Are you ready to take your subscription box from idea to reality?
Whether you are a new subscription box entrepreneur or a seasoned pro, having a solid business plan can make the difference between a disorganized mess and a streamlined success.
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. Marketing ideas are swimming around in your head and you just read a blog post that gave you some great financial advice. But what you’re missing is a place to organize all this information.
A business plan, like the one we provide below, can help translate all the amazing ideas you have for a new subscription box into a successful, profitable venture.
How to use this Business Plan template
To build a strong subscription box business plan, consider six core components: Goals & Strengths, Niche, Cost Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Plan for Growth, & a Week-by-Week Launch Calendar. You’ll see each of these represented in our template at the bottom of this post.
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 your company’s mission statement. It’s important when writing down your goals to be very specific. The more detailed your goals are, the more you’ll know what you need to accomplish.
In this section, you’ll also take stock of your personal strengths. Writing down what skills and talents you bring to the business will help you determine which tasks to take on yourself and which ones to delegate. For example, if graphic design or coding are not skills you currently possess, someone will need to help you in those areas. While it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, getting help can be necessary, especially in the beginning.
The second part of the business plan will help you narrow down and identify your niche — the specific need or interest you’d like to target. Some of the most successful subscription boxes serve a very specific niche. For example, BarkBox (curated for dog owners) or Birchbox (for 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 we’ve provided, describe your niche and identify products that serve that niche. Once completed, you can use this information to discover unique opportunities within your niche and develop strategies to take advantage of them. You’ll also create an ideal customer profile for your business. Knowing your target customer 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 potential costs and sales can be helpful in determining how much you’ll need to start and maintain your business. Included in our business plan template are several worksheets to help you calculate your startup and operating costs. 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. Keep in mind your target customer and their own goals!
Our worksheet will walk you through all of the factors to consider when pricing your box. Margins are especially important in the subscription box business, and a profit margin of 30-50% is ideal. Should you have a hard time meeting those margins, you may want to reconsider the price of your box or how you source products.
Knowing your competitors and what they do is very important in the beginning stages of your business. Inside our business plan is a section that allows you to do a thorough competitive analysis. Being aware of 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 strategy for your subscription service. An effective customer acquisition plan 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 calendar, you’ll find a checklist of tasks and deadlines to accomplish on your way to launching your subscription box. These checklists will take you from the prelaunch phase to sourcing products, packaging products, and marketing your prelaunch page.
Ready to get started?