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What You Need to Know About Starting Your Own Cosmetic Brand

The Cosmetics Beauty Industry is an ever changing, and ever growing market place. The sky is the limit for some brands, but with more and more small businesses developing, the market has become quite overcrowded. To be successful, you have to start your business on the right foot, and hit the ground running. Make sure you have a sound plan, and that there is something about your brand or your products that stands out.

Make a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is essential for your success. The task may be daunting, but it will give you a good look at your business, so you know it inside and out. In order to win investments, many investors want to see your business plan, before they take you seriously.

The business plan should include:

1. An Overview of Your Industry

What is popular in your industry right now? Can you forecast emerging trends and capitalize on them? Describe your target customers in detail.

2. Your Company Goals and Mission Statement

Company goals can be financial, growth related or personal. Your mission statement should describe who you are, why you started your company, and what are the values of your company.

3. Every Operational Step of Your Company

The steps you are taking to start your company; from registering your business to finding suppliers. Where you will sell your products, Who you will hire and how you will build a team.

4. SWOT Analysis:

Your company's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This requires some industry knowledge.

5. A Brief Overview of Your Marketing Plan

How will you reach customers? What kind of advertising strategies will you implement? Will you participate in networking events? How will you engage with your customers?

6. Company Finances

What are your labor costs, materials cost, profits, etc.?

7. Revenue Forecasting

How much do you expect to sell? Outline worst case scenario and best case scenario.

Follow Industry Regulations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates most cosmetics under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Products that are regulated as cosmetics are moisturizers, makeup, perfumes, nail care products, hair dye, straighteners and permanent waves. If a product is intended to treat or prevent a disease or affect the way a person's body works, it's considered a drug.

With this law, cosmetics can't be misbranded or adulterated. They must remain safe for consumers under customary or labeled conditions of use and always maintain a proper label. If you want to use color additives, you will need approval for the intended use.

Labeling and packaging can't be deceptive. The FDA encourages all foreign and domestic cosmetic firms to register their business and file product formulations they use with the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program. However, if a product is considered both a cosmetic and drug, that specific product will need to meet the requirements for drug registration. Products like this include Sunscreen, Acne Products, and more.

Have an Innovative Product and Discover Your Niche

Because the cosmetics industry is so competitive, you have to figure out a way to stand out so that you can target a niche market. A niche market is a subset of a larger market. A great way to ensure that your product is niche, is by launching a product that has a different characteristic than what is already out there, but is also a proven market. In other words, do not sell the same product as everyone else, by doing this, you are only sharing a piece of the niche market with other brands, it will be very difficult for you to capture the entire pie. A great way to ensure that you are releasing an original product is to get a custom formulated product, and have ownership of that formula.

If you truly have an innovative product that is not out there, you may want to look into a patent. You can only patent a formula is it is truly different than what is already out there.

Promote Your Brand

Once you discover who your target market is, you can market to these individuals. You will have to budget for advertising, and it is a good idea to create a Marketing Plan. Without advertising, no one will know that your brand exists, therefore you won't make any sales.

You may choose to reach your customers in a variety of ways such as social media, google advertising, networking events, and more. This will take some testing and trial and error, so it's best to be observant, record your results, and be patient.

Manufacturing and Packaging

To get a product made, there are a few pieces to the puzzle that you will need:

Product Development

You will need to find a laboratory that specializes in cosmetics to get your formula made. Make sure you ask these companies for their credentials and experience. Don't settle for a contractor on freelance websites such as up work. These people are typically in experienced, and do not have their own place of business.


Sometimes product development labs partner with manufacturers, and may introduce you. You will need to get your product into production. Be prepared to have to purchase a large quantity of products. Make sure your manufacturer can make your product and that they are following the regulations of your country and state.


Many manufacturers provide packaging solutions, but you can also source packaging on your own. You want your product to stand out. You will also need to source a graphic designer to help you design your packaging. Some companies have onsite graphic designers to help with these services.

Building a business can be overwhelming, and just because you do everything stated above, does not guarantee over night success. Building a successful company takes time, there are very few companies that become successful overnight. Take your time, analyze your company. Mistakes will be made, but learning from those mistakes will put you one step closer to where you want to be. Listen to your gut, and your team.

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