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EXECUTION Subscription box business questions

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RyanSki

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I have a business idea around making a subscription box around craft beer. There are others on the market but I think I can make a better one. Give more value!

But I'm not sure what my first step should be.


I think I should make my site first. Then I need to create my own beer pdfs & videos, which are included in the subscription box. Next, I should contact breweries and see how much I have to buy to get a good price. Then I need to advertise my business and get a bunch of sign-ups for my launch. What I'm confused by is how to do I buy a lot of beer if I don't have a lot of customers? I'm guessing I should aim to break even for the first year or more. Once I gain enough customers I could profit.

Does anyone have experience with a subscription box business? What insight do you have? Should I just dive in and go for it?
 

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biophase

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All I can tell you is that it's an uphill battle to get subscribers. It will be tough for you to manage since you don't have an edge in this business. Can you even break even for the first year? What do the numbers look like?
 

RazorCut

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I would do your numbers first. Shipping is liable to be high for starters as it's going to be a heavy package. What country are you in?

You should probably contact wholesalers rather than breweries as the minimum order requirements will be lower.

Also, if you can make money buying at wholesale prices, then the costs will only come down once you are big enough to go direct.

Here there are a number of subscription wine sellers but then you are talking of paying on average £10-£20 ($13-$26) per bottle.

Craft beer clubs are from around £3 per bottle/can which seems expensive compared to supermarket prices so I don't know how well they do.
 

ZeroTo100

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I have a business idea around making a subscription box around craft beer. There are others on the market but I think I can make a better one. Give more value!

But I'm not sure what my first step should be.

I think I should make my site first. Then I need to create my own beer pdfs & videos, which are included in the subscription box. Next, I should contact breweries and see how much I have to buy to get a good price. Then I need to advertise my business and get a bunch of sign-ups for my launch. What I'm confused by is how to do I buy a lot of beer if I don't have a lot of customers? I'm guessing I should aim to break even for the first year or more. Once I gain enough customers I could profit.

Does anyone have experience with a subscription box business? What insight do you have? Should I just dive in and go for it?
I could definitely help you on this. I did a startup years ago in the nutritional supplement niche - before box companies were that big. There was no cratejoy and only a couple of mainstream competitors in our market. Jackedpack was our direct competition. We had some big companies on board with us also.

When I launched the business, the only experience I had in supplements was taking them for my workouts. I had no background in science but my strengths were in marketing.

Where we were different in today’s realm was convincing companies to give us the samples for free in return for exposure to new clients and more sales. Now, box companies are a dime a dozen and most companies today simply buy samples. We weren’t purchasing product and believe me, it was not easy to pitch executives to fork over free product either. After all, they are putting a big portion of their marketing budget on us.

We used Shopify along with launchrock to get off the ground. I found a fantastic system that worked for me that I still believe is one of the best out there to lunch any business - online and off...and no I won’t be selling it to you.

We had around 1400 signups in just a couple of months. Probably could have sold the company today if I would have stayed with it but I didn’t believe that what we were selling was actually healthy for people. Not to mention the Shipping weights killed us (tip #1 for you especially selling beer).

Feel free to ask away.
 

biophase

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I could definitely help you on this. I did a startup years ago in the nutritional supplement niche - before box companies were that big. There was no cratejoy and only a couple of mainstream competitors in our market. Jackedpack was our direct competition. We had some big companies on board with us also.

When I launched the business, the only experience I had in supplements was taking them for my workouts. I had no background in science but my strengths were in marketing.

Where we were different in today’s realm was convincing companies to give us the samples for free in return for exposure to new clients and more sales. Now, box companies are a dime a dozen and most companies today simply buy samples. We weren’t purchasing product and believe me, it was not easy to pitch executives to fork over free product either. After all, they are putting a big portion of their marketing budget on us.

We used Shopify along with launchrock to get off the ground. I found a fantastic system that worked for me that I still believe is one of the best out there to lunch any business - online and off...and no I won’t be selling it to you.

We had around 1400 signups in just a couple of months. Probably could have sold the company today if I would have stayed with it but I didn’t believe that what we were selling was actually healthy for people. Not to mention the Shipping weights killed us (tip #1 for you especially selling beer).

Feel free to ask away.
Can you explain what Launchrock is?
 

ZeroTo100

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Can you explain what Launchrock is?
Hey Bio,

Launchrock was a “free” lander used to collect email. It initially was created on the startup bus but I believe it was later sold and the service kind of went to crap.

What I liked about it was the simplicity and quickness of getting something up, driving traffic to it and building interest. It had tracking and a viral sharing script built in to improve social sharing.

When it lunched, there wasn’t a startup that did not use it to launch their business.

The service now is paid but at the time it was a simple solution to “fail-fast” that worked great and was free.
 

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