If you want to learn how to start a hair product line from home, then this might just be the most important article you read today.
The hair product business has crazy potential. I mean, just look at what Paul Mitchell did when he barely had any money. And he did it all without the internet. Today, you have tons of hair product lines popping up left and right from both VC funded and bootstrapped DTC brands.
Now, I’m going to help you do the same.
In this article, we’re going to go over costs, manufacturing, and a complete 3-step business plan to build, launch, and scale so you can learn how to start a hair product line from home.
Let’s get started…
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Hair Care Line?
The exact costs of starting a hair care line can vary by a ton.
You have to take into consideration what products you want to launch, how many you want to launch, what kind of modifications you’re asking for, the packaging of the product, overall costs per unit, minimums to get started, and way more.
So for the purpose of this article, we’re going to go with an estimate.
On average, it will take anywhere between $5,000-$15,000 to start a hair care line.
This assumes you’re building 1 custom hair care product with a manufacturer that has decent minimums. Of course, there’s always a possibility of starting with more or less money.
If we’re talking private label, then it can cost a few hundred.
Now, you can also decide to make your own hair product by hand such as shampoo bars. If you do this, you get to decide how few or how many you make. You get to also decide how much each product costs, up to a point. It’s the ideal way for a bootstrapper to start.
How To Manufacture Private Label Hair Products
Assuming you’re going either custom or private label, you’ll need a manufacturer.
Luckily, it isn’t that difficult to find one.
All you have to do is go to google and type in phrases like “shampoo manufacturer” or “shampoo private label”. This will give you a ton of potential partners to contact. From there, it’s a game of nailing down your favorite one. Here’s how that is done…
1/ Go through every manufacturer’s website
2/ Analyze each site for capabilities and process
3/ Eliminate the “easy” no’s from your list
4/ Call the sales rep of each “yes”
5/ Ask them if they can do what you need
When you talk to the sales rep, it’s also important to ask these 3 questions…
What are your costs?
What are your minimums?
What are your lead times?
If they can make the product you need and they can do it with numbers that work for you, that’s the manufacturer you should pick to produce your hair products.
The Hair Product Line Business Plan: Build
If you want to learn how to start a hair product line, you have to forget regular business advice.
Most advice will tell you to worry about things like LLC’s and stuff. This is the last thing too worry about. Instead, you need to worry about the only thing that matters in business… acquiring customers. The key is to do this without going broke.
Considering your margins are lowest when you start, this is the best time to build an audience.
In other words, you want to build the Vogue Magazine, but for hair. This can be done through a blog, Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat. In all cases though, you’re consistently producing hair and beauty related content to build an audience of people who are likely going to be interested in what you have to sell.
Focus on this for at least 6 months before launching anything.
During the 2-3 months before you launch though, you want to start sending traffic to an opt-in where people sign up to be notified of your product launch
This way, you have a base of people who are ready to buy without having to spend a cent on marketing. That then leads to more profit during the early stages of your business, which then gives you the flexibility that only VC backed brands tend to have.
The Hair Product Line Business Plan: Launch
The best way to launch any hair product line is with owned media.
Owned media is essentially any type of media that you own. This can be email, SMS, your website, and even social media (sort of). These are the people who are most likely to buy your hair products and they’re also the customers you can reach easily and cheaply.
At this point, you have a content brand with a newsletter.
Once you’re ready to launch, all you have to do is start sending marketing messages to both assets. This means emails to your newsletter and videos/articles to your content brand. In addition, you should also reach out to anyone else you can on social since any bit of targeted traffic works during the early stages.
With that said, you may want to do this in 2-3 rounds rather than 1 huge launch.
By having 2-3 “mini-launches”, you can take your time to build your ecommerce brand. It allows you to sell each batch for maximum profit before moving to the next. It also lets you learn how to properly allocate all of the money you now have from selling your hair care products.
This is why learning how to start a hair product line isn’t just about sales!
The Hair Product Line Business Plan: Scale
If you just want to learn how to start a hair product line, you can skip this section.
But if you’re interested in what to do next after you go through 2-3 “mini-launches”, here’s what I would do.
Leverage your data to do ads, Amazon, and retail.
I won’t go into the details about each marketing channel, but all of them can be supported by the audience you’ve already spent building. In fact, each marketing channel above works even better when coupled with an outside audience.
For example, you can build an LLA audience off of your current customers.
You can send traffic to your Amazon listing to jumpstart the Amazon SEO process.
And you can use all of your sales data to prove retail partners that your product is a winner.
At the same time, don’t stop producing content for your content brand. It’s going to be the absolute most important marketing channel you have because it’ll be the only one you truly control and the only one that delivers above average margins on every sale.