How to Start a Beauty Supply Online Store

  Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA
  Written by: Heather Burdo      Updated November 21, 2018
Makeup Bag with variety of beauty products

The beauty and cosmetics niche is a profitable and thriving business if you start your journey right. It's critical to ensure you follow the necessary steps when embarking on starting up a beauty supply online store. Setting up a business doesn't have to be overwhelming, and the legal side of it can be broken down into easy steps so you can get on with the more creative side of opening your business.

Handle Legal Matters

After you choose a catchy name for your new online business, it's time to take care of the legal aspects. First, you will need to choose either a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, corporation, LLC or a general partnership. Usually, a sole proprietorship is ideal for a small business. If you have a goal to grow your business, such as starting a franchise in different locations across the United States, you will need to consider either a general partnership, an LLC or a corporation.

If you choose an LLC, it will offer protection from personal liability. For example, if something goes wrong with your business, and someone sues you, only the money you invested in your company will be at risk, rather than your personal assets.

Some of the documents needed to run an online beauty store are: a business plan, tax payer identification number, insurance policy, business license, online terms of use, online privacy policy and building license.

Get Insurance

Make sure to budget for insurance. Contact an insurance broker to review insurance policies for your new business to help you choose the most appropriate ones. When operating a beauty supply store business in the United States, several types of insurance are available: health insurance, general insurance, workers' compensation, liability insurance, payment protection insurance, business owner's policy group insurance and overhead expense disability insurance. If you plan on having employees, it's required in most states to have workers' compensation. The health care law requires certain organizations, such as self-insuring employers of any size, employers with 50 or more full-time employees and health insurance companies to report that they provide health coverage.

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Protect Your Business With a Trademark

When starting a beauty supply store business, you will want to file for an intellectual trademark or property protection to protect your products and formulas. However, if you are looking to protect your business logo, consider a trademark. Start the process by going through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is the federal agency for providing patents and registering trademarks.

Educate Yourself in Marketing or Hire a Professional

To bring in new customers, especially if you're running an online business, use marketing techniques. Educate yourself on marketing or hire a marketing professional. The first step is to create a website. Next, fill that website with engaging content and website copy that is intriguing enough to sell your products. When writing sales copy for the website, always start with a compelling headline and then head right into the problems your customers may face and how your products can solve them. For example, makeup that smudges and how your products are guaranteed not to smudge. To make your content more trustworthy, add a couple of testimonials from people who have used your products.

Since you're just starting this online business, inbound marketing would be an ideal option to bring in new leads through engaging social media posts, search engines and enticing blog posts. Inbound marketing is when a customer finds you through your copy on line.

If you decide not to have a website, use an existing online marketing place such as eBay, Amazon or Etsy instead. Using an existing marketing place is less hassle since all you have to do is set up your online store and add your products. However, you should still provide keyword-rich descriptions for your products as part of your marketing. To know which keywords to use in your descriptions, use tools like Moz, SpyFu and Google AdWords to see what your potential customers are looking for online in relation to the beauty niche. Using keywords in your marketing attracts potential customers to your products.

Create Your Online Presence

If you want to create your own business instead of selling through existing marketplaces, you'll need to create a business website. There are a lot of advantages to this method. You won't have to pay part of your profits to the parent site as user fees, you'll have complete control over your marketing and inventory and you won't be subject to the whims of outside sites.

Begin building your site by purchasing your domain name. Do this as soon as possible to prevent anyone else from claiming that name.

Once you've got your domain, decide where you want to build your store. Shopify is a one-stop place to build an affordable e-commerce platform, even if you don't have any experience. Wix is similar, with drag-and-drop site-building help. For complete design freedom, WordPress is the most popular option among small business owners. You can decide how your site looks and what it includes, but you may need help from a web designer to get it up and running.

About the Author

Heather Burdo has been personally involved in business for six years. Her passion is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs through engaging and insightful content.

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