I have always loved beauty products since I first sneaked into my mother’s dresser when I was five and sprayed lots of her perfume on my clothes. Literally drenched my clothes in expensive perfume! The lipstick went on any other part but my lips while the eyeliner… well, I can’t even remember what I did with that. My poor mom almost had a heart attack when she found me 30 minutes later.
22 years later, I still love the finer things in life that make me feel good about myself and so when I started thinking of an income generating activity to boost my salary, I thought no further than what I am passionate about.
Lessons From Business Owner
I have learned so many lessons in the last two years that I have run this small joint on the side, so many that I plan to make it my fulltime job soon… in a year or so, maybe?
Know your Margins
This I learned in school as I was a finance major. Your business could be making $20 million a month but you would be surprised to learn that the profit associated with this revenue is a measly $200,000. I have learned to look at the products that I offer and measure their individual contribution to my business. That way, I can get rid of the products that drag me down without harming the rest of the business. As a business owner, you have to be interested in more than just the bottom line.
Take out Insurance
Most start-ups – especially those operating online like myself –do not pay enough attention to insurance policies but the truth is you need a new business insurance with the same urgency you need new stock. You never know what could happen to it and cause a loss that would take you back to zero. I have taken out insurance against destruction and theft on every item in my stock and even the delivery team.
Listen Online and Know your Competition
If you want to know what people are saying about your brand, look further than your social sites. More gossip – good and bad – is had on other platforms than it is on your site. You also want to know the status of the industry you are in, what is new, and what the competition is doing. When I started, I shopped in 12 small online stores just to see how they treat their customers, their packaging, and after-sale services offered and I learned more than I knew. I still do the same every few months.
Listen to the Customer
Without your customer, you have no business and so you should listen to them. When I buy products in bulk, I get extras that I repackage to give to regulars and newbie buyers alike. This strategy has built my brand a great deal. Every quarter, I send them easy questions about the brand and ask them to make recommendations. Not everyone answers, but at least 80% of them give me their thoughts that I have found quite enriching.
My business is in infancy when compared to the guys I want to be like, but I am proud of the strides we have made so far.