Table of Contents
- How To Start Your Own Cosmetic Line
- Method 1- Private Labeling Line
- Step 1- Research, Research, Research!
- Step 2- Find and a Supplier
- Step 3- Create your Brand, Logo and Packaging
- Step 4- Get the Product Name, Brand and Logo Trademarked
- Step 5- Place Small Test Order
- Step 6- Write an Interesting Product Listing and Advertise
- Step 7- Use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
- Step 8- The First Sale and Customer Feedback
- Step 9- Enlarge Your Inventory and Sell!
Remember all the times you have played with makeup, explored color combinations, practiced on friends, and dreamed of someday having your own makeup line? Whether you’re an amateur or a beauty professional that dream to see your name and your brand on makeup can become a reality. In this two part series I will go through the two main methods of starting your own cosmetics line.
How To Start Your Own Cosmetic Line
In this article we will begin with the first 9 step method. This quicker, easier and cheaper way, utilizes private labeling. This method is very similar to the method charted out in my previous article but with some tweaks. Utilizing private labeling will reduce the financial and logistical burden, but you will be offering a much more generic product under your own label. The second way involves a 15 step process to create your own homemade cosmetics (you’ll see some similar steps, but that are generally more detailed) which takes a bit longer and requires more investment and infrastructure, but the product will truly be yours.
Regardless of which method you choose, developing your own cosmetics line requires effort and time. For both of these methods, market research, product development, packaging and promotion all need to take place before your product hits the market. You need patience and determination to get through the launch phase of your business. That being said, you do not need to spend years developing your product line. This guide will attempt to shed light on what you need, and help you figure out which path might be the best for you to take.
Method 1- Private Labeling Line
If you don’t mind that your product is more generic, and you really don’t have the time and resources needed to create your own cosmetics from scratch, this is a good way to attain at least a degree of that above dream. You may start this and move to the second method or you may find that you’re happy with this method and just stick with it. So what is involved here?
Starting any regular sales business requires a large investment of time, effort and money. You need to have seed money, suppliers, manufacturers, outside investment, sales channels, third party certifications, label design, legal counsel, third party testing, marketing, insurance, storage facilities, a storefront if there is a physical location, etc….it can all really add up.
With private label reselling on Amazon, you can be up and running in a few short months with a minimal investment and minimal risk. Essentially, what is involved is finding generic cosmetics that are already selling well online (utilizing Amazon will make things even easier), creating your own packaging and logo, and doing a better job at marketing them than your competition. You want to be able to make small changes to the product itself (check with the manufacturer if they allow you to do this), but the product will not be entirely your own.
Step 1- Research, Research, Research!
Figure out if there is demand for your product. Find out who your main competitors are, and see what they are doing right/wrong. Come up with a basic business plan which focuses on what you will be selling, why your specific items have a good chance of selling and what your profit margins can be. Don’t worry if this is just an estimate at first. You can hammer-out the details later, the important thing is to at least have a somewhat fleshed-out plan.
At this stage you’ll also need to figure out if you’re going to create a business, or keep it low scale. It is always best to consult with business, financial and legal advisors to help you decide if you need to incorporate your business. For the most part, if you’re using private labeling, at this early stage you won’t yet need to create a company entity. Just make sure everything is legal and up to snuff. If you do want to create a company, search in the US Patent and Trademark database to make sure the name you’re thinking about is not already trademarked. Once you have chosen a name for your company then you should move ahead to legalize it.
Step 2- Find and a Supplier
Finding the supplier that is right for you is extremely important. Research private label cosmetic companies that stay on top of current trends, and find out what kind of product assortment they offer, and what innovations and new ingredients or technology they utilize. Some exceptional private label companies incorporate advanced skin care technology in their products to produce superior results, and you will likely want to take advantage of this.
Contact several companies if you need to narrow down the options, but the cosmetics company you finally decide to go with should be one that will work with you to create a line of eye-catching products with high quality ingredients that will make you proud to put your own brand on. Many companies do much of the hard work up front and help make it simple and affordable to have your own line and walk you through the process as a trusted advisor.
Ask about purchasing minimums (I’ll expand on this in step 4), but it is best that you start with one cosmetic item such as lip gloss, and expand at your own pace to offer a wide range – from foundation, to eye shadows, brushes and more. Request samples and personally test all of the products before you go any further.
It is important to note that according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regulation is required by the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a law mandating that every cosmetic product and its ingredients be verified for safety prior to going to market, ensuring that they contain no prohibited ingredients. Working with a private label company provides peace of mind because they have the background and experience dealing with these regulatory agencies and making sure the products are up to code. They can usually also advise if you need any governmental permits (if they don’t make sure you find out). When you are dealing with consumer safety issues you don’t want to cut any corners.
Step 3- Create your Brand, Logo and Packaging
Once you’re happy with the product you’ve chosen to sell, you will need a logo and suitable packaging. Will you use your name to brand the product or create a new and unique name for your line? Some private label companies have the resources to coordinate logo designs that will complement your particular product packaging in a beautiful, sophisticated way, or you can create your own design (or use a contractor graphic artist). Either way, make sure that it will catch the attention of savvy consumers. You’ll also need to ensure here that what you are is not trademarked by someone else already.
Step 4- Get the Product Name, Brand and Logo Trademarked
Now that you have your Name, Brand and Logo, it’s time to get them trademarked or patented. You should not sell your product without getting it trademarked as your own. Unfortunately there is no lack of unscrupulous individuals and companies that might steal your name and trademark it before you do.
Step 5- Place Small Test Order
Small order, small risk. You want to make sure you don’t get saddled with a lot of product that you cannot sell. This is not only to “dip your toes into the water,” but to also allow you to review initial results and make any necessary adjustments (I expand upon this in step 7) without being stuck with a lot of the original product that required those changes.
Step 6- Write an Interesting Product Listing and Advertise
You’ll have some time here before your initial test order is delivered for you. Take advantage of that time to craft a well written product ad. You can use your research to ensure that you’re touching upon all the important points that the consumers want from a product like yours.
Producing an effective product listing takes some research. You are going to want to create a title that is distinctive with a clear description of your product. Essentially you are laying out why someone should purchase your product over the competitions. High quality images will also help to give your product listing a more professional appeal.
One look at your competition and you will notice that most don’t have the greatest product listings and yet they are still selling well. Think of how many more you will sell by putting in thew effort to have a high-quality listing!
Step 7- Use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Here is where it really pays to use Amazon. When you use the FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) system, Amazon takes care of virtually everything from storing your product to processing and shipping it out. Although FBA does take a small percentage of your profit the benefits of this system far out-weigh the fee. While Amazon is busy taking care of all the logistics you can focus on other areas of your now burgeoning business.
Step 8- The First Sale and Customer Feedback
Remember, when you do start getting reviews, make sure you glean as much information as possible from them, and utilize them to improve your product if you see it is necessary. A good manufacturer will work with you and allow at least some freedom to tweak the product.
Step 9- Enlarge Your Inventory and Sell!
Now that you’ve gotten all the initial hard work done, and your product has been improved, you can either repeat steps 4 and 7 to see how the new and improved product sells and reviews, or if you think you got it right, just go ahead and get a larger inventory and hopefully enjoy seeing the profits come in.
Enjoy the benefits private labeling offers and fulfill your creative ambition without getting bogged down with too many details. Private label companies will also help keep you organized and on track. They want you to succeed nearly as much as you do, because it means more profits for them so it is in their interest to guide you to success as much as they can. From start to finish you could have your cosmetics line completed in mere months (and possibly faster)! Get your friends and family involved in the process. Talk to them about trends. Find out what products they like, need and want. This should ignite your passion and hopefully lead to you channeling that positive energy and releasing your vision into the marketplace.
Starting your own cosmetics line, even this way, is hard work and never guaranteed to succeed; however, when you have a private label company working alongside you, the process becomes so much easier and removes much of the logistical burdens on your shoulders.