How To Source Products For Your Business
I am regularly asked about products; from which I use in my businesses to how to source them for a new business.
There are so many products – with hundreds more being launched every month – it can be a minefield.
In my series of articles I wrote for Scratch Magazine, I covered how to source products as a part of my series on starting a new nail business. It’s just as relevant today, irrespective of which part of the beauty industry you work in. Enjoy!
Now you’ve got your finances in place and sourced your perfect premises, you need to think about stocking it with products. Here are my top tips for sourcing the best products for your nail business:
1. Set a budget
It’s very easy to go over the top when getting those first few products in place within a business, but try to buy just what you need and replenish as you go. Setting yourself a strict budget – as determined in your business plan – will help keep the spending spree in check.
2. Be realistic
Do you really need 10 bottles of the same shade of polish? Work out your must-haves, make a list and be realistic. Think about your target market and work out the essentials based on who you believe will be coming to the business; will they want blue, green or yellow polish? Will they be looking for a particular brand? Will they want nail art?
3. Be seasonal
Think about your first stock based on the seasonal trends – Scratch magazine is your best read for this! Think about what’s happening next too, if it’s summer you’ll want pinks and corals to match tans, if it’s Christmas you’ll need sparkles, golds and reds alongside any trendy colours.
4. Stock for your offerings
Be sure to plan your menu around your budget – if you offer lots of treatments you’ll need to stock accordingly. Consider, if you will be offering children’s treatments, if so, you’ll need water based, children’s polish. Will you offer gel nails? If so, you’ll need lamps. Will you offer the full luxury pedicure service? If so, you’ll need chairs and access to water.
5. Choose your brands wisely
You may be investing heavily in a brand so be sure to find out;
– Do they offer good service?
– Can you re-stock easily?
– Do they help with marketing material?
– Do they have a good reputation?
– Do they do their own marketing in trade publications and elsewhere?
– Do they provide posters and flyers that you can display?
Will you have a retail space, as you’ll need to think this through ready for your big opening? While I am a strong advocate of retailing (it can double your profits), you will want to be sure the budget can cover it. If you are going to invest, make sure you and your team know how to sell it quickly. Polishes have a shelf life and a dead retail section can tie up lots of your pennies that could be better spent on marketing and new professional products.
Do your research, read magazines, attend trade shows, speak to beauty contacts, head to beauty forums and check out the competition and their brands. Remember to choose a product that both you and your clients will love. It’s great to choose something you love yourself, but if no one has ever heard of it, it may deter clients from booking with you.
8. How many brands?
I often get asked how many brands should I bring in to my business? This is a personal preference, but the more brands you invest in, the more you dilute your budget for each.
Start with one strong brand that features a great selection of colours and promote it. If you find people are asking about other brands, start researching what your clients want next and when you are up and running you can start investing in other brands – after all, we are there to look after our clients and their opinion is paramount!
If you’ve any comments then let me know in the box below – I’d love to hear from you!
Next week we will be talking about your price lists and marketing material…
You can read the original blog post here.