Establishing Your Own In-Home Business Making Skin Care Products
EDITORIAL NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CREDIT MUST APPEAR UNDERNEATH THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE
This article is copyright ©2004-2013 by Natural Sourcing, LLC (www.fromnaturewithlove.com) and is reprinted with permission.
With the growing awareness of the hazards that everyday skin care and household products can cause, consumers are becoming more interested in more natural products. With the growing availability of herbal and complimentary ingredients and ready-made natural products, consumers are now able to take more control of the quality and safety of the products that they use on their bodies and in their homes.
The increased awareness in health and wellbeing has created a great demand for natural soaps, lotions, skin care products and natural fragrances. Natural skin care products are often packaged beautifully, and they make wonderful gifts.
Many businesses that produce natural skin care products are operated from home, or originally began as an in-home business. Unlike the claims of "get rich quick" operations, starting an in-home business creating skin care products will not make you rich quickly, but neither will most get rich quick schemes. An advantage to starting a skin care product business is that you become your own boss and can begin slowly with minimal start up costs. Like any business, there are specific legal, marketing and accounting matters that need to be addressed.
This article provides an overview of the basic requirements needed to begin your own skin care business from home.
If you choose to produce skin care products, you will need to decide what types of skin care products that you'd like to make and educate yourself as much as possible. You will need to plan to experiment with a variety of readily available recipes and learn how to customize recipes and create products that will turn potential customers into buyers. Learning about the ingredients and available preservatives is also a must.
Some individuals focus on just making either soaps, lotions, bath salts, scrubs, fragrances, aromatherapy blends, hair products, or other skin care products. Others, however, choose to create a huge line that includes many of the previously mentioned skin care product types. You will need to decide what types of products you'd like to start making and learn all that you can. Bath salts are probably the easiest to begin making and are very popular with consumers.
A vast selection of skin care making books exist. Thoroughly read and explore the recipes included in books for an excellent way to get started. Not all local booksellers, however, provide a good inventory on skin care making books. Although Web sites are not usually able to cover the same amount of information as books, Web sites can provide a lot of helpful information and recipes. One source, From Nature With Love (www.fromnaturewithlove.com) provides an Information Library, Recipe Database and a large selection of books covering skin care product making.
Taking classes with a qualified instructor is an ideal way to obtain hands-on experience, get answers to your specific questions and meet others who have the same interests as you. Contact your city's continuing education department to see if they offer any courses.
Networking with others who are interested in making skin care products is also a good way to gain valuable knowledge. Search for and join toiletries and skin care eGroups on MSN and Yahoo. Not only will you expand and share your growing knowledge, you will have the opportunity to correspond with a lot of individuals that share your interest.
One of the first decisions that you should make is the selection of your business name and logo. Choose a name that is not overly long and that is easy to remember. It should reflect positively on your business and products. From a legal standpoint, it's important that you don't use a name that is already in use by another business. A lawyer or your business professional can provide information on how you can ensure that you do not choose an already taken name. If you plan to create a Web site for your business, try to coordinate the name of your business with a domain name that is available, and then buy the domain name so that no other company grabs it up from you.
When you first begin making your products, your first customers will probably be your friends, family and colleagues (if you work outside of the home). Your family and friends can be a wonderful source for providing honest feedback about your products. It is wise to solicit their honest opinions before you begin selling your products. Once you are ready to sell your products, encourage your friends and relatives to tell everyone they know about your business and products. Your promotional efforts can be simple or elaborate. Plan to spend adequate time to promote your business and develop marketing materials. For the greatest opportunity for success, read as much as you can about marketing, especially small business marketing. Below are a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a catalog or flyer that details your products, and provide copies to everyone that you know.
- Set up a Web site so that you can easily accept orders and reach customers outside of your local vicinity.
- Organize skin care parties where you demonstrate your products and provide incentives for women to hostess your party.
- Display your products at craft shows and street fairs.
- Visit the spas, gift shops and health stores in your area. Bring samples of your products and offer to sell your products to them wholesale.
Large corporations know that the outward appearance and packaging of their products can play one of the most crucial roles in the success of their products.
Your packaging needs to play several roles. It needs to protect your product for the entire duration of its shelf life, it needs to clearly identify the contents of the package, it may need to confirm with INCI ingredient labeling requirements (see http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/cos-lab1.html) and it needs to help compel customers to purchase it. Take the time to create attractive packaging that meets all of the above goals. When shopping, pay attention to how other similar products are packaged. Don't copy another company's packaging, but use your research as inspiration for creating your own unique packaging concept.
To create your products, you will need a kitchen equipped with the appliances and kitchenware necessary to manufacture your products. Some products, such as clay facials and bath salts, merely require measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, and spoons for stirring and adding the final product into your choice of packaging. Other products such as lotions, balms and soaps require additional equipment and supplies. Most equipment, however, can be obtaining fairly inexpensively. Keep an eye out at second hand stores and garage sales for the equipment that you need. Often, you can find inexpensive kitchenware that has never been used and would be perfect for using exclusively for production of your skin care products.
Although it is not absolutely necessary, access to a computer for maintaining your business records and creating marketing materials is useful.
It is important to find a supplier that can provide good pricing and excellent quality on the ingredients that you need. When choosing between suppliers, be sure to compare prices. Quality can also differ greatly between suppliers, and quality ingredients is paramount. When comparing prices, be sure to also take any special promotional offers, discounts, preferred customer discounts and shipping and handling fees into consideration. There are several ingredient suppliers on the Web, and they most likely will be able to provide a larger selection of ingredients than you may find locally. One of the largest suppliers on the Web is From Nature With Love (www.fromnaturewithlove.com). From Nature With Love offers over 1,750 ingredients and supplies, and they offer product technical help and basic formulation assistance by telephone and e-mail.
Even if your business is operated from home, there are several things that need to be addressed.
Choose Your Business Entity: Most in-home businesses begin as a sole-proprietorship, and this is the easiest way to begin. You may also choose to setup your business as a partnership, corporation or LLC. Discuss the pros and cons of each entity with your accountant, lawyer or business professional.
Business License: Depending on your locale, your city and/or county may require that you obtain a license to conduct business out of your home. Annual licensing fees can be very low for in-home businesses that do not receive customers to their door. Contact your City Clerk to inquire about the licensing that is required to begin your business. You should also find out if your county or state requires licensing.
Property Insurance: Consult with your homeowners insurance agent to see if your homeowners insurance will cover your business. Typically, it will not. Once you begin using your kitchen or home office for business purposes, you may risk being able to make a claim on these areas should a disaster occur. As you begin acquiring inventory and supplies, you may also want to insure these items against loss in a possible disaster.
Liability Insurance: In addition to protecting your assets, it's wise to consider protecting yourself from liability should a customer claim harm or damage caused by use of one of your products. Ask your insurance agent about the availability of liability insurance. Join one of the toiletry making or soap making eGroups to ask other business owners for recommendations on the agents or insurance companies that they use.
Accounting, Taxation and Inventory: In order to maintain proper records of your sales, expenditures, profits and inventory, it's important to keep proper records. It is also necessary so that you can properly report and file your taxes. A selection of small business accounting books abound on the subject, or you may wish to obtain an accountant who can advise you on the proper method for bookkeeping. Your accountant can also advise you on how to properly maintain a record of your inventory and the cost of goods sold. Contact your state government to learn what you are required to do to collect and submit sales tax for sales made to residents of your state.
Hopefully this article provides insight into what is needed to begin a successful in-home skin care product business. As mentioned earlier, such a business will not lead to quick riches. It, however, is worth serious consideration by those that are seeking a legitimate in home business, are interested in making skin care products and are willing to put time and ambition into the endeavor.
EDITORIAL NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CREDIT MUST APPEAR AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE
FromNatureWithLove.com offers all of the melt and pour soap bases, ingredients and packaging supplies described within this article. For more information, please visit www.fromnaturewithlove.com.
This article is copyright ©2004-2013 by Natural Sourcing, LLC and is reprinted with permission. This article may be reprinted provided that all credit information remains intact.
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