Are you looking forward to starting your own make-up brand online?
Well, you’ve come to the right place as here you will get a demonstration of opening an online cosmetic line within a step-by-step guide.
You might have some basic idea on your make-up brand or just an idea to start a business where cosmetics are your thing.
Starting a cosmetic line includes several processes where you need to work strategically to successfully build a brand.
Whether you are taking your business to online or starting the make-up brand from scratch, here are some detailed steps to go through.
Step 1: Selecting Your Niche
You need to select a particular niche before you get into starting a making-up brand online.
Cosmetic industry is a highly competitive market to sustain. There is a huge influx of make-up brands coming along in every once in a while.
Being just another online general cosmetic store won’t help you bring customers or even get enough attention.
Image Source: 365Dropship
That’s why you need to pick a niche to stand out from the general or wide-range competition.
For example, there are makeup brands particularly focused on men or organic cosmetic lines are quite in buzz and others like it.
The unique attributes of your product or store will make you stand out from the competition.
So, you better find a specific niche to cater by creating a particular kind of product for a highly-targeted audience.
You need to look for several factors to find such niche :
- Find the niche where products are in high demand
- Choose niche that you are passionate for
- Find a niche where the product seems to resolve a noticeable problem
- You can also choose a niche that you have experience or knowledge in.
The point there is it should be unique, in-demand and something that interests you enough to do it for a long time.
Step 2: Decide Your Product
You need to look for the product that suits your interest, meets customer’s demand and delivers profit.
This definitely can be the most exciting part of setting up a make-up brand online but it is advisable to hold your horses and take things slow.
The idea is to not get carried away with your quick infatuations or early instincts. You need to be more evaluative and visionary with your brand.
Here are few things you need to examine while choosing your product for a online cosmetic line :
- Ensure there is enough and never-ending demand for the product you select.
- It should be very unique to set you apart from the competition.
- Focus on how you are going to position your product in the market because that is equally important.
- You need to evaluate how much it is going to cost you to produce one item. This will enable you to set profitable yet realistic margins on every purchase.
Also, starting your brand with only one or two products is always better. Once your business starts growing, you can keep adding more products.
Step 3: Create A Business Plan
Creating a Business Plan is one of the very first things you should do to start your make-up brand online.
This even goes before selecting anything for your business. A business plan outlines what you want to do and how you want to do.
Business plan serves the purpose to you only for reference or if you are pitching your business idea to your investors, partners or loan sharks.
Here are all the primary things your Business plan should include :
- Your company overview
- Competition research
- Market research analysis
- Information about your products
- Legal structure of your business
- General structure/formation of your business
- Overview of your sales and marketing strategies
- Your branding details
- A detailed financial outlook
- Any other files related to legal documents, tax, contracts etc.
Business plans also include how many products you are going to sell initially, what are your target audience, your potential competition, branding, sales strategies and much more.
It further includes your strategy on pricing the product, shipping and delivery details as well.
Step 4: Look for Funding For Your Business
One of the challenges of starting a make-up line or actually any business, is getting funding.
Your business requires capital and there are different ways to fund your business. You can always self-fund your business to kickstart it in the first place.
This works especially when waiting for investors to land on your business.
Self-Funding Your Business
Instead of sitting ducks, it is better to start running, so a potential investor can see the potential in your business through early sales.
You can use your own financial assets and savings to fund your make-up brand, especially if you are saving this money for a long time for this only.
However, using all your money to invest in the business is not advisable.
Borrowing Business Loan
Start contacting the banks to get a business loan for your online cosmetic brand. It is the best approach to finding the banks with the best interest rates.
Look for Investors or Partnership
The other way to get more funding to the business is to include other people in your business, that is, investors, partnerships etc.
So make your mind whether you need a partner who invests and include him/herself in the business with you or you want a silent investor.
You can even find this investor amongst your family and friends. You need someone who is trustworthy and trust you as well.
Step 5: Decide How You Want To Produce The Product
The difficulty and complexity levels of launching your own makeup line change with the type of business you’re looking at here.
For instance, reselling or making basic lip balms at your home can be a simple cosmetic line to go with.
On the other hand, Collaborating with a manufacturer on a partnership level will be difficult. It totally depends on how you are planning to run the business.
Now, this decision should depend upon :
- Your ambition for the cosmetic line
- Time, skill level, and investment you want to make
- The overall budget for running the business
There are total of four ways you can produce your product for the online cosmetic line :
- Curating And Re-selling Cosmetic Products
- Making your own cosmetic product
- White label manufacturing
- Manufacturing cosmetics through unique formulations
Curating & Re-selling Cosmetic Products
This can be the easiest method to sell your make-up products online as you will be skipping the manufacturing part of the production entirely.
Rather you will curate the best products from multiple brands giving an optimum buying experience to your customers.
You will be buying multiple products from different products on wholesale. This type of make-up brand are driven by a theme or a mission.
Focus on deciding a theme for your brand. It can be natural, organic, or cruelty-free make-up products only. You can also decide to curate makeup products specifically for men.
The online store also can feature only the product dedicated for a particular skin type or condition.
Here you will be curating and re-selling the products under your brand. So what are things you need to consider :
- Find if there is a competition for the theme or audience you’re targeting.
- See whether there is availability in the focussed market to deliver the product.
- You also need to check the importing fee incur in the pricing of your product.
- Dropshipping can be a great solution for selling cosmetic products online when you don’t want to manage inventory and shipping.
Making Your Cosmetic Products
Some make-up and beauty products such as face oils, lip balms, and cleaning and bathing products are best for this option.
These products are simple to make, so you can start makeup from your home with such products to sell.
You must test and document your product creation process, so your formula remains consistent. You have to go a long way to ensure consistency in your product.
Just ensure you follow all the regular rules and regulations for manufacturing cosmetic products according to US law.
And this stands true even if your manufacturing facility is just your kitchen or your basement.
For example, there are FDA guidelines for air control, ventilation, and surfaces you need to abide.
Apparently, with the volume required, you will have to move to a more formal and larger manufacturing facility and process.
Private Label Manufacturing
Private Label Manufacturing, also known as White Label Manufacturing, sells generically manufactured products that may be bitted customized.
Basically, you will be customizing the already existing un-branded products and selling under your own brand name.
Private-label manufacturing works great with brands using the right blend of unique concepts and products. Also, theme-driven stores go quite well with this form of business.
For instance, if you want to launch a unicorn-themed makeup store, getting generic lipsticks from manufacturers and packaging them with unicorn-design with fantasy names will work wonders.
White-label manufacturing is a great way to bridge the gap between your idea to the finished product.
Especially if your business idea doesn’t necessarily demand your control over the in-between areas, this can make your work faster, easier, and less invested as well.
Manufacturing Cosmetics With Unique Formulations
This is the kind of manufacturing cosmetics where you will make formulations from scratch using a manufacturing facility.
You know that larger enterprises and brands own their factories but there are plenty of factories where multiple brands use the same space to get their products from one manufacturer.
So if you are new or only a few years-old businesses, this is the best option to go for. It saves you tons of money and manufacturing hassle for sure.
You can find a manufacturer who is much more focussed on their quality. You can examine them through their other clientele.
The next best thing you can do is visit a local manufacturer to get closer to responsible people.
This will also help you to build a relationship with them for a long time. Many new businesses do this at the beginning of their journey until they are ready to buy their own manufacturing unit if they want to.
Step 6: Run Competitor Research
As you know, the online cosmetic industry is a highly competitive market. It is wild to survive and emerge in the market.
Being unique and cutting out some competition by going for a specific niche surely helps.
Why do you need competitor research?
But there is just too much competition to grab even the primary attention of the target customers.
Also, getting extreme exposure to the maximum potential target market is critical.
So, it becomes necessary to keep your competitors close, so you can see their every move and strategies accordingly.
Run competition research with extensive factors in the play to break down the analysis.
You need to keep track of their pricing model, social media marketing strategy, sales strategy, special offers, customer reviews, product quality, and much more.
More you know, the better you can customize yourself to fit for the market and compete for head-on.
Competition is not really good for the business, more to the business owners.
So it is best to find leverage on your competitors and develop something to take an edge on.
But that too, requires intricate information and data, so competitor research is critical when it comes to launching a make-up brand online.
Step 7: Navigating Through Beauty & Make-Up Trends
This is actually the further integral part of research you require before opening an online cosmetic line.
More you work on choosing the right product, approach, and strategy, the easier it will be to run your business successfully.
So more to the same line is to research the beauty and make-up trends going on not just currently but for the past few years.
See how it evolved or what changed? Is there any repetition or pattern you can notice?
Can you leverage any pattern to make a prediction and further to decide your products or suitable targeted business opportunity here.
Here are the set of things you can do :
- Make sure you start consuming all the beauty and make-up related content on the web.
- Start following the current beauty trends and how it affects the brand and customer behaviour.
- Use Google Trends to check the growing interest of your idea in the available search data.
- Do not set up your entire brand on just one trend. Because if that comes out to be as a fad or hype that dies in just some time.
- Customize the trends for a long-term sustainability. Choose an idea that hasn’t been taken.
Step 8: Focus On Creating A Memorable Brand
You should be focussing on creating a brand that stays with people for a long time. Think of it as creating a legacy behind you.
How you do the branding of the business impacts the success and the scale of the success of your make-up line.
Building Emotional Connect With People
You need to build an emotional connection with the target audience. Focus more on building a brand story for your business.
The business needs to have some kind of mission, objective or vision, and then the principles that your brand believes in.
Make-up enthusiasts or cosmetic customers are more likely to buy products at higher prices if they align with the values and objectives of the brand.
When they are confident and emotionally invested with the brand, price is not much of a factor to count.
How to communicate through your branding?
You can communicate through the branding of your business. The communication comes from the messaging and imagery of your marketing, advertising and sales approach.
It builds the perception of your brand in the eye of your target customer, and the whole world.
You need to convince people that your brand is not just about selling the product but to help people or change the world, any ambitious holistic aim.
That tells a lot about the character of your brand and what you stand for.
You need to be very unique and highly consistent through every piece of content you put there.
Step 9: Learn The FDA’s Regulations
It is important for business owners and entrepreneurs to comply with all the FDA regulations before you start your own online cosmetic business.
FDA stands for Food and Drug Administration in the United States which will help you in all the legalities of a running formula-base product business.
It is critical that you first go through all the FDA regulations and see how your business and the product stands on it.
You further need to ensure everything you do falls within the regulations of FDA and all other laws of the land.
Step 10: Develop Your Products
So, you have selected your niche, crafted your business plan, got funding, checked FDA regulations and other checkboxes as well.
Now comes the integral part, or more to say operation part of your business.
Once you establish which business model you want to go with, start developing your product.
Image Source: The Business of Fashion
First, you need to lay out every detail of your product on how you want it. There are different levels and aspects of product development.
It starts from researching and planning the product. Then, you go for all further details such as size, color, type of product, texture etc.
You would also need to evaluate the cost of ingredients or elements used in your product to make.
Also, depends upon a lot on whether you are manufacturing the product yourself or getting from other manufacturers.
In either case, you need to evaluate the quality of the initial product or the quality of elements you’re using.
Then comes the packaging of the product which makes all the difference in the branding and sales of your product.
Step 11: Testing Your Products
Once you start the development of your product and manufacturing starts into the pipeline, you need to test your products.
It is the one of the most critical steps to ensure the quality of your product. Order yourself a few samples and test them.
Image Source: The Skincare Edit
It is also better to not judge the product by yourself. Rather hire professionals or go to experts to see the results in detail.
See whether quality measures are met or not, whether the product is waterproof, or its duration.
You have to check all the aspects and possibilities of the product and investigate its strengths and weakensses.
It will definitely require several rounds of testing and improving your products. So have patience and be as slow and detailed with this step as you can.
Step 12: Create Your Store Website
Well, that is definitely one of the crucial steps of launching an online make-up brand – your website!
The website is your digital storefront where you will be selling your products and potential customers will expose to your brand and products.
Image Source: Style Destino
You need to put a lot of time, money and resources to invest here as this is where you and your customer meet.
Here are few things you need to take care of :
- Make sure your website is optimally designed to load faster. The shop should be easy to navigate and find the required pages easily.
- Your website should include a homepage, “About Us” page, contact page, FAQ and other required webpages as well.
- Your website should reflect the branding of your business in its visual interface elements such as logo, colors, text font, spacing, copy, etc
- You need to hire professionals to craft your website store to give the maximum user-friendly experience for buying.
- To generate higher sales, make sure you are using highly-convertible good quality copy for your webpage including efficient and detailed product descriptions.
- Ensure you are using a secure paywall to protect the sensitive information of your customers. Use payment gateways like PayPal.
- Offer multiple payment modes such as credit card, debit card, payment wallets, PayPal, etc.
Step 13: Start Working On Your Marketing Strategy
Online make-up brands are a long-term game to play. You need to have a marketing and branding strategy to thrive in the competition.
Image Source: Sellfy Blog
E-commerce market is where you need to constantly up your game in order to get exposure to your target customer and generate sales.
So it becomes integral to decide your marketing strategy that includes short-term and long-term practises.
Here are few aspects of your marketing strategy you need to cover :
- Content Marketing : Create content to increase the exposure of your brand and products to the target audience.
- Ad campaigns: You need to run targeted ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Paid Promotions : Find different ways to increase the reach of your brand through paid promotion opportunities.
- SEO: You need to optimize your website using target buying-intent keywords to increase your visibility on search engine result pages.
- Social Media Marketing: You need to create your brand on social media on various platforms to engage more potential buyers.
- Influencer Marketing: One of the best marketing strategies for make-up brands is to get influencers to talk about your product.
Step 14: Launch Your Products
Once you set up everything starting from deciding the niche to finalizing your product and marketing strategy, it is the time to launch your products.
Make sure you create a hype for your launch before the launching date.
Image Source: Pinterest
Use social media, influencers and pre-launch marketing strategies to build anticipation of your products.
It is important to gain high-traffic at the launch of your business to kickstart the process for a good start.
Remember, this is just the beginning of starting your own make-up brand, a step-by-step guide to follow through.
After, there are various more customization, development and strategies you need to come up with to run your online make-up brand.
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Business, marketing, and blogging – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, HR, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.