Archive for the 'Products' Category

Increasing Your Business with Wholesale Sales

WholesaleAs an artisan product producer, you’re probably already offering your products on a retail basis – either on a website, at craft shows, markets, or through word-of-mouth. There are potentially many additional venues that you could be targeting by offering your products on a wholesale basis. But how exactly do you do this?

Conduct Some Cheap Market Research

Once you decide to begin looking for wholesale accounts, try starting with a few of your favorite places to shop. Do they carry products similar to those that you create? If so, you may have a shot at getting your products into the store. Ask the store owner how they source new product additions, and ask if you may bring him a few samples and a price sheet. The worst thing that can happen is you will get turned down – but, you’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Other Ways to Find Wholesale Accounts:

  • Search for gift shops and retailers in your local area via the phone book or web
  • Check out your local Chamber of Commerce member directory
  • Look in the local newspaper to see what local shops are carrying
  • Add a Wholesale Application and Order Form to your website or blog
  • Place an ad in your local paper that you are accepting new wholesale accounts
  • Check out GreatRep.com and set up a profile for your business
  • Place a representatives or wholesale accounts wanted ad at GreatRep.com
  • Attend a gift show or expo and look for potential accounts or sales representation
  • Hire a sales representative to market your product line

Wholesale Pricing

It is important to evaluate your production costs before you decide to offer your products on a wholesale basis. It is customary for retailers to imply a 100% markup, also known as a keystone, to items that they purchase wholesale. If they are unable to do that, they may not be interested in purchasing from you. Likewise, if you cannot clear a profit from your wholesale price, it will not be cost-effective for you to offer your products on a wholesale basis.

What if Your Production Costs Fluctuate?

This is a common dilemma for small business owners. You may not always be able to purchase certain raw materials in bulk – so your production costs may vary slightly from batch to batch. In order to make sure that you are always making a profit with your wholesale sales, it is best to calculate your per item costs for raw materials based on the most you would ever pay for any of your raw materials, including the associated shipping costs. If you base your standard wholesale pricing based on the most you’ll ever pay for your particular raw ingredients and packaging elements, you’ll be able to maintain a solid profit margin on your products.

Interested in learning more business-building tips and product formulation ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

Aroma Sprays Make Perfect Scents

Aroma SpraysCreating your own line of aromatic body spritzes and room sprays is an excellent way of boosting your sales.

Mainstream retailers have long offered these fragranced products at prices ranging from $6 to $20 each — often for bottles as small as two to four ounces in size. With a few simple ingredients and a bit of creativity, you can quickly and easily create your own signature blends for both fun and profit.

Aroma sprays and body spritzes utilize the same basic ingredients. The primary, and most important difference is that anything you plan to offer for sale as a body spritz must be made with body-safe fragrance oils.

Here are the items you’ll need in order to create your own scented sprays:

  • Distilled Water
  • Witch Hazel Extract (alcohol distilled)
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Plastic pipettes
  • Your favorite essential oils, or body-safe fragrance oils
  • Your desired packaging (colored glass, plastic or aluminum spray bottles)

A few combination ideas to get you started:

  • Lavender and Orange essential oil
  • Black Raspberry fragrance oil
  • Lemongrass and Peppermint essential oils
  • Vanilla and Peach fragrance oils.

Method:

In the glass measuring cup, combine 8 ounces of distilled water, along with 1 ounce of Witch Hazel extract, and 1 to 2 ml of your favorite essential or body-safe fragrance oil. Stir to combine, then decant into your desired packaging.

There may be a bit of oil and water separation in your blends, so be sure to include the instruction to “shake well before using” on your product label. It is also a wise idea to include notations to avoid using directly on fine fabrics, as well as wood finishes.

For professional looking labels that won’t break the bank, check out MyOwnLabels.com. They offer hundreds of color and style combinations, and you can order your custom labels by the sheet. They even offer coordinated hang tags, so you can coordinate your entire line of products with ease.

Interested in learning more business-building tips and product formulation ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

The Importance of Color for Spa Products

color-chart-smallWhen you are selecting colors for your logo, website or packaging, you may wish to consider how the colors will resonate with your customers. Colors register with the subconscious mind, and can make a dramatic impact on consumers’ buying preferences.

Colors can represent memories, reflect our moods, and evoke emotional responses. Researchers have long studied how various colors and color combinations affect buying preferences; these studies are often the basis from which manufacturers select the colors for a products’ packaging and promotional materials.

Savvy marketers will leverage their knowledge of color theory in order to evoke the desired response from their prospects. Below are a few examples of well known color representations:

  • White: Symbol of purity, innocence and honesty. It is evokative of all that is clean and good.
  • Black: Symbol of darkness, despair and death. Black often represents villany and evil.
  • Blue: Blue is most often associated with trust, creativity and imagination. It also represents order and security.
  • Green: Green represents nature, vibrancy and life. With the growing popularity of “green” living, it is also clearly associated with natural products, freshness and organics.
  • Yellow: Yellow is associated with thinking and philosophy, as well as maturity and hope. Yellow is a color that traditionally evokes happiness and cheerfulness.
  • Red: Symbolizing excitement, action, or even danger. Red also represents energy and passion.
  • Purple: Often associated with royalty, purple is elegant and extravagant. It evokes feelings of wealth and influence.

It is important to consider specific regions of the world you may be selling into when making color selections. What may evoke a specific response in one area of the world may play dramatically different elsewhere. The climate of the market and the mood of society will also play a large part in how products are accepted.

The study of psychological response with respect to color is likely to be scrutinized for generations to come.

Interested in learning more business-building tips and product formulation ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

How to Make Spa Product Gift Baskets

Gift BasketsIf you aren’t using gift baskets or gift sets as a selling tool, you are missing out on an opportunity to garner more sales. Offering gift sets and baskets is a valuable selling tool that can accomplish multiple objectives:

  • New way to promote slow-moving products (pair slow movers with popular items)
  • Introduce customers to new products (offering special price for sets)
  • Capitalize on the “instant gift” nature of gift baskets and gift sets (quick and easy!)
  • Perfect for “last minute” gifts (think Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, Graduation, etc.)

Leveraging the Power of Gift Sets

A bit of creative thinking can go a long way to scoring additional sales throughout the year. Have you considered offering:

  • A gift reminder service (perfect for forgetful husbands and boyfriends)
  • Gift registry service (for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, Christmas, brides, etc.)
  • Custom gift set service (hostess gifts, new mother sets, spa-at-home parties, etc.)

What Should You Put in a Gift Set?

The key to creating a well-received gift set is to keep the products relevant, without being trivial. You don’t want the gift recipient to feel as if they received a “generic” gift, but rather one that was selected especially for them.

As an artisan bath and body product producers, you have a wealth of collateral products that can be added to your gift sets. Use your imagination to find unique pampering gift items that will compliment those that you produce.

Spa KitLook for items such as:

  • Loofah
  • Bath Mitts or sponges
  • Bath pillow
  • Nail files or cuticle kit
  • Pumice Stone
  • Spa Slippers
  • Headband
  • Relaxing music
  • Herbal tea
  • Floating candles, or incense

A Word About Containers

You don’t have to use traditional packaging for your gift sets. In fact, you’ll invariably sell more sets when you employ your creativity! You might want to make up small sets packaged in oversized teacups, sheer organza drawstring bags, colorful totes or mini purses, novelty take-out boxes, or even in ceramic floral containers. When you package your gift sets in a non-traditional container that can be used again, the recipient is also gaining an “extra” gift!

Want more fabulous formulations and savvy sales tips? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

The Importance of Product Packaging for Spa Products

prodpackYour mother always told you that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. She’s right, of course, except for when it comes to product packaging.

When it comes to product packaging; quite often, it’s all about the look.

Your product packaging consists of far more than just a protective wrapper or a container. It’s about more than just functionality. Your product packaging is a major communicator of your brand, and its overall value.

Research has shown that consumers spend 75% of their time focused on the visual aspect of a products’ packaging.

Our perception of quality is directly linked to value. Our perception is driven by appearances. We automatically assign a higher value to those products that appear in attractive packaging. As consumers, we automatically make the determination that such a product must be offered through a quality source.

Knowing this, a wise marketer will use their packaging to leverage a purchase decision in their favor.

Cosmetic and fragrance companies, in particular, capitalize on this fact on a regular basis. Studies have indicated that manufacturers have been known to spend up to five times more for the product packaging than they do to create the actual product going into it.

Why? Because they know that an attractive package will garner attention, and convert into more sales.

More than Just a Pretty Label

Even though we’ve learned that having an attractive product package is important, being visually attractive it isn’t the only purpose that product packaging serves.

What other tasks must your packaging perform for you?

  • Communicate your brand through imagery, logo, & slogan
  • Provide information on your business mission statement
  • Answer frequently asked technical questions
  • Communicate ingredients and any cautionary measures
  • Set realistic expectations of the product’s benefits
  • Provide reorder information / business contact details

A product’s packaging doesn’t have to be expensive in order to convey quality. Selecting clean, crisp, timeless styles that employ a cohesive color scheme will reinforce your brand.

Additional Tips for Selecting Product Packaging:

  • Avoid falling prey to bringing in the latest “hot” packaging item
  • Select styles that can withstand the test of time
  • Look for containers that can be used to package multiple items
  • Order in larger quantities in order to take advantage of bulk discounts
  • Look for suppliers that offer free shipping
  • Purchase multiple packaging elements together when possible to avoid color mismatch
  • Keep an idea journal, and note product ideas when you see them in the marketplace

Interested in learning more business-building tips and product formulation ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

Make Spa Products At Home On A Budget

Is this one of those weeks at work that leaves you feeling frazzled?  Are you kids running you ragged? You know all you really want is a little time to pamper yourself.

If all you want is a little quiet time and pampering, unfortunately in today’s economy, many people can’t afford the $250+ price tag that comes with the Spa Treatment you NEED. Well have no fear, there are ways around this. Once you get the husband and kids out of the house, I’ll show you how to bring the spa home to you for less than the price of a pizza!

How is all of this possible? The Handcrafters Companion is the answer. It is the only resource you are going to need to bring the pampering into your own house at a fraction of the cost of a high-end spa treatment. This handy guide will teach you all of the “secrets” of the trade that will enable you to turn your bathroom into a relaxation center.

Unfortunately, very few of us can afford to get away on a regular basis to recharge or go to some fancy spa to be treated like royalty. That does not change the fact that we still need to do these things in order to lead a normal and healthy life and we have to find ways to make it happen. The task is not as hard as it seems and you will find most of the ingredients in your own home!

With The Handcrafters Companion as your guide you can transform your home into a place of tranquil relaxation. You will learn how to make all your favorite forms of pampering whether you prefer bath bombs, bubble baths, pot pourri, salt scrubs or even aromatherapy with very little investment.

So remember – there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself in this economy without being extravagant.  Making bath and body products at home can not only replace expensive store-bought products, but can also become a second income (but that’s for another blog post…)

Top Marketing Ideas For Your Own Line Of Bath and Body Products

Last time I shared with you just how big the spa and leisure industry has become.
I also promised to share some of my top ideas for marketing your range on a shoestring budget.

Local markets and craft fares

Local markets and fares are one of the best vehicles to sell your products very cost-effectively. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind when selling at local markets:

  • Be different – unique product names, unique labelling, unique packaging and unique formulations will hook the interest of passers-by. Unique packages are harder to come by in smaller quantities, but the other items are totally under your control. Labels can be printed up in small runs very cost-effectively as well.
  • Local flavor is the key – I recommend emphasizing your local roots. Many people would much rather buy a unique gift from their local area than a mass-produced product shipped from interstate or overseas.
  • Effective presentation – make sure your stall or booth is clean and well organised. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but first impressions do count. Displaying some unpackaged product in stainless steel bowls can be a useful presentation technique to get people coming over to your stall and smelling and sampling your creations.
  • Effective packaging – with bath and body products, it’s a fact that packaging sells. 50c more spent on packaging may mean you can sell the end product for an extra $5. It can be hard to find truly unique containers in the smaller runs that you’re likely to start off with, but you can add a lot of value and interest with the addition of gift baskets, ribbons, bows and printed or embossed labels.
  • Free samples – offering small sample-sizes or “single-use” sachets can be a great way to build interest in your range if you plan to exhibit at the same market regularly. You can also throw these in as “bonuses” with products purchased to get your customers trying out more of what you offer.
  • Build an email list – this is my favourite promotional strategy that can produce exponential returns. Even if you don’t make a purchase (but especially if you do), by collecting the name and email address of interested people, you can keep in touch easily and cheaply. A good incentive to encourage people to give their details is to offer to send them a coupon for a free product. The cost of the product can be a couple dollars to you, but lead to other purchases at full price, not to mention all the repeat orders.The email service I recommend that can do all this for you is called Aweber. Starting from just $19 per month, it will become one of your most cost-effective marketing tools.

Remember, most of the products in The Handcrafter’s Companion can be sold with at least a 500% markup (so if it costs you $2 to make, you can sell it for $10).

Once you establish a few simple marketing systems you’ll be amazed at how your sales grow.

How to turn “ordinary” homemade spa products into fabulous treats

Even though you may follow a recipe to make your first batch of two of spa products, once you get the hang of making spa products, you can start to experiment to create an endless variety of products that make your creations truly unique.

You can create a completely new brand and “mood” for a product, simply by changing a few key ingredients.

For example, one of my favourite recipes is for my Peppermint and Blood Orange Invigorating Body Scrub. The basic recipe calls for Peppermint and Blood Orange as the essential oils.

However, different combinations of essential oils will produce a different result and a different feel. For example:

Cinnamon, Apple, Orange & Vanilla = “Country Kitchen”
Orange + Cinnamon = “Spiced Citrus”
Coconut + Pineapple = “Pina Colada”

In the same way, different grades of sea salt or different types of seeds will produce not only a different visual effect but also different qualities on the skin – from a luxurious, almost velvety
product through to a more abrasive exfoliating scrub.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

The Handcrafter’s Companion is now in its 3rd Edition and it’s one of the most popular “how to” guides for making spa products available anywhere. At just $27, I think you’ll agree it represents great value (and if you don’t agree, you can get a 100% refund, so there’s no risk). To download your copy right now, all you have to do is purchase here via our secure server and you could be making your own fresh creations in as little as a few hours!

To your success with spa products!

Jane Church

What kinds of bath and body products can you make at home?

When people ask me what I do and I tell them that I teach people how to make fabulous bath and body products from home, they often express surprise that it is so easy to replace store-bought products.

Here are some of the products that I regularly make (and are featured in The Handcrafter’s Companion e-book).

– Fragrant handcrafted soaps
– Luscious bath bombs
– Soothing bath teas, additives and soaks
– Fun and foamy bubble baths
– Nourishing body butters, balms, lotions and creams
– Invigorating body scrubs, polishes, salts and masques
– Extravagant home fragrance products
– Luxurious potpourri and sachets
– Unique aromatherapy blends

The great thing I’ve discovered about this fun and profitable hobby is that once you learn a few core techniques and recipes, it’s very easy to branch out to create a myriad of different products.

I have to fly out the door right now, but ‘ll show you what I mean very shortly – promise!