As a business
The perfume industry in India commands a market share of Rs 300 crore and is growing at a rate of 125% annually. For those who are keen to get a slice of this business, the time has never been better. It presents itself as one of the most viable and manageable business ventures for young and old entrepreneurs alike.
Perfumes are increasingly becoming a way for people to define themselves and make a unique statement. Though highly competitive, the perfume industry offers entrepreneurs fair opportunities to launch their own unique products, making it a highly rewarding line of work. It is now a well accepted fact that fragrance carries a positive energy that encourages things to happen. Fragrance is a major part of the fashion industry that holds scope for infinite exploration. Developing and promoting your own line of perfumes is an expression of personal artistry, that demands in-depth planning and a lot of experimentation. A product that is well appreciated can rise to the top of the industry in a very short while. An all-natural approach to ingredients is appreciated, as consumer awareness is trending towards safe, healthy, all-natural products. Knowledge of chemistry is not a needed qualification to start a perfume or fragrance line. As in every business, the ability to research the market, from wholesale suppliers to sales contacts, while also investing time and money into a dedicated sales website is crucial. The most important requirement if this business, however, is the ability to discern between subtle fragrances and the love to experiment with different oils and scents.
Let’s take a brief look into the essentials of setting up a perfume business.
A comprehensive business plan and a workplace
The first and the most obvious requirement is to formulate a business plan that includes a mission statement, budget, start-up costs and cash flow statements. A business plan helps you keep track of your progress and maneuver your product into the target market. Registration will be required once you start dealing with wholesale suppliers and retail vendors in the market on a regular basis.
The very nature of the perfume business makes it easy to outsource product design, bottling and distributorship once you have learned the ropes of the process. As it does not require a lot of space, it is a workable idea to start from home, on a small scale to test the market,
Blend your unique line of perfumes and one signature fragrance
The perfume business hinges on uniqueness and the fineness of feeling carried by a fragrance. People love scents that are fine and uncommon as it helps them define themselves among the crowd. Spend a lot of time experimenting and blending different oils, essences and scents before you decide what truly inspires you. There is unlimited scope in this field to develop uniqueness due to the unlimited number of ‘blending’ possibilities.
Test your fragrances on people around you and listen to their feedback to help you create your signature perfume. Make notes, study the perfumes that are doing well in the market and try to understand why. Try and blend similar fragrances or come up with something refreshingly new. This part of the project commands a bit of research and careful planning, and is crucial to the success of your business.
The Packaging, Pricing, Name and Logo
Be extremely creative with the packaging – a unique fragrance in an equally trendy package easily converts into sales. Put some time and effort into researching perfume bottles, tester bottles and perfume sample vials.
Give your perfume a catchy name and design a logo to represent your business. Print business cards and promotional brochure, which includes the ingredient list of your product – that you could hand out to potential customers. Label your bottles and sample vials. Calculate the retail price after taking into account the money spent on the preceding steps, for each perfume. Once your price lists are ready, make a list of potential retailers who will sell your brand of fragrance in the market.
The strategy, retailers and POS
The first step would be to popularize your creation among close friends and family so hand out a lot of labelled samples. Ask them for sincere feedback. Commercially, it is important to categorize your retailers as different kinds of fragrances attract different kinds of people and therefore, perfumes which are intended to have an exotic image must be directed towards high-end retailers like fashion boutiques, personal grooming salons and the exclusive personal development industry.
Call in advance and work out deals with timings, when you can be personally present to interact with their customers and hand out sample vials of your unique fragrance. Capitalize on every opportunity to present potential customers with sample vials or simply ask to test the perfume on their wrist for free and note their responses. The more sample vials and business cards you give out, the better the response is going to be.
It is crucial for you to create a website for your business even if you expect no business through it initially. A website goes a long way in spreading the message of the business and establishing your brand in the eyes of your retailers, suppliers and customers on the whole. Besides, after your business has gained maturity, you can always upgrade the website to cater to the changing market scenario.