This probably won’t come as a shock, but the global pandemic has changed the way we work, play, and shop. While there is lots of talk about the economic downturn and recessions, there are a few industries that are thriving (beyond mask manufacturers). The big one is the Subscription Economy®.
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What is a Subscription Economy®?
Originally the term was used by software as a service (SaaS) provider Zuora (NYSE:ZUO). It is where businesses provide a subscription service rather than an out and out product purchase. In the software world, this was pretty revolutionary when it was first introduced. Rather than spending thousands on purchasing new software every second year, a company could pay a regular monthly subscription and always have the latest updates.
Zuora released figures in September 2020 that said the Subscription Economy® has grown “more than 400% over the last 8.5 years”. This is despite the S&P 500 (the 500 large companies listed on United States stock exchanges) seeing sales decreasing.
Why Should I Care?
Although this idea of subscription-based software probably doesn’t affect the average person’s income, there are a growing number of entrepreneurs who have taken the concept and changed it to fit a particular industry. Could this be a side hustle that could provide you with a little extra income? Or could it even become a full-time venture?
You would be hard-pressed to not have heard about subscription boxes. Forbes ran an article in 2019 looking at the incredible growth that this industry had seen in the last decade, but if you aren’t familiar with the term… a subscription box is a product that is delivered to your door, usually, every month.
There are subscription boxes for pet food, meals, make-up and you can even get seedlings delivered every month! The range of things that you can get delivered on a regular based is almost astounding. But how could you get on board?
Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay
Starting Your Own Subscription Business
Do you have an idea? If not, that’s ok! Google “entrepreneur subscription box” and you will find over 7 million results. If you don’t have an idea of your own, then you can work more on an affiliate marketing scheme where you sell someone else’s boxes and take a cut.
The advantage to this is that it costs you little to get started. You can sign up with one of the businesses that offer affiliation, get your link, then start working on your friends, family, and social media followers. However, not all are created equal, so read the reviews and do your homework first. You want to make sure that the product is worth the price, and that you will get a percentage.
Have an idea? You’ve got research to-do
If you do have an idea, then you have a bit more work cut out. But with higher risk, comes a much greater reward. Before investing too much into your idea, run a few test-runs to see how it goes – this is important if you have never looked at entrepreneurship at all before. There is a steep learning curve, that involves knowing your product, how to ship effectively, how to market to your customers, how to ensure you get payments, and how to pay tax.
COVID-19 has seen a lot of changes throughout the world. The increase in people working remotely has seen a lot of businesses need to alter how they function. Coffee shops that are used to a steady stream of office workers to keep them busy are adapting to delivery services. Office workers who have been laid off are finding new work as freelancers and enjoying a strong work/life balance they never realized. And you could be just about to start your next big adventure.