Perhaps you’ve been to a friend’s makeup party? Or you’ve been floating the idea about selling makeup from home for some time with family and friends.
Either way, you are inching closer in taking the plunge. But where to start? Whether you want to start a full-time home business or side gig, read on to learn what you need to do in order to get your beauty business off the ground.
In This Post:
- 1. Which products do you want to sell?
- 2. Where will you work?
- 3. Register Your Business
- 4. Get a Vendor’s License
- 5. Which Type of Sales Appeals to You?
- 6. Start a Website
- 7. Be Active on Social Media
- 8. Go Local
- Final Thoughts
1. Which products do you want to sell?
First off, think about which makeup line you would love to sell. This is where your research skills come into play. Reach out to wholesalers and direct sales companies to find out the ins and outs of working with them. Some questions you may want to ask include:
- What percentage of sales do they receive? How much commission do you receive?
- How does the stocking process work?
- Do you pay for the extra product? Or can you ship that back?
Come up and ask as many questions as possible to determine if the direct sales company or wholesaler would be a good fit. Make sure you contact several so you can compare and contrast.
2. Where will you work?
Yes, you’ve determined you’ll be working from home but where? Will your office take the spare room? Will you work from the garage or the backhouse? Start by assessing different rooms and consider what you will need for your business in order to determine the amount of space you’ll need.
3. Register Your Business
You’ll want to register your business with your state. Fill out all of the required documentation—go to your state’s secretary of state page for a list of what you need to fill out and fees you’ll need to pay.
You’ll also want to register your business with the IRS; this is a free process and, after filling out the required documentation, if approved, you’ll receive an electronic identification number (EIN).
Check to See if Your Business is Available
Make sure that you first see if your business name is available, as you could receive a cease and desist letter if you do end up using a name that’s already taken. You can easily do a business name availability search on your state’s secretary of state page.
4. Get a Vendor’s License
If you want to sell beauty products, you’ll need to get a vendor’s license, which is required if you are collecting sales tax when selling goods or services.
According to Forbes, in case you don’t know, those with a vendor’s license are exempt from paying sales tax on wholesale purchases.
That aside, make sure that you register your business and get your EIN before applying for a vendor’s license, as you will be required to provide it. And, know that the license fees differ by state—fees can be as low as $25 (Ohio) or as high as $700 (Texas).
5. Which Type of Sales Appeals to You?
Not only do you want to research potential companies and product lines you want to work with and sell but get a better idea of what type of sales you want to be a part of. In general, there are three types: single-level direct sales, hostess/party plan, and multilevel marketing.
In a nutshell, single-level direct selling is in-person or via the Internet or through a catalog. Meanwhile, hostess/party plan is when the seller presents their product in a group setting, usually in his/her or another’s home.
Arguably the most complex, multilevel marketing is selling the product in a group setting or by themselves; compensation is based on your own sales and the sales of those you recruit, as well as their recruits.
6. Start a Website
According to Entrepreneur, 46% of small businesses in the US don’t have a website. This can be a huge detriment, especially since sales don’t just happen in your typical brick-and-mortar storefront anymore.
Also, any social media marketing you do may fall by the wayside since users won’t know where or how to purchase your product.
Plus, according to Fortune, online shopping has reached 51%, which goes to show you need a website if you want to increase your profit margins.
So, what do you need to do? Purchase your own domain (you may want to have it be similar to your DBA) and either create the website yourself or hire a website designer to do it for you. (And don’t forget to make it mobile-friendly, as 1.2 billion people access their Internet daily through their smartphone.)
7. Be Active on Social Media
Get the word out about your beauty products. This doesn’t just mean telling your friends and family (although this is definitely a recommendation) but invest some serious time on social media.
First though, you want to conduct research about your target audience to see how they consume information and what social platforms they use. In doing so, you will know where to focus your time and energy on.
Follow the Social Media Hashtag Rules
Make sure you abide by the “social media” rules for each platform. What we’re trying to say is if you’re marketing your makeup products through Instagram, use 30 plus hashtags.
At the same time, you’ll want to steer clear of hashtags when using Facebook. Whereas with Twitter, one or two will suffice.
A Word About Keywords and Social Media
Yes, inserting keywords in your social media posts are a must. While you shouldn’t over-stuff, a keyword every now and then can help increase your SEO efforts.
Final Word About Social Media
Keywords and social media rules aside, you need to focus your social media content on your audience, not on your product.
As an example, if your website is focused on providing customers with the ability to buy online casual bridesmaid dress options online, you wouldn’t spam social media with pictures of bridesmaid dresses and nothing more. You’d have more success mixing dress pictures and website links in with helpful wedding blog posts, video tutorials, personal stories, and other types of valuable wedding related content.
Or, if your website sells cheerleading apparel, you can definitely expand your reach on social media. But when you want custom cheer jackets to sell like hotcakes on your site, you wouldn’t blanket the web with Facebook posts and Instagram pics only showcasing custom cheer jackets. You’d talk about and share pictures of all things cheerleading and cheerleading apparel related, and then slip in mentions, pictures, and testimonials strategically showcasing your custom jackets made up of about 10% of your total social media posts.
Are you beginning to see how this works?
At the end of the day, your goal is to help your consumers. Raving about makeup brushes for 10 posts won’t do this. Writing about how specific makeup brushes can speed up your beauty routine will.
8. Go Local
Make sure you insert local keywords in your website as well as your content (but don’t overdo it and keyword stuff).
Also, register your business with Google MyBusiness and other listing sites. Doing this will strengthen your local search results and could increase traffic to your website.
Let’s Get Specific: The Importance of Local Keywords
You want to use high-ranking keywords that are industry-relevant. To make them local, simply add a location before or after them. For instance, “makeup brushes Utah.”
Of course, the location should be relevant as well, which again goes back to researching your target audience—where are they from? Insert that location at the end of your keywords.
Overall, by registering your business with listing sites and incorporating local keywords in your content, your makeup products should rank better when consumers conduct local searches.
When you want custom cheer jackets, sports equipment, or yes, selling a makeup line, direct selling is always an option. Be sure to conduct your research as well as speak with professionals on how to further your business. Also, create a budget and keep an eye on startup costs, not to mention be on the lookout for multi level marketing scams.
That aside, this is a pivotal if not exciting time in your business career. While it does take some hard work, you now get to enjoy setting your own hours, working for yourself, and enjoying discounts on some of your favorite products—for yourself or to add to your friend’s registry.
What other tips do you have? What has your experience been with direct selling? Let us know by sharing your comments in the comment section.