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3 lessons subscription-based businesses can teach you about building connections and fostering community

Opinions expressed by australiabusinessblog.com contributors are their own.

It will sound controversial, but hear me out: your stats and data alone will not help you reach the next stage for your business. Don’t get me wrong, they play a huge part in growing and scaling your business, but so do other assets that may be less tangible.

The property I refer to is your community. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve been building it since the day you launched your business. But do you cherish it?

Entrepreneurs need community to succeed and thrive in today’s hyper-fast, changing environment. In a constantly connected world, nurturing a shared space of common interests and authentic connections can lead to increased customer loyalty, generate revenue and sustain growth.

When it comes to engaging with your community on a regular basis, the subscription business model is king. Here are three lessons I’ve learned from subscription-based businesses when it comes to building authentic connections and fostering community.

Related: Building a community is a good thing

1. Prioritize the customer experience

Too often, organizations prioritize revenue over relationships. Previous research has shown that brands often create content based on their own needs and desires, while not listening to what their audience actually wants.

Subscription-based businesses are naturally apt to build a more customer-centric approach through multiple touchpoints throughout the user journey. They have more insight into first-party data to understand customer behavior and personalize their offerings. The result? A meaningful relationship with their customers.

You may be afraid of the ‘S’ word, but I assure you that implementing a subscription within your current offering is not as daunting a task as you may think. You can start small by creating an exclusive Facebook group open to your most loyal customers or by launching a newsletter. You can go a little bigger by implementing a membership portal that offers premium benefits (free shipping, exclusive access to product launches, discounts, etc.) in exchange for a recurring fee.

Ultimately, remember that the heart of a community is its people. The most successful brands prioritize building a customer experience that is unique to their products and audiences.

Related: 6 benefits of having a community when building a business

2. Stay committed

Being committed to what you do when starting or running a business is crucial. Commitment is the key every business owner needs to stay on track with every plan as their business grows. When challenges inevitably come your way, engagement can help you rise above them and keep your business on track.

When we got Gentleman’s Box off the ground, we used every resource possible, worked tirelessly and remained committed to our customers to create a completely unique experience that they simply couldn’t receive at the retail level. We wouldn’t have achieved what we did, like our seven-digit acquisition in 2020, if we didn’t continue to push all the levers that we’re deploying. It was a guiding light throughout our journey. I, of course, bring that same community-driven and committed mindset to every program and event we produce in our company.

This commitment can be difficult, which is why community support is vital. Research has shown that the majority of entrepreneurs believe that mentorship has a direct impact on their organization and its growth. And leaders in subscription-based organizations agree that you should surround yourself with others who are supportive and positive.

Entrepreneurs, business leaders, and companies derive many benefits from community membership. A community of entrepreneurs, whether in similar industries or not, can provide support, mastermind training, and access to experts who can help grow a business. Some trade associations may even have smaller communities for different roles, such as entrepreneurs, business executives, and more.

For example, at SUBTA, we have built one of the most supportive communities of business owners through our event, SubSummit, the world’s largest eCommerce conference with DTC subscriptions. It’s a great event where business leaders come together to exchange ideas, learn about new trends in the industry and prepare for the future.

Related: A business owner’s guide to building a community

3. Remember your “why”

The journey of entrepreneurship takes guts, resilience and patience. You don’t become a success overnight. On the contrary, business owners have to put in time, effort and hard work to achieve their goals. The road to business growth can be long and an owner often feels stuck and unmotivated. That’s where a community can help.

Fueling your passion through an impactful community isn’t just for subscription companies. To begin with, ask yourself what got you out of bed this morning. The answer will clarify the reason behind the work.

Then connect with your customers, either through in-person events or digitally. Their feedback and support can help you hone your “why” and build brand affinity. Seeing how your product or service positively impacts your customer base makes it much easier for you to stay motivated and inspired.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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