For most people who dream of starting their own skincare business, achieving the level of success that ensures long-term stability is one of the most important goals. More than just making money or achieving brand recognition, many of our students share with us that they want to bring their passion out to the world, to truly help others with the products they create.
Of course, making money and achieving brand recognition certainly don’t hurt!
Just like in a successful skincare product formulation, where all the ingredients combine in the correct ratios to create the best results, a business has a formulation as well, in a sense. If you’re interested in turning your hobby into a business—or if, perhaps, you’ve already begun to put your products out there, but want to be thoughtful about how you proceed—then this is the checklist for you.
How to Formulate a Successful Beauty Business
The first and most important ingredient to your successful business plan is a very simple one, but one that often gets overlooked.
Put quite simply: Make sure you love making skincare products.
Make sure that what you’re doing truly fulfills your dreams and ambitions. Because unless you are planning on outsourcing the design and manufacture of your products from the start, you should be confident in your dedication to pursuing this as a full-time career.
Those who are driven by passion and a love for what they do have the motivation to keep going
If you want to sell, you must make sure that this is something you love, something that you’ll be willing to keep doing even beyond the occasional time spent on evenings and weekends. A successful business will fill your life, and become even more than what you ever expected it could be. Those who are driven by passion and a love for what they do have the motivation to keep going and press onwards, even when times become challenging.
Passion provides you with a forward momentum. If you love what you do, if it’s what you want to do full-time, then you’re more likely to find that success. Even if you’re just starting out in your hobby, keeping that focus in mind will help carry you forward, towards your goals.
Secondly, it’s important that you offer beauty products that people want to buy.
It sounds obvious, right? If you make something that people want, then they’ll buy it! How do you do this? By finding out what it is your customers want, and what kind of products they are looking for.
Don’t just create a product and hope people will want to buy it. Design a product with your ideal customer in mind. Create a product that solves a problem for them and fulfills their needs and desires. Then the product will sell itself.
Next, you want to make sure you can create a product that makes a profit.
Making a profit on your work means you are paying yourself. This is important to keep in the forefront of your mind, because if you create products that don’t make money, you really just have a very expensive hobby. Plan for when you need to make your products in larger batches, in ways that can scale up in a cost-effective way. Decide how much you’ll sell your products for before you formulate them, or at least whether you’re aiming for a high-end, midrange, or low-cost product.
And remember, your time has value, too. What systems do you have in place to ensure you are using your time most effectively?
You can use this initial concept to decide how much you can spend on ingredients and packaging and still make a profit. For example, a low-cost product might not be the best place to use multiple expensive ingredients, or ornate, expensive packaging, if that’s not in alignment with how the product will be priced. And remember, your time has value, too. What systems do you have in place to ensure you are using your time most effectively?
When creating your first products to sell, don’t overcomplicate things. Begin by considering the minimum viable product—the thing your customers want, precisely what they ask for, with room for improvement based on feedback. Start with a small product range, or even just one “star” or “hero” product. You can always offer variations on it and expand your product range once you have streamlined your process. This will help to keep your start-up costs down.
Success is in the Details
Apart from the factors that go into developing your products, there are many other elements which surround and support your business as a whole. Many of them are essential to safely creating, storing, and selling your skincare items, and should not be overlooked:
Packaging and Labelling
Appropriate packaging for your finished products will help extend their shelf life and prevent spoilage. There are many great sources for jars, containers, and all manner of product containers, such as Wholesale Supplies Plus in the US and Naturally Thinking in Europe. Choose packaging that is appropriate for your product. For example, look for airless pump dispensers for your creams and lotions to minimise the risk of contamination. Buying packaging in bulk saves money.
Safety, Regulations, and Certifications
Many prospective students tell us that they wish they could just get a certificate to qualify them to sell their own products, but it actually doesn’t work this way. There is no qualification that means you can make and sell anything you like. Instead, you need to make sure that you and your products comply with the cosmetic regulations in the country in which you are selling them. These regulations are in place to ensure that cosmetic products for sale are safe for the consumer.
Our courses teach you to formulate safe and stable products, but if you want to sell them, you will need to get them tested to prove that they are. The regulations will likely also tell you what records you need to keep. You can read more about cosmetic testing here.
Additionally, if there are any labels or certifications you want to have, such as organic, kosher, etc. you will need to research which organizations do the certification and how much it may cost to get them.
We include details on many of the common cosmetic regulations in many countries within the coursework for our our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation.
Storage, Distribution, and Sales
You’ve listened to your prospective customers and formulated the product that is precisely what they want. You’ve packaged it, branded it with your beautiful logo, and are ready to sell.
How are those customers going to find your product?
If you stop to consider that those people who already want what you are making are out there looking for it right now, where are they looking? Or, from another perspective, where do you see products similar to yours—or to the ones you dream of making—being sold? Is it in a store, a natural-foods co-op, through an online system, or a farmer’s market stall? How are others doing it, and how can you do it your way, or better?
These are just some of the questions to consider as you begin to create your business plan. Additionally, you’ll want to consider other practicalities such as:
- Do you have a dedicated space for creating and packaging product?
- Do you have enough space for storing your ingredients, empty packaging, and finished products?
- If you plan to sell online, how will you manage your shipping process?
All of these questions, and more, are covered within the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation coursework!
If it seems like all of these details are completely overwhelming, don’t fret. You don’t have to have all of these figured out and chiseled in stone before you even start dreaming up your business. However, things that have passion behind them deserve to be done well, and with an excellence and intention that allows for the best possible success.
And when you’re ready, you deserve to know what questions you need to ask.
- Do you need to set aside a budget for designing a logo, business cards, or product packaging?
- What about a website?
- Do you need to have insurance? If so, what kind?
- What are the other questions, the ones you might not even know to ask?
The Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation prepares you to take your hobby to the next level. From practical formulation tips, to grounded, real-world science about skin health and function, it will set you up to thoughtfully and effectively develop not only your products, but your business. Head on over here to learn more!
And, if you’re interested in learning more about how to create a natural beauty brand on a budget, we have an upcoming webinar which might be just your style.
The Beginner’s Guide to Formulating Natural Skincare Products (From scratch, like a professional!)
Start creating your own natural skincare products
from scratch – rather than simply following recipes!
Exclusive for our newsletter subscribers. Sign up now.
Download this fabulous guide and you’ll learn:
- What formulating is and why you need to be doing it!
- The difference between following recipes and formulating your own products.
- How to formulate like a pro! Seven top tips for becoming a confident skincare formulator.
- Our step-by-step process to designing products people love.
- Four easy ways to personalize your skincare products.
- Choosing the right carrier oils for your beauty products.
PLUS: Receive two free worksheets!
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