot campers from the past that have truly made an impact on their audience.

Speaker 2:

If you're going to start a business or your heart's in it for a reason, to follow up with that impact and be able to send something or have a community month over month, like subscription boxes do. I feel like it's such a way to amplify your impact right away with the subscription box business.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and just a couple that, like I'm thinking off the top of my head, I think of low from passion and growth. She has a self care box for women and she did a podcast interview with me once and one thing really stuck with me. She said every month we send an affirmation. And what if that affirmation is the only positive thing? That recipient heard all month long and I was like, oh my gosh, that is so impactful that you give them that affirmation and that can change their life. I think about the eczema sample box. Eczema is a skin condition that is. So it's such a hard nut to crack and you probably, if you have Eczema or any sort of skin condition, you've probably spent so much money on trying out different products. And so the Eczema sample box they vet those products to make sure that they're clean and that they work and then they send you sample size products of it so you can see what works specifically for you before you invest so much money into these full size products. So those are just two that were like right on the top of my head.

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think too, sometimes people are stalled in starting a subscription box or starting a business because they don't think of themselves as the person, the expert to be the one to lead that. But just by having those thoughts and wanting to take forward action, I feel like you are that person and, month over month, if you're building this community and finding these products and sourcing so people don't have to, you are making such a big impact when you are a leader in this space.

Speaker 1:

I agree, and you don't have to worry about that. There's another person doing this or doing it better than you, because you bring a unique set of skills. You bring a unique perspective, experience. There's so much that is unique about you that you might be the perfect person to do this for different people. You're not gonna be the perfect person for everybody, and that's okay. There's tons of subscription box coaches out there. But for whatever reason, you're listening today, maybe because you like something about Renee or like something about me, and that just should give you the inspiration that you need that you can do something, even if someone else is doing it too.

Speaker 2:

I feel like that's a good little segue into our next reason why you could start a subscription box. It doesn't have to be your full-time gig. It could be the side hustle or bring in a little extra money part-time. I know a lot of our subscription box boot campers do this on the side and it really is to fill that need and make that impact that we were talking, or to bring in some extra cash too for their family Exactly, and there is nothing wrong with investing your nights and weekends on building a better future for your family.

Speaker 1:

You may be doing this while you are working a full-time job, or maybe you're a stay-at-home mom. There's other things on your plate. That's okay. You might be fitting this in the margins. You can make a full-time income with part-time hours, with this type of business. But think about, maybe what does that look like for you? Do you want to get a new car? Maybe you like to travel Like Renee and I really love to travel and sometimes there's not enough money after paying the bills for something like that, and so you get a side hustle. Maybe it is just for some play money, so that you do have something left over to build the life that you want after all those bills are paid. Maybe that's you and you might be shaking your head, yes, as we're talking about like you just want a side hustle. That's totally okay. Now this next one, this next reason why you might start a subscription box business. I feel, like Renee, you're really gonna relate to this one, because some people start a subscription box business because they have a project that they want to do, and so an example of that would be a travel sports. Hello, renee. Yes, yes, the travel sports life. How much money do you think you spend upon like travel softball?

Speaker 2:

It's yeah, gymnastics is even more.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's probably thousands of dollars, and so sometimes you might think, okay, I'm gonna start a side hustle to fund a project. I have a friend that launched her business because she had a home renovation project. She wanted to do countertops in her home and she's like, well, we don't have the money based off of what my husband brings in and what I bring in with my current situation. So I'm gonna start this business so that I can get what I want, and what I want is new countertops.

Speaker 2:

What, in such a perfect entrepreneur mindset, you're like you know what? Let's just let's do this. But if you have the idea already, bring there. And if you have the motivation like your kid sports or a home reno to really fuel it and get that started, that's the perfect way to get it off the ground. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, yep. Well then, the last reason that we think a lot of people start their subscription box business is to replace a full-time job. Raise your hand if you have ever been in a full-time job where you just feel miserable. You feel underappreciated, you don't have the flexibility that you'd really like for your life and for your family. You are tired of putting in all these hours just for someone else's benefit. So that is a huge motivation for a lot of people. Now, just a little tough love here. You're not going to replace your full-time job overnight. That's going to be something where you need to set your goals, to figure out how much you need to make to either replace that full-time income or to create your savings so that you feel comfortable when you're ready to walk away. But just for a little bit of inspiration, when I launched Sparkle Hustle Grow, I launched it as a side hustle, but within nine months I was able to replace my full-time income. So it's doable. You just have to understand what you need to make in order to replace that and be comfortable doing it so that it's not so scary. It's always going to be scary. Do it scared right.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and it's important to reiterate too we are not saying a subscription box is a get-rich-quick scheme. It does take a lot of hard work, but I think one of the beautiful things about subscription box boot camp and other things out there resources out there, like this podcast is, julie, when you started I feel like you really were googling and putting the pieces together. And now the subscription box industry has been around and there are experts in the industry and people who have been there to really save you time and steps and research to really help lay out the framework for you. So it does take a lot of work. It does take a little time. It does take an audience. I think so many people think have this great idea but forget you need to have people that you that also are interested in this great idea. It does take work, but it is once you have that foundation laid really well that it is a really good, sustainable, reoccurring revenue job that can really change your life.

Speaker 1:

Agreed 100% and that's a great, shameless plug moment. That subscription box boot camp is opening this week. We're opening the doors on Wednesday, january 24th. So if that's something you're interested in, you'll get emails about it. But also reach out to us If you want to chat about it. We'd love to talk to you about it to see if this is a good fit for you, because we want to make sure you feel good about your decision and if it's not a good fit, we're going to be honest about it. So let's move on. I thought that when we're talking about why to start a subscription box business, I thought it might be an interesting conversation to talk about end goals, because this isn't something that we talk about a lot, and I actually had someone ask me the other day. They're like oh, one of your boot campers I saw she closed her subscription box business. What do you think about that? And I was like oh, I have so many thoughts. Maybe I'll talk about it on the podcast. So let's talk about when you start a subscription box or any business in general. Some people are super clear on I'm starting this business to sell it or I'm starting this business to XYZ. You don't have to know right away what your end goals are? I sure didn't. And, man, there was a plot twist in the middle where, after six years, I sold my business. Let's talk about those end goals because I think for the people who are considering starting a business, this is going to be a really helpful conversation to think about right now. So let's start with new career we just talked about that with replacing your full time Income, your end goal could be a subscription box business. This might be something that you run long term. So maybe you are looking for a new career and that might not look the same year after year. Be open to change and plot twists, but maybe your end goal is to change your career.

Speaker 2:

It is okay for it to be your end goal right now. And, julie, like you said, maybe down the road you pivot. I like to joke with all my friends and my husband that I've retired like three times. I was a teacher and then I had a brick and mortar and now I do this Like it's okay to pivot. And I think so many times and just growing up throughout the year, so many people had careers for their whole life and probably most of them were a little miserable and it's okay. It's okay to do that, but it's also okay to pivot and explore new interests and change and evolve as you grow and have multiple careers and retire many times.

Speaker 1:

There's no playbook that says you have to do it a certain way. In fact, when I finished college, it was just the natural next step to start climbing the corporate ladder. But I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't know about running a small business and entrepreneurship. That was even an option for me. So here I am. I never would have guessed that subscription boxes would have panned out in my life like they did. And now coaching, and so who knows, it might be a new career for you. You might just need a new season, and I think that's the great thing to talk about too. When people ask me why I sold my subscription box business, there's a handful of reasons, but the biggest reason was we were ready for our next season as a family. And, wildly enough, the lovely family who purchased our subscription box, sparkle Hustle Grow they said the same exact thing. They said they were ready for a new season. So if you see a subscription box shut down, if you see someone sell their subscription box, just remember there's probably more to the story than what we know. Consider that they might just be ready for their next season. They might have outgrown it, their circumstances might have changed in their life that they no longer can run it or they might choose that. They might choose that next season. When I chose to sell the box business, I didn't really know what my next season was, but I knew I was ready for something different. So don't sweat it. If you see someone selling a business or closing one down, there's always more to the story than what you know. So that's my little PSA.

Speaker 2:

If you have the itch to change careers but you're nervous because that doesn't seem right or the norm. If you wanna start a subscription box or you have that itch, it can start as a part-time thing that you explore while you're thinking of changing careers.

Speaker 1:

Yep. So another end goal that you could think about is maybe this is like something that is a legacy for you. Maybe you want to pass this down to your family, that you're creating this foundation for financial freedom for your kids or their kids, that eventually you wanna pass this down. It could be like a legacy brand. This wasn't something that we chose. This wasn't a route for us, because my daughter McKenna wasn't really interested in this. She had other interests, so we weren't going to keep the business just so that we could pass it down to her when she was older. But I have heard of that in the past, where entrepreneurs are really trying to set the like what am I trying to say? Like set a path for their children, and I know lots of families that are multi-generation businesses and I think it's super cool.

Speaker 2:

It just wasn't in our cards, but that could be one of your end goals and especially if what you're building, it does have interest in your children, if you have children and they're interested in the box and the business that you're building, because I, like you said, I've never really thought about that. But looking at it from a subscription box standpoint, it is reoccurring revenue and it is something that if you've established this business that by the time your kids are old enough to take it over or pass it down to whoever, it is already established and rolling on its own, so it takes less work once it's an established business, so that's a really cool concept.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, they won't have to do the foundational groundwork, it's just they come in and carry it on.

Speaker 2:

The next end goal could be one that Julie has actually done, and it is to build your business to sell. And I know when Julie was building her business, that wasn't necessarily what you thought your end goal would be, but, like you had said, things seasons come and go and things change, and selling became an opportunity and an end goal that you started to explore, and then it happened.

Speaker 1:

I really hadn't thought of that as an option until I got to a point where I was like, okay, I'm ready. If you know a little bit about what it takes to sell a business before you move into that season, you're going to be so much better equipped. One of the things that I wish I knew was I held a lot of almost like guilt on my shoulders as I was thinking about selling my business, probably because I'm a people pleaser and I was like all these people are going to feel let down. They're going to feel like I gave up on something. The subscribers, if they joined to support me, they're going to cancel. All of that was just a story I was telling myself in my head. I kept the idea of selling my box very close to me. Renee, you knew about it, my immediate family knew about it, my broker but I did not share this with a lot of people. After I sold the business and I was finally able to share hey guys, I sold the business, please welcome the new owner. All I got was an outpouring of support and people were so excited for me they were saying congratulations, what's your next step? How exciting. And so if you're thinking about what, would that end goal ever be to sell? Just do what's best for your family, do what's best for you in the season that you're in. That might change along the way, as we talked about. I've been through different seasons, but just don't feel like that's a bad thing to sell your business. There are so many people out there that's their entire motive is to build, to sell, and so that is definitely one of the end goals that could be for when you start your subscription box business. Last end goal that potentially could be in your future when you start a subscription box business is that you sunset the business. You simply can close it down, and there are people who do that when they hit that season where they're like, ok, something has to change, because maybe right now I have to take care of a family member, or maybe I've seen this happen where a woman is expecting a baby and she's like I want to focus on the baby, I can't run this business anymore. It's OK to sunset your business as well. That might be an option. For one reason or another, I would encourage you to look down the path of selling it, but some people will just sunset or just close down the business, and that's OK too, but I just wanted to talk about these potential end goals because we want you to be open to what the feature has for you Know that you don't have to have everything all your ducks in a row. When you start, I didn't know I was going to sell, I had no idea. So I think the other thing is, when it comes to end goals again, if you see other people closing down their business or selling their business, I don't want that to put any fear into you, because the subscription box industry it continues to grow. It's just like starting any business. It takes work, it takes time and effort, but we hope that we're able to provide you with the resources that you need to move faster, to be profitable and less time to feel like you have the support you need and never wonder like what next? That's part of our goal is, so that you don't ask that question what next? We create this path for you.

Speaker 2:

But if you are thinking what's next and you're listening to this live, make sure you check out that video series. It is going on right now. You can check the show notes for that. And then also make sure you check out subscription box boot camp when it does open, which, if you're listening to this live, it is Wednesday, january 24th. It will open, so make sure to check that out as well. And then, definitely, if you are itching to start a subscription box or have a potential idea and you want the little input, definitely you can find us on Instagram at SubscriptionBoxBasics. We are there and if you go to SubscriptionBoxBasicscom, you can chat with us, fill us in, let us know what you are thinking and we will talk to you soon. Bye, bye.

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