Starting a Successful Cosmetic  Business: What you need to know

Are you one of those budding entrepreneur who is considering the cosmetic industry?  You have together some great concoctions, whether its the hair product or beauty product, not sure where to start, well have no fear. I have managed to team up with lovely Alicia Thornthwaite the owner of AfroDeity Ltd. She has been a scientist for 10 years and run her own business for 3 years and is truly passionate about what AfroDeity does. She has put together a checklist for you all. I am sure you will all find it useful.

First of all it is important to understand why you want to become an entrepreneur. Make sure it is something that you love and are truly passionate about. Running a business can be  a long and difficult road and you dont want to get stuck in the middle of this road with an idea you are not really that keen on after a few weeks.
Business and Marketing Plan
Who is your target market?  Would they buy from you? Would you buy from you? How many people are in this target market? and is that enough to sustain a business? A business plan is a great way to collate your ideas and see if it worth going ahead with your plans. It will give you a chance to see the big picture behind your business and whether or not it is viable.
Validation
Now that you know and are sure of what you want to do and have a general idea of the direction you want it to take, you need to validate your idea. Before you do anything else, when looking into starting a business make sure the business idea is feasible. There is no point printing business cards, buying domain names or printing glossy flyers if you are not even sure if any one is interested in whatever it is you are trying to commercialise.Validate. In order to validate your business idea, you can throw up a webpage detailing your idea and start collecting email addresses. Once you feel you have more than a handful addresses of people who want you product or who are interested n your idea, you can start thinking about bringing that idea to life.
Funding
How are you going to fund this enterprise? You can fund this yourself or you can use a crowd funding websites of which there are now several to choose from. This can not only help you with getting your business of the ground but can again help with validating your idea. There are also several grants and loans available to entrepreneurs.
Vitol New Year Party Jan 2012
Product Development
This will depend on the direction you want the brand you are creating to take and what information you got from your validation and research. What types of products your target customers are interested in and what would draw their eye to your brand. The cosmetics industry is very competitive but people are always looks for the next new or bold idea. Have fun with it, this is where you can let your personality shine through your brand.
Sourcing Materials
This can often be a long and difficult task. If you find a good supplier hold on to them. A good supplier will be able to supply you with Material Safety Data Sheets and Certificates of Analysis for any ingredient they supply you with. Packaging Manufacturers should also be able to supply you with migration tests and any compliance paperwork.
Legislation
For a beauty/cosmetic business it is a good idea to get a reliable cosmetic scientist or company on side. For every individual cosmetic product you sell, you must comply with EU law. A cosmetic product under EU law is:
“Any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with any part of the external surfaces of the human body (that is to say, the epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs), or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours except where such cleaning, perfuming, protecting, changing, keeping, or correcting is wholly for the purpose of treating or preventing disease.”
For each cosmetic product you must have a Cosmetic Product Safety Assessment, which forms the most important part of the  Product Information File which will also include your GMP data, stability testing and any microbiological data. As the manufacturer you must now also notify this product once to the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP).
This also applies to products you are importing into the EU.
Trademarking and Insurance
Protect your businesss and your trademark. Make sure the name you have choosen for your business is unique and trademark your logo. You will need insurance to protect yourself and your business from any claims. This includes but is not limited to Product Liability, Public Liability and Employer Liability Insurance.
Some General Advice
Validate your business idea and research thoroughly what you will need, licenses, regulatory paperwork etc.
Stick to what you know and enjoy, something you are passionate about.
Protect Your Business by getting your ideas trademarked and insured
Dont be afraid fail. It is not the failure that is important it is what you learn from it and your attitude to it.
For any more information on the issues covered here please contact Alicia on alicia@afrodeity.co.uk 
Website:  Afrodeity.co.uk
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