Starting a perfume business
with a shop of your own

Is starting a perfume business in India or the Philippines any different than starting a perfume business in North America or Europe? While regulatory issues and supply chains differ from country to country and sometimes from region to region, the business fundamentals are the same. To have a perfume business you must be able to make profitable sales. To make profitable sales you must have product you can sell at a profit. Today I want to write about getting started.

How does a business that sells goods to consumers get started? Sometimes it gets started when you buy a franchise or when you put up a lot of money to open your own store. But how can you do it if you don't have that kind of money? Would you be surprised to learn that people have been doing it, successfully, for years?

More than one American fortune was founded by someone who peddled goods from town to town, traveling on foot, working out of a backpack. In New York City I recall seeing African men staking out sidewalk spaces and, seated on the sidewalk, selling out of duffel bags.

American peddlers who started out on foot invested their profits, first in a horse so they could travel farther, then in a wagon so they could carry more merchandise, and finally in a store. As profits grew, sometimes they opened a second store.

Today we have shopkeepers whose "shop" is a folding table set up at a flea market, craft fair, or farm market. And some people sell out of the trunk of their car. They have found that even with these low profile "store fronts" they can make money.

Regardless of whether you start with a peddlers pack, a folding table, or a store, the dynamics of your business are the same. You have set yourself up as a "shopkeeper" or "retailer" and you confront all the problems and opportunities of others in your trade. Let's look at some of what is involved.

First of all, your shop must become the center of your life. You must be passionate about it, proud of it, and totally committed to it. You must be constantly focused on making your shop, no matter how small, a more effective money spinning machine. Making your shop make money must become everything.

Whether your store is brick and mortar or a folding table, feeling comfortable with the "traffic" is essential. If you want people to take an interest in your merchandise, your first step is to take an interest in them.

Always be clean, neat, and nicely dressed. You want people to feel comfortable with you. You don't, by your dress or mannerisms, want to distract them from the merchandise.

Charm your customers by talking to them, finding out what they might like and helping them find it and buy it.

Honest dealings build trust and trust brings additional sales and new customers.

Be prepared to be present at regular hours. You are the store's image. People will want to talk to you and feel they know you. Schmoozing with customers helps build business. Arrive before opening time and stay a bit past closing time. Show that you are the captain of the ship.

How you display your merchandise matters, even when you are selling off the top of a folding table. Make your display an example of the pride you take in your business. Feature the items that should be featured. Highlight the winners. Don't give every item the same amount of shelf space or the same treatment.

Start-up money isn't really an issue because, if you have the right motivation, you can get started with a folding table. If you invest in a store but don't have the right motivation (perhaps because someone gave you the money to open the store and you didn't earn that money yourself), you are likely to fail. To succeed you are really going to have to put your back into it.

One final warning. Ego and the wrong kind of pride can block you from opportunities. If you have no money but could sell successfully off a folding table BUT are too proud to "lower yourself" to that level, beware! If you have money to rent an inexpensive store but, due to your ego, will only consider a fancier store and location, beware! Starting your own business may be a bad idea for you. (FOOTNOTE: Barneys, the famous clothing store which became a chain, was started by Barney Pressman in New York City at 7th Avenue and 17th Street, not a great location. Yet I remember finding that store and buying some very nice Burberry trousers there before the store became famous – and the goods far more expensive.)

I haven't mentioned inventory; how to find it and how to buy it. Buying right is your ticket to success and I'll write about it next week.

Now available: "Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics"

Instant download in pdf format — $9.99

Also available in a soft cover edition from Amazon.or read more about this book.


archander
Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin was first published in 1960 and is the classic, authoritative reference for natural products used in perfumes, scents, flavorings, foods, and medicine throughout the world. Part One defines and describes processing methods used to extract or refine the products into usable form; Part Two includes more than 500 monographs on the natural raw materials used to produce perfumes, flavorings, etc. Appendices include a classification of important materials by their scent, and worldwide production figures for major products. Fully indexed, the book also includes 62 pages of photographs, making this the standard reference work on natural materials for perfumers and flavor chemists. The preface contains practical descriptions of available materials, their origin, production and processing methods, appearance, odor and flavor type with brief notes on their main constituents, replacements and common adulterants.


Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! (3rd edition)

Perfume is famous for the markup it can achieve, even for a middle market fragrance. While "everybody knows" that perfume costs next to nothing to make (not completely true) the making of it is often considered an esoteric secret. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" details how a 3-person company with no experience created their own fragrance in response to a marketing opportunity that was too good to pass up. The book explains exactly what was done to create a fragrance for that opportunity but it is far more than a history of the author's project. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" lays out every step in the process of creating your own perfume, either as a do-it-yourself project – and without the benefit of automated equipment some compromises and workarounds are required – or full bore professional production under your supervision. Either way you will be producing a quality fragrance at a remarkably low cost. Do you have a marketing opportunity that would be wildly profitable if only you could obtain your fragrance at a ridiculously low cost? "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" is the guide you need to do it.


Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name

A really great name, a special name that is just right for a particular perfume or perfume marketer (or entrepreneur with money to invest!) can be worth a ton of money. But few individuals with great ideas ever manage to cash in on those brilliant ideas. Instead they wait while others "discover" their idea, acquire legal rights to it and make all the money while they are left out in the cold without a penny having been earned for what was once THEIR idea.

If you are struggling to name your perfume and are looking for a name that will have real value, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will help you weed out low value names and point you to names that have better marketing value plus the potential to become valuable assets in themselves.

If you have a great name you want to protect but no fragrance, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will guide you through the simple steps you must take to acquire a legal right to that name before someone else grabs it! Best of all, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" shows you how to gain strong legal protection for your name without a lawyer and without spending more than pocket change.

Never had an idea for a product name? Never thought much about perfume? "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" may stimulate your interest in a whole new game that, when played well, can make you lots of money without your having to leave the comfort of your home office.


How To Launch Your Own Perfume Company: A Simple Business Plan

You can build a perfume business of your own using this business plan as a guide. By following its detailed strategy you learn to identify motivated groups of potential perfume buyers. Members of these groups are near the tipping point of desire for a new perfume. You don't know these people and they don't know you but you know a marketer they trust, one who does not currently sell perfume and might never think of selling perfume were it not for your approach. Here is where you step in with a professional plan, promotion, and perfume to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for mutual profit. Before your first promotion has peaked, you will already be developing a relationship with your next marketing partner. Following this plan, you will gain more and more profit with each new marketing partnership.


Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics

Now when you make your own perfume you can make it fully "commercial" meaning you will be creating a product ready for regular, continuous sales to friends, relatives, and the public! If the fragrance you've made has already won praise, why not share it with others? Some might pay you for it and want it for their web stores or retail boutiques! Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics guides you through steps that can turn your hobby project into a perfume business. Discover how close you are now and how little more you must do to take what you made with essential oils and dropper bottles into a business of your own! For an introduction to this book, watch this video.


How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume

When you name a perfume you create a valuable asset – the name itself. To sell your perfume you want the most effective name possible. But a good name can have value beyond the edge it gives your sales. In naming your fragrance you are creating a trademark and a trademark can have value independent of the product. The value of that trademark can vary. Much depends on how well, in naming your perfume, you follow the trademark "rules." How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume first helps you develop a name that will be effective in selling your perfume. It then prods you to make use of certain techniques that can turn a good name into a great trademark, strong and valuable. If you have questions about how to protect a name, How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume will answer many such as:

  • Can you protect your name yourself or do you need a lawyer?
  • Can you register a trademark without a lawyer?
  • What does it cost to register a trademark?
  • How do I enforce the rights I have established?

How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume covers both state, federal, and international protection.


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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.