/ Subscription

Advice on setting up a Subscription Website

Have an idea for a subscription-based website? It's better to ask a few business-related questions:

  • Do I have an existing customer base?
  • Have I sold anything in the past (proof of concept)
  • What can I do right now to test the above?

How close you are to building a subscription-based website is not dependant on how fancy you're website is. Don't waste time building complicated websites. The 'KISS' principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) applies here. Don't be fooled by your own biases that you need to spend lots of money & time designing and building the next big thing. See How to review & choose an e-commerce platform. Honestly, take a look at the early versions of successful ventures- they focused on getting things out quickly and admitting they didn't know what would work before they tried it.

  • Don't obsess over making it perfect first time, you'll never finish
  • Do start small, easy to say but so hard in practice when you're excited

When uber fist started it was a simple overlay of cabs onto google maps, only later did it become the uber it is today (why? It had a proof of concept, and so a more sane investment proposition).

Similarly Facebook, famously being called "The Facebook" before dropping "the" from the title, but regardless, the point is their services were basic, proved their service was viable as a business and grew from there. Apply this principle of keeping it simple to your own subscription website.

Is your subscription website viable?

Don't ask your mother. She likes you. "The Mom Test" is a quick, practical guide that will save you time, money, and heartbreak by Rob Fitzpatrick (Google Books).

Rob told me he's seen the stress developers and business owners unnecessarily put themselves under when developing their products. He pointed out the dangers in perfectionism in developers during start-ups having seen it first hand. Perhaps you need that level of perfection when you're massive, but not when you're starting out!

Are you tech savvy?

If you're not then think on, or at least find someone who is. There's no point starting a subscription-based website unless you're fundamentally able to cut it with the technology. Finding a partner who's tech-savvy is paramount, and remunerating them accordingly. Don't expect to build a snazzy venture off the back of cheap freelance developers and tight budgets. But wait! Why are you even hiring people at this point - have you proven your service will sell at all? Why not try "Failing Fast" to avoid making expensive mistakes:

Did you know?

If you're thinking anything like "but I need to spend more money, how can I possibly test my idea off the back of a few quid?", take inspiration from The Tenner Challange, where young people begin their business ventures with just £10. It should make you think twice before spending a grand just to get started...

There's no point starting a subscription-based website unless you're fundamentally able to cut it with the technology. Finding a partner who's tech-savvy is paramount, and remunerating accordingly.

In short, there are many ways to spend your money, but the most important thing is to get selling quickly to ensure you actually have a viable subscription-based business.

Get started

Yes, research, yes manage risk (that includes starting small) but ultimately, start building. Inaction is the bane of small businesses. There's never going to be another moment like now. Some safe options to get cracking now:

Set yourself a timer, a plan, and get cracking now!