When we want to do something big in life–I mean really big to the point that it could CHANGE our lives for the better, it often seems like it’s one step forward, two steps back. When I first started my skin care business, I have to be honest, I had no ideas what I was getting into. I had no cash, no actual business know-how, no idea how to use technology or social media to house and grow my business. I also had serious impostor syndrome (who was I to start a skin care business or teach others about holistic skin care?), had two very young children, and was coming out of a health crisis.
It’s been over nine years since I officially started the Holistically Haute blog, and 8 since I officially started my first skin care business (I have two). So clearly, I found a way to make it work. It definitely hasn’t always been sunshine and roses, but I can confidently say I wouldn’t change a thing, and I love what I do. Read more about my story here.
I’ve been so fortunate to have the privilege of learning from some of the best business and marketing professionals out there, and I’ve also had the honor of working with amazing skin care business owners. I’ve witnessed firsthand what it looks like to be sooo close to something huge, but then see it fizzle out before it even has a chance. By firsthand, I mean I’ve witnessed this in my own behavior, as well as in my colleagues and students. Why does this happen?
Well sometimes there are truly extenuating external circumstances that put the brakes on our dreams. But more often than not (again–I’m guilty of this too), we put up our OWN barriers to success. There’s a concept called “upper limit issues” in the book The Big Leap (an absolute must-read if you want to have a business), which basically states that we set our own subconscious limits as to how much success we believe we deserve to have. And when we come too close to achieving it, that subconscious ego does everything it can to snap us back into our comfort zone; our status quo. Well, I’m sure you’ve read that nothing life-changing ever happens in our comfort zones, and we have to stretch ourselves–or leap–to achieve the big goals we have in life. To do that, we need to be very honest with ourselves as to what’s actually holding us back–is it internal or external? Is it real, or is it a story we’ve told ourselves based on early conditioning or outright misinformation we’ve been told?
I’ve found that the biggest thing holding aestheticians and wellness practitioners back from starting their own skin care line is a combination of misinformation and mindset.
So today, I’m sharing the top 4 skin care business misinformation and mindset traps, and how to avoid them!
1. “It’s more expensive to sell your own skin care products than to carry an existing line.”
Well it certainly CAN be, but the good news is that the costs are up to you when you have your own skin care business. When you buy someone else’s product line, you pay for all of the manufacturing, operating, transit, storage, and various other costs that the manufacturer itself has to cover, as well as any middle man distributors. Even though you may pay a wholesale price, that wholesale price has already been marked up likely more than once. And what you likely don’t realize, is that many of the professional skin care product lines that aestheticians buy aren’t being sold direct from the manufacturer–they are, in fact, private labeled–and that drives your cost up even more.
If you want to be a private labeler yourself, then you incur the cost of wholesaling PLUS the cost of packaging, labeling, graphic design, printing, marketing, etc. When you buy someone else’s product line (wholesale or private label), you also have absolutely no control of what goes into that product–you’ll likely never know the source of the raw materials, and if they decide to reformulate or discontinue a product, you could really get stuck. What if your clients don’t like the reformulated products and you have to liquidate them so they don’t spoil? You might lose money on inventory you can’t sell (or send back), or labels you can no longer use.
When you sell your own handmade products, you have full control over every part of the process. You decide which and how many ingredients go into the product, where and how they are sourced, how much to make in each batch, what type of packaging and labels to use, etc. There are no middlemen or miscellaneous fees other than you ordering the raw materials themselves–but since you are choosing where to shop, that’s something you also have some level of control over. When you have the power to make only what you need based on your current and projected demand, you won’t have overstock. If you do decide to reformulate, you can do it in very small test batches to make sure the products still work for your customers.
2. “I can’t legally sell the products I make in my state.”
This is something I hear a lot from aestheticians, especially. Somewhere along the line, someone started the idea that state boards don’t allow aestheticians to use or sell handmade products in their spa, or that practice liability companies don’t cover businesses who use handmade products. This isn’t exactly true.
While it is true that some state boards and insurance companies do have more to say about it than others (I’m looking at you, Florida), it is legal to sell handmade skin care products in every state in the United States, as long as you follow the law, don’t make inappropriate claims, and set your business up properly. And by the way, there are more limits on selling private labeled cosmetics with most practice liability insurance providers than properly established handmade cosmetics. You just have to do your homework, set yourself up and operate correctly, and make sure you’re taking advice from people who actually know the industry.
3. I don’t have enough time to make skin care products.
Stop it right now. I don’t want to hear it. For real–it is tough love time. There is a universal truth about both time and money, and that is we always find enough of both for the things we truly value. So if time is something that stresses you out now, I want you to take one typical day in your life and keep a log of how you are using your time. How much time are you spending doing work that only you can do in your business? How much time are you spending on busy work that could either be done more efficiently or either a person or computer? How much time are you spending in Facebook groups contributing to skin care philosophy debates that really don’t do anyone any good? How much time are you spending watching Dr. Pimple Popper? How are you using your time between clients? What policies do you have set up in your business already for late clients or no-shows?
I will tell you this straight, but with love. If you truly want to have a successful skin care business, you will commit to building your schedule around that goal–at least until you find your groove. Then it gets much easier (it really does!). And that applies to ANY goal you have in life–if you are actually serious that you want it, you will do whatever it takes to get it. Otherwise your dream stays a dream, and someone else gets to make it their reality.
4. “I’m not qualified to have a skin care business.”
This is the one that tripped me up the most at first, because I kept telling myself the story that I needed to have a medical, microbiology, or chemistry degree to make effective skin care products. I told myself this even though I’d been making my own herbal skin care concoctions since I was a kid, worked in various aspects of the beauty industry since I was 17, and was a licensed aesthetician (and a darn smart one too). I told myself that even though my products were the best I’d ever used, there’s no way they’d work that well for other people. And then when I finally did get brave enough to share them with others, and heard that they were the best products THEY’D ever used, I still believed they were just being nice.
Imposter syndrome hits certain people no matter how many years of life experience they have, courses they take, certifications they earn, or degrees they have. Some people–like me and probably like you if you are reading this–are life learners who always strive to become a better version of themselves. And that is fine! But there comes a time in life when it’s time to trust yourself–that you DO know enough and that you DO have the sense to get the right support from the right people when you need it to make your dreams come true.
While many of my Create Your Skincare Professional Edition students are aestheticians, herbalists, health coaches, and aromatherapists, I’ve found that those are not pre-requisites for having a successful skin care business.
My most successful students have been the ones who show up, do the work, ask questions, manage their time wisely, hold themselves accountable, and ask for support when they need it. I promise you this–if you are truly serious that you want to have a successful skin care business and you are ready to buckle down, get your head in the game, and get to work–then you will achieve your goal.
My online course, Create Your Skincare Professional Edition can help!
The most important part of starting a skin care business is getting the right support from the right people, from the start. In CYS Pro, you will learn to design complete herbal skin care product lines either to sell as a signature range, or to offer to your clients on a custom basis. You will learn what you need to know to do so legally and compliantly. You will learn organizational business, planning, finance, and marketing skills to make sure that your formulation decisions are smart ones from the start. You will learn different business model options to bring additional revenue streams into your existing practice if you have one, or start a new business fresh.
You will learn at home with the convenience of online learning, but with the realtime guidance and accountability of a live instructor and classroom experience. You will benefit from a support group learning environment in addition to personal mentoring from me.
In short, you will learn all the skills and get all the support you need to start your herbal skin care business in just 16 weeks. Our next live semester of Create Your Skincare Professional Edition starts soon!
You can learn more and take our free Skincare Business Crash Course HERE.
Be honest–what’s held YOU back from starting your skin care business?
Please share in the comments below!