Should I restart, continue and create a buzz around this non-tech startup, or just leave it behind? What would be best strategy?

1.5 years ago I started a small cosmetic company , but then there was this moment in my life I needed to step back and take care of some personal matters for the last year. Now I can move on either getting a corporate job, or restart my venture (would love doing the latter).

We make facial skin care products – face creams, well, something many companies do, so what we offer is products that have only 100% natural active ingredients and natural essential oils, we use Rosa Damascene from Bulgaria, we use Cocoa from Ghana, and others; other characteristics include: products are cruelty-free, i.e. not animal tested; in overall ingredients our products are from 80% to 90% all natural; paraben-free; Products are in the premium category with prices around the $35-$50 range.

Prior to production we have done all required laboratory tests for the products, we meet all regulatory requirements for product safety and market entrance already.

For the duration of 6-7 months we have validated the qualities of our products through direct customer testing, as we shipped products to 5 continents and 15 countries altogether, having different women from different ethnicities (i.e. different skin types) test our products as free gifts. The sample was chosen carefully from our friends’ friends, so they don’t know us directly and could give us honest feedback without emotional connection. All the responses have been wonderful, and with no exceptions, the women love the quality, feel and results of our products. We have gathered the feedback in a small database, and recently we were asked by several of those women where and when they could buy our products since they exhausted theirs. That again validates the products’ quality and validity.

We had some minor issues with the design, so I am in phase of changing the design and color of packaging at this stage.

I am worried that I could not make the proper buzz around the company and products if we decide to restart it now, and if we decide to, I am not sure how to make a proper market validation of the price segment which we target before re-launching it, and with having small budget overall.

Any advice, suggestions and experience will be so valuable!

  • Hi,

    it seems you have done most of the hard work, especially with this market validation of the product qualities and perception, and there is little more to make it success! Go for it if you have the funds to sustain in next 6-12 months.

    Me and my family moved from Delhi to London 5 years ago, and 4 years ago I started an online shop for phone and tablet accessories, serving mainly UK customers.

    Back then we used google ads, and facebook to attract customers and as you say make the buzz. It was though easier, because there was not so many competitors, and it was way cheaper than is now with google ads and especially facebook. Nowadays, ebay has become a major channel for us to sell as well, but not really for promoting, because we don’t emphasize that much on real brand for the accessories rather what is hot now.

    What you could do besides these is a forum section, or a blog section with regular posts. If you haven’t tried yet, you could also give your products to fashion bloggers and vloggers – my girlfriend is a big fan of some of the top UK ones, and many times tries new products she sees there.

    Hope that helps a bit

  • If your preference is to start back up then you have to go for it ! You’ll always regret it if you dont.

    Also you seem to have built a small base of supporters so leverage that network

    To build further buzz you can start a youtube channels with reviews and tutorials

  • Kickstarter is a good way to build some traction around a project that is ready for the market.

    This price range 30-50$ seems quite reasonable, what are the prices of your competitors, do you offer cheaper prices? If so, market on this base on any of the crowdfunding platforms. Though, it is tricky to make a successful crowdfunding campaign nowadays – there are too many projects and you have to stand out in some way, as you say build a buzz.

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