Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guest Post: 14 Questions To Help You Launch Your Own Subscription Box!

I post about subscription boxes quite a bit here, but today I have a guest post from Katherine Raz about how you can start your own subscription box service!  I won't lie, I've definitely toyed with the idea myself.  Read on for all of Katherine's tips!

Photo credit: Brown paper packages tied up with strings via photopin (license)
If you've been subscribing to monthly boxes for a while, chances are you might have considered starting one yourself. The marketplace is so saturated now, though, it seems like there's a subscription box for pretty much everything already. While this is great for shoppers, it doesn't feel awesome if you want to start a business in a niche that hasn't already been dominated by one of the major subscription box players.

But there are still great subscription box ideas out there! Your answers to these questions might uncover an idea that'll work for you.

Successful subscription box companies share one thing in common: they make people feel awesome about themselves. You can launch a similar subscription box company to one that already exists if you can master the art of making your subscribers feel like they're getting more value by subscribing to your box. To do that, you need to brainstorm subscription box ideas that add a unique value to people's lives.

Here are 14 questions to help get you thinking about what type of subscription company can do that:
  1. What wears out quickly? What do you grow out of quickly? What gets old or obsolete that you can replace with a subscription?
  2. What’s a regular hassle for you?
  3. What do you wish you never had to leave the house to buy again?
  4. What are you frequently out of?
  5. What would impress people in your social circle if you had it and no one else did? What if you had a new one of these each month?
  6. What can be bundled to create a unique surprise each month?
  7. What are some seasonal needs that could be satisfied by a subscription?
  8. What could a subscription offer access to that is otherwise hard to come by? Are there products that you don’t have access to (think: geographical area, industry connections, etc.) that you would like to have access to on a regular basis? Or vice versa: do you have access to something others would like access to?
  9. What do you have in-depth knowledge of that you could bring to a wider audience?
  10. What is a little luxury that you would like to indulge in on a regular basis, but that you don’t usually allow yourself?
  11. What life experiences do you have, from being a parent to being a patient, that have given you insight into small inconveniences that could be made better with a regular shipment of something?
  12. Is there something you regularly rent or borrow that could be made more convenient if it came in the mail as a subscription you could send back?

Katherine is the author of of the e-book How to Start and Run a Successful Subscription Box Company and runs the blog Hey Little Engine.


  1. These are all great things to think about! I think the problem now is that there are so many subscription box companies that a lot of the good ideas are "taken"... like the recent flood of "time of the month" boxes. So to stand out you need to have really exceptional customer service, which is hard for a new company. I won't be starting my own box company anytime soon, but good luck to anyone who does!

    1. Very true! I'm too intimidated to start my own--people can be vicious if things don't go 100% right all the time! I mean, I've had one or two poor experiences with subscriptions, but I try to give those that are just starting out the benefit of the doubt. Running a startup can't be easy!


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