The content below is from the upcoming book about nothing but hair extension business.
As you will soon learn, Samantha and I have been working in a beauty and fashion industry for more than 20 years now, so when we were asked to write an article (that was pushed as a book), we were more than thrilled to do so. Over the past 3 years I’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing various marketing methods, different hair extension suppliers, even web hosting companies till I was 100% certain that the perfect combo has been found and that I am willing to share that with you. As for Samantha, she is an expert when it comes to marketing so be sure to read all of her valuable comments and insights.
The information provided below will help you to begin your journey into the amazing world of hair extensions, it does not matter if you are a student, a house wife or a successful business man, we will explain the whole process in a way that everyone single person is going to understand and find the information valuable.
We are almost ready to begin but before we do so, there is one last thing that we would like to talk about and that is…
1 Finding Best Hair Extensions Suppliers
The first thing you need to do is find a reliable hair extensions supplier as without one, you might as well not start business at all. Some might argue that writing a business plan should be the first priority, but not so fast! If you don’t have any clue about the prices or shipping options, there is no way for you to write an accurate plan at all.
What’s a Good Extensions Supplier Anyway?
To get the answers, we have launched a new shop (to simulate our readers experience) and over the course of last two years, tested a bunch of hair extension suppliers! We are talking wholesale and retail, ranging from the most popular ones to the unknown brands from Asia, India and Europe. Now, for legal reasons we can’t mention any of them but some of their decisions have completely shocked us. Believe it or not bot a common theme was this: a lot of suppliers would be friendly and offer you the “best price and quality” only to ignore you afterwards. Why? Because your orders have decreased. That’s it!
They did not care if it was a change in design, server downtime or anything else. Right after you were no longer sending enough orders, they would simply ignore you and start writing new victims on how they care about their clients and other lies.
A lot of suppliers would be friendly and offer you the “best price and quality” only to ignore you afterwards. Why? Because your orders have decreased.
Just image how badly can this affect your business. Not only will they start ignoring you, but you won’t be able to fulfill your customer’s orders as well. That’s not all though, since it takes months to find a high-quality hair extensions supplier (receiving samples, checking quality, etc.) your business is pretty much doomed. Imagine no income for the next few months.
What’s the Best Hair Extensions Supplier?
After refining our hair extension suppliers list (from 67 to 15), we went ahead and created all kinds of challenges for them. We thought of various business aspects and ideas to test.
For example: we would ask if we can use their stock photos (some refused), stock text (all refused as no one wants to have clone stores) and even if we could use their shipping companies. Then we feed the remaining 7 companies with our orders and see how everything was handled. At first everything was smooth as butter. Then we started having first issues with some of our orders being damaged. Sadly, not all suppliers offered for us to receive a refund. So, what we had left was only a list of 5 companies and all of them did a pretty good job at supplying us with quality hair extensions.
The final decision came to this. We simply asked ourselves: if we were to use a single supplier for many months (or years), which one of them would be the best for both starting and big businesses?
This includes more than profit margins, shipping service and hair quality. Consider the speed at which hair extensions are sent, response times, ability to supply big numbers at later time, drop shipping options, etc. If you don’t know what exactly drop shipping is, don’t worry as we will discuss this in the next chapter.
Deciding on Hair Seller and Factory
Now, while anyone can give you a decent recommendation, we wanted to do more than that. We agreed that it is going to be either a supplier that we can trust one hundred percent or no supplier recommendation at all. I mean, if we can’t stand by our decision then there was no point of continuing writing our “Hair Extensions Business Bible” at all. Thankfully, we came to an agreement and made our choice.
We agreed that it is going to be either a supplier that we can trust one hundred percent or no supplier recommendation at all.
At the end of the day however, we had to pick a single supplier. It had meet our criteria for both new and existing business. So, what did we pick? AiryHair, and here is why:
- Their price / quality ratio is miles ahead of the competition
- AiryHair always shipped only the highest quality hair
- We were never ignored, even when we did not have any orders for days
- Store offered to exchange their goods at no cost
- AiryHair staff was friendly towards new customers. That’s one of the most important things a starting business needs
- They offer drop shipping (a “must met” criteria for our store)
Overall, we were really impressed with their way of doing business. No wonder AH ranks so well among big guys.
2 Dropshipping Extensions vs. Inventory Stocking
The next thing you need to do is decide whether you want to use a drop shipping service or maintain an inventory on your own.
What is Drop Shipping?
It’s a simple management technique, which allows you to save yourself from unnecessary investments and forward all your orders to the supplier (AiryHair in this case). It will then package your goods and send to your customer without mentioning their own name. The result? You don’t have to store anything or think about supply chains! Everything is handled by the supplier, you simply send them orders and they deliver the goods. Yet you are the one taking all the profit and stripping their original brand.
Your customer thinks that your shop is the one that is sending hair extensions. Drop shipping is nothing short of a miracle. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. The local delivery times are slower, and you can’t control the package. Is this a good enough reason to avoid drop shipping at all? Of course, not but let’s think about alternatives.
Drop shipping is nothing short of a miracle. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. The local delivery times are slower, and you can’t control the package.
Should You Stock Inventory?
The next thing you should consider, of course, is stocking your own inventory. It allows you to quickly deliver package in the nearby neighborhoods or countries that are closer to you than your supplier. However, it all comes down to a cost: you need to invest thousands of colors and stock all kinds of different extensions, which you might not even be able to sell.
Be Flexible with Your Business
What else can you do? A combination of both! Assuming you are selling worldwide, you could store few models in your home (or a store), and send them to the customers nearby. The result? A much faster delivery time and more satisfied customers! For countries that would receive package in 20 – 30 days, anyway, leave that to your supplier.
What is you only sell locally? Storing hair extensions could be a really valuable asset to your business, as we have seen a lot of cases where a local customer would just pick another brand, which was able to deliver product not in 20 but 5 days.
So, having said all that, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each service.
|Does not require any investment||Requires a significant investment|
|You can’t control delivery times||You have full control over delivery times|
|Not much control over your package||You have full control over your package|
|No worries about inventory and stock||Constant worrying about inventory|
|Risk free||Requires taking huge risks|
It should be also noted that when you start your hair extensions business, you have no idea what hair extensions your customers are going to order. You have no sales data about the most popular length, type, color or hair texture. Our suggestion? Go with the drop shipping and expand when you really must.
Hair Extension Affiliate Programs
There is one more alternative that one should consider. Selling hair extensions using an affiliate program. It works similarly to a drop shipping service and requires no investment on your part. In fact, it does not require for you to do anything other than give a specifically generated link to your friends.
While there are a lot of different programs, we strongly advise you to pick one that guarantees to credit you. Even when your referred person does not buy instantly. For example: AiryHair Affiliate Program will save a special cookie on referrers computer for more than a year. Meaning that even if they decide not to buy anything but for some reason remembers about AiryHair 10 months later when they actually need extensions, you will still get a credit.
We will talk more about getting started with an affiliate program on the later sections of this book so if it still looks mysterious to you, don’t worry! We are just getting started.
Now that you have found a supplier, know their prices and have an idea on which shipping service you are going to use, here comes the next part…
3 How to Write a Hair Extensions Business Plan?
Writing a proper business plan is the second most important thing after finding a supplier. Without one, you won’t have any idea about your planned profits, investments, business opportunities and so on. Below, we are going to list some of the most important things that one should include when writing a great business plan.
You do need to know your target audience. Since you are selling hair extensions, the most likely group is going to be women. However, one should also consider hair extensions for men, which is a growing yet not flooded niche.
If you are targeting young females, then keep in mind that your web site should also be targeted towards such audience.
For example: the inclusion of highly popular social networks, words and expressions that are used in the female circles and so on. If you decide to go to the completely different direction and sell hair extensions to older ladies, then other factors should also be considered.
Elderly people don’t feel save when shopping online so adding a way to order via phone is a must. All in all, it comes down to your target audience, now sit back and write that down to your business plan.
Make a Final Decision
Determine how you are going to sell hair extensions. Decide whether you will operate a brick and mortar retail outlet or sell your products online. There is no comparative advantage of either option. Your choice will largely depend on your goals and objectives, target market, start-up capital and personal preference. If you have substantial capital base, then you can operate your business either as a wholesaler or distributor.
Study Your Competitors
Now that you have established your target audience, the very next thing you need to do is study your main competitors. If you are selling hair extensions for elderly, just Google “elderly hair extensions” or any other keyword combination you can think of and visit at least 5 competitor web sites.
Write down every single thing that grabbed your attention. Was it a great design? Or maybe a catchy logo and amazing item photos? Be sure to note all of that as you will be the one trying to outperform them. In addition to that, go through their checkout process (but cancel the last minute) and note the things that made an impression on you. Having a great checkout experience is one of the most critical parts of the successful store.
Be Cautiously Optimistic
Before you start dreaming about the millions of dollars that you will be making every month, be really conservative when it comes to your financial projections. Write down your goals for the next 6 months, including expenses such as marketing. Also, you should decide the average profit you want to earn for every set sold. In the example below we are going to use a 35-50% profit margin and the average order value of $112.7, so a simple form might look something like this:
|Jun||$0||$300 (Contest / Ads)||48||$5409.6||50%||$2404.8|
* This assumes you are using AiryHair’s custom store offer. Giving you a lifetime wholesale membership, free store installation, free address and free web site hosting for a year.
You are free to add % growth, excel diagrams, unexpected charges, and other things that you might find valuable. It’s all about the average order value and your profit afterwards. Here are some of the graph examples:
How Much Time Do You Have?
Another important thing to consider is the time you are willing to invest into your business. If you have a full-time job, then please plan accordingly. Don’t create unrealistic over too ambitious goals. Otherwise, you will end up losing motivation before reaping the rewards.
One thing I like to tell my clients when they are creating their businesses is this: think like a banker! Would you give a loan to a starting business like yourselves? If yes, why, if no, why not? Write down the answers and work on eliminating as many “no’s” as possible.
4 How to Market Hair Extensions?
Adopt the relevant “pull” strategies to promote your hair extension business. If you own a brick and mortar retail outlet, it is important that you become visible in the community. You may launch or participate in a local fashion event, hair show or similar activities in your community. This will create goodwill and positive impression on your target clients.
You may also take an active role and support advocacy groups that donate wigs and items that are needed in making custom wigs for cancer patients and people who are suffering from alopecia. On the other hand, if you are selling hair extensions online, you should set up your accounts with social media networks and manage your own blog that focus on hair styling and other fashion interests.
We could talk hours about marketing alone, but it’s something you should experiment with. Different strokes for different folks and your strategy will entirely depend on your character and wanted customers.
- Use AiryHair as your hair supplier for 100% remy hair, which will help you to avoid complains and bad reviews.
- Either select a drop shipping option or buy in bulk if you want to ship directly.
- Skip custom hair branding when starting to cut costs, unless you have over $5,000 to spend. In that case, please see our home page for opportunities.
- For pain free store setup, order this package. We will setup a fully functional store for you in just few business days.
- Write a proper business plan and include all your expenses as well as marketing ideas. Use calculations if possible.
Got any questions? Contact us and we will get back to you asap.