How I Created A $2K/Month Natural Oils Brand

$2K
revenue/mo
3
Founders
25
Employees
product
Real Drop Enterpr...
from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
started November 2020
$2,000
revenue/mo
3
Founders
25
Employees
538
followers
3.11K
followers
5
subs
market size
$18.6B
avg revenue (monthly)
$2K
starting costs
$31.4K
gross margin
28%
time to build
10 months
average product price
$20
growth channels
Word of mouth
best tools
OneDrive, Phamtombuster, Google Search Console
time investment
Side project
pros & cons
30 Pros & Cons
tips
1 Tips
Discover what tools Nabiulla reccommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Nabiulla reccommends to grow your business!
Start An Essential Oils Business

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I am Nabiulla. I manage RealDrop Natural Oil, along with my IT recruiting and web development company SkyllsSolutions.

Here at RealDrop our flagship product is the Hair & Scalp tonic (promotes new hair growth, improve overall hair and scalp health for better quality hair), followed by Skin Rejuvenating serum (gives you a softer smoother, and plumper skin), and the rest of our products are also at the top of their benefits.

Our consumers are anyone and everyone looking for healthier and natural alternatives from the chemical-laden products or anyone having an issue with their Hair, Skin, or Health. Who is willing to take the natural approach to solve

their concerns.

We do not measure our success with the number of sales we make, we measure it with the reach. We can reach the number of users to educate them on the benefits of using organic and natural products as an alternative to the chemically prepared existing ones available in the market. We measure our success with happy customers and feedback.

Our flagship products:

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I have had multiple startups in the past, the first one starting when I was just 17 years old.

It will take endless tries to reach a goal. Never compare yourself with others You are You and you are unique, trust in yourself and start working.

I still have one more project under making that is for a new type of vending machine.

Initially, the idea of RealDrop came to my mom just as a joke when we were having a phone call. And then I said why not put this into papers, make a plan to collect more info and that was our aha moment.

I’ve been using these combinations of products since I was a kid. My mom was a Hair & Skin Technician, she always knew the healthier alternative to almost every product in the market. Although all of her friends, family, family friends used to make fun of her saying “why do you always have to use things out of the wild” but we knew the benefits and they were never convinced.

I knew this was the right idea cause I’ve been using these things my whole life. With a few lab tests done we were good to go.

I’d say my expertise would be that I know how to build a company and keep it running.

I know how to keep my product consumers happy and how to make the best workplace for staff.

Initially, once we were ready to launch we gave out lots of free products so that people can use them and know for themself how good our products are and we can get the benefit of word of mouth even before we hit the main markets.

I won’t say I have a flourishing financial situation at the moment but that’s not my main focus at the moment. It is now to make people aware of healthier alternatives to daily use products.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

We collect raw material from local vendors, as we want to support small and local businesses and want them to make some money at a time when those big companies are having a monopoly in the market.

Once the raw material is collected, we use a “Cold Press” process for most of our oil. It is called a cold press as it’s a wooden machine that needs to be operated manually.

Cutting off from the automation we decided to hire workers who spin these machines with their hands and the oil is squeezed out of the raw material, the amount of oil we get is a bit less than what we will get using the electric one but we can’t compromise on quality. The reason being when electric automatic machines are used the produces heat while squeezing the oil that damages the product quality and we’d never compromise with our quality.

We have workers manually measure and fill every bottle again to avoid overheating during the process of bottling.

Choosing the best packaging was a tough job too. It was really hard to get the perfect type of material that won’t degrade or damage the product inside. Keeping in mind the design and durability.

Initially, it took us a few days to get the paperwork done, but currently, we have got all the licenses and permissions required to operate.

Photos of our beauty advisor at stores:

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

Describe the process of launching the business.

Initially, we launched our products in the top cosmetic outlets in the financial capital of India.

Followed by 3 more retails for display and people reach.

Then we partnered with a company that sells coupons and we agreed to give 5,000,000 coupons with a buy one get one & other combo offers at a price that has never been offered anywhere else.

We have financed the whole business from our pockets. No loans, no fundraising, and no capitalist funding.

The licensing and paperwork were a bit expensive but once we got started it was all good.

The biggest lesson learned I would say is the more people you can reach and educate about your product the better and stronger customer base you will have.

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

In this photo I am with my Mom to my right at the launch event:

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

Screenshots of our website:

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

how-i-created-a-2k-month-natural-oils-brand

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

The best advice I like to give is to keep it real. Let the people know what they are using or what they are getting.

Getting into increasing sales and marketing for any startup there is no one rule that someone can follow. No guidelines or steps one can follow to skyrocket the sales. You need to know your product first in and out, know who will use it. Find out what is the age group of your average consumer then use some surveys available over the internet on what is the main source of information consumption for your targeted audience/user/consumer and then accordingly set out a marketing campaign.

If they are young people who are likely to be active in social media, that's the excellent thing: start up your page and use the marketing tools available.

Having a website and social handle is a must these days considering the huge presence. People tend to look things up on the internet to verify their genuineness.

Selling your products on Amazon is also a good idea to start. Try to make use of the Amazon promotion tools out there which really helps.

Overall tools that we have in the social media site and google’s Ads campaign are really one of the best ways to increase the reach. That being said, it increases the reach and does not guarantee sales from your site. So you need to have the bandwidth on investing in ad campaigns. Running a google ads campaign for a week or so will never do good to you. At least run ads for a month and expect a conversion rate of approx 2% from the number of hits that you get (say you get 100-page visits on your page then only 2 of them are likely to make a purchase).

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Profitability? Yes, the business plan seems to be profitable as the type of product we are selling by default stand out of the crowd in the market and we don’t have much competition however awareness of people is also less as the crowd is used to the existing chemically prepared products and the transition is a bit hectic for a lot of people.

Breaking down the gross margin we only have a 10% profit margin on all of our products and the rest of it is the super stockists cut, distributors cut and the retailers cut.

Ad costs are higher considering the order volume as the markets are also hit due to the pandemic. The making cost of our products is around 50-60% of the MRP(includes the raw material, labor, transport, labeling, packaging).

Right now as I am writing this today, 22nd may our sales have almost dropped to zero for the last 1 month but we came up with alternative plans to reach people and have been slowly recovering since the last week.

The lockdown and restrictions on care products created a lot of trouble until we got the approval and certification as essential products and acquired the pharmaceutical license.

Our operation as of today is badly impacted by the nationwide lockdown but we are still working with a reduced capacity.

Short-term goals are to keep reaching new customers, However, we already have plans ready to make our products locally available in all the major cities in India and under discussion for setting up our products locally in Chicago, Illinois.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Initially, when we launched we decided to give out all the products at flat 50% to all the stockist directly hoping to get more reach and give more margin to the retailer which would give them a reason to sell our products first but that was one mistake as people exploited that option and we still taking a hit from those as if we change the pricing they might stop selling.

That was one of the biggest mistakes and a good lesson that I learned.

The thing that went out of control and impacted very badly was the 2nd wave of COVID in our country(India). Causing shut down of almost everything unexpectedly which disrupted the whole market and destroyed the flow and speed of acquiring new stores and areas.

Things that came in handy were my management skills, technical knowledge. I did almost everything on my own. Starting from designing the logo, stickers, packaging, flyers, banners, posters, and all sorts of graphical media, to creating and handling the social media account, eCommerce accounts, And building the website from scratch. Getting the perfect delivery partner, Acquiring new stores initially. Finding workers, collecting the raw material to keep an eye on the packaging, and branding the bottles.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Tools that I use are

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

One of the books I was reading when the idea of RealDrop came was

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

A pro tip I’d like to give to people is to stop waiting for something called a “perfect moment”.

There’s nothing called a perfect moment to do something, get up and start working on it.

Learn to be self-sufficient, stop scrolling that Instagram feed, and talking for hours with someone about how you are planning to do it when the right time comes. Now is the time. Now is the best time to start it. Start working on it and make what you want.

Success doesn’t come at once, nor does it come served on a plate.

It will take endless tries to reach a goal. Never compare yourself with others You are You and you are unique, trust in yourself and start working.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Nabiulla Ahmed,   Founder of Real Drop Enterprises
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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