Investors

Any advice on how to get investors for starting a line--or any of you investors.  I am very determined to make this work. I just need financial backing.  Any advice/connections is deeply appreciated.
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  • if you have a good business plan, you can present it to a "business angel". If you pass the filter they can put you in contact with potential investors.
    You could also find investors in some trade fairs.
    But the most important: before any step, make a VERY clear and complete business plan if you want to be considered by investors.
  • I'm very risk-adverse, so if I was going to do this, not only would I have a credible business plan and sales/marketing plan in place, but I'd have the entire line mapped out, right down to the product types, all the shades, prototypes for the shades and product types, label/packaging design, and even the display units - with as many concept drawing as possible. Even plans for expansion, and contingency plans for not getting as much seed money as I'd hoped for.

    All this would be in place before I ever talked to an investor - because otherwise, you're asking an investor to trust you enough to let you design the line after he's already paid for it - and that's a very big ask for someone with zero experience starting lines. You need a well-polished presentation, also.

    This is months and months of full-time work, but I seriously doubt you'll find anyone to give you money otherwise.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • I concur with Bob. We are only now looking for venture funding, after:
    * Three years product development and test marketing
    * Registering the brand and its dedicated domain
    * Employing a graphic design team to create the corporate identity and product labels
    * Calculating all material, labour, and packaging costs
    * Researching retail startup costs
    * Preparing a detailed business plan

    Frankly there is one massive elephant in the room. WHAT IS YOUR USP?
    There comes a moment when you step back and realise that you have a product line that, yes, is very profitable, but ... what makes it different from others?
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • edited May 2016
    Agree with both. A good business plan (understanding a business project not only like a financial plan) include most of things you told. The only thing i am not totally agree is that entrepreneurs have to go so so deep like: "Three years product development and test marketing", Employing a graphic design team to create the corporate identity and product labels (just an example to show my point)

    Why? because that takes too much resources and maybe she/he does not have so much money for that and that is the reason why she/he is looking for resources. Certainly you have to show great potential, a great idea and a solid project to an investor but almost a finished line is not required for that.

    Anyway is important to note that there are different investment needs and we should not confuse them. For example Belassi seems to need investment for expanding but not to create a new line.
    It is true that some prototypes may be required to show something physical, but there are a lot of projects that take investors in early steps just because it has a new/attractive USP.

    One of my friends is precisely Business angel with a good historic of successful projects and some of them were almost nothing when they were presented to him. He guided them during 6 months and presented the investors after that.

    It is important to keep in mind that investors requirement will not be the same if you knock their door that if you present yourself in a investors fair where investors are looking for projects.

    What you are not going to find is an investor just saying: I would like to create a new cosmetic line but i need money.
  • The worst moment is when you consider how to compete with your established, large, wealthy, rivals. For me this took the form of imagining myself opening a retail shop next door to Sally's. I thought:

    1. Sally's has a massively bigger range.
    2. Sally's has a huge existing customer database.
    3. Sally's has a long history and is a well known brand.
     - how to compete? I think the keys are:
    1. Offer things that customers want and Sally's doesn't have.
    2. Offer a more personal customer experience.

    In the case of (1) I can offer either lower prices - not a good idea in an upmarket location; or better value for money. I can also (better) offer more advanced products and/or more natural products
    And for (2) that's really about shop design and staff selection and training. I'll need to research it.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • It's not like you only get one chance at investors. I'm sure it's a learning experience. And if you're the kind of charismatic, outgoing person who can charm an investor into working with you just from an idea about starting a line, great. I would personally be way too worried about all the other people competing for the same money to even try that. I'd have to feel that my plans and presentations were as good as I could make them before I could have the confidence to ask for money.

    So, I realize that I'm probably the wrong person to ask for advice on this. Especially since, as far as I know, there is no way to contact investors unless you already know them. 
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • I come from the Venture Capital world ... The first consideration is going to be your management team ... If you don't have a management team with deep industry experience AND a great product line with some sort of competitive advantage, you won't get their attention.

    If you do not have those two in place, you will not get that type of funding.  But, you could pursue the family & friends route.  If you don't have access to capital from family & friends, you might try a kickstarter of something of that nature.

    Your best bet would be to develop your line and start generating some sales proving that your products do indeed sell.  If you're just a pure startup with an idea and no products and no sales ... it's going to be a very difficult, long haul.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • Have you looked at @Perry's course about this?
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • @Belassi - I'm sure you've done infinitely more thinking on this but since I'm intrigued by it; here are my ideas on unique selling points for a Lush type concept in your location...

    - small handmade batches for many items, some product made on location if possible
    - sensory experience, minimal packaging for visual/tactile/aromatic interest
    - ingredients indigenous to central/latin america: guava, mamey, prickly pear, etc ... (donkey milk and oatmeal shampoo anyone?)
    - solidarity in using local ingredients, employing locals in handmade processing as a counterpoint to more industrial processes of the North.*

    *Inherent added value in assuaging consumer's guilt over spending more than necessary on every day toiletries when an authentic social cause (grassroots economic development) is associated with it. 
  • thanks Elise. Those comments are pretty much what we intend. We already use quite a lot of local florals (cactus, tepezcohuite, etc) 
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
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