The desire to be beautiful never changes a key reason as to why the beauty industry is thriving.
Moreover, this desire spreads over into everything. People aren’t just drawn to beauty, they want to possess it. They want to be surrounded by nice, glamorous products that will enhance them. That means…
The cosmetic industry is as vast as it can be. It includes an array of businesses like aromatherapy, beauty spa & salons, anti-aging clinics, and makeup artists. According to marketresearch.com, the global beauty industry is expected to stow away $429.8 billion by 2022.
As promising as that is for startups, it’s a daunting industry to break in. With big brands relying on celebrity endorsements to increase sales, it can be tempting to give up if unable to get your products on the hands of Gwyneth and the likes.
Feeling overwhelmed? Relax!
Here’s a simple guide on how to start a beauty brand.
1. Develop the Right Mindset
This sounds rather ambiguous but here, it’s just a matter of understanding that business is not all about passion.
According to some experts, passion for business trumps big bucks and big brands. And as a budding entrepreneur, you’ve got to both have it and show it. However, many are for the idea that passion can’t pay bills.
Sharing her two cents, Amy Cosper – entrepreneur magazine’s editor in chief, claim that passion is like bread: you can’t live on it alone. And while it slams the gas, it reasons that steers entrepreneurs safely. Yes, passion can throw you out of the plane but it’s the senses that pull the parachute chord.
As the argument continues, striking a balance between business opportunities and passion is key. And it starts with finding purpose in your work. See that there’s a future you fit into somehow.
It’s this purpose and sense of fulfillment that will impact well-being keeping you motivated. Here, apply yourself in your brand, bring forth the right attitude as you leverage your current experience and skills.
With the right mindset, it’s time to…
2. Do Your Homework
As the beauty industry continues to thrive, it will be important to appreciate that only a few startups thrive while numerous meet their end in no time. What makes the difference?
Well, it’s all about doing your homework beforehand. A thorough research that involves going beyond the knowledge of local authority regulations and deciding on the location for your business. It’s understanding what makes your beauty products special.
Alternatively, you can hire a local market research company to do the homework for you, but it definitely cost you more than DIY.
We mentioned having a purpose in your work, right?
Let’s expound on that!
For your beauty brand to be unique, you’ve got to solve a customer’s pain point. That’s your purpose! Address those frustrating and poor experiences with the available beauty products. Pay close attention to their grievances, and the small annoyances you face while using the current line of products.
As you navigate these points, discuss with enthusiastic hobbyists. Get to know their willingness to pay to have their pain solved. In case you’re torn between ideas, engage them, let them advise you on what they find to be the most urgent need.
Note, in doing so, you’ll be increasing engagement levels while boosting loyalty with your beauty brand too. Remember, if you want people to consume your product, you’ve to relate it to their demands, their needs.
Simply put: this step is all about understanding prospective customers’ needs far and wide even if it means constantly reading reviews on existing products.
With an opportunity gap at hand…
3. Choose a Niche but Be Inclusive
The importance of quality in beauty products cannot be overemphasized; from the product’s ingredients to testing and packaging.
Bear in mind, everyone is after a reliable product. And while consumers may fall for lies once, they understand the adage – once bitten twice shy!
What does this have to do with choosing a niche?
Well, let’s get to it.
To ensure the end product is reliable and of good quality; you as the owner has to be practically present in every stage of its production. Not the manufacturer?
Well, you cannot just leave the work of selecting quality retail products to anyone now, can you?
The problem is, quality requires more work.
Let’s assume you’ll be producing the beauty products.
First, you’re in the business to make profits, right? So it’s up to you to cut the production cost as much as possible. You do your research and discover that people trust beauty ingredients grown in say, US. In other news, you realize that packaging is cheaper in say, China. Alternatively, you may want to go for a local packaging company.
Now, quality products require continued testing! Get the picture? It’s work, travels, and more work.
That’s why specialization is key. Master your craft in producing one product that serves a particular group then diversify from there.
If your product just works well for people with blonde hair, so be it. Remember, there’s growth in business and with time you will diversify.
Again, production and testing is a costly process which makes niche selection super significant for startups.
With a niche, just…
4. Get Started!
You don’t have to take on chemistry classes to be a pro in product formulation. So, no excuses. Just utilize the useful and readily available information on the internet and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can just head to a contract manufacturer that produce your own customized product.
Don’t worry about a lean start either, just start! Heard of Amalie, Tarte, and the likes; all had a lean start but did that define their destination? No.
Here is what we mean. If you just have RM1,000 to your name, incorporate the business for RM100, buy around 500 bottles and a few hundred boxes, then pay for your first month on Shopify and you’re good to go.
What’s important is getting to know the product really works. And that’s where you, family and friends come in. If you test your formulation on the aforementioned with positive results, don’t hesitate to sell the product.
Yes, you don’t require any business skills. Being “hungry” for success is enough.
But importantly, be creative with marketing tactics. As a startup, it’s hard to get some celebrity endorsement unless of course they’re your friends or have some connections.
Here we’re. You can’t get your product on Jennifer Lopez’s hands and Reddit keeps bringing in few sales. What next?
Contact that local newspaper. Have them interview you. And while at it, remember transparency equals trust. Don’t lie about the ingredients just so you can prove that no one else can make the products.
Always remember, there’s no one who can beat you at being you, no one! And who knows, following your authenticity and honesty, the story might be picked by the state newspaper – a turning point for your budding beauty brand.
On marketing, you can also try coupon codes, flash sales, or giving free samples to artists in exchange of a look on their page.
Important: always put demand ahead of distribution but in case the demand exceeds your on-hand supply; just roll with the punches. Let the sales pour in as you restock. Just remember to explain to customers that they’ll have to wait, why, and for how long.
5. Keep Improving Your Brand Products
You have stocked reliable products but don’t stop there. There’s always a room for improvement. Test everything at every formulation step, and once done, test again.
It’s in the lab that you’ll discover more formulas easing the diversification process.
In addition, ensure everything is documented from compliments to criticism. This will help you improve the products bit by bit.
Launching a beauty product can be scary given the uncertainties. Therefore, rather than fixing your mind on the future, just relax and enjoy the process.
Note, we are not against plotting your destination, no, it pays to be visionary. All we’re advocating for is for you to develop a product backed by science.
Then build your brand on transparency while establishing yourself as a trusted beautician. In simple terms, just follow the simple guidelines above.