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6 things you should know if you want to start a beauty brand

After years spent working in cosmetics, Lisa Dodds took the leap to launch make-up line NKDb. This is what her start-up venture has taught her...

Following an extensive, successful career working within the cosmetics industry, Lisa Dodds developed and launched her very own beauty brand with life-long friend and business partner, Marco Robinson; founder of the NAKED Group of companies.

The pair's new beauty brand – NKDb Cosmetics – launched in September 2016 and retails online and via direct selling – motivating female entrepreneurs to set up their own business by selling NKDb products.

Reflecting on the first three months of her start-up journey, Dodds has got six top tips for those who want to start a business in the world of beauty…

Adopt self-belief

“As an entrepreneur it’s vital that you believe in the beauty service or product that you’re offering your customers.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect other people to? The beauty market is an unbelievably competitive industry so you need to be able to prove your passion from the outset.”

Build your contacts book from the get-go

“The most successful individuals in the beauty business are inevitably well connected. They make it a habit to identify useful contacts and then nurture relationships with them.

“Thanks to the growth of social media, it means there are even more opportunities to build relationships than ever before, for example through the use of professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.”

Get a mentor

“I think that an outsider’s perspective is such a great way of gaining valuable insight, advice and feedback. A mentor could be someone you have met on a professional level or even a family member or a close friend.

“By having someone you respect give you their honest opinions on your idea for a beauty business, means that you can become better at looking at things from a wider perspective and it means you become more open-minded to alternative suggestions for the business.”

Understand your product and the market

“The starting point for any new business should be defining your target market. Who is most likely to use your beauty brand?

“As you answer this question, consider factors such as age, buying power, geographical location, and marital status. By identifying these things, this will make you knowledgeable in what drives your market’s purchase decisions, and what your beauty business should encompass.”

If you're working in the beauty industry then you're going to need insurance to protect your business, check out our step-by-step guide to beauty insurance.

Adapt with the times

“Flexibility and a willingness to embrace change will make you a more valuable organisation. Social media has completely changed the way we consume beauty and as a brand it’s vital that we keep up with these changes.

“A huge focus of our business plan is to keep up with the digital world. We have started to work with hand selected online influencers, and have ensured that social media activity is a priority within our PR and marketing strategy – all to make sure our beauty brand is current and on-trend.”

Make yourself stand out from the crowd

“If you want to compete within the beauty industry, you need to remind your customers why they should buy from you rather than a rival.

“NKDb products are formulated with specialist ingredients and, unlike many other cosmetic brands, the products are not tested on animals.

“On the website itself, we wanted to offer consumers more than just the option to buy products. Therefore, we have YouTube tutorials which help guide consumers on how to create make-up looks. We also have our ambassador service which allows budding female entrepreneurs to set up their own business selling the NKDb range.

“This is what we believe sets us apart from other online retailers, so we have taken this unique selling point and have used it as part of our communications strategy for the business.”

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