Subscription Services - How To Start A Subscription Business

Subscription Services – How To Start A Subscription Business

A subscription services business provides recurring services to the customers in exchange for regular payments from them.


Companies can scale their businesses with predictable monthly recurring revenue (MRR), by offering online buyers a personalized, convenient, and low-cost way to buy what they want on a recurring basis.

Subscription businesses, on average, are growing revenues 5X faster than S&P 500 revenues. Since subscription services businesses are popular these days, we have created this mini guide to tell you how to start a subscription business.

Here are 10 steps you can follow to start a subscription business.

Step 1: Find A Lucrative Idea

Most people are under the impression that all the ideas for a subscription services business have been exploited but that isn’t the case.

Unless you believe you can only do what an existing company is already doing, it’s best not to dive into a crowded space since customers would tend to be loyal to their brands.

You might have to deal with some sort of competition in whatever idea you pick, but you can think of a way to make it exclusive by adding your special inputs.

However, be prepared to face a lot of competition as soon as you start your subscription services business, as there will be copycats who would try to get the better of your idea.

Step 2: Work On Your Brand Identity

Even though you won’t be creating and launching your products, your services are going to be your products in your subscription business.

For your customers to resonate with your business, you would need to invest time and build a solid brand identity.

Get an appealing logo designed, that would also reflect your brand in the best way possible. Get a meaningful domain name for your business.

Maintain the same theme and colors as your logo throughout your website, email, etc. to keep your branding consistent.

Step 3: Build A Beautiful Website

Just like any other eCommerce business, your subscription services business would also need a website.

Besides, your website should look professional and attractive enough, that your visitors actually book their services when they see your site.

You can hire a website builder if you want, but there are various online sites that allow you to build your website yourself with simple steps.

Your website is going to be your storefront and based on how well it impresses your potential customers, it’s going to get business. So, make sure you build a good one.

Check out this eCommerce website starter guide to build your business a beautiful website.


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Step 4: Shortlist Your Sources To Procure Products

The most important aspect of your subscription services business is the collection of products inside your subscription box.

Before you start your business you’d need to figure out how and where would you be procuring your products from.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Can your supplier meet your requirements on a sustainable basis?
  • What if your number of subscribers suddenly grows in the first month?
  • What if your orders remain rather small? Will your supplier still stick with you?

Step 5: Design Your Subscription Services Box

Even though the actual products are inside the box, your packaging plays a huge role in making a positive impression on your customers.

Try aligning your box along with your brand and style with a similar theme and color combinations.

It’s not necessary that you go all-in with your packaging on the first go. Come up with something good in the allocated budget, and as your business grows, you can upgrade your box as well.

Besides having a logo or brand name, you can also add your social media handles, contact details, and customer support details on the box.

The more details you can provide without compromising the aesthetics of your box, the better.

Step 6: Get Feedback

Once you come up with an idea and your packaging is ready, get feedback on it from your friends, colleagues, and family. Getting feedback can help you get a different outlook on your idea.

You can get recommendations/suggestions on what you could include on your website or your subscription box. They could also give your idea on how to effectively promote it.

Listen to their feedback, understand the rationale behind it, and take it into consideration. A well-thought idea is always better than an impulsive one.


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Step 7: Prepare To Launch Your Subscription Services Business

Launching a business can be tricky and daunting. Often entrepreneurs complete all the previous steps and put off the launch in the end due to some silly reason like being nervous or wanting to perfect their services even more.

It’s understood that the final launch is a huge step and can get overwhelming, but you need to brace yourself for it.

Even if you feel that the final product is not 100 percent of what you had imagined, you can launch it and improve it in the process, if it’s not that bad.

Remember: Done is better than perfect.

Step 8: Promote Promote And Then Promote Some More

People are not going to subscribe to your subscription services business if they don’t know it exists.

You will have to put a lot of effort into its digital promotions so that you can make people aware of it and even get them interested in it.

There are multiple modes of marketing that you can use like social media, print media, search engine traffic, email marketing, and so on.

The ultimate purpose is to find your target audience and educate them about your brand and your subscription business.

People are always on the lookout for good brands to buy from on Google, and by investing in your company blog you can optimize it for SEO, and ensure that your site shows up when people search for something relevant.

You can create your social media accounts to post content regularly so that you can tap a new set of audiences and engage with them.

You can also send a few sample boxes to journalists or influencers. That could help you grab some great media coverage or influencer marketing without spending a huge sum on it either.

Step 9: Ship Everything On Time

Once you have received all the subscription orders for the month, go ahead and ship them. Tie up with a courier service, decide on the pricing, the dates of the pickup and delivery, and go for it.

Shipping is an important aspect of any business, and since your business is going to require regular shipping, its importance is even greater here.

Just make sure that you make all arrangements before the final day, so that the process of shipping is smooth and efficient.

Step 10: Rinse And Repeat

Even after you have launched your subscription services business and shipped your subscription boxes, your job isn’t over.

To keep the business growing, you will need to upgrade your box from time to time and find new products to put into your box that are in demand.

Another great idea is to have a backup set of products in case your supplier fails to meet the requirement of a particular product.

Whenever that happens, just substitute that product with the backup product.

In Conclusion

The beginning of a subscription services business might seem complicated but once you get the hang of it, you can plan months in advance and streamline a fixed amount of recurring revenue for the whole year as well.

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