Can I Create a Beauty Brand When I Work Full-Time?

Elizabeth Heath

Jul 12, 2021 · 5 min read

It takes time to envision, formulate, package, and market a new cosmetic product. And while your dream may be to have a cosmetics company as your primary source of income, reality may require that you don’t quit your day job just yet.

So if you’re working 40+ hours a week and already struggle to find a work and family (or freedom) balance, can you realistically pile on a new project – creating and launching your product – that requires your time and attention?

The answer is yes, you can! (Did you really think we were going to say no?!) It may not be easy, but in an era where the term “side hustle” has become mainstream vocabulary, where there’s a will, there’s a way. At Goldn, our mission is to help burgeoning cosmetics creators find the resources they need to transform their idea into a finished — and briskly selling! — product.

Take a look at these tips for managing your new product journey along with your full-time job and other responsibilities.

Be Passionate About Your Product

By its very nature, cosmetics creation is a passion project for most small entrepreneurs. If you’re just feeling “meh” about your idea, you may not find the motivation to stick with it when things get challenging or stressful. Find a product or idea that really excites you and allows you to envision your success – whatever that may look like – and that inspires you to reach the finish line.

Develop a Game Plan

Before you start developing your product, make the process less intimidating by understanding the steps that go into cosmetics development. Carve out some downtime in your day to do your research (you can use the Goldn blog!) on cosmetic product development steps and stages and make a roadmap for your project based on what needs to happen first.

Make Every Shopping Trip a Market Research Mission

Whether you’re in-store shopping or scrolling through products online, keep your research hat on. What products on the shelves are your future competitors, and how are they packaged and marketed? Where are they sold, and for how much money? Talk with your family and friends about their cosmetics shopping habits and how they choose products. Use social media for "social listening." Follow brands you like (or might compete with), stores and sites where you'd like to sell your products, and cosmetics product influencers you’d eventually like to reach out to.

Schedule Set Time for Your Project

You know best what your typical day looks like, and when you’ve got down time. Whether it’s reading up on ingredients during your lunch hour, like this article from SkillCrush recommends, or set aside even a few minutes a day when you’re consistently free. Do you have a long subway commute, or an hour every week that’s spent waiting while your daughter has soccer practice? Spend it sending emails to suppliers or building momentum around your new product through social media posts.

Ask Family Members to Pitch In

If you have others in your household who are used to you doing a lot of the heavy lifting, it’s time they pitched in. That may mean asking your spouse to cook dinner on set nights of the week so that you can work, putting your teen in charge of walking the dog, or teaching your youngest how to do laundry. Your success and happiness is intertwined with your family’s, so let them know you need their help in realizing your dream.

Minimize Distractions

Like this article from Dollar Sprout points out, your spare time to work on your side hustle is limited and precious. Don’t waste it by scrolling through unrelated social media posts, checking your WhatsApp messages or keeping an eye on the TV. Find a quiet place to work and concentrate, and stay uber-focused during the time you have to work on your passion project.

Carve Out Your Best Hours to Work

Are you a morning person? Or do your creative juices flow best after 10 pm? Whatever your peak performance hours, try to make those the times that you work on your side hustle. Maybe that means waking up an hour earlier and devoting time to your project before you get ready for work. Or maybe it means your last hour or so before bedtime is spent working on your pet project, instead of watching TV or scrolling social media.

Ask for Flexibility with Your Work Schedule

If your employer is open to a flexible work schedule, ask about working a 4-day week of four long days, or starting your day an hour or two later. Try to arrange your schedule so that you’re free during your best time of day (see the item above), such that your best creative energy can be poured into your new project, not into your day job.

Work with a Cosmetic NPD Consultant

As part of the creator journey with Goldn, we can pair you with a New Product Developer (NPD) or experienced formulator who can help you develop your idea, and transform it from a dream to a viable product for sale. By teaming with a cosmetics industry professional, you save time — which is already scarce in your busy schedule — and get answers and solutions that you’d otherwise have to figure out on your own. Do you want your product to be certified as cruelty-free? Are you not sure which ingredients are FDA approved? An NPD will help you answer these questions, flag potential problems, and curb risks that you might not have even thought about.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

When progress seems slow, time is scarce, or you run into roadblocks, it can be easy to lose sight of the end goal – your new cosmetic product flying off store shelves or selling out on your e-commerce website. When you start to doubt yourself or feel uninspired, keep thinking about where you want to arrive. If you’re into vision-boarding, make one that includes images and words that will inspire you to keep plugging away, even when the going gets tough.

Written by

Elizabeth Heath

Liz is a writer and editor based in central Italy.

Connect with Elizabeth Heath on LinkedIn.

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