Thursday, April 13, 2017

What kind of perfume business do you want?

People come to my website because they want a "perfume business." For the most part the dream is either having a marketing business selling famous name perfumes at retail (or making your own name and perfumes famous) or, more interesting to me, a business selling perfume they can make themselves.

    My own start in perfume was on the marketing side. I had a business with customers. We sold various products. Somebody suggested we try a men's cologne. After some inexpensive tests, we did our own cologne and it made money. That was my start.

    People ask, "What does it cost to launch a new perfume?" In my case the numbers broke down like this: First of all, about $2,000 to produce 1,000 bottles of perfume. We estimated our cost per (1-ounce) bottle to be just under $1.50. That leaves $500 unaccounted. Some of our purchases required orders greater that 1,000 units so, after doing our 1,000 bottles, we were left with bottles and other components to start on our next one thousand.

    Let's just say our production cost was about $2,000. We bottled the fragrance ourselves and I wrote a book about how we did it. (Special price here -- offer expires May 31st, 2017).
    That first $2,000 was just the production cost. We still had to sell it and that is the sticky point for someone who wants to launch their own perfume business with their own perfume.

    In our case we had a catalog sent monthly to loyal customers. Larger catalog companies know the cost of ever square inch of every page of every catalog they mail. That lets them track how well one ad is paying off compared to the others. We never did that kind of precise tracking so I never put a dollar amount on the cost of the full page in our catalog we gave our new fragrance.

    But before we could advertise the fragrance, we had to develop an ad for it. In this case it involved some creative copywriting, graphic design, and both still photography for the bottle and model photography which involved props, styling, and two models. Add a few dollars for those costs.

    For us at that time, this was all within the way we typically developed new products and tested them in the catalog. We had to test new products continuously to stay in business. If you are attempting to start a "perfume business" launching your own perfume, you have to look at your opportunities to sell your perfume. The first question you must ask is "Are there any?"

    If, at the moment, you can't say how you are going to sell your own perfume, you're not ready to start a perfume business. But this doesn't mean you can't start, now, looking for that niche that will allow you to start a perfume business. You'll find some ideas in a book I advertised here.

    Now if, instead of wanting to make and sell your own perfume you simply want to build a perfume factory to make perfume or develop a retail chain to sell famous name perfumes (or their copycats), I'll save that for another day.