The Complete Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

Written By Alla Levin
August 01, 2020
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The Complete Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

When it comes to starting a subscription business, there are several things you need to do. You can check out our guide here to learn more.

Business is booming for those in the subscription industry right now.

The industry as a whole has grown by more than 100% over the last 5 years.

The industry also includes almost every product you can imagine now, too.

Americans are able to sign up to receive everything from food and wine to razors and clothing from subscription businesses.

Are you interested in starting a subscription business from scratch and turning it into a profitable venture?

You should kick things off by learning about how to start a subscription business and going from there.

It’s not necessarily going to be easy to figure out how to start a subscription business.

But it could be well worth it in the end if you’re able to offer the right product or service to people at the right price.

Here is your complete guide to kickstarting a subscription business.

Choose the Product or Service You Want to Build Your Subscription Business AroundChoose the Product or Service You Want to Build Your Subscription Business Around

First things first: If you’re going to start a subscription business, you’re going to need to have a strong product or service to build it around.

Your business isn’t going to last for very long if you don’t have something that people are going to want from you on a regular basis.

As we mentioned a few moments ago, people are signing up for subscription services for almost everything in this day and age.

They’re getting subscriptions for beauty products, books, toys, and so much more.

For your subscription business to be a success, you’ll need to have products or services that are going to knock people’s socks off.

If you don’t, you’re not going to stick around for very long.

Make Sure Someone Else Doesn’t Already Have a Subscription Business Similar to YoursMake Sure Someone Else Doesn't Already Have a Subscription Business Similar to Yours

You might have the perfect product or service in mind for your subscription business.

But if someone else is already selling a similar product or service as part of a subscription package, you’re going to have a tough time finding your footing in the subscription industry.

It’s great that there are so many subscription businesses out there right now.

It illustrates the fact that there is a demand that exists for them.

But it’s also becoming very crowded in the subscription industry with many companies offering products and services that are way too similar to one another.

You need to make sure you’re offering something that is unique from what everyone else is offering.

See If It’s Financially Feasible to Run the Subscription Business You Have in MindFinancially Feasible to Run the Subscription Business

Your goal when you start up a subscription business is obviously going to be to fulfill a need in the marketplace.

You want to give people products or services that they’re not able to get elsewhere.

But your goal is also going to be to make as much money as you can while doing it.

And that’s not going to be possible if you aren’t able to provide people with products or services without racking up huge costs on your end.

More often than not, you’re going to be shipping the products that you provide to your customers to them on a weekly or monthly basis.

You need to be able to do this without spending a small fortune on shipping fees.

It’s a good idea for you to run the numbers to see what you’re going to have to spend on the subscriptions that you send out.

You need to be able to bring in plenty of profit on each customer that you acquire.

Come Up With the Best Pricing Models for Your Subscription BusinessPricing Models for Your Subscription Business

Once you have a general idea of how much it’s going to cost to run your subscription business, you’ll need to sit down and come up with pricing models for the various subscriptions that you’ll offer to customers.

You want to make your prices low enough to entice people to sign up for a subscription without cutting into your bottom line too much.

You also want to find out about how pro-rating works since it’s going to play a big part in how you charge your customers.

You should learn more about it so that you’re familiar with how it’ll affect you and your company’s finances.

Test Out Your Subscription Business With a Small Select Group of CustomersSmall Select Group of Customers

After you’ve ironed out all the details with regards to your products or services and your pricing models, you might be tempted to start a subscription website and begin accepting subscription requests right away. But you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself.

You’ll be better off taking things slow and offering subscriptions to a small select group of customers at first.

You want to be able to test out your subscription business without overloading it with too many orders at one time.

You’ll be able to work more customers into the mix over time. But initially, you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew and put your entire company at risk.

Take Any Feedback You Receive About Your Subscription Business and Put It to Good UseTake Any Feedback You Receive About Your Subscription Business and Put It to Good Use

The good thing about starting a subscription business with just a few customers is that you’ll be able to ask them for feedback on how your subscription model works.

They’ll be able to tell you what they like, what they don’t like, and what they think you could be doing way better.

From there, you can take their constructive criticism and fine-tune your subscription model so that it works better for both you and your customers.

You can also begin to grow slowly while continuing to improve each and every day.

Get Your Subscription Business Off the Ground Today

Starting a subscription business isn’t something that you can do overnight. It’s going to take months, if not years, for it to all come together.

But if you’re able to start a subscription business, it’ll provide you with a steady stream of income and lots of growth potential.

Just make sure you follow the steps listed here to give yourself the best chance to achieve success.

Read our blog for more tips on starting a business.

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