A Little More Cash – Part 3

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about how to increase your self-sufficiency by developing a home and internet based small business. While this may just be a source of additional income for some people, others will decide to grow their online business to the point of becoming their full-time job. Either way, it’s worth doing, making you and your family more independent.

This week I want to focus on one of the fastest growing aspects of home-based businesses; something that the internet has taken from a laughable novelty and turned into a massive and very successful trend. What I’m talking about is the concept of subscription boxes.

As best as I can remember, the concept of subscription boxes has been around for decades. I remember those services you could get 30 or 40 years ago, where they would send you a case of steaks or fruit every month. They were overpriced and frivolous, something for people who had more money than sense; and there really weren’t all that many of them around.

That’s all changed. There are literally thousands of subscription boxes available today, covering a broad range of interests. I’ve seen everything from a sock of the month club, through men’s suits, to include the shirt, tie and shoes. You can find them for cosmetics, perfumes, technology and even educational toys. Just about any category of products you can imagine can be turned into a subscription box, just as long as you can get it into the mail.

The key to making subscription boxes successful is to provide unique products that the recipients will really enjoy receiving. They have to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. They also have to feel like they’re getting something that they wouldn’t find on their own. Uniqueness is important.

That uniqueness may be a bit hard to come up with, simply because of the growth in this segment, but it’s still possible. One such service is providing uniqueness by importing traditional candies from Cuba. That’s not something you’re likely to find at your local store. So every month they send out a box to all their subscribers, which contains an assortment of Cuban candies, along with some sort of Cuban trinket, of the kind you’d find in a curio shop. But because it’s unique, it sells.

So, how do you start something like this? First of all, you need an idea. What is there that you’re knowledgeable about, which others would enjoy? If it’s gourmet food, perhaps you could start a gourmet food subscription box. Each month you’d send out a box containing some gourmet recipes, along with key ingredients to make those, especially ingredients that aren’t available in the local grocery store, like unusual spices. Common things, like chicken and produce could be left out, as the subscribers could get those locally. As a “value added” item, you could include some tips and tricks for the kitchen.

Each month’s box has to be different, so it’s a good idea to think this through, figuring out what your first six months’ boxes will look like, and determining their cost. You have to be able to provide them all at the same price, regardless of what you include, so it’s going to take some planning to work it out.

The next step is, of courses, selling your boxes. There are a couple of ways you can work this out. Start by creating a small website, where you’re touting your products. You can use one of the sites with lots of templates, like Wix.com for this. Your website doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to make your product offering look good. Make up some sample boxes and take plenty of pictures.

Facebook advertising is a great way of selling these boxes, as it is a great way of reaching a lot of people for very little cost. You can use the demographics selections on their ad creation tool to select as wide or broad a group of people as you want. The real key is to target people who are likely to be interested in the type of box you offer. So, use the “interest” selection criteria to direct their ad placement service to put your ad on the pages of people who follow pages that show similar interest. That add should link to your website.

The other big advertising platform to use is cratebox.com. This is the largest online collection of subscription boxes there is. They also have a great section on how to start your subscription box business, providing answers to just about any question you might have.

So, what are you passionate about? What can you put together, starting your own monthly subscription box? This is an easy business to start, and something the whole family can work on together.

I the mean time, like always, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand, especially with what’s going on in North Korea.

Dr. Rich

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