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.

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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.

Always Wanted to Open a Brewery? 4 Steps for a Successful Start

Have you always wanted to open a brewery of your own? Well, before you do, there are a few things you need to accomplish beforehand. Here are the four most important steps to take to open a successful brewery.

Make a Solid Business Plan

The very first thing you should do to open a successful brewery is to make a solid business plan. This will ensure your finances and foals are in place to run your business as efficiently and successfully as possible. Your business plan will also include market research to make sure your business will do well in the area it’s operating in. Additionally, it will also contain a contingency plan in case things go awry when running your brewery. After making your brewery’s business plan, it’s time to follow the rules.

Understand the Rules

Before opening your brewery, it’s important you understand all the local and national regulations your business will have to follow. For example, every community has different wastewater regulations that you’ll have to follow. After all, not everything can be simply poured down the drain. As the business owner of a new brewery, you should contact local officials and agencies about regulations that you’ll need to follow closely. Also, keep in mind, you’ll need to obtain a federal and state license to legally operate your brewery. So, before starting anything, it’s important you fully understand the rules of the trade and keep yourself in check with every single one.

Obtain the Right Equipment

Next, you will need to ensure you have all the right equipment to begin brewing your beer. There is a lot of gear you will need to buy for each step of the process including mashing, fermentation, cooling, cleaning, and packaging. Some pieces of equipment you will likely need include kettles, kegs, boilers, fermentation tanks, storage tanks, refrigeration equipment, cleaning gear, bottling equipment, and more.

Keep It Clean

You will also need a plan to keep your equipment and your facility clean. This is a vital and often overlooked part of getting your brewery ready for business. Otherwise, you may be in violation of some rules. Be sure to have stainless steel overscreens on hand so you can keep unwanted contaminant out of your beer. Purchase the necessary cleaning equipment for the facility as well. Check out Saniclean Strainers for high-quality strainers as well.

There are a number of things you should keep in mind when opening a brewery. From making a solid business plan to obtaining the right equipment, there’s a list full of things you’ll need to do before running operations. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you can get a head start on your brewery and run a successful business.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Just Calling To Tell You That Customers Aren’t Happy With Your Phone Service

You may be surprised to see this post. After all, literal interaction with customers has slipped right down the priority scale, hasn’t it? Now, we’re all about social media and the best website to impress. THAT’S the way to make a success of what you’re trying to do. Isn’t it?

In many ways, online interactions are now crucial to success. This is how most customers shop. But, many businesses are getting on top here and still failing. Why? Because they’re failing to take into account that some customers prefer old interaction methods. High-street shops may be on their way out, but phone calls will always be relevant. Some customers just aren’t willing to Tweet and wait to hear back. They either don’t know how or don’t have the patience for it. And, to cater for those individuals, it’s essential you stay on top of phone-based interactions.

 

Yet, many new companies fail to take this aspect into account at all. It’s difficult to blame them when they have so much on their plate. But, to make sure customers don’t hang up on your business efforts, consider the following reasons for failure on the phone front.

Long waiting times

Given that instant gratification is the focus of modern business, it should come as no surprise that long waiting times are a no. There will be times when a small wait is inevitable, and customers understand that. But, anything over five minutes could lose you business. To make sure that doesn’t happen, consider your phone operations. Everyone in the office should have a phone by their side. That way, they can answer calls when the primary phone operators are busy. What’s more, you should head to sites like www.esudo.com and implement VoIP (voice over internet) capabilities. This will ensure that, even when out of the office, you staff are available to answer calls.

The wrong introduction

Even if waiting times aren’t a problem, answering calls in the wrong way will lead to disgruntled customers. As can be seen from sites like www.thebalancesmb.com, it’s essential to answer in a warm and enthusiastic manner. You should also state your name and company. And, you should brief your staff on these pointers, too. Much of this is common sense, but don’t assume they’ll do this without your asking. Take time to train each new employee on this issue.

Customers can’t understand you

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Not being able to understand what someone’s saying down the phone is frustrating. And, this is an issue which many companies struggle to overcome. But, if customers can’t understand what your colleagues are saying, they aren’t going to buy. They’ll simply grow frustrated and put the phone down. To make sure that doesn’t happen, put efforts in place to make your phone calls as clear as possible. Give staff members headsets to block background noise. Make sure, too, that they know to pronounce every word well. These small steps will make a massive difference to the customer experience, and could seal you that deal.

Business Investing 101: What to Look For In a Commercial Property

If you are buying a property abroad because you want to expand or if you are buying a property in your own country and you want to take things to that next level then there are a couple things that you need to know. After all, you need to know the market you are going to invest in, why you need to make the purchase and even any goals that you have as well. Below you’ll find some advice that will help you out if you are a first-time buyer who is investing in the property market for the very first time.

Finding the Right Property

Searching for the right property can be difficult. You need to take into account every single aspect of your business and you also need to take into account how much money you can make from that property as well. One thing that a lot of people overlook is the impression that property is going to make on their clients and this is a huge part of your purchase. You need to make sure that it is going to make you look professional and that it is accessible as well. This isn’t as important if you plan on running a warehouse or even a storage facility, but it is very important if you plan on opening up your own retail store. After all, if people can’t find you then they certainly aren’t going to want to do business with you and this can have a serious impact on your investment. For this reason, if you are opting to have a store or even a retail location then you have to make sure that it is near public transportation lines, that it is easy to find and that it is very close to other local amenities. This even applies if you are opening up a set of new offices as well because it’s super important that your staff are able to get to work without going through too much effort. Another thing that you need to think about is the impression that this location will have on your investors. If you choose a location that is run-down and generally not very safe, you may see potential in it but your investors probably won’t and this could cause them to jump ship.

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Facilities

The facilities that the new location has are also very important. If you are opening your store or your business to customers then you need to make sure that you have both male and female toilets. If you are just opening a store and you don’t plan on providing your customers with bathroom facilities then you can have a staff bathroom for both genders without any problems. This can be a single cubicle and it can be located away from the initial storefront. If your facility already comes with all of this then you can be sure to save a ton of money in the future and you will also be providing your customers with the facilities they need at the same time.

Business Activity

If you want to look into a mortgage for your business then this link may help: https://www.propertyguru.com.my/resources/buy-property-guide/the-complete-guide-to-obtaining-a-mortgage-loan-for-property-in-malaysia. If you already have your loan sorted then it’s time to look into what activity your business is going to have. For example, if you plan on opening up an office then you need to know how many desks you need to have and you also need to know the space that you need to accommodate them as well. When you have this information you can then try and plan out how you are going to fit everything within your floor plan. It’s super important that you figure out all of this information before you invest in the property because the last thing that you need is to buy the space, only to find that it isn’t actually as suitable as you thought. Another thing that you need to do is make sure that your floor can accommodate the weight. For example, if you are looking for a warehouse space then you need to make sure that it can accommodate the weight of a lot of forklift trucks. It also helps to know if the entrance is going to be big enough for this machinery as well.

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Access

If you want to have a lot of success with your business then you need to make sure that it is accessible for just about everyone. For example, if you have a business that is on a higher level then you need to make sure that you have a lift so that you can provide those who need it with disabled access. Not only is this important for your customers, but it’s also important for your employees as well. You also need to think about the layout of the building and if it is in line with all of the fire and safety regulations. For example, if you are buying an older property and one of the exits is boarded up then you may have to get this sorted out sooner rather than later and you may also want to take note of any other potential damages as well.

Renovation

Buying an older property is great and you can save a lot of money by doing this as well. The main problem with this is that you could run into problems that you didn’t even know were present. For this reason, you need to have some money put to one side so that you can prepare for this and you also need to make sure that you aren’t going up to your maximum budget either. After all, things always go wrong and if you are not ready for all of this then you could end up making a really bad investment. It’s important that you take your time and that you leave some money to one side to help any emergencies or urgent purchases that may come up along the way. When you do this, you can easily make the most out of your investment.

Build Your Bottom Line with These 4 Surprising Business Strategies

When it comes to tracking your company’s growth, very few numbers are as important as the bottom line. As a business owner, you should constantly be on the lookout for new ways to increase your bottom line without sacrificing your core ideals. Here is a quick look at four proven tactics that will boost your bottom line no matter which industry you are in.

Hire a Good HR Team

According to one recent study, companies are now spending more money than ever on litigation costs. There is no surefire way to completely protect your company from all legal troubles, but hiring a good HR team could help you avoid a wide variety of issues. Your human resources team can help you come up with a comprehensive plan to avoid expensive problems such as workplace injuries and unlawful termination lawsuits. They can also gauge employee satisfaction and reduce your turnover rates.

Focus on Cheap or Affordable Marketing

Traditional advertising mediums such as television and radio spots are still effective, but smaller companies don’t always have the resources for those types of campaigns. A strong online presence will allow you to reach millions of people from around the world at a fraction of the price. At the very least, your company must have an eye-catching website and active social media accounts. Those spaces will give current and future clients multiple ways to easily contact you if necessary.

Create a Knowledge Base

If you are losing clients because of inefficient support, then you need to work on a solid knowledge base. Depending on which industry you are in, your clients might benefit from any mixture of white papers, how-to guides, and online video tutorials. Creating that content and then offering it to clients for free will also reduce the amount of time that your employees spend on customer support. Those guides and videos are especially important if you are providing a product or service that has never been seen on the market.

Build Camaraderie with Team Meals

Many business owners are surprised to hear that corporate catering can be an extremely powerful tool when used properly. Instead of sending your employees off on their own to have lunch, you might want to consider scheduling at least a few communal meals a year. In addition to potentially receiving tax deductions for those meals, you are also going to boost your staff’s efficiency and improve company culture. Offering healthy meals can reduce sick days and increase productiveness as well.

No single growth strategy is going to work for every business, and that is why you need to test out at least a few different options. As you try out these various tactics, you should carefully track their success to see which are working and which can be left behind.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

 

Protect Your Business From Financial Blunders

Have you ever thought about how you’re going to protect your company if your finances take a turn for the worse? Your business is more vulnerable than you think and there are many problems that you could encounter that could send your finances down the drain. If you don’t think about this issue before it happens, you could be saying goodbye to your business a lot sooner than you’d like. Luckily there are ways to get ahead of the problem and protect your business before it gets that far. So, here are some of the best ways that we recommend to save your company from financial blunders.

Get The Right Insurance Plan

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You need to understand that many of the financial difficulties that you could face are not preventable. Consider the matter of a hack on your company. Most business owners would like to think that hacks can be avoided if they invest in the right IT support and put security systems in place. Unfortunately, many cyber threats will occur regardless of the defensive measures you choose to use. That’s why you need to make sure that you have insurance. With business insurance, if a financial issue does rock the foundations of your company, you can at least get the capital needed to stay afloat.

Be aware that you may need at least several different types of insurance in place to fully protect your company. For instance, it is always beneficial to have liability insurance to guarantee that a legal claim does not cost your small business a fortune.

Careful How You Invest Profits

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Many business owners will want to invest the profits or revenue of their company. It’s a great way to expand and grow your business funds. However, if you do this, you should think about hedging. An example of hedging would be derivative trading options such as cfds. According to CMC Markets, derivative trading options like this provide companies a certain degree of protection against changes that weren’t predicted or expected. For instance, a sudden rise in the cost of needed commodities or perhaps, currencies. The key message to take on board here is that you need to keep risk under control with business investments.

Fierce Yet Flexible 

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Plenty of company owners are intrigued and excited by the idea of growing their business beyond its current state. It’s true, if your business is going to survive, then it does need to evolve. However, you must work to keep your company model flexible enough so that it can handle sudden changes in the market that will impact your financial situation. Many business owners with expensive costs were caught off guard when the market shifted and ultimately crashed in 2008. Handling the costs and keeping them low will also allow you to fight back against larger competitors who can easily slash their prices and still make substantial profits.

We hope this helps you avoid the biggest financial blunders you can face with your company and guarantee that an issue with capital doesn’t bring your business model crashing down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Audiences Your Business Should Cater to in 2018

The digital world is helping to wall off audiences from each other, creating niche markets that would not have existed in past business generations. This is actually a prime advantage for companies that are correctly placed to handle it. Here are five audiences that your business should cater to in 2018.

Millennials

The rising generation of young adults is quickly becoming the number one consumer in the marketplace. They are definitely in charge, and their total spend is only increasing. If you are not marketing to millennials, then you are missing a significant part of your sales, regardless of the industry that you may be in. Provide free Wi-Fi for customers, and offer online purchases and communication options. Millennials tend to prefer indirect communication and speed over anything else.

Women

Women have always been the number one spenders and households. It was a joke in past generations that they held the purse strings even though they did not necessarily have the highest income in the home. Will today, they have the highest income in the home in many cases. They also still hold the purse strings. If you are not catering to women, then you are definitely missing out. The feminist movement is putting power in the hands of new audiences, and commerce must move with it.

Geeks

Geek culture is quickly becoming much more mainstream than it was a decade ago. It’s becoming much more acceptable to embrace things like video games, anime, and fantasy genres. Focusing on this demographic can improve your sales quite a bit. If you’re a T-shirt company, consider following the example of sites like Capsule Corp Clothing by offering designs based on popular franchises, such as Dragon Ball tank tops. Your marketing outreach may benefit as well from using geeky franchises as inspiration.

Seniors

An often forgotten and overlooked audience, but one that is just as ready to spend money, is the senior citizen community. Baby Boomers will soon be the largest segment of the population in the United States. This is also true in many Western countries. Look to them for certain industries, and make sure that you do not keep them out while you are trying to market to one or more of the other groups mentioned here.

The International Community

There is no reason to limit your sales function to any geographic location. The Internet has given you more than enough power to move beyond any border and sell to anyone who is in need of your products or services. Make it happen internationally!

Guest author, Dixie Somers, is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.