Yesterday, someone asked me this question on Facebook:
“Do you recommend having a lab create your own products or make them yourself”
I answered her privately and then thought I should share it with all of you:
My best advice is to outsource your manufacturing so that you can spend most of your time on marketing & sales rather than worrying about manufacturing.
Why? Brands don’t grow without sales and marketing efforts. Pretty simple, but an easy thing to forget, especially when you are elbow deep in mixing products, filling and labeling bottles.
There are always exceptions of course, however, most start up brands, even “big” brands or national brands start eventually buying other lab’s products and private labeling them so that they can focus on marketing and selling.
There are three different ways to outsource:
1. Private labeling or white labeling – This is taking a labs stock formula and creating your own label and applying it to the product. Usually, there are no changes to the formula and the turnaround time is quick.
2. Custom manufacturing – This is where you send a wish list of ingredients, often times a control product and a “no-no” list and a “must have” list to a manufacturer and they can create a formula for you. You can also work with a private chemist. I highly recommend Mark fuller over at MicroFormulation or Chemist Corner has several cosmetic chemist that offer consulting services.
3. Take your existing home made product and have it manufactured for you – This is for people who have created their own formulas and are debating about whether or not to make them at home or send to a lab. What you need in this case is the formula that equals 100% and raw material source and a finished product for the lab to duplicate.
Obviously, I am a big believer in private labeling and I hear the concerns – “I’ll be just like everyone else”, “It’s not ‘mine'”, or “How do I sell it?”
It’s your job as the business owner to write your brand’s story and figure out what makes your brand different.
Truth is, most products are similar. The changes are very slight. Many of the big brands private label products, creating products take too long when you have a tight deadline (say like for summer or holiday season)
Do your anti-aging products address a particular area with a particular ingredient? Say, a Vitamin C themed product line to help address dark skin and hyperpigmentation?
When your private label or even “tweak” or customize a private label product it’s better to spend your time answering the important questions of what makes your products and brand different, then making it yourself and doing the work of growing a business.