For some time now, celebrities have been pivoting from their usual career paths toward the world of cosmetics. Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and Jessica Alba represent only a small fraction of the stars who have brought out their own range of beauty products in recent years. This should come as no surprise, considering the global cosmetics industry is currently worth around $400 billion—and counting.
But it’s not only celebrities that are starting their own skincare and makeup lines. More and more, non-celebrities are thinking up innovative new ideas and launching their own beauty businesses.
Ordinary people with entrepreneurial spirits are the backbone of America. The US has long been recognized as a land where people could make their own fortune, the so-called “American dream”.
Last year, the number of people starting their own businesses reached a 13 year high. The Coronavirus pandemic shook up the economy in an unimaginable way. Many lost their jobs, and many decided to take the plunge and create their own companies.
If you’re thinking of creating your own beauty line, but you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. Below you’ll find seven essential tips for starting your own cosmetics business.
1. Do Your Research
Before you do anything concrete relating to your new business—or make any plans regarding it at all—the first thing you need to do is thorough and proper research. This might be the less glamorous side of the cosmetic business, but it’s essential if you want your brand to be a success.
As you’ll be making something that goes on people’s skin, it’s essential you’re aware of the FDA regulations surrounding cosmetics products in general, and your chosen niche in particular. You will also want to carry out market research: is there a place in the market for your brand? At a later stage, you can also hold focus groups to see how real people react to your products.
2. Have a Business Plan in Place
Following on from the first point, you should also make sure you have some sort of business plan in place before launching your products. Where do you want to see your business in six months? What are the potential strengths and weaknesses of your company?
If you’re worried you don’t have a head for business, you can always hire outside help for this step. However, making a business plan can be relatively simple provided you have the necessary resources to guide you through. The SBA has some helpful material here.
3. Pick the Perfect Products
Of course, a big part of any small business start-up is an amazing idea. What kind of product or line do you want to create? If you’re still not quite sure, you can consider the following factors to help you decide.
You should have a passion for your product so ask yourself what you are interested in most? Can you identify a gap in the market you could potentially fill? Do you have expertise in a particular area you could apply here?
4. Create a Brilliant Brand
Many marketing executives will tell you that branding is half the battle when it comes to making your business a success. There’s definitely a lot of truth to this. Even if your product is amazing, if it’s got an unpleasant name or unattractive packaging, people will be less inclined to try it.
When you’re creating your business, choose a name that is descriptive, snappy, and memorable. Think carefully about your logo and the aesthetics you want associated with your brand. Make sure your packaging is fashionable as well as functional.
5. Choose an Amazing Manufacturer
On the more practical side of things, you’ll need to decide how you want to manufacture your products. If it’s something simple, like soap, you may be able to easily do it yourself at home. But if it’s anything much more complicated, you’ll need to find a good cosmetic manufacturing partner.
Working with a cosmetics manufacturer has a few different advantages. First, any reputable company should automatically be up to date with rules and regulations surrounding cosmetics manufacturing. Second, it frees up time for you to work on the other aspects of your brand. Third, it allows you to easily scale your business when you want to.
6. Decide on Distribution
Another practical consideration: how do you want to distribute your products? Once you’ve created the finished product, you need to decide how you’re going to get it into people’s hands. There are several different routes you can go here.
You can choose to set up your own e-commerce store, using a platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce. You could also shop your line around to independent stores, to see if they’re interested in becoming stockists. Finally, you can build a following on your social media, and sell directly from there.
7. Marketing Is Key
If you’ve made a business plan, you should already have some sort of marketing strategy mapped out, but it’s worth mentioning on its own. Effective marketing, especially for a small business, is absolutely key. Sponsored Facebook and Instagram posts are especially useful for this type of business, as you can directly target the demographic you want.
Building a following on social media is crucial to the success of your business. Try holding competitions or giveaways, plug your brand wherever you can, and consider sending your products to influencers to try for themselves. The bigger a following you have, the more products you’re likely to sell.
Break Into the Cosmetics Industry Today
If you’re thinking of making a foray into the cosmetics industry, what are you waiting for? When you’ve got a dream, and an amazing idea, there should be nothing holding you back. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be well on your way to creating your very own cosmetics empire.
If you’ve liked this guide, check out the rest of our beauty content.