When it comes to starting your hair product line, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some big decisions.
You may be asking yourself:
- What's the first step in establishing my business?
- How much will it cost to start my hair product line?
- How do I price my hair product line?
- How do I market my hair product line?
- ... so much more!
We walk you through all of the steps; from idea → starting → launching → growing → running your hair product line.
The purpose of this guide is to act as an outline for the steps you'll need to take to get your business running successfully!
💡 Introduction To Starting A Hair Product Line
Is The Hair Product Line For You?
Let's look at the pros and cons of starting your own hair product line
- Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of starting a hair product line is that you can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.
- Ability to start your business from home: It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!
- Little startup costs required: The cost to start a hair product line costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 1,315 to 16,100.
- Rewarding work: Starting a hair product line can be really rewarding and fun work. After all, you're bringing joy and excitement into peoples lives.
- Crowded space: Competition is high when it comes to your hair product line, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.
- Finding the right supplier: Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.
Creating a successful hair product line means that you will have the ability to sell, provide stellar customer service, communicate with vendors and motivate your team (even if it's down the road)!
- Kiehls United States (34.5K Alexa Ranking)
- Beauty Supply (92K Alexa Ranking)
- ghdhair.com (118K Alexa Ranking)
- HQHair (156K Alexa Ranking)
- Oz Hair & Beauty (164K Alexa Ranking)
- Private Label Extensions - Revenue $650K/month
- Ugly Duckling - Revenue $50K/month
- The Longhairs - Revenue $30K/month
- PocketGel - Revenue $2.5K/month
- Bristle Products- L. Archie Brands LLC - Revenue $550/month
Let's take a look at the search trends for hair products over the last year:
How To Name Your Hair Product Line
It's important to find a catchy name for your hair product line so that you can stand out in your space.
Here are some general tips to consider when naming your hair product line
- Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
- Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
- Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
- As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!
Why is naming your hair product line so important?
The name of your business will forever play a role in:
- Your customers first impression
- Your businesses identity
- The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
- If you're memorable or not
It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your hair product line.
You can search domain availability here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.
It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.
As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.
Here's some inspiration for naming your hair product line:
- BlondeHairstyle check availability
- UnrulyPro check availability
- Shiny Hairbreadth Spot check availability
- Bleached Hairline check availability
- Unruly Fuzz check availability
- Stringy Fuzz check availability
- Cut Skin check availability
- The Braided check availability
- Tomentum International check availability
- Tangled Beard Pro check availability
- The False Haircloth Spot check availability
- Unkempt Hairline Place check availability
- YellowHairdo check availability
- ShinySkin check availability
- The Pale Hairdo Spot check availability
- Wig Place check availability
- Wild Hairdo & Company check availability
- The Blonde Beard International check availability
- The White Beard Group check availability
- Skin Group check availability
- Dry Fuzz International check availability
- The Stiff Hairdo International check availability
- Unkempt Hairstyle check availability
- LuxuriantSkin check availability
- ShinyHairstyle check availability
- SilkyHaircloth check availability
- SoftGroup check availability
- Stringy Haircut Collective check availability
- Hairdo Place check availability
- The Rough check availability
- Hairline Co check availability
- The Abundant Haircloth Pro check availability
- Braided Beard check availability
- Yellow Skin check availability
- The Abundant Hairdo Trading Co check availability
- Dyed Tomentum check availability
- LuxuriantTomentum check availability
- Axillary Hairdo Designs check availability
- The Brown check availability
- Glossy Beard Trading Co check availability
- Lank Hairstyle & Company check availability
- CoarseWorks check availability
- LightSkin check availability
- LankCo check availability
- Red Haircut Designs check availability
- Loose Hairdo Co check availability
- Long Hairbreadth Chronicles check availability
- The Pretty Skin Trading Co check availability
- Curly check availability
- Unruly Skin check availability
- Hairbreadth Place check availability
- The Beautiful Hairline International check availability
- ShortHairbreadth check availability
- The Wiry check availability
- The Wet check availability
- Sandy Hairbreadth Collective check availability
- Disheveled Wig check availability
- WildChronicles check availability
- Hairline Designs check availability
- SmoothPlace check availability
- Woolly Haircut check availability
- White check availability
- Dark Hairline Collective check availability
- The Tangled Skin Pro check availability
- YellowWig check availability
- The Wild Hairdo Co check availability
- Bright Hairline & Company check availability
- Thick Hairline check availability
- UnrulyHaircut check availability
- UnkemptHairdo check availability
- Long Fuzz Group check availability
- FacialChronicles check availability
- Untidy Wig Group check availability
- Beard Pro check availability
- The Pretty Skin Co check availability
- The Grey check availability
- Hairline Place check availability
- Fine Hairstyle check availability
- The Gray check availability
- Short check availability
- The Dyed check availability
- The Bushy Haircut International check availability
- False Skin Designs check availability
- UntidyBeard check availability
- SmoothHaircut check availability
- Coarse Haircloth Co check availability
- Hairline Group check availability
- Long Hairbreadth Spot check availability
- The Unruly Wig Pro check availability
- The Damp check availability
- The Tangled Fuzz Group check availability
- WetGroup check availability
- Wet Hairline Collective check availability
- The Back Tomentum Group check availability
- Rough Hairline Designs check availability
- Sparse Skin Spot check availability
- The Short check availability
- WiryHairbreadth check availability
- Beautiful Beard Works check availability
- The Grey Hairdo & Company check availability
- Tousled Skin check availability
- Fair Wig Works check availability
- Length Fuzz check availability
- DarkHairdo check availability
- The Rough Hairstyle Spot check availability
- Uncombed Beard International check availability
- Sandy Tomentum Designs check availability
- Sparse Fuzz Co check availability
- Damp Wig Trading Co check availability
- The Wild Tomentum Chronicles check availability
- Glossy Haircut Trading Co check availability
- Blond Wig Spot check availability
- Dark Hairdo Collective check availability
- The Wet Hairbreadth Designs check availability
- BlondSkin check availability
- FacialPlace check availability
- Gray Hairstyle check availability
- CurlyFuzz check availability
- GrayHairbreadth check availability
- StringyHaircloth check availability
- BushyCollective check availability
- Tangled Haircloth check availability
- ShinyFuzz check availability
- Tangled Hairdo check availability
- Sleek Hairbreadth check availability
- Damp Hairstyle Works check availability
- Beard Group check availability
- Loose Hairbreadth Collective check availability
- Back Hairstyle Trading Co check availability
- Gold Tomentum Chronicles check availability
- The Golden Beard Chronicles check availability
- Powdered Hairline Chronicles check availability
- The Gold Haircloth Trading Co check availability
- The Powdered Tomentum Pro check availability
- The Lovely Wig Designs check availability
- Rough Hairdo Group check availability
- DisheveledTradingCo check availability
- Matted Haircloth Place check availability
- Silvery Hairdo Place check availability
- Bushy Hairdo Place check availability
- Bushy Skin check availability
- SparseBeard check availability
- WavyPro check availability
- Frizzy Beard Place check availability
- Soft Hairdo check availability
- Haircloth Spot check availability
- Tomentum Trading Co check availability
- Skin Co check availability
- Unruly Hairstyle Pro check availability
- Silky Skin & Company check availability
- Wild Hairline check availability
- WetDesigns check availability
- Wavy Hairbreadth Collective check availability
- Bright Beard check availability
- The Lank Beard & Company check availability
- StiffWorks check availability
- DishevelledHairbreadth check availability
- Bleached Hairdo Trading Co check availability
- Back Wig check availability
- Yellow Haircloth International check availability
- Glossy Hairdo Designs check availability
- The Facial Hairdo Works check availability
- Matted Hairdo Pro check availability
- Straight Beard check availability
- Axillary Hairbreadth Collective check availability
- Short Tomentum Group check availability
- The False Hairstyle Group check availability
- Pale Fuzz Group check availability
- DyedHairline check availability
- GlossyFuzz check availability
- Flaxen Hairdo & Company check availability
- CoarseHairstyle check availability
- Bright Wig check availability
- UnkemptTomentum check availability
- Dry Hairstyle Trading Co check availability
- LovelyBeard check availability
- Stiff Wig Designs check availability
- Haircut & Company check availability
- Facial Hairdo Spot check availability
- Thin Fuzz Works check availability
- PrettyInternational check availability
- CutHairdo check availability
- Facial Beard Works check availability
- Untidy Skin Designs check availability
- Cut Beard Spot check availability
- Short Tomentum Chronicles check availability
- StraightHairbreadth check availability
- Shaggy Hairdo check availability
- Haircloth Co check availability
- Hairbreadth International check availability
- BleachedHaircloth check availability
- The Pale Hairline Co check availability
- The Dyed Hairbreadth Works check availability
- Glossy&Company check availability
- Pale Haircut check availability
- Sleek Hairbreadth Group check availability
- LongSpot check availability
- The Length check availability
- Blond Fuzz check availability
- Light Wig check availability
- FrizzyGroup check availability
- UnrulyTradingCo check availability
- Brown&Company check availability
- The Grizzled check availability
- The Dark check availability
- SandyChronicles check availability
- ShinyWorks check availability
- The Untidy Tomentum International check availability
- The Lovely check availability
- Fuzz Group check availability
- Yellow Hairline Designs check availability
- DryDesigns check availability
- Pale Wig Chronicles check availability
- The Sandy check availability
- The Wild check availability
- The Disheveled Skin International check availability
- Wet Tomentum check availability
- The Greasy Skin Co check availability
- Red Hairdo Co check availability
- The Bushy Hairdo Trading Co check availability
- Shiny Beard Pro check availability
- Loose Skin check availability
- The Greasy check availability
- Blonde Beard check availability
- ShortCo check availability
- The Unruly Tomentum Chronicles check availability
- BleachedHairdo check availability
- Tomentum & Company check availability
🎬 How To Start A Hair Product Line
We've interviewed several different founders in the hair product line and asked them how much $ they're making today.
- $600K/year in revenue
- Sells hair products for stylists
- 2 founders
- 2 employees
- $7.8M/year in revenue
- Sells hair extensions & products
- 2 founders
- 20 employees
- $30K/year in revenue
- Sells hair gel
- Solo founder
- 0 employees
- $6.6K/year in revenue
- Sells all-natural haircare products
- Solo founder
- 2 employees
- $360K/year in revenue
- Sells men's hair products.
- 2 founders
- 2 employees
How To Find A Supplier For Your Hair Product Line
Here are the steps to consider when finding a supplier/manufacturer:
Know your design
One very critical step to finding the right supplier is having an initial idea of what your design/product will look like.
Sketching is one of the most simple ways to get started in the design phase.
What's great about sketching is that you can practically do this anytime, anywhere - even on the back of a napkin.
To get started, all you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start drawing - or if you are working on a virtual/software product this can be a diagram that outlines the user interface or experience.
Decide your supplier type
You'll want to identify the type of supplier you are looking for.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself prior to searching for a supplier
- Are you looking for a manufacturer to produce your product idea?
- Do you want to find a supplier that can simply purchase existing products for you?
- Do you want a drop-shipper to supply and fulfill orders?
- Do you want a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier? Read more about the pros and cons of each here
Where to start your search
Once you have an understanding of what type of manufacturer/supplier will be best to bring your idea to life, there are several areas you can start your search:
How HuskyBeard Created Their Product (Buying Products In Bulk)
I understood that dropshipping was not the means for creating a long-lasting brand that customers love. So I quit this method, had all my products branded, formulated cosmetic beard oils myself at home, purchased inventory in the bulk, and shipped all orders myself.
The beginning process for this was:
- Ordering only the best-selling products in bulk from Aliexpress/Alibaba
- Getting the products branded by talking with the supplier, and dropshipping the other products.
- I made sure to ONLY pay through Alipay/Alibaba trade assurance order for security reasons
- I gave my supplier strict conditions for the relationship: refund for each damaged good during shipment transit, quality standards, and inspection, negotiating wholesale price, etc.
How HuskyBeard Created Another Line Of Products From Home
I was also only selling products like Combs and Brushes, so I knew I needed to start providing actual beard cosmetics (aka “Beard Oils).
I purchased $70 worth of my competitor’s products to analyze their products, the feel/scent of them, and their packaging.
I understood what it means to have great packaging, and learned exactly how to create a bottle of Beard Oil, right from home.
It took about 10 tries, to get the formulation down. Afterwards, I created 3 different scents and hired a graphic designer to create the product labels.
Setting Up Your Hair Product Line (Formation and Legal)
When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.
The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.
These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.
- LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
- S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
- C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.
Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.
Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.
Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need
There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.
Here are some factors you may want to consider:
- Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
- Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
- Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
- Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
- Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.
Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.
How To Price Your Hair Products
One of the most challenging and critical pieces to starting your hair product line is determining how much to charge for your hair products.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.
Understand your costs
When pricing your hair products, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your hair products so you can factor in a profit.
The actual cost of your hair products may include things like:
- The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
- Shipping + overhead fees
- Operating costs to run your business
You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.
Create revenue goals
When determining the price of your hair products, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your hair product line to make.
This process is simpler than you may think:
- Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
- Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
- Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
- Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell
This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.
Evaluate your competition
The last piece in determining how to price your hair products is by simply looking at your competition.
The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your hair products fits best in the marketplace.
All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your hair products, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.
Understanding Your Costs
Example from Ishan, founder of Ugly Duckling
First objective: profitability
Our profitability is OK at this point but definitely not where it should be yet. To this day I have not paid myself a regular salary yet...and it’s been 4 years!
The problem is not the cost of goods which are well under 20% of sales, which is good by any standard. The problem is fulfillment costs. In 2018 we transitioned from our first fulfillment company to a much bigger company. We did this because we wanted to provide faster shipment speeds and a better quality of packaging. In hindsight, we chose a company which would have been more suitable for a larger company with bigger volumes. We ended up being tied in with some pretty large minimum monthly payments. So currently fulfillment costs are currently around 45% of sales...way too high.
We are now looking to transit to another fulfillment center. Our target is to get our fulfillment costs down to around 30% of sales which I believe from what I have researched, is possible.
Just to be clear, when I say fulfillment that includes transportation costs also - FedEx, USPS, etc. Not just storage, picking, and packing. I am pretty sure that it is possible to get fulfillment costs down even lower, and I suspect that some large pro sellers on amazon.com work with around 20-25% of sales.
So our target P+L for 2020 looks something like this:
- Cost of goods, including inbound freight and clearance - around 22% of sales.
- Fulfillment - around 30% of sales.
- Digital Advertising & Promotion - around 15% of sales.
- Other marketing and office costs, including salary costs - around 10% of sales.
- That would leave us around 23% of sales - enough to pay me a liveable salary and for the company to make a profit and finance future growth.
That's the first objective for 2020: to right-size the P+L so that we are profitable at our current sales level
Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary provides us with a detailed spreadsheet of all of her costs associated with running her business:
I knew this would be a self-funded adventure, and I set aside $3,000. During the first three months, I had a detailed spreadsheet where I tracked where the money was going and what was going toward products versus researching and developing new products.
The spreadsheets involved columns and rows of numbers to craft a budget and gain an understanding of how much would need to be invested at each stage of the process - from gathering supplies to building a website, and shipping materials.
Startup Costs For Your Hair Product Line
If you are planning to start a hair product line, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.
We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of a hair product line and outline the costs you should expect for each:
- The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,315
- The estimated maximum starting cost = $16,100
|Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a hair product line.||Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs.||Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.|
|Employee & Freelancer Expenses|
|Payroll: This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K.||$0||$4,000|
|Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses||$0 (min)||$4,000 (max)|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses|
|Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time.||$500||$5,000|
|Total Equipment & Supply Expenses||$500 (min)||$5,000 (max)|
|Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article.||$15||$100|
|Total Website Costs||$15 (min)||$100 (max)|
|Business Formation Fees|
|Small Business Insurance: Depending on which state you live in and the business you're operating, the costs and requirements for small business insurance vary. You can learn more here.||$500||$2,000|
|Total Business Formation Fees||$500 (min)||$2,000 (max)|
|Upfront Costs For Inventory: This includes all upfront inventory you will need in order to launch. Be sure to compare prices of wholesalers to ensure you're getting the best deal and margins remain high.||$300||$5,000|
|Total Inventory Expenses||$300 (min)||$5,000 (max)|
|Total Starting Costs||$1,315 (min)||$16,100 (max)|
Starting Cost Example: Private Label Extensions
The initial investment for the business was a total of $14,000 to start with an additional $14,000 later to help keep the operations going.
We didn’t rely on credit cards or any other type of credit to get started.
Most of the other initial start-up costs were nothing more than putting in our own time to do everything. With a limited budget, we just couldn’t hire a bunch of people to do things for us.
Being an entrepreneur is tough enough. Unless you have a huge savings account, I highly recommend working your business as a side hustle while you have a steady income.
Since the startup costs to start hair product line range between $1,315 - $16,100, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.
Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:
- Launch your product on Kickstarter
- Raise capital by asking friends and family
- Apply for a loan
- Find an investor!
🚀 How To Launch Your Hair Product Line
Build A Website
Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).
- Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
- Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
- Make sure you choose the right theme and design
- Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)
To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.
There are a ton of different websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success
Here's everything you need to know about these two platforms:
Shopify is one of the #1 leading platforms for e-commerce businesses.
Here are some of the main reasons most e-commerce businesses are using Shopify:
- Geared towards supporting store owners. Provides a simple way to launch and manage your online store
- Customer support is off the charts (live chat)
- Easy to use - You don't have to worry about the technical side
- The design is clean and mobile-friendly. There are also hundreds of templates you can use.
- Easy integrations and additional channels (ie. Amazon, email marketing integrations, Facebook, etc).
- Basic Shopify: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advanced Shopify: $299/month
Founder, Marc Debnam on recommending Shopify
The best move we did was to switch to the Shopify platform in 2016. Everything became simple.
Shopify is an easy to use software with great add-on apps so you can build your ecommerce business exactly how you like it.
And it intergrates with our accounting and logistics platforms. Xero, Auspost, DHL. As well as most sales and marketing channels.
It freed up so much time working in the business, allowing us time to focus on growth and brand awareness.
With my basic technical skills, I built a great site. The one we still have. I experiment with apps that just plug in and if they add that’s great if they don’t we move on.
Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right
The way you package your hair product line is often the first impression your customer has - so it's important to get it right.
You may want to ask yourself these questions:
If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:
- Will my hair product line stand out?
- Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?
There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:
- Canva - Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Stickermule - High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
- Noissue - Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
- Rollo Label Printer - A great tool to print all shipping labels at home
Sheets & Giggles explains the motive behind their "Premium Unboxing Experience"
Sheets & Giggles explains the motive behind their "Premium Unboxing Experience"
I had a particular vision for our packaging centered around one goal: because we were a DTC company and wouldn’t do physical retail in year 1, we needed to focus entirely on an incredible unboxing experience that made the product feel as premium as possible.
Outside: a white box, nice wax coating, logo front and center with no other copy, easy to open, nice and sturdy.
Inside: make people smile from the get-go, have a social call-to-action, include free extra surprises (a knapsack that wraps the sheets and an eye mask), put funny copy all over the place, and add a donation bag that people could use to donate their now-defunct cotton sheets (sheets & blankets are the #2-most-requested item at shelters behind socks).
Traditional Launch Strategies For Your Hair Product Line:
There are various different ways you can launch your hair product line successfully.
Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your hair product line:
- Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
- Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
- Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
- Live sales to get customers excited
- Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.
Launch on Launch Pad (Amazon Launch Program)
Example from ZeSchwab, founder of Sayar Care
As we started to understand our message, we were offered us to join Amazon’s Launchpad program.
Launchpad is Amazon’s response to Kickstarter. They offer a marketplace for startups with products that they assume will do well on Amazon, and presumably, for products Amazon considers possible to sell well under their in house brands.
We had no experience selling on Amazon, and used Launchpad as a learning tool.
Four months in, we shifted to Seller Central. Seller Central offers a lot more access to product appearance on Amazon.com, how we get to interact with users, etc.
Eight months in, we began working with hair professionals that matched Sayar Care. Our idea was to find hair salons & upscale barbers with dedicated customers, and help the stylists & barbers better understand hair loss.
🌱 How To Grow Your Hair Product Line
Identify Target Customer
A very critical piece in building hair product line is to identify your ideal target customer.
- Develop a niche and create a consistent brand that reflects your target customer.
- The colors, logo, content, and overall website should resonate with your target customer and should draw them in by helping them solve their specific "need".
Discover Your Target Customer As You Grow
As you grow your business, you will naturally discover opportunities. Look at the products that are selling the best. Try and figure out why your customers are buying these products and what their needs are.
In our case the answer we discovered was that customers were desperately trying to go white blonde (there was this big trend out there) and our products were giving them the results that other brands were not giving.
We just focussed on this segment and kept on launching products for blondes. Today, we are known in the hair color market as the blonding company. It was not what we were when we launched, it’s something we made ourselves into as we learned more about what was working and doubled down on that.
Build A Facebook Community
Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.
There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group
Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:
- Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
- Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
- Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
- Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
- Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.
Mikey Moran, founder of Private Label Extensions discusses the value behind their facebook group:
We have the largest Facebook Group for starting a hair business and often look for feedback for desired products and services. This has been an amazing channel to help grow our business based on feedback. Listening to your clients is key. Actually getting what they want quickly is money.
Social Media Advertising
Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to hair product line.
There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.
Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:
- Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
- Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
- Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
- Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
- LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses
It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:
Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:
- Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
- Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
- Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?
From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!
Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.
Host A Social Media Giveaway
People love free stuff and love competition. Giveaways and contests are a great way to create awareness for your brand, grow your email list, and eventually convert leads into customers.
If your goal is to gather email addresses, make sure the entry criteria is to "enter your email." You can do this by leading customers to your landing page where they can then enter their email to be in the giveaway.
One of the most important aspects of promoting a successful giveaway is having an amazing prize. The better the prize, the more engagement you'll get.
This doesn't necessarily mean choosing an iPad or an expensive/trendy watch, but instead a prize that is actually relevant to your brand/target audience.
Grow Your Email List
The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.
One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.
This could also be anything from:
- Fascinating case study
- Video series
- Free week of the product
- Discount on the product
Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.
Add an exit-intent popup to your online store
A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers.
Here's an example of what that might look like:
One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.
That one idea has added over 100,000 subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels.
Improve Your Email Marketing
Different types of emails
Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:
- Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
- Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
- Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
- Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
- Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!
Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!
Improve your SEO
SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."
Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your hair product line.
- Google Ads Keyword Planner invaluable for discovering search trends.
- Google Search Console is very helpful once your website is up as it shows you what words/phrases are generating traffic.
- Ahrefs and SEMRush are paid tools that allow you to look at results of your competitor's website.
Publish Great Content
Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.
There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.
So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"
- Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
- Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
- Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
- Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
- Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).
Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.
If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.
Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.
Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:
Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.
Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.
Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.
For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.
Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:
- Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
- Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
- Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
- Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
- Leverage existing business relationships
SEO Best Practices
Advice from Ray Moyers, founder of HuskyBeard:
Right from the start of my store, I implemented good SEO practices like writing down alt tags and descriptions and compressing images.
I got introduced to techniques (both black hat and white hat) such as utilizing backlinks and getting “juice” from other sites, like my competitors.
I spent some money on optimizing my store (making page load time quicker), and on acquiring backlinks (from packages and guest blog posts, like “Top 10 Beard Oils”.
After several months, I was able to achieve 2nd ranking for the term “Beard Comb” which had ~10,000+ searches/monthly. Not bad.
Consider Selling On Amazon
In addition to selling your products directly on your site, you may want to consider selling on Amazon to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
Here are some pros and cons of selling on amazon:
- Easy and seamless process to get your product listed on Amazon
- There are roughly 100 million thoroughly committed prime customers, so you're bound to tap into new business
- Can help grow your business exponentially and reach new audiences
- You may encounter some "copycats" and counterfeit products
- Amazon owns the relationship with the customer (you lose control over product reviews + customer service)
- If you already have a low-markup, amazon may not wrth your while and you could end up losing money
- Commissions and listing fees are high - it's easy to lose control of your offering
Follow these instructions to get your product listed on Amazon or check out the video below on how to get started:
Selling On Amazon: Sheath Example
Amazon has also been a great platform for us to gain new customers as well as offering options to our existing customers who take advantage of Amazon prime.
The annual growth in Amazon sales is less noticeable, however, as we have much less control over it compared to our other sales channels.
In fact, our Amazon growth has been relatively stagnant the past few years, but we are actively developing new methods to rectify that.
We hope to one day have amazon rivaling sheathunderwear.com in sales, the current goal being $1 million sales monthly on each platform.
🏃🏼♀️ How To Run Your Hair Product Line
How To Retain Customers For Your Hair Product Line
Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your hair product line.
Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.
Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.
That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.
Here are some ways you can retain customers for your hair product line:
- Responding to comments on social media
- Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
- Provide valuable content, for free
- Write a hand written thank you note
- Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers
To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here
Customer service is huge for us. Like I talked about, building a community has been one of the best bi-products in the shop.
We want everyone to feel loved, cared for, and appreciated.
If we have a customer that comes in quite a bit, we will begin to notice what they buy and reach out to them if something new comes in if we think they will like it. We also try to call people by name and greet them as if they were entering my home, not just the shop.
Another great way we retain customers is through a loyalty point system. When a customer gains enough points through their purchases, they are rewarded with a discount. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for having them be a great customer.
Word of Mouth
The most tried and true way to grow a hair product line is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.
Why you should focus on word of mouth:
- Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
- 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
- 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing
Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜
We really only have 2 tools to attract and retain customers. The first is word of mouth. TANYA HEATH Paris has never spent a cent in press or in marketing so we rely on happy customers talking about us. They find us by walking past one of out boutiques or they have been following the brand after hearing about us via some kind of press.
Our best retention tool is customer service. Some of my best customers started off as customer services disasters. But by taking their concerns seriously, and by problem solving and by working with them we are able to reassure them and solve their problems. In fact if you look at the comments on our Facebook pages clients often talk about our customer services. This makes me very proud!
I am in the Paris boutique all the time and I’m always interacting with clients so I know what they like and what they think we could be doing better. This insight goes into each new collection that I design. I also know that I don’t know everything, so if I’m in doubt about something, I ask my clients.
Diversify Your Product Line
Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.
It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.
Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product
- Meeting the needs of your customers
- Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
- Resistance to downturns/trends fading
- Create new revenue streams
We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your hair product line.
- Social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat or Hootsuite
- Advertising tools such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Amazon Ads, Google AdSense or Google Adwords
- Reviews tools such as Product Reviews or YotPo
- Productivity tools such as Dropbox, Google Suite, Basecamp, Calendly or Asana
- Platform tools such as Amazon, WooCommerce or Shopify
- Payments tools such as Shopify Payments, Amazon Payments, Square, Stripe, Bill.com, Quadpay, Braintree, Paypal or Apple Pay
- Design tools such as Adobe Suite, Pic Monkey, Design Pickle, 99designs or Canva
- Analytics tools such as Google Analytics
- Shipping tools such as USPS, UPS WorldShip, Aftership, UPS, FedEx or ShipStation
- Fulfillment tools such as Amazon FBA
- Freelance tools such as Upwork or freelance.com
- Stock images tools such as 123rf or Shutterstock
- Podcast tools such as Anchor, Stitcher or Spotify
- Sales tools such as Zoho CRM or Upsell App
- Seo tools such as Moz Local, Mozbar or Moz
- Customer service tools such as Groove or Facebook Chat App
- Email tools such as Zoho Mail, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, ConvertKit, NinjaOutreach or Klaviyo
- Accounting tools such as Quickbooks
- Financing tools such as AMEX
- Affiliate tools such as LeadDyno
- App tools such as WP Forms
- Blog tools such as WordPress
- Crm tools such as Zoho
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