Friday, 21 July 2017

Thinking of starting your own cosmetic brand?? Don't know how to get funds?? Find out how!

Hi EAglamddicts!

This is going to be a very interesting and enlightening post. So get your pens and notepads ready😊😊. I will like everyone reading this post to open your minds to the endless possibilities of being a beauty entrepreneur. It is a lucrative business that I have enjoyed for the past 4 years and counting.

First, I would like give a disclaimer that everything you see on this post are strictly my opinion and based on my personal experience in the cosmetics industry. I am not an expert and I am still growing just like everyone of you. So, this is not the typical step by step procedure on how to make it "big" in the industry, it is simply a guide on how to start up your own cosmetic brand.

Now that we have an understanding, let's get into the post proper!

You see, the cosmetic industry is very broad and versatile. There are so many aspects of this industry with so many untapped potentials. Let me put that statement in figures so that you will get my point well. The global cosmetics industry is worth about 670 billion dollars annually and Africa has just approximately 10% of this figure (i.e 67 billion dollars). If you go further to sub-divide the figure between the two African countries (Nigeria and South Africa) that are taking the lead in the beauty industry, then you would realise that we are just benefitting a token from the global wealth in this industry.

The most interesting part is that the major cosmetic brands in the western world (US, Europe, Asia etc.) are beginning to tap into our own industry by bringing in their products and making us purchase them at very high rates. They have even gone as far as setting up franchises and stores within our mega cities. If only we could settle down, do our research, start up our own cosmetic brands, we would have a bigger fraction of that global figure above.

So do you see why you should start your own cosmetic line?

Here's a few steps on how you can get started:

1. The very first question you might want to ask yourself is: What am I interested in or what am I passionate about?

There are various aspects of the cosmetics industry that you can get involved. The list below contains a few potential aspects (this list is just a guide, you can do further research on more).
  • Skincare (especially the new love for organic and natural skincare)
  • Makeup products (eyes, face, lips, lashes, brow products)
  • Makeup tools (brushes, sponges, brush cleaning tools)
  • Hair products (especially the new rave for natural products for hair care)
  • The new rave for essential oils
For my brand, I decided to start up with makeup tools, my first product was a 15 pcs brush set that is very high quality and comparable to foreign brands like sigma brushes but almost three times cheaper in price. The vision for my brand is to produce high quality products at affordable prices (this is actually my brand could think of yours). Once you have identified your interest (please do your personal research well), you can move to step 2 below.

2. Research! Research! Research!

You need to do a lot of research to build a solid brand. I will drop a few tips below:
  • Have a sound knowledge of your interest. If you don't have a background and updated knowledge of the cosmetics industry, I will suggest to partner with someone that does (you could partner with a makeup artist).
  • Study the trends of your niche. Taking lip products as an example, different colors are introduced by the industry's trendsetters as colors for different seasons. This point is very very important, study the TRENDS!!!.
  • Get good raw materials for your home made products (if you are working on products that can be made at home).
  • Search for a quality laboratory. If you are dealing with cosmetics or anything skincare that you cannot produce yourself. You don't want to destroy people's skins please. 
  • Search for a good manufacturer (if you are dealing with makeup tools)
  • Packaging is everything!!! Try to be unique and stand out with your packaging. Go on pinterest and google, search for packaging ideas for your product line. Do not limit your mind...think outside the box. Packaging is the appearance of your product, so take your time on this.
For more information on getting a good laboratory, manufacturers or packagers that can help you with your product from production to packaging level, send me an email here. Kindly make sure you are subscribed to this blog before you send me an email!!!
3. Naming your brand and getting a logo.

This is a very important step because it is difficult to alter a brand name after your market audience has been accustomed to one. So I advice that you take your time, think about it well (possiblly seek "positive" people's opinion), pick a name that best defines what your brand is about or what you feel works for your brand and name your brand.

My brand name is Eeda's Atelier. The "Eeda" is my baby cousin's way of calling my name "Oyinda", she says "Aunt Eeeeda" and the "Atelier" is a french word for "workshop"or "studio". So my brand name, "Eeda's Atelier" simply means "Oyinda's Workshop".

Your logo is your brand's signature, your brand's unique identity, make sure it's outstanding. Don't just copy other brands in your region or locality, look out for foreign brands that you look up to and get your inspiration (Don't copy please!!!).

I have a couple of graphic designers that can help you with your logo design and branding, send me an email here, if you are interested. Kindly make sure you are subscribed to this blog before you send me an email!!!

4. Now the part you have been waiting for: Funding!!!

If you observe, funding is the 4th step on this list. This is because if you make fund sourcing your step 1, you will never start your business. Funding is very important but having a vision of what you want to fund is most important. We have talked about your interest, research and naming your brand, you see you have a foundation to build your funds on? There are few avenues to source for funding for your business:
  • Funding from your regular job or other source of income (if you have one)
  • Funding from family and friends (This is a great opportunity if you have family or friends that can support your business with personal loans.....Please make sure you pay back!!!!)
  • Funding from organisations. I will like to expatiate on this because it is one opportunity that I really did not explore as I had no information from anyone about this kind of funding. There are so many organisations online that are interested in funding your business provided you have a solid and valid business plan that would provide jobs for others. 
The most recent one I just came across is the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), you can click here to access their loan application portal. LSETF is a Lagos state government initiative that aims at providing funds for start up businesses, they give as high as five million naira (N5,000,000) for businesses. There are other opportunities like this one online, if you can settle down and do your research, you should find more.
  • Funding from the bank. I am not really knowledgeable about this type of funding, so I would not say much but I know a couple of banks have good packages for SMEs. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Diamond Bank, Access Bank and First Bank have relatively good packages. 

5. Register your business

This is very important, you can start by atleast registering your business name before you proceed to incorporating the full business. I started by registering my business name, because it would be very sad for my fancy brand name, "Eeda's Atelier", to be hijacked after building the brand to a high level of recognition. The awesome part, for Nigerian based businesses, is that it is now easy to register your business on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) online. You can click here to access the registration portal. At the time I did mine, it cost me just N500 to search for my business name and N10,000 to register the name online (this may or may not be the most recent rates...please check to confirm). Please note that after registering online, you will need to still submit the print versions of the documents from your portal and submit at the closest CAC office to you.

6. Pray and Commit everything you are about to start into God's hands

7. START!!!!!!!!!

I hope I have been able to give you a few hints to tickle you to start your own brand. Please don't rush. A brand that would stand the test of time would take a bit of time investment. Mine took about 9months to 12 months I think, so please take your time and enjoy your brand development process.

Any questions or do you have any issue you would like me to address??? Please comment below!

Thanks for taking your time to read! 😘

In my next post, I would be dealing with how to promote your business and increase your market audience, I'll advise you subscribe to the blog just up there on your right, so that you can get the post straight into your email.

Stay Beautiful!

Eeda's Atelier πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Instagram: @e.abeauty
Facebook Page: Eeda's Atelier
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 "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men" - Prov. 22:29