Building, growing, and scaling your subscription brand can be draining. Over 30% of small business owners lose motivation after launching due to stress, unstable salaries, and no work-life balance, according to Vistaprint.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is often unpredictable, and it’s important to keep in mind why you started this journey. Everything you need to stay motivated and keep moving forward is right in front of you, regardless of the stage of your business:
- If you have nothing but an idea, you can create a product/service based on your passion.
- If you’re looking to grow, find out what your customers want more of.
- If you’re ready to scale your business, rely on the community you’ve built.
Read on to discover how your subscribers, your interests, and your aspirations can prevent you from feeling stuck and unmotivated.
A Passion-Driven Business
The rate of entrepreneurship has increased due to Covid-19, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report. More than 60% of U.S. business owners state that the pandemic encouraged them to follow their passions.
Identifying a million-dollar idea can be challenging when everyone else is looking for one. However, only you can rely on the life experiences you went through to launch a profitable business.
For example, Mo Vazquez — Head Honcho at Pipsticks — is a sticker enthusiast who quickly realized she wasn’t alone.
“Everyone loves the story of a girl from the ‘80s growing her childhood sticker obsession into a world-wide sticker company with a cult following across all age groups,” she told SUBTA. “We started out targeting parents, and soon found that sticker love knows no age! Sixty-five percent of our subscribers are sticker-loving adults.”
If, like Vazquez, you have an old childhood obsession that you’re thinking of turning into a business, do it. There are others like you who can benefit from it and who will be thankful someone took the first step to provide them with a unique experience.
Million-dollar ideas can also stem from personal struggles.
After suffering from eczema since childhood and knowing the challenges of living with it, Stephanie Philpot started The Eczema Sample Store, and responses were overwhelmingly positive.
“To hear from one of my subscribers that they found a product that their skin loves from one of my boxes and that it made a huge difference in their life, that is why I created my company and what encourages me to keep going,” Philpot told SUBTA.
You can also be inspired to launch a business based on an issue you’ve observed and feel empowered to solve for with your idea.
Christy Venter became a certified holistic health coach to build healthier habits for her family. Her passion led her to notice that poor eating habits are not necessarily built at home, especially when it comes to kids.
“After seeing what was going in my daughter’s school vending machines, I asked if they could offer healthier vending instead. There was none, so I started a healthy vending business,” she told SUBTA.
Venter went on to sell her items to a third-party company, and eventually launched HealthyMe Living, a healthy snack box service.
While each of the stories above is unique, their premises can be applicable to you as well. Identify the issues you care about, what makes your life different from others, or what truly brings you joy, and you’ll most likely come up with three business ideas!
Motivation to Innovate
You shouldn’t solely rely on the data you’re collecting to enhance your offering. Your long-term, past, and unhappy subscribers can also serve as a source of inspiration. Make it a habit to engage with them to learn how you can optimize their individual experiences. After all, your competitors are most likely already doing that.
More than 60% of companies actively surveyed their customers to collect consumer feedback, according to a 2021 HubSpot report, and nearly 60% sent a survey after every interaction.
Happy, Long-term Customers
Feedback from loyal, satisfied subscribers is a gift.
Don’t be shy to ask for your customers’ thoughts; they are willing to provide it, and it could lead to additional sales. The best subscriptions generate more than 20% of their revenue from existing subscribers, explained Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell, at SubSummit 2022.
Customer feedback is also helpful to enhance your brand’s credibility online. More than 60% of consumers say they are influenced by the best ratings and reviews. Encourage your active subscribers to share their enjoyment of your products/services online to grow your brand awareness.
“[Our subscribers] are so interactive and passionate,” Susan Black, Founder of Wowzitude and 2021 SubSummit Pitch Competition winner, told SUBTA. “They share what they love about each live-streamed virtual tour, and they also say what they want improved or what they want next. Feeling the passion — that’s awesome to me and very inspiring.”
You can find inspiration from subscribers who are unhappy with your brand and/or thinking of leaving.
Instead of giving up when customers complained they were getting too many products, Gentleman’s Box Co-Founder and former CEO Christopher George explained at SubSummit 2022 that he and his business partners changed the box cadence from monthly to quarterly to reduce subscription fatigue.
While there are ways to get ahead of a customer canceling, some things are out of our control. Thirty percent of consumers will write a review if they don’t like the product. Take that criticism and turn it into an innovative idea that enhances your offering.
Surveying your existing customers is important, but don’t forget about the ones who decide to leave.
“The way that you offboard a customer is very, very important,” said Campbell at SubSummit 2022.
Ask these two important questions in your offboarding survey:
- Why are you leaving?
- What did you like about the product?
The second question collects data while also tapping into a customer’s nostalgia. This gives you a better understanding of how to improve your brand and product while giving the customer a chance to second guess their decision to leave.
Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to change your customers’ minds. Salvage offers like “pause” features can lower cancellations by 10-25%, according to Campbell.
Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated? Your Community Can Help
Your subscription can facilitate connections between like-minded, passionate individuals.
“I’m also inspired by the customer community that I have found,” Dawn Walsh, CEO of Puzzle Culture, told SUBTA. “They are so positive and supportive of me and my business. It’s been surprising and so delightful.”
One way you can create an impactful community that pushes your brand forward is through Facebook groups. BoxyCharm Founder Yosef Martin explained that his ‘Charmers’ organize in-person events that enable them to share their love for the brand.
“[It’s] kind of like having hundreds of thousands of members helping you push your vehicle,” he said.
Creating a community goes beyond just that; connect with them on Facebook, Instagram (including the fan pages), and wherever else your customers have created groups, and help them feel connected to your brand.
When you can see firsthand how your subscription is positively affecting consumers, it will be much easier for you to stay motivated. You’ll be inspired to do even more for the supportive community you helped build via your terrific idea.
The Power of Your Subscribers
In an industry expected to reach $275 billion by the end of 2022, you might find yourself competing with more businesses while brainstorming innovative ideas to grow your brand.
Data and industry trends will undoubtedly propel you forward, though they shouldn’t be your sole growth engines. What you really need is what you already have: A group of subscribers ready to engage.
With the above tools at your disposal, you can discover new business opportunities and be motivated to follow your passions, innovate, and create an impactful community.
Want to network with other subscription business owners? Talk with more than 2,000+ attendees at the world’s largest DTC subscription conference, SubSummit.