Many people create bath and body products as a hobby. Some want to take their hobby to the next level and generate a business around those products. While building a successful business is difficult, with planning, knowledge and perseverance, you can turn your hobby into a profitable line of bath and body creations.
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Before embarking on the time, cost and work involved in creating your own line, give serious thought as to whether this is something you really want? The first thing any new entrepreneur must do is create a business plan. The plan must consider the market, materials, cash flow and sales channels, as a minimum. Don't try and think too far, too soon. Set up realistic short and medium term goals and timeline. Investigate websites that provide objective resources for startups (e.g. www.entrepreneur.com).
Research your market thoroughly. The bath and body products market is full of niche players. You do not want to start a line that resembles another. It is essential to research what other products exist on the marketand decide what element of your line will make it unique. Perhaps it is based around one particular ingredient? Figure out at least one differentiating factor that will make your line stand apart from your competitors.
Establish where and how you can source your ingredients and other supplies at an economical cost. Ensure you have the space to store your materials without maintaining too great an inventory. If the line takes off, will you need to invest in equipment and premises.
Some bath and body line ingredients may be subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (www.fda.gov). Starting your own line also may incur legal and regulatory costs. Many states have regulations regarding an individual (or company) that seeks to sell products, even on an informal basis. Registering a company for a sales permit (even if a sole trader) may be obligatory in various states. A state-by-state guide to doing business can be found at www.entrepreneur.com/stateguide
You know what makes your line better than others. Knowing where, and how, to market is vital. Create a list of possible outlets: friends, family, school, local free circulars, store notice boards, vendor fairs, farmers markets, online networking, for example. One website that helps individual producers promote their products is www.hyenacart.com .
In addition to the physical product, you also will need labels, sales receipts and other paraphernalia. Many stationery suppliers offer deals. One popular website is www.vistaprint.com, which has weekly offers of free products and many designs at no cost.Take advantage of anything that does not cost you money.
Cash flow problems can ruin a small business in its first year. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) provides support and information on loans and grants. For tax purposes and professional identity, ensure personal and businesses finances are kept separate.