How I moved house (with dodgy internet!), was absent from my very lean business and still had a £60k month.
There are rhythms to life and business – the inhale and exhale – and I hope this finds you having enjoyed a recent exhale, a chance to still, reflect and be gentle over Christmas.
We’ve had a bigger exhale than normal this year, as we moved house mid-December – a bit full-on to move so close to Christmas in any year, but even more so this year, and in the busiest time of year for a product business.
(And, as you might guess from the subject, the internet didn’t work properly for the first two weeks.)
But my subscription box business had its best Christmas ever – taking over £60,000 in a month, despite my not being around a lot of the time.
I was reflecting on this, and what would be useful to share with you, and here’s what it boils down to:
– The first December that my subscription box launched, it took £550. Now some folk might be disappointed with that, but it EXCITED me because it proved that there was an audience.
If your business isn’t making what you’d like it to yet, keep being curious, keep learning about what your customers want and how to best reach them – and take the steps to grow (even if it’s bit by bit).
– Don’t feel you have to follow the path of getting investment, 10,000+ customers asap, and hustle, hustle, hustle.
YES to growth, and yes to stretching what you do – in the natural waves of stretch and consolidate, then stretch again (lean into your energy rhythms). Consistent stretch will take you far.
You don’t need a cash-injection of tens of thousands of pounds or a one-way ticket to burnout to make it happen.
Gentle, powerful, ambitious growth.
– Bring in lean support as you grow.
The key reason I was able to be largely absent in a £60k month is that I had amazing support around me, including my wonderful VA who handles customer support, and my lovely fulfilment centre who pack and send our boxes. There are others that are vital to me too, but those roles fluctuate with the volume of work.
Both started on small contracts – just a few hours a month / a couple of hundred boxes – and their work has grown with the business.
– Build great relationships with your suppliers.
As we saw sales swoop up (and a national shortage of cardboard boxes!), being able to jump on the phone with our suppliers meant we could quickly find solutions and they moved mountains for us.
– Know your numbers.
I can’t tell you how vital it is to have accurate accounts to help you make good decisions. At each stage of growth, know what your costs are, and what you have to spend and invest.
So now, as you look ahead to the next 12 months, what would make the big difference for you?
– Is it finding more customers?
– Are you stretched at the seams and need to bring in some support or streamline what you do?
– Are you feeling overwhelm or confusion about where to start?
When you articulate what it is you need to solve, you know what you need to do.
All my best,
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