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.
- 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.
- 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 body 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Start with a small range – this will cost you less money and take less time to set up.
- 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.
- Factor business expenses such as insurance, labour and product wastage into your pricing.
- Set wholesale prices from the start, even if you don’t plan to wholesale straight away.
- Make you sure your pricing is consistent with your branding.
- If you’re unsure of how to price your products, ask for help. If you haven’t yet launched, my signature program Label Launchpad has some great info and tools to help you calculate prices (plus everything else you need to know to launch your skincare business).
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Invest in digital marketing training to develop your skills if any areas you’re interested in learning more about.
- Otherwise, if you have the budget for it, hire a digital marketing expert who’ll be able to get you good results and allow you to focus on your own zone of genius.
These are just a few of the mistakes I’ve seen (and made).
If you’re yet to launch, my signature program Label Launchpad 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, see how we can work together to help you build a wildly successful skincare business.