Start an organic hygiene products business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your organic hygiene products business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening an organic hygiene products business?
A lot of the cost of starting this type of business is for product formulation, manufacturing, and testing. Owners who do not have a background in formulating cosmetics can purchase existing formulations or pay someone to develop a unique formulation for them. Costs can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the formula's complexity and its ingredients. After formulation, products need testing which cost hundreds more. Finally, they need to be manufactured, bottled, and shipped. The average costs per unit is between two and three dollars.
Another expense will be getting your products organic certified. Certifying a product as organic is a long and expensive process which can cost thousands of dollars each year to renew per product.
The typical startup cost for an organic hygiene product business is around $15,000 per product. This is in addition to all the other normal start up any other business requires.
Potential organic hygiene products business owners who want to start a company more inexpensively, should look into working with private label hygiene companies.
What are the ongoing expenses for an organic hygiene products business?
The ongoing expenses include manufacturing, shipping, rent, labor, insurance, and yearly recertification.
Who is the target market?
The target market for organic hygiene products is middle and upper class women who care deeply about their health and the environment and are willing to pay a premium for an organic alternative to national brands.
How does an organic hygiene products business make money?
These businesses make money by selling products straight to the consumer or distributing through a wholesale process to stores.
How much can you charge customers?
When it comes to how much consumers are willing to spend on organic hygiene products, the sky is the limit. Essential Wholesale & Labs, a private label company, suggests companies charge retail customers 5 to 6 times of the cost of the finished product and wholesale customer half of that price.
How much profit can an organic hygiene products business make?
Retail profits margins are around 80% and wholesale profit margins are half that. Of course, not all of that is profit, but it is possible to make millions of dollars selling organic hygiene products.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Owners of organic hygiene products can expand their product line to include a wide range of products including hair care, skin care, and feminine hygiene products.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Organic Hygiene Products Business Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your organic hygiene products business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
Federal Business Licensing Requirements
The FDA does not currently have strict regulations on the production of personal hygiene and personal care products; however, legislation has been put in motion to introduce such regulations, so it is important that you stay alert of new regulations in the personal care products industry.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an organic hygiene products business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
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How to promote & market an organic hygiene products business
The target market for organic hygine products are typically tech-savvy, so reaching out to them through social media and online ads is a good option. Owners can utilize inbound marketing techniques to draw traffic into their online store and expose them to their line of products. Taking steps to establish your brand's commitment to sustainable, health-conscious, and eco-friendly values will help customers trust your company as a go-to resource for all their hygienic needs.
How to keep customers coming back
Business owners can gain new customers for their products by offering free samples and complimentary makeovers at political and social events. Supporting ecological and social causes can help to generate a positive public image for your business and solidify customer loyalty.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Start An Organic Hygiene Products Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
Most successful organic hygiene products business are run by people passionate about the products they sell and who are actively involved in a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. There is no room to for phonies in this business, since your customers will be quick to identify unwholesome ingredients that may have found their way into your product line. An organic hygiene product business demands a full-time schedule, so owners need to have a deep dedication to the business even if it is only a second source of income.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at an organic hygiene products business?
It can be very complicated to run an organic hygiene products business. There are a lot of moving parts. The largest of these parts is the manufacturing phase. The size and scope of manufacturing depends on the type and the amount of products a company requires. Since businesses usually outsource manufacturing duties, many owners spend a good portion of their days talking to manufacturers about their orders. The rest of the time, owners split between marketing to businesses and customers. Smaller companies tend to sell directly to customers either online and through retail stores. Larger companies have the brand recognition and inventory to sell wholesale.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful organic hygiene products business?
Marketing is critical in this industry. It is important to understand the marketplace and know how to market to this unique niche of customers. The more experience owners have in marketing, the better they will be able to position their brand. It is very helpful to have a background in formulating and manufacturing organic hygiene products, but it is not essential. Many owners decide to outsource development and production or to purchase and relabel third-party products.
What is the growth potential for an organic hygiene products business?
The overall growth of the industry is huge. Experts predict the industry will be worth close to 16 billion dollars by 2020. New brands entering this saturated market will need unique products and effective marketing to claim their share of sales.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting an organic hygiene products business?
Business owners should start small and grow slowly. Owners need to speak with their customers to ask for their opinions on which new products are worth developing. There is a lot of competition in this market and expanding too quickly can use up the capital necessary for marketing. Offer an unique selling proposition for the brand to make it stand out.
How and when to build a team
A team is essential from the start of this kind of business. Try to hire employees who are socially active and environmentally aware, since these kinds of people can be excellent brand ambassadors for the company.