How to Start an Online Beauty Supply Business
Hi everyone, welcome back to another episode of What’s Your GamePlan. Today, I’m going to give you a quick start guide on how to start a beauty supply business online. As many of you know, beauty is BIG business! Most people nowadays are doing anything to make sure they look and stay beautiful and that's where you'll cash in.
From hair extensions, makeup and curling irons, most beauty supply products have huge markups! Keep watching because now may be your time to cash in on this booming market.
So here's what you'll need to get started. There are 2 methods to start this kind of business, you can set it up as a "drop ship store", where someone else is responsible for shipping the goods to the customer or you can buy, store and ship out your own inventory. Once you choose a method, you can now proceed to step one
Step 1 - Get a Business Plan
If you have no idea how a beauty supply store is supposed to operate or maybe you are a first time online business owner, I'd recommend downloading a business plan from BPlans.com. Their plans outline exactly how the business is supposed to work and what you should expect.
Step 2 - Find a Supplier
Whether you chose the dropship method or to buy your own inventory, the supplier research process is still the same. If you want to get started right away and you don't have a lot of money to buy inventory, you'll want to head over to google and type in these words, "Beauty Supplies for Dropship" or "Beauty Supplies Dropship Program". This will give you access to thousands of products to sell in your online store right away, without actually needing to buy any of them. If you do have some money and you want to manage your own inventory and keep products in your own warehouse to ship, just google the words "wholesale beauty supplies". From there you can find a company to buy in bulk from.
Step 3 - Register Your Business
Now, when you've got that sorted, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to buy wholesale beauty products or work with a drop ship supplier until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. Depending on what state you are in, you will likely also need a reseller or retail merchant certificate as well. This allows you to buy products, tax free. I recommend using MyCorporation.com, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.
Legally Incorporate Your Business Today
Step 4 - Open a Business Bank Account
Now, since you're going to be getting all this money, you'll need somewhere to put it. It's pretty easy to open a business bank account, but they won't get you setup without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you already use or you can just choose a new one.
Step 5 - Buy Web Hosting
The next step is to buy web hosting. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for beauty supply e-commerce stores. You also get a free domain, a free ssl and access to 24/7 tech support. You really can't beat it.
Get Incredible Webhosting for Beauty Supply Stores
Step 6 - Work with an E-Commerce Web Designer
Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step. If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick.
You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the Bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Find a Designer on Fiverr
Step 7 - Setup a Merchant Account to get Paid
While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website or over the phone. Once you signup for square, give these details to the web designer to complete the integration process.
Signup for a Square Merchant Account
Step 8 - Get Online Marketing Materials Designed
Finally, you'll need to start spreading the word about your business. A good place to start is getting a logo, business cards and marketing materials created. For branding, I recommend 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. For marketing materials, I like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand.
Get Marketing Templates with Envato
Step 9 - Create a Money Game Plan
Ok, so now that you're all setup. How will you actually make money? Here's what you'll need to know in order to take a check to the bank. Since you are an online beauty supply store, you can choose from a variety of items to sell. The most popular are beauty supply tools & equipment, cosmetics, hair extensions, wigs, fragrances, body and hair care products. You'll want to diversify you product offerings because this will help expand your customer reach. If you want to make even more money, don't. forget that you can also offer online services too.
For example, you can offer a subscription service to your new beauty VIP membership club, where customers get access to weekly how to styling videos, real product samples, or downloadable beauty guides. Decide on a subscription price and work out the logistics on how you plan to deliver. This will be added value for your customers, but also an additional line of occurring revenue for your business. If you ever plan to sell your business, investors and buyers are looking to see that you have great margins and systems in place to generate even more money.
Step 10 - Be Prepared for Startup Cost
Now, I know you're probably wondering...What's the price tag on this baby? Startup costs for this kind of business, using the drop ship method usually starts at $500-$1000 on average, but if you're planning to fund your own inventory, be prepared to drop the big bucks.
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
She hosts the What's Your Game Plan TV show features: Free Expert Advice, and Growth strategies for Business Owners Across the Globe. Access thousands of FREE Tips, Trends & Tools to Move Your Business Forward!