With some elbow grease, starting an online beauty supply store is a very attainable business goal, and can be expanded later into a franchise, or into several retail shops. There are steps every potential business owner must take to begin a successful business.
Have a Business Plan
The first step to starting a business, no matter what kind, is to begin with a business plan. A business plan is a formal statement setting out the goals, plans and strategies of your business. Each business plan focuses specifically on marketing and accounting strategies, as these are core elements of any business.
When drafting the business plan, decide who to sell the products to: consumers, or to other beauty supply stores? What kind of beauty supplies will the business focus on selling: makeup, hair products, skin care products, or a mixture?
The Small Business Administration of the United States’ website offers tutorials and outlines on how to write a business plan. To access this information, see the Resources section below.
Have a Time Line and Goals
Draft a time line in which goals are set for completing each stage of the business plan, such as when the marketing strategies will be implemented, when the beauty supplies will be ordered, and when a working website will be completed, etc.
Raise capital or take out a loan. Once a comprehensive business plan is in place, begin looking for the financial backing you need to begin your business. Financial backing is a very important element of business ownership, as it is the way to get the business off the ground. Some individuals have the financial means to pay for the start-up costs themselves, including the costs associated with paying for a website and, if necessary, a website designer, paying employees and paying storage space (these elements should hopefully be laid out in your business plan). If not, fundraising through friends and relatives is always an option.
Also, joining the local Chamber of Commerce and networking with other business owners and business people who may have the financial means to back the business endeavor is also a wonderful idea. If all else fails, approaching a bank and taking out a loan is a viable option.
Hire an Accountant
Hire an accountant, the most important employee that one can hire when first starting a business. Accountants will keep track of all the money made and spent, which can be very difficult to keep track of at the beginning. Accountants are also good at keeping track of expenses that can be written off at tax time.
Find Products to Sell
Evaluate which products can be sold, given the constraints of the budget and how much storage space is available for products. For instance, if one decides to sell supplies out of one’s basement or a spare room, one may want to decide to stick with one product, such as makeup, while, if one can rent a larger storage space, one can diversify products because there will be more space for inventory.
Also consider the costs of buying supplies. Before beginning to make money on the supplies, money must be spent to buy them. Therefore, pick product lines that are affordable. For instance, if the business has limited capital and resources, do not spend money on stocking up on a very high-end line. The business can always diversify later, after it have started generating a profit and it is running smoothly.
Find a Beauty Products Supplier
Find a supplier. Suppliers of beauty goods generally sell their products to businesses in bulk. Search for the best deal. There are a few links to beauty suppliers in the resources section of this article, although the list is by no means exhaustive.
Build a Website
Begin building the website. Hiring a web designer or developer to make the website user-friendly and easily accessible will gain more web traffic. Security is also a big problem these days, and many people will give confidential information, such as credit card information, only when they feel comfortable with the website. Therefore, take security into consideration when designing the website.
Once it looks like your business is going to take off, begin advertising. Either hire an advertising agency to design fliers and promote the business, or complete this with existing employees. Use the networking available within the Chamber of Commerce, buy time to promote the business through commercials on the radio and on TV, and put ads in newspapers and magazines to advertise the business.