Business Website

As stated in our Business Set Up Checklist blog we used subbly.com to create www.poleboxx.co.uk.

We set up our domain on a different website to start with and found this quite difficult. We were really unsure about how to build the website and create a checkout using this platform and we didn’t have a lot of time to invest in learning HTML coding. Starting a new business, maintaining full time jobs and training was already enough of a balancing act.

After researching different website platforms we discovered Subbly. Subbly has all kinds of Gucci add-ons from a website builder to finances and analytical reports. We found it really easy to transfer our domain over to Subbly as their help desk is incredibly cooperative and their plethora of guides are simple to follow. Here’s an outline of their services:

Start from Scratch or Add to an Existing WebsiteSubbly have 2 options you can either create a website with them (which we did) or add their checkout platform to your existing website.

Subscriptions and One-time PurchasesSubbly allows you to set up subscriptions for products and also one time purchases for products (this literally blew our minds.)

Marketing Tools Subbly has a beautiful administration dashboard for your website which includes marketing analysis. Subbly analyse the customers that flow through your website and gives you the tools to reach more customers.

Order Management System – speaking of beautiful administration, it is so easy to see your orders coming through using Subbly’s dashboard. You are able to download the orders dashboard into excel and mark when orders have been shipped.

Automatic emails Subbly generates automatic emails to your customers when they order, when the item is shipped and when they sign up. You can add as many emails as you like and populate the information in the email.

14 day free trial – With Subbly you have a 14 day free trail to set up your entire website if you like and then cancel it with no cost whatsoever. Although we fell in love with its ease after an hour.

We have found it really easy to set up our website using Subbly, there is a very responsive live chat tool to help you if you get stuck and the monthly membership is affordable.

Another really positive element of Subbly is that once you are a member you can also join a Facebook group full of entrepreneurs using Subbly. At PoleBoxx we have found this network particularly helpful, not just for building the website but for advice on how to start up our business. We have met some great people through this platform who have enhanced our business and allowed us to grow further.

So if you’re thinking of setting up your own subscription service or even just one time purchases, PoleBoxx recommends using Subbly.co.

Business Set Up Checklist

When we created PoleBoxx we muddied through what we should be doing and setting up. Here’s a business checklist to help you out:

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest – even if you do not plan on using all these social media platforms, set your companies account up on all of them in order to secure the name.

Website – you can purchase your domain on many websites. This is something I wish I knew when setting up our PoleBoxx website. I instantly googled ‘purchase domain’ and clicked on the first link available, purchasing poleboxx.co.uk with a website company. Later down the line when I wanted to use subbly.com as this was the perfect fit for PoleBoxx and our subscription service, I had to transfer the domain across (difficult if you are not technically minded.) My tip would be find the website company you want to work with and buy your domain through them.

Companies House – Register your company with Companies House. Sole traders do not need to register with Companies House. Instead, they must simply register with HMRC and complete an annual Self Assessment tax return. However, if you’re starting a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP), you are legally required to register with Companies House.

Business Email – when you purchase your domain you will be able to set up an email. For example we purchased Poleboxx.co.uk and were able to set up the email through names.co.uk for support@poleboxx.co.uk.

Business Bank Account – We researched a lot of business accounts and found that newer companies such as Monzo, Coconut and Starling were more beneficial to start up businesses. They don’t have any hidden charges, in fact they don’t have any charges at all.

Logo – We created our PoleBoxx logo on Looka.com and copied the image. Don’t do this. I know that when starting a business you want to keep expenses down, but in order to keep the quality of the logo when printing and posting you need to purchase the actual logo image. We also found that with Looka.com once we purchased the logo we received various different formats, from black and white to transparent which is really helpful for different coloured products and your website.

Brainstorming and Research

Research

From our experience as co founders of PoleBoxx it is fundamental to your subscription business success and life-cycle to research your audience and other companies out there. To me this sounded quite tiresome and laborious but in fact we had checked a lot of the criteria already. Before investing hours in your business plan the following should be checked:

Search for similar companies through all forums – it’s important to expand your research further than google. A lot of companies now run shop on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy etc.

Search for potential wholesale suppliers – Are there any wholesalers out there for your business needs? If so where are they based? What do you need in order to become a wholesaler?

Search for your chosen business name through all forums – Just because the domain is available to purchase online doesn’t mean it’s not already in use on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (remember to check hashtags too.)

Search for similar companies pricing – Have a look at companies websites and social media. If you aren’t going to be delivering a similar product cheaper than your competitors, it best be different and stand out from the crowd.

Brainstorming

3 non negotiable’s – When you sit down and look at what you want your business to achieve and what products you want to create, what are your non negotiable’s? This step is especially important if you have a business partner and should be set in stone before even thinking of a product. For PoleBoxx our 3 non negotiable’s for the scope of our company is to be eco friendly, vegan and affordable. This way when a product is thought of you already have a validation process. Does this product meet our 3 non negotiable’s? Yes – great lets look at ideas and pricing. No – we’re not going to look any further into it.

What’s your niche? – For PoleBoxx our niche isn’t pole dance wear or equipment. Anyone could go to a wholesaler and buy pole clothing. Our niche is that our clothing is eco friendly and sourced from recycled materials. Our niche is that out Body Spritz is vegan and contains no animal products. Our niche is that we provide affordable, monthly subscription boxes containing these products. What’s your products niche? What’s your companies niche?

Business Hub – When we first started PoleBoxx we had a whatsapp group full of ideas and dozens of notes on our phones. This isn’t practical. Create a spread sheet with a hub of all your different information, different tabs for ideas, prices, links to websites with usernames and passwords, to do lists and price comparisons. Yes if you wake up in the night with an idea pop it in the group chat but always remember to add these ideas to your hub. This makes it so much easier to sit down and assess the scope of your new business idea.

How did a box become a Boxx?

In 2016 I attended my first pole fitness class, it would be 2 years later when I purchased my own pole and assembled it in a spare room that I would start my pole fitness blog. Soon after the set up of my pole fitness blog I quit my Global Gym membership where the owner stated “It’s a real shame, you could’ve really done something with your fitness.” This has stuck in my head as a motivator and often arises when I accomplish a goal.

Soon after my decision to quit the Global Gym I attended a taster session at my local CrossFit gym. After the WOD (this is the workout of the day you’ll get when you attend a CrossFit class) I fell in love with the uplifting spirit and comradery that CrossFit encompassed; I signed up on the spot.

I became immersed in the fitness and health industry, I felt better both physically and mentally by attending regular WOD and pole classes, I became passionate about setting goals and successfully hitting them. I experimented with my nutrition and diet to seek what benefited my body and mind, enabling me to push past mental and physical barriers.

In late 2019 I took the step towards veganism, although slipping up from time to time I was passionate about the environmental, health and animal rights benefits of this lifestyle. At first I struggled to source enough protein from a plant based diet but through experimenting and research I was able to reach all of my macro and micro nutrient goals.

I looked at the industries of CrossFit and pole fitness in which I had become so absorbed in and quickly realised there were very few options available for affordable and sustainable products. The documentary Game Changers had certainly helped the CrossFit industry but little had been done for pole fitness. This was my first motivator.

During late 2019 the movement towards mental health awareness was beginning to gather pace. Although there were many more steps to be taken at a government level to help, the population of the UK appeared to be moving into a “speak about your feelings and seek help” era, where it was no longer frowned upon to speak up about struggles and to “man up” was no longer acceptable. During this time, 3 people I went to school with committed suicide. This was my second motivator.

Global warming is becoming evermore paramount in the discussions we have today, it is no longer a hypothesis or theory but a scientifically proven fact. Where the demonstration of our poor choices are shown in extreme weather, changes in climate, melting ice caps, ocean acidification and more. There are so many small changes we can make which will benefit our planet but many people are still not aware or practising these. This was my third motivator.

In December 2019 I attended a pole class with my close friend, I opened up about my thoughts above and how I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I wanted to do something about it. She replied “we can do all of that.”

We wanted to create a subscription box for pole dancers with products that enhanced the pole industry, we wanted everybody who subscribed to our box to look forward to opening their package and discovering something that would not only enhance their pole dancing and fitness but enable them to smash their goals. We wanted our box to promote veganism as a beneficial act towards the environment, our health and animal rights. A box that promoted the importance in looking after our mental health and harnessing self love, to enable further movement towards openly talking about our own mental health challenges in the hope to improve peoples lives and even save them. Lastly, we wanted to make sure that the products and subscription box we created did not hinder our planet but help sustain our planet.

This is PoleBoxx.

Two months ago I walked past my old Global Gym which had closed down. All I thought to myself was “It’s a real shame, you could’ve really done something with your fitness.”

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