How to Set Up Your Own Hair Care Brand

When you are setting up any business, you need to make sure that you have the basics in place before you begin. The hair care industry is dominated by several large businesses but there is still plenty of room for smaller businesses to enter the market, especially if you are planning to create organic products or have another niche in mind.

All industries go through particular trends and the hair care industry is no different. Keeping an eye on the trends is a good way to work out how to pitch your own products. For example, you might notice that there are lots of products using coconut oil recently and decide to join the fashion with your own coconut products. Alternatively, you could look at the current trends and find a gap to fill instead.

Product Design

The beauty industry – and the personal care industry by extension – is often all about marketing the best version of your customer to themselves. Your products are there to make them feel fabulous and look amazing and so the product needs to do exactly as promised.

Where most products just need to be functional, yours will also need to look and smell attractive to your customers to persuade them first to buy it and then to use it on their hair and body. Your product design may also be affected by the niche of the market you are targeting. For example, if you are going for the organic market, you may choose not to add colorings to your product or may only use natural colorings.

You should also think carefully about where your product is most likely to be placed in a store and how it will look on the shelf. This is important because your customers will have expectations based on where they find your product in store and will be able to make a comparison with other similar products.  This is where packaging comes in.

Packaging

Your packaging design is the most important asset you have to tempt customers to step away from their usual products and try yours instead. If you have poor packaging, it doesn’t matter how good the product inside is, it will take a long time to persuade people to try it. This means that once you have an idea for your product, you need to figure out what will be highlighted on the packaging to sell it.

Many shoppers don’t really think about what they are buying; instead, they work around the store picking up the things they usually get and are attracted to bright colors and interesting shapes much more than they are fancy descriptions. Knowing this should certainly impact the way you package your product and you should be able to describe your brand to a 5-year-old successfully.

Hair care products come in all different shapes and sizes but it still takes a good eye to identify the kind of bottle that will stand out for all the right reasons. This time last year, Dove, an international beauty brand based in the UK discovered that their 6 new bottle designs based on female shapes were an idea better left in the boardroom than transcribed to the store shelf. While their aim was to promote body diversity, they came across as patronising instead of motivating.

However badly the PR stunt went for Dove, what they did show was that a different shape could stand out a mile on the shelf. Perfume bottles are another great example of how this works and could be a good source of inspiration for your own design. Once you have an idea, talk to a company like C.L. Smith about creating a mockup and seeing how the design works practically as well as aesthetically.

Create a Business Plan

Now that you have your product and packaging, you will need to create a business plan to figure out how to progress your business. The perfect business plan is your opportunity to prepare yourself for the future and figure out what you are all about. Writing a snapshot of what your business goals are and how you plan to achieve them will really help to focus your mind and keep track of your progress.

Costings are certainly one of the most important aspects of your business. While mock-ups and samples can be quite expensive, ordering in bulk will often drive the cost per unit down – you just need to be certain that you will be able to sell everything you make. You should factor in all your expenses including office space, supplies, staffing, marketing and even basics like transport to ensure that you understand how much you need to earn to keep the business running.

You should also think about how you are going to fund your business to begin with. Setting up a service business might be quite a cheap operation (especially if it’s literally just you and a laptop) but running a business that sells products is much more costly to set up. Not only will you have all the costs above, but you won’t have any income just yet to cover those costs as you will in the future. You will also need to factor paying off your loans into your profit margins.

This is also a good place to start working out what your marketing strategy will be including costs and projections. Your marketing campaign at the beginning of your business will be very different to the campaigns you run when you are better established. With this in mind, you might like to run the costs of a few different ideas to allow you a more dynamic approach to your marketing strategy in the future.

hair3

Image Credit: Stock Snap

Marketing

The initial purpose of your marketing campaign is to raise awareness of your new brand. This means that rather than persuading people to buy, for now, you are just persuading people to have a look and get familiar with your branding. For most businesses, social media marketing is one of the best ways to do this as it allows you to target lots of people you think will be interested and encourage them to follow you in some way.

Competitions are a great way to encourage people to share your social posts and can be a very cheap method for raising awareness. For example, you might ask people to submit before and after photos of their hair after using your product to win a prize. They will then share their picture (with a related hashtag for your brand) and all their friends will see it. The more people you can persuade to join in, the more brand awareness you will achieve.

At this stage, the more impressions you can get, the better so you could also think about giving away some freebies. Samples are a great way to give people a taste of your product in the hope that they will like it and choose to buy more. Lots of hair care companies team up with magazines to distribute samples but you could also go to events or set up on a busy high street to get similar results. Just make sure that your branding and packaging is all recognisable so that your customer know exactly what to look for next time they go shopping.

Once you are a little more established as a brand, you can start shifting your attention from brand awareness to conversions. Content marketing is the ideal way to do this as it sits in the middle of the two giving you a chance to get in front of more people while persuading them to buy. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and establish yourself as a brand leader.

A blog is the easiest and most obvious way to start your content marketing and you should think about the kind of things that your customers will be interested in reading on your site. For example, they might like to know how to use your hair mask or whether cold water is really better than warm with conditioner. You could also create video tutorials that can be shared around social media – especially on Instagram. The more content you produce, the more likely it is that people will keep coming back to your site and the more entrances they have too.

Setting up a hair care business and brand is never going to be easy in such a diverse and crowded market. However, if you have a great and original idea that could be just what the market needs, you should follow your passion and set it in motion.

Like any other business, the hair care industry requires plenty of research, detailed planning and excellent marketing to ensure that you stand out and get noticed. However, you will also need to have lots of flare and passion for this competitive industry and be certain that what you are planning to offer can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a tough ask, but if you get it right, the rewards will be amazing.

Your B2B Business Will Do Better With Video. 4 Ways To Get Started On A Budget

…You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone”. A line from Bob Dylan’s famous song ‘The Times They Are a ‘Changin’, could not have realyed the message any better. The digital age has flipped conventional business practices on their head.

Cisco’s white paper on the Visual Networking Index suggests by 2019 videos on the internet will contribute to almost 80% of the traffic.

While conventional marketing methods will yield results videos are becoming increasingly more important.
b2bvideo

Source

A great example showcasing this growth is Notify Fox. After posting their first explainer video on YouTube they garnered more than hundred new users. The same video also helped them significantly improve their customer conversion.

When you think videos you probably imagine big production costs, expensive equipment and the works. Good News- That is a thing of the past. There is help at hand.

With new age video making techniques you can create and edit videos at half the cost and the results will surely take your business to new heights.

Here is a list of things you can do to get you started on a shoestring budget.

KISS it all the way

Keep It Short and Simple- You’ve heard this adage being applied to almost everything under the sun. However, with videos it is even more relevant.

The hyper social age has changed the way we look at things. This has resulted in the average attention span being reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds!

A short and to-the-point video has the potential to go viral and get your business the attention it requires.

Case in point being Zendesk’s promo video. This one minute promotional video managed to garner over 116K views on Youtube.

With this kind of response Zendesk managed to drive home their core point of building relationships between organisations and their customers.

zendesk

Source

Takeaway: Grab attention and keep it. A short video with all the relevant information will drive home the point. 

Get crafty

Don’t let limited resources get in the way of your creativity. You will have to be resourceful and make the best use of what you have.

Who knew an empty bottle could be used as a tripod. This gives turning trash into treasure a whole new spin. Plus the added benefit of saving money.

tripod

Source

For lighting, use daylight whenever possible, The results will pleasantly surprise. You will not only save on the costs but also on time. No need to set up bulky equipment.

Make use of the space you have. You don’t need a fancy setting for a great video. A neat room with a bright wall will do the trick. A rented studio will not only inflate your costs but will also take away that personal touch from your work.

Get your friends and family to pitch in. This will not only lighten your load but also let you spend time with your loved ones. A total win-win for everybody.

For those seamless dolly shots or tracking shots you can use your office chair with wheels. Just make sure the floor is not uneven and your camera is still.

Takeaway : Lack of resources should not bog you down. Be hands-on with your approach and learn on the fly. Use everything you can.

DIY with ease

Yes, you’re not a professional videographer, but that should not stop you from making awesome videos. Your smartphone can help you create videos quickly and with great ease.

The quality of videos will however depend on practise. If there are award winning movies are being shot through smartphones then it couldn’t be that difficult , right?

The movie ‘“Tangerine” directed by Sean Baker was entirely shot on an iphone. It won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences acquired the phone for their museum.

tangerine

Source

Invest in a durable hand grip or rig for your phone. This will stabilise your shots and the videos will come out neater.

Takeaway:  Your smartphone can help you make great looking videos without any fuss. All you need is a full charge and some patience.

Edit to please

Now that you’ve shot the video, you need to add some finesse to it. Use an online video editor to add final touches to your work.

You can add background score, transitions, 3D effects, the options are endless. Work the video editor to your advantage and get that awesome video in no time.

A superb video editor like Lightworks can make you job easier. This phenomenal video editing tool will help you edit your videos and make them look super professional.

videoeditor

Source

For people with limited desktop space, cloud based video editing is a great option. You can save all your work on the cloud and access it from anywhere anytime.

Takeaway: Use online video editors. You will not have to buy expensive software and the results will still be awesome.

Conclusion:

Videos, if done right can help your marketing strategy immensely.

Make sure to keep your video precise. No one wants to see lengthy videos with a drab end. A short film with on point information will check all the boxes.

Use all the available resources at your disposal. Video making is an expensive proposition so take your time thinking about the story you want to tell. The more time you spend thinking  before shooting,  the less you will spend on post production.

Have fun, If you don’t it will show in your videos. Keeping things light is the key, your stress can easily rub onto your crew.

Try and maintain a sense of humour. With it you will be able to diffuse a situation or even get work done faster.

So, keep these points in mind and don’t let your budget get in the way of awesome videos for you business.

Five Things You Didn’t Realise You Needed in Your Office!

Your office is so much more than four walls. It’s the space where your workforce spends most of their days, and so it makes sense that it should be a nice environment. Not only will this be more pleasant to work from, but improved mood is likely to boost productivity, meaning better work produced and more profits for you! If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers, clients and business- and providing them with a decent space to work from is one of the ways you can do this. We all know that we need good technology, ergonomically designed furniture and proper storage in the office- but there are a few other details that you might have overlooked. These things can improve worker happiness and productivity and make your office run that bit better. Here are ideas for five changes you could make!

Lots of Daylight

Daylight is a natural mood booster, and when your workers are happier they will do better work. You might think as long as your office is well lit, it doesn’t matter how much daylight comes in but it’s not the case. Make the very most of the natural light you have coming in. This could mean moving to an office with large windows, or if you own the building you could have the windows made larger. It could mean switching up the blinds or window treatments you have up to allow more light to come in, or changing the layout so that desks are positioned next to windows. It’s simple but so easy to overlook, if you want happier and more motivated workers a quick switch up in the office could really help you to achieve this.

A Light, Neutral Colour Scheme

As well as getting in as much natural light as possible, the way you decorate your office can have a big impact too. Choosing a light, neutral colour like a white, magnolia or very light grey can help make the office look more spacious and bounce the light around as much as possible. If your current space is looking a little worse for wear, a lick of paint can make all the difference. It will help to make the office look clean, modern, bright and airy. Even if you’re renting your office, you will usually be allowed to make cosmetic changes. Keep it simple yet beautiful and really make the most of any light coming into the room. According to colour psychology, blue makes people most productive and has a calming effect on humans, For this reason, adding some blue to your office could be beneficial if you wanted to bring in a bit of colour.

officespace2

image

Plants

Psychologists have shown that plants actually increase productivity in the workplace. In general, plants and flowers also help to boost our mood and reduce stress. This is thought to work on the principle of color psychology (green being a calming colour) and evolutionary. Our ancestors would have worked hard to produce crops and flowers and plants were seen as a ‘reward’ of this hard work. This is great as it means a few simple plants added to the office can make a big difference. Encourage workers to bring in a plant they love to put on their desk- and dot around a few bigger potted plants. As well as boosting mood, they’re a professional and unfussy way to decorate. The leaves add colour and texture to a neutral space without making it look cluttered.

Exercise Equipment

Unfortunately, office jobs tend to be pretty sedentary. This is bad news for employees, sedentary work can increase the chances of obesity (and its related ailments such as high blood pressure, heart issues and diabetes). It can reduce mobility and fitness levels and overall have a negative impact on health. As employers, once of the ways we can help to combat this is by providing office exercise equipment. Something like an active stool or exercise ball instead of a normal chair is good for posture, balance and core muscles. An under desk treadmill, stepper or exercise bike can be good for leg muscles and provide light cardio exercise. You could also switch to standing desks for some job roles. To take this a step further, you could add a stability ‘fitness wobble cushion’ which requires you to stand and keep your balance as you work- great for legs and core. Either way, getting employees moving in some way is good for their health, can reduce stress and even reduce sick days in the future. You’ll improve focus and productivity and decrease restless energy. Even the best employees can struggle being cooped up all day, these things can help to alleviate that feeling. If you have a social area, how about adding a pool table or a mini office golf putting set?

 A Social Area

Do you have a social area in your office, for break and lunchtimes- or a place to sit before work? If not, it’s well worth setting one up. First of all, workers won’t have to leave the premises when they go on breaks, and this can mean you’re not losing minutes here and there from them returning back a little late. It can also help with socialisation and bonds between employees. Businesses need workers who don’t just work well themselves, but who can also communicate and work well with others. Giving your employees a space where they can chat and get to know each other can be very beneficial. Collectively, companies spend a fortune each year on things like team building activities and events that bring employees together to improve communication. So this isn’t something to be overlooked. A few comfy chairs, a coffee machine and a vending machine would suffice. Ideally a kitchenette area with a place to heat food would be better.

Had you considered any of these things for your office? Do you have any ideas on how you can make your office more pleasant for workers, therefore boosting mood and productivity?

Clicks, Customers and Communication: Perfecting Your Business’s Online Presence

In a world where everything is now becoming downloadable and digital, it is now fundamental to have a business with a strong online presence. Many consumers won’t even consider investing their money in a business if you can’t find it online, read reviews or follow them on social media. If you’re new to running a business or aren’t sure how you can up your game in the virtual world there are several things you can do to make your company stand out from the crowd. From social media tactics to effective web design, these methods might seem time consuming and daunting at first, but they will truly help you to take your business to the next level.

Dazzling Designs

A website is the first go-to feature for building a strong online presence; your potential customers will head straight to your site and will want to see exactly what you can offer them. It needs to be speedy, slick and smart, so you might want to consider a company which can offer professional web design for seo. With SEO optimization and a stunning, eye-catching design your company will jump to the top of search engines and draw in a higher volume of potential consumers.

Advert Advantages

Online advertising is a must have if you want to be discovered on the web. Your brand name, service information and promotions can easily be displayed on the web using pay per click adverts. This is an extremely effective method of marketing as you don’t have to pay until someone physically clicks on your advert and visits your website. Set your own budget and assess how well it works for you; you might be able to increase this over time as your online presence and engagement increases. Within your advert you should include some form of enticing ‘free’ deal, where people input their email addresses into a form and receive a special offer. This will allow you to gather a collection of contacts which you can then target with email marketing campaigns. You get two birds with one stone, using a relatively low cost tactic.

Consumer Communication 

Make sure you’re actively engaging with your potential clients when they ask you questions about your product or services. You have the power to persuade them to spend their money, so don’t ignore their queries. Offer them five star customer service, using a friendly and welcoming approach either via social media messaging or online comments.

Build a Blog

Creating a blog for your website offers an additional online platform for your business. You can personify your business and create worthwhile content that customers will be excited to read. There is also the opportunity to collaborate with other companies by advertising their services on your blog or gaining a sponsorship, so that’s extra income in your pocket straight away.

It has been proven than businesses thrive when their online presence is authoritative, professional and engaging, so make sure you are using the tools that the online world has to offer. Your company name will be publicized, your business will skyrocket, your profits will increase and your consumers will be content.

Essential Advice When Setting Up A Website for First-Timers

Essential Advice When Setting Up A Website for First-Timers

If you’re one of those people who thinks that designing a website from scratch is a difficult thing to do that requires coding and design skills, then think again. Content management systems (CMS) have created user friendly website-building that can be accessible to everyone, even when you don’t have the technical knowledge. There are many tips to make your business more professional and one of these is to have an attractive website to entice new customers or readers about what you have on offer. But, where do you start? Here’s some advice for first-timers thinking of starting a website.

Which CMS and hosting company to use?

Your first decisions are going to concentrate on which CMS and hosting company you should use. There are many to choose from but undoubtedly, the most popular is WordPress. Although all of them offer the possibility of setting up a website with your own domain name for a few dollars, WordPress is one of the easier website-builders to use: templates are fully customized and yet you can adjust them to suit your style and needs accordingly. Once you’ve decided on a template of which many designs are free and varied, and domain name, your next task is to select a WordPress hosting provider to use. Try not to be overwhelmed by the basics of web hosting and choose a faster provider for an enhanced performance.

What are you trying to achieve?

Now that you have a website name, CMS and hosting provider, you next need to plan how you intend to convey your information, images and products, if you have any. By setting out a plan of action, it will be easier to clarify the goals of your website as you delve further into your design. Are you building a website for business? Or a blog site for pleasure? Who do you expect your audience to be? When thinking of the layout of your new website, these are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself so that you have a clear idea of what message you want to convey to your target audience. Put yourself in the shoes of the individuals who will be likely to click on your website and try and determine the priorities that people want when visiting your site.

How are you going to plan your pages?

This aspect of website building should incorporate a fun element as you create and plan the content of your pages. Think about whether you want to impress your visitors with beautiful images on your homepage, or if you more concerned with providing them with detailed information about what your site is about. Look at other websites who offer a similar service or product and get some inspiration around designing your pages. Remember that once you have uploaded images and information, you can tweak them along with background colors, fonts and sizes until you reach the precise look you are going for.

Creating a website doesn’t have to be a complicated or daunting affair, and once it’s completed your next step is to get it out there for people to see your marvelous creation.

Breathe New Life Into Your Business – Consider A Rebrand

Making the decision to rebrand your business is not a step to be taken lightly, however most companies at some stage will undergo rebranding. Rebranding if carried out carefully can update the image of a company, keeping it current and fresh. Of course rebranding should not occur frequently as this would cause confusion and mistrust amongst consumers.

There are many reasons why a company decides to rebrand, perhaps the company has launched a completely new range of products, they may have merged with another company or they may want to simply stay on trend, in line with their competitors.

Before deciding on a total rebrand, look carefully at what you would like to achieve. It is possible that only parts of your brand needs updating or maybe a few tweaks here and there would suffice.

breathe1

planning image

What steps should be taken for a successful rebrand?

Focus

For your rebrand to be a success you really need to focus on what your brand is all about and who your target market is. Carry out market research by asking for opinions on possible logos and colours. Describe your brand in words and see if the images and designs you have chosen communicate the same message.

Design

Once you have a clear idea of what your brand is aiming to say, it’s time to start designing. Don’t be afraid to be bold, as you will want your brand to stand out over your competitors. If you take part in trade shows your tradeshow displays  need to make maximum impact and a strong recognisable logo will help you achieve this.

There are experts available to hire, who will help you create the perfect brand, you may feel that this is an expensive option, but having good branding is crucial to business success. Ensure you stay in the loop when outsourcing branding to ensure your vision is effectively communicated and created.

Careful consideration should be taken when deciding on fonts and typography in your logo and promotional material. Often a brand can be recognised simply by its typography – think Coca Cola!

Launch

Once you have integrated your rebrand across all literature, websites and media platforms it is time to launch your rebrand. This is a process very similar to the one when you launched your business in the first place. The main exception to launching a rebrand in comparison to a new brand, is that you will want to keep your existing customers, as well as attract new ones.

It is important to ensure your existing customers are aware of your rebrand and why you are doing it, they will want to feel confident in your business. Keep customers informed throughout the process and answer any queries accordingly. Your customers are valuable assets in attracting new customers both during the rebranding process and after your launch.

To conclude rebranding can breathe fresh life into your business, but it should be done with focus and planning. Try to avoid confusion and place emphasis on keeping existing customers on board. Your logo and brand is your identity within the market place, so it is crucial to get it right.

7 Ways To Make Your Site More Exciting

If you’ve recently started to look at your website and think that it just seems so boring, then it may be time for a change. On the one hand, this may be because you’ve just gotten used to it. So you’re more bored with it than anything else. But, it may also be because the website itself is actually boring. And when that’s the case, you may have to worry. Because if you’re finding it boring, the what are your customers thinking? Either way, you don’t have to just leave your website as it is now – you can really change things around and make it so much more exciting.

Sometimes, you just have to get yourself into a position where you’re bored with your website to then be able to change it. Because you’re not always going to be able to see what’s wrong when you’re not looking at the same old things. But, even when you know that something isn’t quite right, you don’t always know what will make it better. And that’s where this post comes in. Even if you quite like your site as it is now, you may take something away from this that can take it to the next level. Because we’re going to walk through seven different ways that you can make your website more exciting.

Do A Complete Redesign

Of course, the very first option you’re always going to have is to do a complete redesign of your site. Because when you think that the site is boring, or it’s just not really giving you the results that you want, you need to shake things up. A great way to do this is to make sure that you’re taking your analytics and really honing in on the elements that need improving. When you do, you should find that the end result not only looks great, but it much more suitable to what your customers want functionality wise too.

Change Your Branding

Sometimes, you’re not going to have to go to such drastic measures to make your site more exciting. If you love the layout and the functionality is perfect, maybe it’s just the branding that needs to be changed. From your logo to the fonts and colors used, sometimes you just need to shake up the visuals you have to make them more suited to your brand identity.

Start A Blog

From here, you’re then going to want to think about starting a blog on site too. If you have a blog already, then maybe you need to refresh your content or start a new series – both can be incredibly influential to your customers and viewers. This should also become a huge part of your marketing too. It can be a lot of extra work, but if you put the effort it, it will pay off.

exciting2 https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-coffee-computer-desk-374006/

Launch An App

How are you doing on the mobile front? If you’re not optimized for mobile at all, then this should be your first change. Even if you don’t know an awful lot about it, you can work with the software companies that do. By launching an app, you’re going to be adding a new dimension to your offering and even be able to target a new segment of customers too.

Use Video

Next up, you should give video some thought too. A lot of customers prefer video to imagery or written content. It can often get information across in a much more engaging way. So definitely think about what you can do with YouTube or onsite content going forward.

Create A Members Area

If your feel like your site is just the same, and that it’s not really offering anything exciting to your customers, you’re going to want to up your game with a member’s area. Not only is this exciting for your customers, it gives off an air of exclusivity. It’s somewhere that you can engage your customers more, and interact with them more – which has a huge benefit to both parties.

Focus On Interaction

Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re interacting with your customers as well as possible too. And you can definitely use your website to do that. With a great live chat offering, you can often add to the customer experience and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your customers happy, and even improve your conversion rate too. It’s a great way to not only get feedback, but stop customers from dropping off through the sales funnel too.