A lipgloss business is a lucrative business idea because this makeup item has always been popular and is becoming even more so, thanks to social media content creators.
When starting a lipgloss business, you need to find a gap in the market to fill, then advertise your product using techniques that appeal to your target audience, such as influencer marketing.
- Identify a Niche Audience
- Find a Niche Product
- Define Sales Channels
- Identify the Minimum Budget
- Form a Legal Entity
- Set Up the Shop
- Reach First $1,000 in Sales
How to Start a Lipgloss Business?
1. Identify a Niche Audience
A niche audience refers to a group of people who have a particular set of interests or needs that are quite specific. Millennials, for example, are not a niche audience. Affluent, eco-conscious millennials who only use cruelty-free and plastic-free products are a niche audience.
When you’re first launching a lipgloss brand, starting out with a niche is a good idea. Having a niche helps to identify your target audience, business plan, and marketing strategy, and it also means there’s less competition already on the market appealing to your chosen audience. By narrowing down a niche, you’ll be able to streamline your business’s appeal.
Here are some examples of niche audiences:
Example niche audience: Millenial women who use organic cosmetics as a means of relaxation and are Instagram influencers.
Example niche audience: Health-conscious small dog owners whose dogs are picky eaters.
1.1 Analyze Lipgloss Niche Communities
The best way to analyze lipgloss niche communities is to find them online, either on social media sites or online forums. In these online communities, you’ll find comments, problems, and ideas coming from people with a genuine interest in this topic. These ideas will help you to shape your product and understand how best to market it to your target audience.
Try to understand the type of people that use lipgloss – the more specific information you have about them, the better. For example, if you find out that most lipgloss users are under 25, this will also shape your business plan.
Here are some examples of lipgloss niche communities:
1.2 Find a Problem or a Market Gap
A problem refers to a problem commonly experienced by people in your target audience niche. A gap in the market means there’s a space in the market for a product that people want/need, but it doesn’t yet exist.
There are a few ways to identify a problem or a gap in the market. You can look through the online communities you’ve found to see what problems people experience and whether or not they think a solution already exists. You can also search for keywords in topics related to your lipgloss company, which will show you what lipgloss buyers are searching for.
Potential Market Gap: Lipgloss that has a moisturizing effect on the lips.
Potential Problem: Lipgloss is sticky, meaning if it’s windy outside, your hair can blow in your face and stick to your lips.
Potential Market Gap: Lipgloss that’s targeted specifically at thinner lips.
Potential Problem: The tip of clear lipglosses become stained when you use them over lipstick.
1.3 Formulate the Niche Audience
Here’s the part where you tie everything together. Establish your audience, which problems they have and why, and how bad the problem currently is. Identify any products that are already on the market to solve this problem, and consider whether they do enough. For example, if all the existing products are very expensive, you could create a more affordable option.
The target niche audience should be defined around the problem you identify or clear gaps in the existing market. Once you’ve found your audience, do as much research as possible to find out more about their needs, desires, and lifestyles to help guide your product development.
Here are some examples of niche audiences:
- Women who work long hours or attend events + they need lipgloss that lasts all day and doesn’t come off when they eat.
- Women who lives in sunny countries or spend a lot of time abroad/outside + they need lipgloss that contains SPF to protect their lips from sun damage.
- Instagram influencers who create content about makeup + they need lipgloss that conveys the glossy look on camera as well as in-person
- People who use lipgloss and lipstick but don’t want to pay for both + they need a lipgloss with a lipstick on the other end, a 2-in-1 product.
2. Find a Niche Product
Once you’ve found your audience and you understand their problems, you need to create or source a product for your lipgloss small business that can solve their problem. An easy way to do this is look at what competitors are doing and see how you could do an improved version yourself.
If you know anybody who uses lipgloss, have a chat with them about the types of lipgloss they’d like to see on the market and the problems they experience. Alternatively, use social media or community groups to find lipgloss lovers and host focus groups where you ask their opinions on your product ideas.
Example niche product: A non-sticky lipgloss that doubles up as a highlighter for women who are short on time and money to buy multiple products.
Example niche product: A lipgloss that comes in a refillable glass container for eco-friendly consumers.
Example niche product: A lipgloss that also has the properties of a lip balm for women with dry lips.
2.1 Analyze the Competitors
Having competition can sound daunting, but the truth is any business will face competitors, and the existence of competitors means there’s money in the niche and existing demand for products like yours.
In markets where there’s no existing demand, businesses need to convince consumers they need their product. For your lipgloss business, you’ll just need to convince consumers to buy your product over your competitors’. Search online for competitors’ websites and social media. Analyze the types of products they sell and the marketing techniques they use to promote them, then take these ideas and give them your own unique twist.
Here are three popular competitors:
- Glossier https://www.glossier.com/products/lip-gloss
- Fenty Beauty https://fentybeauty.com/collections/lip-gloss
- Smith & Cult https://www.smithandcult.com/collections/all/lips_lip-gloss?sort_by=manual
2.2 Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition (commonly known as a USP) helps to differentiate your lipgloss business from other businesses selling similar products. When you have competitors, you have to convince consumers to choose your product over theirs, and that’s where a USP can help. It’s something unique that your business offers that few (or no) other businesses do.
Here are the USPs of 5 popular brands:
- Amazon: Amazon offers one-click ordering and same-day delivery, promising consumers maximum efficiency.
- Versace: This fashion brand makes truly unique pieces with an Italian flair and high-quality materials.
- Beyond: This brand takes popular food items such as burgers and mince and makes them vegan.
- KFC: This fast food chain specializes in fried chicken at low prices, and the shops are easy to find across the world.
- Philippe Patek: This brand promises quality that can last generations.
- Here are the USPs of the 3 competitors we looked at:
- Glossier: Glossier lip glosses contain essential oils and soothing ingredients to keep lips soft.
- Fenty: Fenty lip glosses contain a plumper that keeps your lips looking full and juicy.
- Smith & Cult: Smith & Cult’s lip glosses are highly pigmented, so you get color as well as a glossy finish.
2.3 Choose a Product
Tie everything you’ve researched so far together – the audience, the problem that your product solves, and how your lipgloss business online will be different from others. This information will help you select a product to sell.
Once you’ve got a few ideas for a suitable product, seek advice from people in your life who use lipgloss and would buy from a similar company. They’ll be able to tell you if your product is a good idea. Make sure you don’t select a product that’s already saturated, as this will make it harder to convince consumers to choose your product instead of your competitors’.
Here are some examples of audiences, their problems, and a suggested product:
Women who work long hours at events without time to reapply lipgloss + existing lipglosses come off easily + they need long-lasting lipgloss that doesn’t rub off.
Women who struggle to find makeup to match their skin tone + it can be tricky to know which lipgloss color best suits their skin tone + they need a personalized lipgloss service that matches them with their perfect shade.
2.4 Find Suppliers
Suppliers can have a significant effect on your experience of starting a lipgloss business. Good suppliers help you create an excellent product that your customers love. Bad suppliers provide you with faulty products and slow supply chains, which lead to bad reviews. In short, choosing the right supplier is crucial.
To to source lipgloss to sell, do online research, ask other business professionals which suppliers they use, and check online reviews of suppliers to protect your business’s reputation. If you start working with a supplier and you don’t like their products or way of working, you can always find another one in the future, but it’s better to choose the right one in the first place.
Here are 5 popular lipgloss suppliers:
3. Define Sales Channels
Now that you’ve decided which product you’ll sell, you’ll need to decide how you’ll sell it. A sales channel is the vessel through which you present your products to consumers and how they buy them from you. There are many options available, so think about which one is most suited to your business.
You could, for example, use an eCommerce integration like Shopify, or you could even sell lipgloss business on Instagram. If you have any contacts in the business world, ask for advice on how they got started, then market your sales channel to your friends and family in the first instance to get sales.
Here are some example of potential sales channels:
- Your personal: Facebook friends, Instagram followers, colleagues, schoolmates
- Paid advertising: Google ads, Facebook ads, Tiktok ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest ads
- Marketplaces: Amazon, Etsy, Ebay
- Communities: Facebook groups, Reddit, Quora, forums
- Other: Blogging, Craigslist, promoting in the real world (e.g. schools, workplaces, malls)
4. Identify the Minimum Budget
Don’t let the idea that you need a lot of money put you off selling lipgloss for a living. In reality, you can get started with only a small amount of money. The key is to have enough money to reach $1000 worth of sales. At this point, you’ll already have a customer base, and the bank will be more likely to lend you money.
To get started, you’ll need enough to buy between $1000 and $2000 worth of sales inventory and any extra money you need for marketing or paying for an eCommerce platform where you can create your site. Here are a few financing methods for your lipgloss shop.
4.1 FFF and Personal Money
If you have savings or a generous salary, using some of this money to set up your business is a good idea. You won’t need to pay anybody back or rely on a loan, and it’s perfect if you don’t have much previous business experience and may be rejected for a bank loan.
FFF is another great financing method for new business owners in a similar position, and it stands for friends, family, and fools. To finance a lipgloss shop online this way, you ask for money from friends, family, people with little previous experience investment, or people in the community willing to help you out.
4.2 Bank Loans
Bank loans are most suited to people with good credit scores and a history of running a business. Banks want to take as little risk as possible, so the more proof you can give them that you’ll be a success, the more likely they are to lend you money.
You can prove your business’s sustainability with a well-written business plan, the experience of previous business experience, and some form of collateral, e.g. a house you can offer to the bank if you can’t repay the loan. Most commercial banks offer business loans, so do research to find the ones with the best rates for your small lipgloss businesses.
4.3 SBA Guaranteed Loans
SBA-guaranteed loans can be applied for with the help of a government, and their purpose is to allow people who traditionally wouldn’t be able to get a bank loan. These loans make it easier for banks to lend money to you because the government offers collateral if you can’t, therefore reducing the bank’s risk.
You can apply for an SBA-backed loan here. You’ll need to visit the loans page to check which type of loan works best for you, then put in your zip code to find suitable loans available in your area. You can then apply for a loan with your local lender.
4.4 Government Grants
A grant is an amount of money you’re given, usually to support a business or academic venture, that you don’t have to pay back. The government provides small businesses with grants to help get the economy going, and support people who are unable to get traditional business loans or can’t fund their businesses with their own personal money.
Typically, government grants are only available for nonprofit businesses or businesses that are undertaking research and development. There may be grants available for other businesses, so check the website if you think a government grant could help you to open a lipgloss shop.
You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding when people you know have raised money for a charity by running a marathon or doing a sponsored silence, but you can crowdfund to open a lipgloss shop, too. Crowdfunding usually involves setting up a campaign page on a third-party site such as ‘Kickstarter’ or ‘GoFundMe’.
For best results, share this crowdfunding page via social media and email it to everybody in your contacts list, then ask them to forward it to their contacts, too. Ask friends and family to share the crowdfunder on social media, and if you’re part of a Facebook group for small business owners, post it there.
5. Form a Legal Entity
If you fail to form a legal entity, you can get into serious trouble with the authorities. You risk, at best, fines, and, at worst, jail time, so make sure you do everything by the book when it comes to selling lipgloss online. If in doubt about how best to form a legal business entity, contact a professional such as an accountant.
To minimize your risk, you could set up your business as an LLC. An LLC is a limited liability structure, meaning the individual behind the business is protected from taking on the debt and liabilities of the business.
5.1 Business Name
Coming up with the right business name for your lipgloss shop is important, but don’t worry too much about getting the perfect name right away. If you don’t like it, or it doesn’t end up fitting your brand identity, you can always change it later.
To get started, research lipgloss shop names and take inspiration from competitors – without copying them, of course. Once you’ve thought of a few lipgloss business names, set up a focus group with lipgloss lovers and ask them which name appeals most to them. That will help you to make sure your business’s name will entice your target audience.
5.2 Choose a Business Structure
There are various business structures to choose from, all with their own unique set of pros and cons. Here are the main ones.
- Sole proprietor: A sole proprietor owns an unincorporated business by themselves.
- Partnership: A partnership is when two or more people create a business, they each contribute and share the profits and losses.
- Corporation: In a corporation, shareholders can give money or property in exchange for the corporation’s capital stock.
- S Corporation: S corporations pass corporate income, losses, credits, and deductions to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.
- LLC: An LLC protects its owners from personal responsibility for its debts or liabilities.
5.3 Register for Taxes (EIN)
Every business owner needs to register their business for federal and state taxes, depending on the rules in their state.
Some business structures, such as LLCs, have more flexible taxation options, so consider your business structure when creating a lipgloss dealer company.
You can register online with the IRS to pay taxes, and if you’re not sure how to do it or are reluctant to make a mistake, hire an accountant to fill in your tax return for you.
Filing your tax return is incredibly important, as failing to pay taxes can result in a fine or even jail time for tax fraud.
5.4 Bank Account & Credit Card
Having a business bank account comes with many benefits, and most banks are willing to let you open one. Enquire with the bank you use for your personal finances and see if they’ll let you open a bank account for selling lipgloss.
Some business bank accounts come with rewards, so shop around to find the best deal. Having a business account also has the advantage of making you appear more legitimate to clients and customers.
You should invest in a business credit card too – they’re especially handy when you’re running low on cash, and sometimes come with emergency lines of credit.
5.5 Insurance & Accounting
When you own a small business, such as sell lipgloss online, the last thing you want to experience is a lawsuit, so you need to protect your business with insurance and adequate accounting. There are various types of insurance available for small business owners.
Some of the most common types of insurance include:
- Business owners policy
- Product liability insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- General liability insurance
- Home-based business insurance
If you’re not sure which type of insurance your business needs, consult a professional. Most mainstream commercial insurance companies offer business insurance, so shop around and consult reviews for the best deals.
5.6 Permits & Licenses
If the purpose of your business is to sell lipgloss online, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a permit or license. Permits and licenses are generally needed when you’re selling something like firearms or alcohol.
However, if your product contains some sort of drug that is regulated by an industry or government body, you may need a federal or state permit.
This could be lip-plumping ingredients, for example. If you’re unsure whether or not you need licenses or permits, consult this page. These permits cost money, so if you need one, factor it into your budget.
6. Set Up the Shop
Now’s the time to set up the ultimate sales channel – your online lipgloss store. If you don’t have much experience setting up an eCommerce store, don’t panic. Nowadays, there are tons of tools to help you do it, such as popular eCommerce platforms. If you are using a paid platform, don’t forget to put money aside for it in your budget.
Once you’ve opened your shop, you’ll need to market it, too. You can do this on social media by posting to your profile and also to any business Facebook groups that you’re a member of. Choose a website theme that fits your brand identity.
6.1 Define the Pricing
Defining the pricing is one of the key steps to get into lipgloss sales online. You need to decide whether or not you want to market your lipgloss business as a low-cost budget brand, a high-quality luxury brand, or a brand that combines decent quality with affordability. The brand identity and your market research will determine how high you set your prices.
Don’t worry too much about getting your pricing right straight away. If, down the line, you realize your prices are too high to make sales or too low to make a profit margin, you can adjust them accordingly.
6.2 Create an Online Store
You don’t need to be a technical whizz or a graphic designer to create an online store. Creating an online store is easier than ever, especially with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. If you can’t afford the technical, complex features to begin with, opt for a cheaper pricing plan and then get more features as time goes on.
Many platforms like Shopify also have integrations and apps you can introduce to your store to add extra features and functionality. If you want a shipping app that updates customers on delivery time, for example, you can.
6.3 Order Inventory
Now it’s time to order inventory – your first few products for the site. Don’t overthink how much to order – it’s best to aim for the number of products that would make you the first $1-$2k of sales. Avoid over-ordering because you may end up with more inventory than you can sell.
Before ordering your stock, make sure to check how with your supplier how long it will take to arrive. It would be a mistake to launch the store and to sell lipgloss before the lipglosses are available to be sent out to customer as this will be poor customer service.
7. Reach First $1,000 in Sales
If you’ve followed all the steps until this point, you’ll have an expertly-crafted business idea. Now, all you have to do is reach the first $1000 in sales to make your future business plans run more smoothly.
When opening a lipgloss shop, focus on creating images and videos of your products in the real world, so people can see how well they work.
Send your lipglosses to influencers for free in return for a shout-out, and ask friends and family to buy your products and post them on social media.
If you want to sell B2B for extra revenue, contact make-up artists and beauty salons to see if they’d like to buy your products.