Today’s economy is a subscription economy.
Consumers no longer have to worry about forgetting to purchase diapers for their newborns or having to pay expensive upfront costs for software like the Microsoft Office suite. Consumers have also started to adopt minimalist lifestyles by minimizing what they own (everything from cars to music).
What this means to you as an entrepreneur is that you might need to redesign your revenue model to accommodate these changing consumer behaviors.
Many large companies, such as Amazon and Apple have already started to offer subscriptions to their customers. Amazon now gives you the option to subscribe to recurring product purchases for consumables such as vitamins. With the emergence of Spotify, Apple was pressured to release their music subscription service – iTunes Radio.
At the other end of the spectrum, several smaller startups are trying to ride the wave that is subscription business models. I started noticing this right after Dollar Shave Club took off a couple years ago. Just between 2013 and 2014, Dollar Shave Club tripled its revenue to $60 million. Ever since then, we’ve seen several companies advertise monthly subscription boxes by offering everything from monthly snack samples to recurring dog product deliveries.
A lot of the subscriptions you’re familiar with are consumer products and services.
However, I challenge you to think of subscription products or services that you could offer to businesses. Businesses run off of profit and their profit is affected by how efficiently those businesses operate. Subscription services are perfect for business-to-business (B2B) products due to the convenience of not having to invest time in making purchase decisions and the convenience of paying a flat rate. Most importantly, B2B subscription services help establish stronger relationships between businesses and clientele.
So if you’re on the lookout for new startup ideas, think outside the subscription box and get creative with your subscription business model.
About the Author
Moaad Benkaraache is an EI marketing assistant and NC State industrial engineering student. He enjoys prototyping, eating protein-packed meals and prototyping while eating protein-packed meals.