5 Ways to Scale Your Subscription Box Business

blog scaling Dec 31, 2022

 

You dreamed of starting a subscription box business or adding a subscription box to your product-based business. And… you did it! 

You tackled the tech, spent time building your audience, and figured out all the things. You have proof of concept in the form of subscribers loving their boxes and recurring revenue hitting your bank account. 

You may be wondering, “What’s next?” 

As your subscription box business grows, new challenges come up. The questions, problems, and issues you need to solve when you start your subscription box business are different from the ones you face now as you work to grow your business. 

Does one of these sound like you? 

  • You started out hot and heavy, but now you’ve hit a plateau and you don’t know how to get over the hump. 
  • Your business is growing so quickly that you’re having trouble keeping up with All. The. Things.

You’re not sure what to do next. You feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to take your business from where it is now to where you dream it could be.

I get it! I understand where you are in your business because I’ve been there. 

 

 

I launched my subscription box with 44 subscribers and it grew steadily. For a while. Until I reached a point where the growth stopped and I couldn’t figure out why. 

I realized I needed to invest in myself – to learn and grow as a subscription box owner – in order to scale. 

It was simple. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. 

So I learned from others. I took courses, joined mastermind groups, and found mentors. I soaked it all up like a sponge and applied what I learned to my business.

That time and that investment allowed me to scale to more than 3,000 monthly subscribers.

I’m sharing some of what I learned with you today. Let’s talk about five ways you can scale your box and take your subscription box business to the next level.

 

1. Develop a multi-level marketing plan. 

Scaling your subscription box takes more than simply posting on Facebook and Instagram, sharing reels, and doing LIVES. The best way to grow your customer base is to build a multi-level marketing plan. 

A well-rounded, strategic marketing plan includes multiple channels. Think carefully about where you’ll find people who you can then bring into your world. 

Consider: 

  • Facebook Ads
  • Email marketing (you should already be emailing your list weekly)
  • Affiliates and influencers
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok

 

 

In order to grow your subscription box business - and certainly in order to truly scale - you have to constantly focus on audience building. Bringing new people into your world. 

Develop a plan to keep the top of your sales funnel full and nurture those people as you move them toward becoming subscribers.

 

2. Optimize your inventory.        

Sourcing, manufacturing, and the amount of inventory you have - on your shelves, in manufacturing, and on order - all have a direct effect on your bottom line. 

Turning inventory affects not only how profitable you are, but also how much you can scale your subscription box business. 

If you have inventory on your shelves, it’s like having boxes of cash sitting there. And it gets in the way of scaling. You need funds to buy the next set of inventory. 

Get creative to reduce inventory. Putting together Mystery Boxes, creating giftable items, and running sales are all great ways to get old inventory off your shelves to make room for new. In this podcast episode, I talk about things I do to reduce inventory in the 4th quarter, but these ideas can be used at any time of the year.

 

 

Speaking of buying new inventory, ordering larger quantities from manufacturers, makers, or wholesalers means you have leverage. Lean into your buying power and work out the best deals with your vendors. Negotiate on things like net terms or payment upon shipping.

Once I leaned into my buying power, I learned how to use it as a tool when working with brands. I’m able to get great prices on the items I need to provide my subscribers with an outstanding experience and maximize my profit margin. 

Learn more about understanding and using your buying power in this blog post.

 

 

3. Streamline fulfillment.   

As your subscription box grows and you’re shipping more and more boxes each month, it’s crucial that you find ways to streamline fulfillment. Consider how valuable your time becomes as your business grows. Finding ways to streamline fulfillment saves time which saves money. Money that goes right to your bottom line in the form of profit. 

The most effective ways to streamline depend a lot on the complexity of your subscription box. 

You may consider using a fulfillment center to handle your packing and shipping needs. A fulfillment center handles all of the packing and shipping for you at its own location. 

There are many factors to weigh when deciding if using a fulfillment center is right for your business. I considered it for my box but ultimately decided there was too much customization involved in my Monogram Box subscription. I needed the control I could only get in my own space.

 

 

Since outsourcing wasn’t going to work for me, I streamlined fulfillment by building out my warehouse space to be as efficient as possible. My team and I have processes in place that help us pack the boxes quickly with several quality checks along the way. 

Look for opportunities to streamline your fulfillment process, whether that means using a fulfillment center, hiring team members, or simply putting better, more efficient processes in place.

 

4. Improve retention rates.  

Don’t be so concerned about gaining new subscribers that you forget about the ones you already have. You’ve invested a lot to get people to be subscribers, it’s important to take care of them! 

Do you know your retention rate? I tell the members of Launch Your Box often how important it is to know your numbers. That includes your retention rate.

 

Reducing your churn (cancellation) rate by as little as 1% could add thousands of dollars to your monthly revenue. 

There will be cancellations. It’s the nature of the subscription box business. But, there are things you can do to keep your retention rate as high as possible. 

Having someone on your team dedicated to retention goes a long way to reducing churn. Learn more about how my team handles cancellations and grab my retention rate calculator.

 

5. Create raving fans.  

One of the best ways to grow your subscription box business is by word of mouth. People talk. They share what they love. 

Your subscribers are a valuable marketing tool! When they’re true fans of you and your business, they go out of their way to sing your praises to their friends and family. 

How can you create raving fans who love being part of your community and who will act as your cheerleaders? 

Engage with them. Consistently.

 

 

Go LIVE and interact with those subscribers who show up, grow your affiliate relationships with current subscribers, and simply connect with your audience. That means consistently posting, engaging in the comments, sending emails where you ask for a reply, and more. 

This blog post is filled with tips and strategies to connect with your audience - and subscribers - online. 

Need more ideas? Check out this resource with 10 Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Subscribers. Get your copy HERE

 

 

We’ve talked a lot about ways you can scale your box, but I also want you to consider ways you can scale your business. Think of ways to maximize the value of your current subscribers. These are people who already know, like, and trust you. People who have committed to buying from you every month in the form of a subscription. What else can you sell them? 

Consider what complimentary products you can offer your subscribers. Every week when I go LIVE to talk about new products, I point out items in past subscription boxes or other items in my online store those products would go with. For instance, a new cardigan would be a great layering piece to go with last month’s tee. I generate a ton of additional sales this way. 

 


Are you ready to Scale Your Box? I have a course dedicated to subscription box owners who are ready to take their businesses to the next level of success. Inside the course, we dive deeply into EIGHT key areas to optimize within your subscription box business for the most impact. Learn more or join HERE.

 

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired! 

Find me on social:

 

Hear from Sarah each week!

Do you want weekly tips for starting, launching, and growing a subscription box? Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

How to Create 5 Pieces of Content from a Single Blog Post

Jan 29, 2023