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5 mistakes skincare business owners make (and how to avoid them) 

 August 3, 2019

By  Jennifer - Skincare Business Foundations

Mistake #1: Not having a clearly defined target market

I speak to a lot of skincare business owners who aren’t quite clear on who their products are made for, or who try to target everyone.

If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.

So it’s best to focus on what your target market needs and wants. But to do this, you’ll first need to work out who they are.

Tips:

  1. Think about who you want to sell your products to and your ‘ideal customer’. There are plenty of templates available online to help you work this out so find one to suit your needs.
  2. Don’t make your target market too broad, e.g. all women aged 18-65 years old. It is better to have a more specific or niche target market.

Mistake #2: Not having a point of difference

This is where some brands get unstuck – they create a brand or product that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. How many brands have you seen on Instagram advertising coconut coffee scrubs with feeds full of bronzed bikini babes and palm trees?

What makes you different from your competitors is called your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). When I had Wild Leaf Botanicals, its USP was that all the ingredients used were grown or produced in Australia, and I tried to purchase direct from farmers wherever possible.

Tips:

  1. Work out your USP so you stand out and get noticed, e.g. it could be based on price, customer service, your story, ingredients, product benefits or brand philosophy.
  2. Try to identify a gap in the skincare market that you can fill with your new product.

Mistake #3: Starting out with a huge range of products

In the early stages it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless options you could include in your skincare range. But remember that for every product you make, there are costs involved in terms of utensils, ingredients, packaging and labels which can increase your start up costs substantially. Plus it means you’ll need to do testing on each product to perfect the formulation which can increase the amount of time it takes before you launch.

Tips:

  1. Start with a small range – this will cost you less money and take less time to set up.
  2. You can then add to the range as your business grows.

Mistake #4: Not pricing for profit

Another area where brands often go wrong is not pricing their products for a profit from the start, and they wonder why they aren’t turning much of a profit even after a few years of being in business.

Many business owners are afraid of charging too much for their products. The fact is, people associate higher cost with higher quality, so if your prices are too cheap people may think the products are poor quality. This is a mistake I made at first – then after 6 months I realised I was undercharging and raised each of my product’s prices by $5, with no negative impact on sales.

Another common pricing mistake is setting a retail price without thinking about a wholesale price. Then when they have a wholesaling opportunity they realise it’s not economically viable as they’d hardly make a profit.

Tips:

  1. Factor business expenses such as insurance, labour and product wastage into your pricing.
  2. Set wholesale prices from the start, even if you don’t plan to wholesale straight away.
  3. Make you sure your pricing is consistent with your branding.
  4. If you’re unsure of how to price your products, ask for help. If you haven’t yet launched, my Skincare Business Foundations course has some great info and tools to help you calculate prices (plus everything else you need to know to launch your skincare business). If you’re already in business, I have a Pricing for Profit package that has all the information, tools and support you need to nail your pricing.

Mistake #5: Not having a marketing strategy

Once you launch your natural skincare business, people will automatically know you exist and where to find the beautiful website you’ve built, right? If only it was that simple.

Unfortunately, potential customers won’t stumble upon your brand just because you’ve launched.

Marketing is key to success and where a lot of businesses don’t spend enough time or money. I have to confess I’m a compliance nerd, not a marketing nerd, so this is something I was (and probably still am) guilty of.

The success of your marketing will partly depend on how strong your USP is and how well you know your target market, which is why it’s important not to make mistake #1 or #2.

Tips:

  1. Take a planned and strategic approach to marketing. Without a marketing strategy, you may find it difficult to know where to focus your marketing activities and waste time, money and energy.
  2. If you’re on a budget, start off by experimenting with a few types of marketing that suit your current skills and abilities. See what works for you – it can be a matter of trial and error – and then focus on the areas that provide the best return on investment.
  3. If you have the budget for it, hire a digital marketing expert who’ll be able to give you more bang for your buck.
  4. Invest in digital marketing training to develop your skills if you can – I recently signed up to Kate Toon’s Recipe for SEO Success which has been amazing (highly recommended).

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These are just a few of the mistakes I’ve seen (and made).

If you’re yet to launch, my signature Skincare Business Foundations course will save you time and money in avoiding these and other common mistakes such as incorrect labels and non-compliant marketing claims.

If you’re already launched but are struggling, I offer 1:1 Consulting Sessions where we can nut through and resolve your areas of concern.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jennifer - cosmetic regulatory consultant for Australian skincare brands. After running my own skincare business, and having a 10-year+ corporate background in risk management, auditing and compliance, I decided to combine my business know-how and industry knowledge to help others build a solid business foundation. Since 2018, I've been supporting skincare brand owners with friendly expert advice and time-saving regulatory guides. And my signature course on how to start a skincare brand in Australia.

Jennifer - Skincare Business Foundations

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