Are you ready to take your subscription box from idea to reality? If so, this blog post is for you!
Whether you are a new subscription box entrepreneur or a seasoned pro, having a solid business plan can make the difference between being a disorganized mess and having a solid strategy.
Why you need a business plan for your subscription box idea
Starting a new business can be overwhelming. You’ve got a great idea, maybe it’s written down on a napkin or on a sticky note. You’ve got marketing ideas swimming around in your head and you just read a blog post that gave you some great financial advice. But the problem is, you need a place to organize all of this information. A business plan, like the one provided below, can help you collect all of the amazing ideas you have for a new subscription box and turn them into a successful business.
How to use this Business Plan template
In this blog post, we’ll go over the core components of the subscription box business plan and at the end, you’ll be able to download a 25-page template to get you started! The business plan is broken up into 6 different parts: Goals & Strengths, Niche, Cost Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Plan for Growth & a Week-by-Week Launch Calendar.
Goals & Strengths
The first section of the Subscription Box Business Plan is the “Goals & Strengths” section. In this section, you’ll outline the foundation of your business, high-level goals and write out your company’s mission statement. It’s important when writing down your goals to be very specific about what you want to accomplish. The more specific of a goal you write down, the more clarity you will have around which business tasks to accomplish in order to meet those goals.
In this section, you’ll also take stock of your personal strengths. Writing down what skills and talents that you are bringing to business will allow you to determine which tasks you’ll take on and which ones you’ll need to delegate. For example, if graphic design or website coding are not skills you currently possess, you will need to find someone to help you in those areas. While it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, getting help in the areas in which you are not skilled can be especially helpful in the beginning.
The second part of the business plan will help you narrow down and identify your niche. Some of the most successful subscription boxes have found a way to serve a very specific niche. Boxes like BarkBox, which caters to dog owners or BirchBox which caters to makeup lovers are successful because they deliver the exact products that their target market needs & wants. We recommend that you place a lot of importance on identifying which niche your box will serve before launching.
Using the worksheets provided, you’ll be prompted to describe your niche and identify products that serve that niche. Once completed, you can use this information to reveal unique opportunities that exist in your niche and develop ways to take advantage of them. You’ll also create an ideal customer profile for your business. Knowing who your ideal customer is will help you as you put together marketing collateral and establish a social media presence.
Before starting any business, it’s always a good idea to ‘run the numbers’. Forecasting your costs and sales can be helpful in determining how much cash you will need to start the business and keep it running. Inside the business plan listed below, you will find several worksheets to help you calculate what your start-up and operating costs will be. This will be helpful should you need to secure a loan or run a Kickstarter campaign to get it started.
In this section, we’ll also take a look at pricing your box. The worksheet provided will walk you through all of the things you need to consider when pricing your box. Margins are especially important in the subscription box business. A profit margin of 30%-50% is ideal. Should you have a hard time meeting those margins, you may need to reconsider how you are getting products or the price of your box.
Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing is very important in the beginning stages of your business. Inside of this business plan is a section that will allow you to do a thorough competitive analysis of your competitors. Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses can be valuable information to have, especially as you develop your own unique value proposition.
In each of the worksheets, you will be prompted to write down key information about your competitors and how you can set yourself apart from that particular competitor. If there aren’t any competitors in your niche, consider yourself lucky. However, you can still use the worksheets to study other successful subscription boxes.
Plan for Growth
This section of the subscription box business plan is dedicated to creating a marketing plan for your subscription box business. An effective customer acquisition strategy is a crucial part of your subscription box’s success. You will need to use a variety of marketing channels like social media, paid ads and influencer marketing to attract new customers.
In this section, you’ll find worksheets dedicated to outlining your strategy for Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, brand influencers & email marketing.
The last section of the business plan includes a week-by-week launch calendar. In this 6 week calendar, you will find a checklist of the tasks and deadlines that you will need to accomplish on your way to launching your subscription box. These checklists will take you from the pre-launch phase, sourcing products, packaging products and marketing your pre-launch page.
Ready to get started?