October 28, 2012

8 Steps to Opening Your Own Online Beauty Goods Store

Do you enjoy trying new beauty products and exploring makeup trends? Do you feel that you can make some money doing what you love? Then maybe you can find success by operating your own virtual beauty products store.

8 Steps to Opening Your Own Online Beauty Goods Store - Beauty and Personal Grooming Pic 1

However, you should be prepared to put in a lot of hours and a huge amount of effort. Building and operating a business (even an online one) is not easy, and many of these enterprises do not achieve consistent financial success. But if you have the desire, motivation, and patience to undertake this endeavor, you could experience an exciting and rewarding career.

Here are eight steps to getting your online beauty products store up and running.

Do your research. Determine exactly what your target market will be (women on a budget? eco-friendly customers? young adults?) and what product segment(s) you will focus on (makeup? lotions? grooming tools?). Then conduct research to see what products and trends are appropriate for that market. If you don't have a business background, consider taking some classroom or online courses that detail how to run a business. Getting advice and/or mentorship from a current online beauty store owner would also be incredibly valuable.

Make a plan. Very few businesses that don't have a detailed business plan actually succeed. That's because a business plan forces you to think about all aspects of your business and develop contingencies in case something goes wrong. So take the time to learn the components of a business plan and take the time and go through the processes of budgeting, goal-setting, and strategizing.

"Legalize" your business. This entails coming up with a business name and registering it with your state and/or city. You will have to apply for a tax identification number, which is like a social security number for your business. Look into the licensing or regulatory processes in your municipality and make sure your business is in good legal standing. Be sure to implement a system that allows you to pay the correct sales taxes to your state.

Stake your claim in cyberspace. Be sure to come up with a domain name that's catchy but not cumbersome (and that is not currently in use), and then register it with a domain name provider. Then secure a web host for your online shopping site before you start building your e-commerce site. Some web hosts have pre-made templates for this purpose, or you can create your own unique site or have a professional design it for you. Make sure it is user-friendly and neat but not too flashy.

Obtain an e-commerce system. If this mechanism doesn't already come with your website, you have to find an outside company that will process virtual payments and host a "shopping cart" component to allow your customers to purchase your online products. The e-commerce system should accept credit card payments and probably virtual payments (from entities like PayPal and Google Money), and the shopping cart should be secure and easy to use. Be sure and test these aspects of your website before you go live.

Secure inventory. Search and locate a source for the actual products you will be selling to customers. It can be one or more wholesalers or distributors or you can engage the services of a drop-shipping company. Always keep in mind your target market when deciding which products to sell on your site. If you buy from a distributor or wholesaler, you may have to make space in your home (or get a storage unit) to store the inventory. And open up a business checking account to pay for your products instead of purchasing them with your personal funds.

Start marketing your site. Definitely use free or inexpensive channels like word-of-mouth, email, and social media. Consider starting a blog to promote and review the products you sell and/or identify beauty trends. But you may have to invest in advertising like classifieds, direct mail, web ads, radio, or TV.

Evaluate everything. Determine which products are the hottest sellers and most profitable. Find out which marketing channels are the most effective. And listen to feedback from customers and site visitors. If you skip this step, you won't know what you're doing wrong - or whether you're missing out on more revenue. Only when you improve your processes and learn from your mistakes will you increase your chances of being a successful business owner.

8 Steps to Opening Your Own Online Beauty Goods Store - Beauty and Personal Grooming Pic 2

Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about topics ranging from information technology to consumer finance to entrepreneurism.

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  1. Can I ask you more questions about selling beauty products in my own internet store. I have plenty of products I need to start selling and I want to do it properly and legally. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

    kleimanlaw at aol dot com

  2. Chris Martin6:32 AM

    Dlori - the first place to start would be with the suppliers of these products to set up agreements so you can sell them through your site.

    If these are products which you have created yourself, then you can skip this step. (just be sure they are completely safe before you begin selling them!)


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