Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Moving Our Warehouse

August 02, 2021 Julie Ball Episode 85
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Moving Our Warehouse
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Moving Our Warehouse
Aug 02, 2021 Episode 85
Julie Ball

#085 - We are moving out fulfillment back in-house for Sparkle Hustle Grow. We're throwing it back to the early days when we actually packed and shipped everything from home.  In this episode, Julie shares the breakdown, why we're moving our warehouse, and how we're preparing for it.

Links:

Show Notes Transcript

#085 - We are moving out fulfillment back in-house for Sparkle Hustle Grow. We're throwing it back to the early days when we actually packed and shipped everything from home.  In this episode, Julie shares the breakdown, why we're moving our warehouse, and how we're preparing for it.

Links:

Speaker 1:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start. Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach, and your host here at subscription box basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee , some pen and paper, and let's have some fun.

Speaker 2:

Hey, hi everyone. And welcome back to subscription box basics, Julie here, and I'm going to do kind of an off the cuff episode today and just tell you about some summer updates. There's been so much going on and I thought it would be fun to just talk a little bit about it. It is in the middle of summer. I can't believe it . And we've got so much exciting stuff going on over the next couple of weeks. So grab a pen and paper. I'm going to be dropping some dates for you , um, and some links so that you know where to go. And when, but first let's talk about this summer. I'm wondering, you know, how your summer has been. I'd love to hear from you. If you just DM me at subscription box bootcamp , I would love to hear how your summer has been going for us. We have been kind of trudging through the summer slump with sparkle hustle grow. It's no surprise. It happens almost every year around this time of the year where our numbers are traditionally down. Now last year in 2020, it was a little bit different. You didn't know what to expect, but this year we kind of stayed true to our typical summer slump. During that time we've taken the time as a team to rethink some of our marketing. One of the biggest things that kind of hit me was the iOS changes that happened earlier this year that had a really big impact on the success of our ads. And it made me realize on a deeper level. And I've talked about this in some other episodes to not put all your eggs in one basket. Now in the past, it was easy to kind of turn up your ads, kind of like a spicket. You know, you turn on , um , the water and the leads start flowing in. So it's a little bit different now. And for that reason, we started really working on some other marketing channels, like organic blogs, Pinterest, and we're looking at potentially advertising in other channels like podcasts. So outside of this, I'm talking about podcasts that serve female entrepreneurs, maybe running ads on their podcasts to reach new audiences. So I'll keep you posted on all of that, but I just wanted to let you know, I'm right there with you in the summer slump on a personal level, we've had a lot of fun. It's been a mix of hustle and rest and play over the summer. Our daughter is about to turn 10. She's been going to summer camp. Um , I've been reading a lot. We just celebrated our 12th anniversary and we did that by going to Asheville. Well, we live right outside of Asheville, but we went to this place where we zip lined through the mountains. It was absolutely gorgeous, breathtaking, so much fun, highly recommend the place we went to was called naveh tat. Um, the other really big thing that's been going on in our house this summer is not sure if you heard, but we are moving our fulfillment back in house . Yes. We're throwing it back to the early days of when we actually packed and shipped everything from our own home. Now I'm going to give you the breakdown. I'm going to tell you kind of why we're doing it and how we're preparing all that good stuff. So before I dive into that story, I just wanted to tell you about a few things that are coming up. This is where you need to grab your pen and paper one. We are opening bootcamp for enrollment at the end of August, and that will be on August 26th. So save the date. If you're thinking about enrolling, if you have any questions between now and then hit me up in the DMS, otherwise you're going to be hearing a lot about it. You're going to be hearing , um , all the new bonuses we have . We're adding, you're going to hear from some of my students and their success stories, but for you mark the date August 26th, and we are giving away a free seat in bootcamp. Yes, I'm so excited. The giveaway starts on August 5th and runs through the 14th. You can go on August 5th to subscription box bootcamp.com forward slash giveaway to get all the details. If you go there now, it might not be live yet if you're listening before the live dates. So , but mark that down subscription box bootcamp.com forward slash giveaway. So that's very exciting. And we have another program too , going on in August that you need to know about it's called box business plan. And it is a very, very unique five day live event. It's a virtual event. And every day of those five days, we are going to be covering a different section of your subscription box business plan. It's so important to put together your plan, get it all out of your head onto paper, in a neat and organized way. And with box business plan, we're going to be doing that. If you go back to episode 83, you can get all the details about it, but the enrollment for box business plan opens on August 9th and you can head to box business plan.com for more information, I'm really, really excited about this. This is such a unique way to put together your business plan. And it's going to be a mix of audio, like a private podcast. It's going to be a pop-up Facebook group. So you'll have direct access to me and my team. And we'll also have office hours in there where you can ask questions. So I'm pretty pumped. I hope you join us. Get the [email protected] And then the last thing that we are preparing for is sub summit. It's in mid September, September 21st through the 23rd, we will be celebrating my birthday while we are there. My birthday is September 22nd. For those of you taking notes. So we are going to be at the sub summit. We go there every year. It's super fun, very informational, very , um , helpful in networking and the guys that put it on the whole team at subtype . They're just really, really fun, awesome, thoughtful when they curate their events. So you definitely need to go. You can get more information on that at sub summit, but , um , we are also hosting a very special workshop. You can get all the details about that workshop back in episode 81, but it is called the year in a day workshop. And during this short session, we will be teaching our framework on how we plan an entire year in one day. So there's some prep work. There's a day of planning. And then there is, you know, implementing what you've planned. So we've put together this framework with all kinds of really easy to follow templates and training. This is a live event. Only this is going to be held at the sub summit. You can get all the [email protected] forward slash year and a day, but we will be creating this as a virtual event later this fall too. So if you can't be there at sub summit in Dallas, Texas in September, that's okay, you still be able to do the year and a day workshop later on this year. Our goal is to have that ready in October. So when it's ready, you guys will be the first to know here on the podcast. So we talked about the giveaway. We talked about box business plan and subscription box bootcamp this month. And then next month in September, we will be in Dallas, Texas for the sub summit. And we'll be hosting our year and a day workshop, which you are invited. There will be mimosas. We'll be introducing you to some people that will help make your life easier in your box business. There'll be time for networking. It's going to be so fun. I hope you can join us. Okay? All of the housekeeping is out of the way. Let's talk about the warehouse. So over the years, we have jumped between a couple of different ways of fulfillment. So when I first launched, I was fulfilling these from my home. We were in a small home. I think it was about 11 or 1200 square feet. We use the dining room table. You guys may be familiar, you know, boxes and boxes of stuff everywhere at crinkle, cut all over the floor. You probably feel me, right? You shaking your head. Yes. What we did that until we were a couple hundred boxes in, and then I found a warehouse. Our first warehouse didn't really pan out for us so quickly after I think it was a month or two, we switched to a more local to us warehouse. It was in Asheville, North Carolina. And we were with them for several years. And this was a mom and pop shop warehouse. They did not have any fancy software. So we managed everything through Google sheets. I had a Google sheet where there was different tabs. The one tab was a receivings tab. Like these are the things that you can expect to receive an estimated date as are the , the quantity I ordered that type of thing. And then for every month I would have a separate tab. So they knew what would go in each box. It worked out really well. I would go at the end of every pack-out and pick up the excess inventory, bring that home to my house and fulfill shop orders from home. And that was really good for a season. And the problem was I got to a point where I no longer wanted to fulfill those shop orders. It was becoming a hassle and it was taking me away from the things that I needed to be spending my time on, like showing up on live video and pouring into my customers. So we decided to move to a more sophisticated warehouse. And we were with ship monk and our warehouse they're based out of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, but our warehouse was in Pennsylvania. Now we were with them for over a year and we had a good experience with them. However, some things changed during that time during the pandemic, we made some big changes to our personal life. So my husband is a trained teacher, but he's no longer teaching in the public school system. So he took over the role of homeschooling our daughter. We have an Airbnb, which is right next to our house. And instead of opening the Airbnb during the pandemic, we closed it down and I moved my office to there. So I use kind of like the garage apartment for my office. And underneath it is an unused two car, like larger actually than two car garage. So now that we have a year of homeschooling under our belt, well , I don't, my husband does. And my daughter does , and they get all the credit for that. My husband recently approached me. This was earlier in the summer and said that instead of him potentially picking up a part-time job, he was thinking about what it might look like if he ran the fulfillment and the logistics, the warehouse, basically for sparkle, hustle grow. And so of course I was all ears because I spend a lot of money on outsourcing fulfillment between the extra postage costs , um, because they are warehouse, doesn't get as good rates as what I was getting with pirate ship previously , um, between storage fees and then the pick and pack fee. That was a lot of money. It was upwards of $4,000 a month in fees that I was paying to other people. And my husband was saying, well, what if we redirected that money back to our little family? And I took over that part of the business. So I was all ears. And he talked to me about what that might look like. So I mentioned that two car garage below my office, it was just kind of a dumping ground for things like for house projects, for, you know, for say we had a piece of furniture that we didn't want any more . That was a great place to store it. So we cleared all of that out. And you might've seen some of this in my Instagram stories on subscription box boot camp , and we're going to be compiling a kind of a time-lapse video of all of it. If it's going to be so much fun, I'll share that later. But we started looking at, okay, what do we need to do to the space to make it a warehouse? And so that involved quite a bit, you know, we had a crack in the wall, so we had to get a structural engineer out here and then we had to get the wall fixed. Um, we had to get a dumpster to remove all of the trash and all of the, we just had like excess wood in there, things that, you know, we didn't need, but we just had never taken the time to throw away before. So we rented a dumpster and got rid of all that stuff. We are about to seal the walls and put in the clothes in the ceiling. We're also going to add a mini-split unit so that it's a climate controlled warehouse. There's all of these things that we had to do. And so my husband's been managing that all summer. And what is normally a season of rest because hello, it's the summer. This has kind of been a little bit of a season of hustle for us. As we prepare. Now, we start shipping from here, our new warehouse at sparkle hustle, grow headquarters, starting with our September box. So we have already started receiving products on pallets . And yes, that can be quite a challenge when you live on the side of a mountain. So I'll be sharing information about that. You know, basically things like making sure that the delivery truck has a lift gate or finding an alternate shipping address or an alternate place where you can meet the truck if they have a pallet and they can't get that up your driveway. So anyhow, we've been working through all of that stuff and we're preparing for our new warehouse and I'm so excited. So that leads me to this question for you. And I want you to DM me and let me know, would you be interested in a sort of mini workshop to teach you how to properly set up your own home warehouse? Now you might be working out of a garage or a basement or even your living room, but there are so many things that you can do to make your life easy for you for delivery truck drivers, for the postal service, if they're picking up from you. And I would love to share all those tips. So I'll be dropping things like that on future podcasts, but also on Instagram stories. But tell me in DMS, how you fulfill now, like, are you in-house or do you outsource to a fulfillment center and would you be interested in a mini workshop of sorts to teach you best practices and setting up your workshop? So I know I went over a lot of stuff. Again, I was shooting from the hip today, talking about our summer updates with subscription box boot camps and things that you can get involved in to move your business forward. Like the box business plan event and the year and the day workshop at sub summit, but also, you know, a lot of big changes here over at sparkle hustle, grow headquarters that I wanted to share with you guys, because I love to share my journey. I know that it makes it so you feel less alone. It makes me feel less alone. And honestly, guys, we're better together. If you're looking for a way to give back, I would love if you would subscribe, rate and review this podcast so we can get it in front of more people, just like you that have a subscription box business idea and just don't know where to start. So I hope that enjoyed this little kind of chit chat with me. I love to talk shop. So I hope you enjoyed it. And I also wanted to tell you guys a few of the topics that I'll be covering in the next couple of months on this podcast. I've been asking you guys, what do you want to hear about what do you want, who do you want to hear from? And I'm so excited to announce that we are going to be talking about the Cratejoy marketplace, which is kind of like Etsy for subscription box business owners. There's just so many people that are on their email list or that visit their website. And you can sell more boxes by listing on the Cratejoy marketplace. So I'm going to do an interview with someone from Cratejoy to talk about that. We are going to have a SEO expert on here to talk about what you can do to drive traffic to your website from an organic point of view. As I mentioned, we can't put all our eggs in one basket, like Facebook ads. So we are going to be talking to an SEO expert. And this is an interesting topic. We are going to be talking with someone who is an expert on selling your business. Sometimes people build a business to sell. So if that's something you've ever thought about, you know , potentially selling it, even if it's, you know, maybe a couple of years into your business, your life has changed and you no longer want to pursue the box business. You don't just have to quit. You can sell your business and make a lot of money from it because there's intellectual property. There's a lot of revenue, potential. There's all these things that you've already done, like creating your email list and your brand and your website that's stuff is valuable. So we're going to be talking to someone who is going to tell us what that looks like, how to sell your business. And I'm really, really excited to hear from her because this is something that I've always had in the back of my mind, but I never pursued it nor do I know anything about it. So we'll be learning that together. So if there's any other topics that you want to hear from in the next few months, let me know I'm putting together my content calendar. So tell me now and let me know who you want me to have on the podcast so I can get in their inbox and invite them on. Thanks as always for listening. I wish you luck in our giveaway. Make sure you register and share, and I'll see you in the next episode.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible] .