Sell More Hair With Subscription Services!
This holiday season is the perfect time to make money, increase your visibility, and prepare your clients for 2018. The rest of this article is all about your hair business so make sure you've got a pen, paper, and an open mind!
It seems as if every day someone is popping up saying "I sell hair" but what's next? After they post a few images on Instagram or post on your Snapchat what's their next move? See, while they are trying to figure it out or, even worse, giving up, I want to help you create strategies to help your hair business stand out. It's not enough to just sell hair. You have to ask yourself "what else can I offer?"
To be a boss and get those coins you have to think outside the box and then put it in a box literally lol!
You may be asking "What is a subscription box?" A subscription box can be whatever you want it to be. Sizes, shapes, and visual branding of boxes vary. A great example of a subscription box service is CurlBox by Myleik. She is such an inspiration, and she started right where you may be. She began her subscription service because she saw a need and it became her passion.
What You Need to Get StartedSo let's get right into what you will need to get your holiday box ready! For the sake of this article, I am going to identify my ideal client and use her as my example throughout.
Knowing Your Ideal Client
Your ideal client is a 21-40-year-old active duty military member. She is currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas but will be home for the holidays. She is not too into the hair but wants to get a new style as well as take care of her natural hair. This client earns around $47,000 per year as a CPT in the U.S. Army. She has no children, is single and dating.
Your ideal client is not just one race because your hair company caters to a diverse clientele. She likes to travel, is very athletic, and enjoys spending quality time with friends and family. Her goal for next year is to attend a lot of concerts, festivals, and empowerment seminars.
I'll stop here because I don't want to overwhelm you but it's essential that you identify who will be purchasing your box. It can't be for everybody because everybody won't need it. The key is to target the ones who will and build from there.
Here are some steps and tips you can follow to help you create a bomb subscription box!
Step 1Most people want to start with the visual branding of the box, but I'm going to tell you to save that for one of your last steps. I'll let you know why later. The first thing you need to do is decide what need you are going to solve or how you are going to make your customer's life more comfortable with the product you place in your box. So often, people create products and services without ever getting a consensus of what their ideal client will want. Thus, they have inventory collecting dust on shelves or services because no one wants to buy them.
Create A SurveyHow do you find out what they want? Create a FREE survey on www.SurveyMonkey.com, share the link on social media, and email the survey to those you know to get their input. Base your questions on what would be a great accessory with the bundles purchased. For example, "Do you sleep with a silk bonnet at night," "what's your favorite edge control," "when you travel what's the one hair care product you always forget," or "how often do you shampoo your wig/extensions"?
Include Bonus Items
The reason you ask these types of questions is to gauge what kind of bonus items you will include in your box. Their purchased bundles will already be in there ready for them to create a flawless style right in time for the New Year but what else can you add in the box to get a higher profit? A few suggestions would be heated protectant, a silk bonnet, a weaving kit (a quality weave cap, thread, needles, and edge control, and weft sealant) and flex-i-rods.
I know what you're thinking! I can get that at any local beauty supply.
People buy because it's something they want, solves a problem, or makes their life easier. Remember your ideal client? She does not have time to go to a beauty supply store, get confused about which hair is quality hair, and then hope she can find someone to slay her hair just in time for her trip home. If she can get a box with everything she needs and the quality of hair is bomb all she has to do is wait for her box to come in the mail and either get her hair done before she travels or once she gets home. Just because you are an avid hair guru doesn't mean your potential customer is!
They need your recommendation and an exceptional product.
You can also post your survey questions on your social media pages.
An example of a cool post would be "One product I can't live without when taking care of my extensions is: (comment below with your favorite product). After you get feedback via the survey, social media posts asking your followers/friends the same questions in your survey (just create them as posts) analyze it and find out what the most common responses are. Congratulations! You just completed two important tasks in maintaining a successful business. Researching information and gathering data.
Now, you have a general idea of what to include in your subscription box. For example, a box could include a Brazilian Deep Wave in 20", 22", and 24" with an 18" deep wave closure and a weave kit. You don't have to change your box price for each type of hair you sell. Just add the price of your bonus items into the pricing structure. I'll share more about pricing later.
Another option is to connect with local businesses and ask them to collaborate with you on your box. Doing so provides increased exposure and brand equity (a customer's perceived value of your product). An example would be a box including the client's purchase of a set of business promotional cards with discount codes on them as well as a product.
You can provide your collaborators with an option of how they want to promote but the promotion must be exclusive to your partnership and should be an irresistible offer that customers can turn down!
Pricing is critical when designing your box. The central concept I want you to think about is scarcity. Scarcity is an economic concept which means there is more demand than there are resources. Think of the iPhone X. It sold out in less than an hour! Why? Most consumers knew it was in high demand and didn't want to miss the opportunity to get one. So, what did they do? They stayed up waiting to push the button to submit their order. Think about the launch of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty products.
Yes, I did try to stay up but fell asleep lol! Her website sold out of high demand products quickly! WHY? Consumers knew this was something new, it's created by a celebrity they love, and they want to be one of the first to have it! If you visited her website later the same day, your favorite items were sold out.
You want to keep the concept of scarcity in mind as you set your price and promote it as well. It's time to get your calculator out!
Let's break it down!
You already know how much you will charge for your bundles. That doesn't change and don't be tempted to reduce your prices to get sales for your box. It's counterproductive to your goal to increase sales which then increases profits. Your hair prices will remain the same, so I will give you two examples to show you how to price your subscription boxes appropriately.
Stacie and Tina place orders. Stacie's order totals $150. Tina's order totals $235. Your cost for your boxes is around $13 for a box of 10 from Paper Mart. Divide the retail cost of the boxes $13 by 10 (quantity) and each box costs $1.30. Packaging will cost you about .10 per sheet of tissue paper, and your business labels (you printed on your home computer) cost about .56 (pack of 50 labels for $9) each label used on your box.
If your additional items are coming from a sponsor, this is zero cost to you. We like zero costs! You may not have sponsors create a budget and decide items included in your box will cost no more than $7. Let's total up what we have so far! All costs minus the bundles are $8.96. You can mark up this price by 20-50%. It's your choice but here's what your markup will look like:
- 20% markup, the bonus items will total $10.75
- 30% markup, the bonus items will total $11.65
- 40% markup, the bonus items will total $12.54
- 50% markup, the bonus items will total $13.44
Once you decide on your markup price, you will add that to the cost of your hair bundles. You just created your holiday promotion price. Depending on your markup and how much profit you want you can include free shipping and handling, but it is your option. Your business is yours, and you can't worry about what other people are doing. You have to do what makes sense for you and your bottom line.
WHEW! I think we may need a break after all those numbers!
Step 5Now that you know what your customer wants, ideas of what to include in your subscription box, and the pricing for your box I know you're next question is "How do I get sales?" Honestly, this is what separates the Bosses from the talkers, the Doers from the procrastinators, and the Winners from the haters! If you want to sell, your product here is a few tips to get you motivated to get out there.
AffirmationsThe first thing is for you to speak success over yourself and your business. An affirmation is a proclamation of a belief you have. It's important you feed your mind with positive thoughts. An affirmation to start with is "I determine my success." Everything I want I can have because I am good enough to have the best things in life." Now, you're powered up and ready to plan your pre-sales strategy. Your pre-sales strategy describes how you will get sales for your items before you have to ship them out. So, you can promote images of your boxes with the holiday pricing on them before shipment.
If you do conduct pre-sales, always give your customers a shipping date range. For example, your pre-sales may go until November 29th. You will inform everyone who purchases a box that boxes will ship out no later than December 10th. This date allows you to get all your items together and have them on hand for shipment. I suggest as orders come in, you order your bundles so you don't have to wait for the hair because your other items should be easily accessible.
The goal with pre-sales is to generate revenue to purchase your inventory, so you don't have to use your own money. Therefore, when you make sales, this money is not for you to use for personal expenses but use it for the purpose it was received.
Shipping your subscription boxes can be an easy process and will depend on how you want to set things up. If you want to skip all the lines at the post office (especially around the holidays), you can print out your shipping labels from home and allow your mailman to pick your packages up or you can drop them off at the post office. If you do go to the post office to ship orders out, make sure you use a separate card (designated specifically for your business) to pay all shipping costs because you want to keep track of all expenses.
You can ship orders as you complete them or you can ship orders on a specific day. For example, Tina places her order on November 26th for her subscription box. In checkout, she selected the hair she wanted. Since you are not dropshipping, you will have to order the hair and ship it to her. You order her hair and once it's received you ship out her box which means you will probably ship her order out on December 3rd. If you are dropshipping, guess what? It's easier for you because the wholesaler sends the order to the customer and all you have to do is mail them their box of goodies! It's up to you. Just make sure your checkout is set-up for both options.
You can even allow your clients to layaway their bundles. Charge them the wholesale price of the bundles plus 10% as their deposit. You can send them their receipt via Paypal with a no refund disclaimer on it. You can include their payment schedule as well. I wouldn't go over two installment payments.
Need More Ideas?
I hope this helps you to think out of the box on ways to create additional revenue for your hair business. Although I geared this toward the upcoming holiday season, you can create a holiday box or monthly subscription box at any time of the year! Some people are subscription box geeks and love trying out boxes and giving feedback.
You can create a Single Ladies Box for Valentine's Day, something sweet for Mother's Day, and what about all the graduates out there? Like I said I can get creative! Women love to receive special items and just because your product isn't a monthly subscription box for men doesn't mean your female clients won't purchase one to get themselves cute for their man. Make sure you share with me what you come up with and start stacking those coins!