Wondering how to start a skincare line with no money? You’re in good luck. I know it sounds like an impossible task to start a skincare brand without any investment at all – but trust me it is possible and I am the living proof of it. I started an e-commerce business with absolutely no money and turned it into a $4.5 million company within one and a half years. Today I am going to share all the secrets and give you suggestions and advice along the way, to help you start your own skincare line without spending a dime.
How much does it costs to start a skincare line?
Prior to understanding how to start a skincare line with no money, you must make yourself familiar with the costs involved in order to start a skincare line. Once we get a basic overview of the cost analysis, we can start to look for alternatives that are free.
Whether you want to start a lip care line or a skincare line, the first thing you will need to start a skincare line is the skincare products themselves. There are different routes you can go with this. You can either manufacture them through skincare product manufactures or make your own skincare products at home. You can also go for white-label skincare products or better known as private label products. And lastly, you can opt to sell the skin care products as a distributor. You will need anywhere from $500 to $5000 in order to hold the skincare line inventory. This cost will highly depend on the way you are sourcing them. Working as a distributor costs little to no capital while manufacturing your own skincare products through a manufacturer will require a larger capital.
The second thing you will need is a platform to sell your skincare products. There are a plethora of companies that offer online store development without any technical knowledge. Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify, and Square are some of the most common ones. You will need around $29-$35 per month in order to operate your online store through these companies.
And third and the last thing you will need is a marketing channel. Paid advertisements work best for marketing your skincare line, but you need to spend money in order to generate results. There are other free marketing strategies like affiliate marketing, newsletters, SEO, and social media which will offer exposure to your skincare line organically. Budgeting for marketing will hugely depend on the scale of your skincare line. If you want to start small, $500 can take you a long way. On the other hand, large scale skincare requires thousands of dollars of marketing budget
All in all, in order to start a skincare line you will need anywhere from $1500 to $10,000 depending on the scale of your business operation. Now let’s get into the alternative solutions that will let you start a skincare line with no money at all.
Starting a skincare line without money
You want to start a skincare line and you have no money. It sounds like a daunting task to even fathom the possibility. But if you follow this step-by-step guide, you will have your own skincare business from scratch without any investments at all. Without further ado, I want to get into the free alternatives you’ll need in order to start a skincare business.
1. Create A Strategy :
Running a successful skincare line requires a strategy. You will require even a better strategy to start a skincare line with no money. Without an actionable strategy, you will be running around like a headless chicken. Once you finish reading this article, I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down your basic business plan that focuses on the sourcing, operating, and marketing strategies you’re going to take in order to start a successful skincare line from scratch with no investments. Furthermore, make sure you do your competition and market research and include them in your business plan.
Also check out, a free resource on writing a business plan from SBA.
2. Sourcing Your Skincare Products With No Money:
This will be one of the biggest obstacles while starting your skincare line with no money. There is simply no alternative way to hold a skincare inventory without spending money. Manufacturing is going to cost a lot of money, therefore it is out of your reach. Private labeling companies will require you to buy in bulk, so that’s not possible. Working as a distributor will require you to keep some form of deposit or payment before they dispatch the products to you.
The one and the only solution is following the dropshipping business model. Dropshipping is more like an order fulfillment strategy where you don’t actively hold any inventory. Instead, when an order comes through your skincare line store, you direct that order to your supplier. Who, in turn, fulfills the order on your behalf. For example, if a skincare product costs $40 for you, you list it as $65 in your online store and if there is an order, you make $25 by just being a middle man. This makes this business model perfectly suited for anyone wanting to start a skincare line with little to no money. Once you start generating revenue from your skincare line, you can look into private labeling or manufacturing your own skincare products.
Shopify is the best platform to run your dropshipping-based online skincare store. Oberlo is one of the best apps offered by Shopify for dropshippers. It lets you source products for your online skincare store from AliExpress suppliers. With Oberlo, you can import products to your Shopify store from AliExpress, edit the product descriptions, and place orders individually or in bulk. The best thing about Oberlo is that it is completely free to join and integrates seamlessly with Shopify.
3. Create A Free Shopify Store :
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial without even needing a credit card. This makes it the best opportunity for individuals who want to start a skincare line with no money. All you need is an email account and you can start your free trial for 14 days. But the issue is, 14-days is not enough to start an online store and make a few sales.
You need to have a strategy in place before you get the trial. This is the reason my first point was creating a strategy. You have to make the most out of your free trial and generate as many sales as possible within the 14-day period. You need to make sure the sales generate enough revenue so that you can pay for a full month of Shopify by the time your trial ends. I am going to tell you the exact strategy I used to scale my online business with no money using Shopify’s 14-day free trial.
You will need at least two email accounts for this strategy to work. First, you need to get a 14-day trial using your secondary email. Use those 14 days to play around with Shopify and understand how it works. Once you get comfortable with the Shopify dashboard, design an online store for your skincare line using a variety of free themes offered by Shopify.
Finally, when you have your online store ready, create a marketing strategy and get ready for the launch of your live store. All these will have already taken 8-9 days of your free 14-day trial. That’s where your primary email comes into play. Get another 14-day trial using your primary email and since you know exactly how to design your store by now, it should take less than an hour to get your brand new store up and ready. Start marketing your skincare line and try to generate a few sales in order to cover up Shopify’s $29/mo plan. Didn’t manage to generate any sales within 14-days? Well, you can always rinse and repeat the process.
Start Shopify 14-day free trial from today!
4. Connect Your Skincare Store With A Domain :
Unfortunately, there is no alternative way of getting a free domain name. If you have a small startup capital for the skincare line, I would highly recommend getting a domain name from Namecheap. You can check the availability of your domain name from the tool below.
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
I understand that you want to start a skincare line with no money. If you can’t afford to get a domain name, don’t worry Shopify offers a free subdomain for your business. For example, if your online store name is Petal Skincare. Your subdomain will be petalskincare.myshopify.com.
Having a sub-domain will not look professional for your skincare line. Therefore, I would suggest getting one from Namecheap and connecting it to your Shopify store as soon as you start generating revenue.
5. Create A Social Presence :
You must get social if you want to start a skincare line with no money. With all the social media platforms available, creating a digital presence for your skincare line is not a difficult task. If you are starting with no money, paid adverts will not work for your case. Therefore, post content regularly and try to engage with your audience on social media networks. This is a great way to build a trust and following for your online skincare business.
Marketing a skincare line with no money
The marketing strategy for your skincare line will be highly limited due to the little or no startup capital. Your best friend in marketing organically is social media. Use these platforms to keep your current customers updated and as a tool for attracting new customers. Engaging in social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok is a great way to reach your customer locally or globally.
One of the other most effective and free marketing strategies is Newsletters. The best thing about it is that it is completely free to start. You can sign up for a free account at Mailchimp, and start collecting emails of potential customers from today. There are different ways to collect emails from your website traffic or social media audience. The best one is offering the visitors a discount coupon if they sign up for your newsletter. You can also connect your Mailchimp account directly to your Shopify store and start your list-building process. Once you have a healthy number of emails on your list, try to send an email a week to promote your products. Make sure you are not spamming these emails and let the user have an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter whenever he wants.
Scaling a skincare line with no money
You will make money through your skincare line. There is no doubt about that. The doubt is if you scale your business the right way. Always make sure you follow the 80-20 rule, where you invest 80% of all the profits back into your skincare business and take only 20% for your personal expenses.
Once you start generating revenue from your skincare line, the first thing you should focus on is getting a Shopify Paid Plan. I mean, you can not run a successful skincare business for only 14 days. Once your Shopify plan is sorted the next step is getting a professional domain name for your skincare line.
You should also consider registering your business and applying for an EIN while scaling. Registering your business as an LLC and getting an EIN will help to unlock the ability for you to open business bank accounts, enter into contracts, hire employees, and get business licenses and permits. This is crucial during the scaling phase.
And lastly, look into affiliate marketing and influencer marketing for your skincare line. Creating an affiliate program for your business will give your customers an incentive to recommend you to their friends and family. And you can reward each successful referral through a discount coupon or a free skincare product. Word of mouth marketing works effortlessly in the skincare industry and I am sure it will have a positive impact on your skincare line.