Top Ten Mistakes

  1. As part of my advice to clients I always give them a list of the most com­mon mis­takes peo­ple make when they are enter­ing into the beauty busi­ness. In fact, I have found many of these mis­takes often apply to any cat­e­gory of start up busi­nesses. Over the years I have been observ­ing peo­ple that have become suc­cess­ful in the beauty busi­ness, there were so many dif­fer­ent ways they went about achiev­ing suc­cess but when it came to the mis­takes along the way, they seem to all share a num­ber of the same ones.

There is noth­ing wrong with mak­ing mis­takes, in fact you should be pre­pared to fail at some things as you go along. How­ever, I feel strongly that you need to be pre­pared when enter­ing the beauty busi­ness and if you can avoid some pit­falls that can be costly, you are at least ahead of the game. I was orig­i­nally going to make a book out of these 10 mis­takes and include a num­ber of exam­ples that I have seen first hand, but I feel it is impor­tant to share the basic descrip­tions on my site. So to all the entre­pre­neurs out there, avoid these mis­takes and you will be on your way!

(these are in no par­tic­u­lar order of impor­tance or sequence).….…

1. Hiring/paying for tal­ent that is too expen­sive or too high level for things like graph­ics, adver­tis­ing, design­ing of boxes, bot­tles, com­po­nents etc.

Really do the research to find the expe­ri­ence you need with­out get­ting caught up in the “cre­den­tials” of these kinds of peo­ple. If the price seems crazy then keep look­ing, ask­ing for rec­om­men­da­tions for peo­ple they may know who could be more afford­able since you are just start­ing out.

2. Pric­ing the “sug­gested price’ of your prod­uct or ser­vice too high or too low.

Be very smart about know­ing who you think you want to have as your tar­get audi­ence to sell to, who is the end user, who is your com­pe­ti­tion if any. You have to study what is out there and if your prod­uct is in the right range of price con­sid­er­ing all the vari­ables that may make it different.

I can’t tell you how many peo­ple do this one step that puts them in a finan­cial mess that is very dif­fi­cult to work your way out of.

3. Pro­duc­ing inven­tory of your prod­uct before you have a poten­tial buyer lined up.

I can’t tell you how many peo­ple do this one step that puts them in a finan­cial mess that is very dif­fi­cult to work your way out of. Be sure to do every­thing you can to have poten­tial buy­ers be able to see your prod­uct before you go to actu­ally man­u­fac­tur­ing it. You just need to be clear with the buyer that you will not be ready for ship­ping until the time it takes to make what they are will­ing to give you an order for. Many graphic peo­ple can help you with what is called a pro­to­type prod­uct (a sam­ple done well) that you can use to show buy­ers how you envi­sion the prod­uct. Some retail chan­nels insist on see­ing pro­duc­tion qual­ity, but you may just have to skip those par­tic­u­lar peo­ple until you are really up and run­ning in your business.

4. Pro­duc­ing too much inven­tory because the sup­plier you chose was insist­ing on “min­i­mums” that they will take as an order.

Do every­thing you can to search out sup­pli­ers that are will­ing to do “small runs”. They may charge a bit more for the per piece price, but it is worth it if you are not tak­ing on a large invoice for prod­uct that will last you a year or more in your first phase of business.

5. Design­ing your prod­uct, brochure, busi­ness card to be “too per­sonal” instead of rep­re­sent­ing what the prod­uct or ser­vice is about.

It’s OK to have your pack­age or brochure have your approach in it, but you are not design­ing your per­sonal space at home, so be care­ful not to let your prod­uct be “over designed”. This can include sim­ple things like hav­ing your pack­age writ­ing in script when the cus­tomer can’t eas­ily read it but you did it because you thought it looked “pretty”. I think you get my drift. Lis­ten to your graphic artist if you have one or ask a lot of peo­ple if they feel the pack­age or mes­sage is clear in what you want them to under­stand. Unless design for con­sumer use is part of your back­ground, then you need to research what is out there to help your prod­uct or ser­vice stand out with­out being con­fus­ing to the customer.

6. Have the oper­a­tions of your busi­ness worked out and get help if you are not the “orga­nized” type.

This aspect of any start up is impor­tant. You should choose a legit­i­mate warehouse/ ship­ping facil­ity if you are going to have a sub­stan­tial busi­ness or be really pre­pared to han­dle it at home if you are up to it. There are a lot of details and learn­ing curves here but there are also many web­sites and books out there to help you get orga­nized. If you stum­ble on the ship­ping or effi­ciency of your busi­ness your clients will know and it will keep you from being rec­om­mended so be dili­gent about what you promise to do.

7. Know why your prod­uct or ser­vice is spe­cial or different

There are so many busi­nesses com­pet­ing for the same cus­tomer, you have to be sure that your prod­uct makes a dif­fer­ence that counts. Use friends, neigh­bors and strangers if need be to be your own small focus group. If they are being hon­est and tell you they love the idea or would buy the prod­uct or ser­vice, you are get­ting responses to how the prod­uct is received.

8. Not doing your research on what the needs are of the poten­tial busi­ness or cus­tomer you are try­ing to sell to.

While I was a buyer of beauty in the depart­ment store busi­ness, I often would see new sup­pli­ers that wanted to sell my com­pany but when we sat down to review their prod­ucts, they would ask me cer­tain ques­tions that made me real­ize they did not know much about my com­pany and how we worked. Some ques­tions are expected by the buy­ers but if those ques­tions are reveal­ing how lit­tle you know about the com­pany you are sell­ing to…it will not go well.

9. Unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions, espe­cially finan­cially.


It’s easy to get overly excited about your new busi­ness but I have wit­nessed even very expe­ri­enced peo­ple get caught up in putting out large finan­cial plans that will be dif­fi­cult to meet and can be a big dis­ap­point­ment to your­self and oth­ers that may have invested money into your com­pany. It’s good to have a goal to “reach” for but don’t overdo it. Be will­ing to take one step at a time, it is a process.

If you are really com­mit­ted to see­ing your busi­ness become suc­cess­ful then pre­pare your­self ahead of time to expect some disappointments.

10. Rise above the occa­sional dis­ap­point­ments, fix the prob­lems as they show up and stay focused.

If you are really com­mit­ted to see­ing your busi­ness become suc­cess­ful then pre­pare your­self ahead of time to expect some dis­ap­point­ments. I have seen so many great ideas or busi­nesses not get to their point of great returns because the own­ers were not thick skinned enough to han­dle it when things did not go their way. They also became very unfo­cused, los­ing sight of what they knew they could achieve. Don’t lose focus.