How to Open a Beauty Supply Store? [Locally and Online]


If you’ve ever entertained the idea of trying your hand at selling cosmetics and beauty products, this article is for you. We conducted thorough research to summarize how to open a beauty supply store, and in this article, we’ll share our insights on how to do so locally, at a physical location, or online.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and a selection of additional details to get you started.

Read on to get the lowdown on finding your niche and understanding what’s needed for realizing your dreams in the competitive cosmetics industry!

How to Open a Beauty Supply Store Locally?

There’s much to learn about setting up and marketing your new business locally at a physical location before you can welcome your first customers.

1. Know Your Target Market

The first step toward any successful business enterprise is to have a concrete idea of what you want to do and where you want your store to be located. What type of cosmetics are you planning to sell, what’s the target demographic for your product, and what are the primary goals you wish to achieve?

Combine this information in a mission statement to provide a clear, transparent template for your aspirations to start a beauty supply store.

DID YOU KNOW: 58% of all cosmetics sold in the US are bought from drugstores or pharmacies, so keep this in mind when looking for a site for your store.

2. Research Your Competitors

At any given time, you’re probably one of the thousands of entrepreneurs wanting to own a cosmetics store in a prime location. Research what the competition is doing to produce the most-desired, professional make-up before carving out a niche that will set your brand apart from the rest.

3. Write a Detailed Business Plan

Those in the know say that if you fail to plan, you may as well plan to fail, and this sentiment is particularly true when starting a beauty supply store.

Your plan of action must include drawing up a business plan that gives a detailed overview of expected expenses and projected income.

Consider doing the following:

  • Draft a detailed financial prognosis
  • Calculate start-up costs, including the cost of hiring employees
  • Put funds aside earmarked for future business growth
  • Purchase the necessary equipment
  • Determine manufacturing and marketing costs if you want to incorporate manufacturing in the business model
  • Provide a business cash budget.
DID YOU KNOW: A business with a detailed business plan in place has a 30% greater chance at success that those neglecting this requirement. To this end, be sure to do your planning and preparation when you open a beauty supply store.

4. Be Informed About Taxes and Licenses

It’s important to know that all businesses are subject to rules and regulations, which include the purchase of business licenses and seller permits for your new store.

An additional requirement before you start is the acquisition of an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is needed for payroll management and paying due taxes to the IRS.

DID YOU KNOW: In addition to the above-mentioned licenses and IRS compliance, you’ll also need permissions relating to zoning directives, erecting signage, and occupational licenses for opening a beauty supply store. Supplementary documentation required before starting your venture includes environmental, construction, and special federal licenses and permits.

5. Buy Inventory

The quality of inventory in your store is vital, which is why selecting a reputable wholesale distributor when buying stock should be your prime objective.

Always be cognizant of how products used for skin care and cosmetics are manufactured and tested, and what ingredients they’re made from. Furthermore, research prevailing market trends and the seasonal demands of particular beauty items.

Ask relevant questions and request samples in order to make an informed choice when buying inventory to open a beauty supply store with an extensive range of beauty products.

DID YOU KNOW: Research has shown that women between the ages of 18 and 60 tend to look at the quality and eco-friendliness of make-up products before availing themselves of special deals and promotions or opting for a particular brand of cosmetics.

6. Create a Marketing Plan

Conducting marketing research and implementing advertising strategies can require a large portion of the proposed budget, and as cosmetics need to be marketed for visual appeal, it can be even more expensive.

Notable promotional strategies to use to start a beauty supply business include:

  • Generating automated email campaigns to consumers on lead lists
  • Sending letters or flyers to business leaders in the community
  • Making use of social media platforms and beauty influencers for promotional gain
  • Initiating special offers, discounts, and something-for-free promotions
  • Making products available to sell at beauty fairs, country markets and special events
  • Writing a blog to share beauty tips and other relevant content on organizing makeup and products with customers.

Key Takeaways 

Before starting out, know your target market and research the competition with regard to their particular niche and promotional campaigns.
For more beauty supply store ideas and marketing strategies, access social media platforms and reach out to known beauty influencers.
Draft a comprehensive business plan to get an idea of anticipated expenses and estimated income.
Be sure to apply for the appropriate dealer’s licenses, sales permits and Internal Revenue Services EIN numbers needed to legally operate your online business.
Select a suitable physical store location, or an applicable domain name, company logo and design to promote your brand if transacting online.

How to Open a Beauty Supply Store Online?

Have you ever wondered whether small businesses benefit from having a website? According to statistics, 59.5% of the global population uses the internet to look for products and services, so implementing a business website will make you easier to reach. As 81% of people do online research before purchase, not having an online presence is a serious oversight.

So, how do you start a store supplying beauty products on an online platform?

1. Know Your Target Market and Competitors

As is applicable to traditional, location-based stores, knowing who your closest competitors are when selling online is very important.

To secure an optimal spot for your business in the e-market, work with customized beauty supply business branding and ethical core principles that appeal to a wide range of shoppers.

2. Calculate Costs

The start-up costs are linked to the store business model you select, as well as licenses, permits, inventory, and marketing campaigns.

Remember that as you don’t have a physical outlet for your skincare and hair care range, packaging and shipping costs should be included in your expense estimation.

On the upside, you won’t be hiring employees in this instance.

Draft a business plan comprising the following components:

  • Company description
  • Products and services offered
  • Market trends analysis
  • Proposed marketing and business operations plan
  • Financial prognosis with sales forecasts, cash flow statement, balance sheet, and profit- and loss statement
  • Executive summary.
DID YOU KNOW: When starting a beauty supply store online, the average start-up costs can range between $15,000 and $100,000.

3. Hire Professionals

The number of online sales made on your e-store is determined by how prominent your site is in search engine results. To this end, it’s a good idea to hire a professional team to tweak Search Engine Optimization and subscribe to a trustworthy business marketing automation service.

In addition, ask the experts to design a Facebook business page for your upstart.

DID YOU KNOW: Businesses using the services of marketing automation platforms show an average 14% improvement in lead generation and sales, and 80% of companies saw an increase in leads through marketing automation.

4. Choose a Domain Name, Logo, and Design

Those who strive to start an online beauty supply store are likely to find that competition in the cosmetics industry can be fierce, so developing a brand identity is key.

Choose a domain name for your business that supports every aspect of your mission, your vision, and your branding. Research the best themes, design options, and colors for your logo, keeping in mind it has to represent your brand on social media, packaging, and business cards.

DID YOU KNOW: Using red, blue, or green from your palette when advertising and marketing material has been proven to positively impact the customer’s browsing experience on your website.

5. Consider Website Content

Catching the attention of potential consumers and directing them to your website is only the first step in learning how to start a beauty supply business—keeping them there long enough to convert sales and limiting the occurrence of cart abandonment is the next challenge.

To this end, think carefully about the type of content you wish to display on your landing pages, opt-in forms, and customer support pages.

Ideas to incorporate on your online website may include:

  • Menus with product details
  • Product descriptions and photographs
  • Reviews and testimonials of satisfied customers
  • Special promotions, upsells, freebies, and discounts
  • Call to action tabs and embedded links
  • Contact details and Frequently Asked Questions for customer queries and technical support.

6. Market Your Website Through Different Channels 

Reaching the masses is a full-time job when learning how to start a beauty supply store. Therefore, you must make use of as many different channels as possible to market your product and grow your brand awareness to promote your website.

Examples include:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube content
  • Putting out automated newsletters and personalized email campaigns
  • Incorporating pop-ups with opt-in forms to generate a leads list
  • Capitalizing on the popularity of familiar personalities and influencers by using their sites for sponsored advertising content
  • Catering to salon professionals, beauty schools, and estheticians in your marketing by providing free hair care samples and skincare products for promotional purposes
DID YOU KNOW: Statistics on social media influencers show that 67% of consumers shopping for skincare products take the advice of social influencers when buying their cosmetics.


Knowing the ins and outs of how to open your own beauty supply store goes a long way to securing pleasing outcomes. Simply stick to the key principles of business by keeping the IRS happy and acquiring the necessary paperwork and permits. Next, do market and competition research to decide on an inventory list most likely to sell, then plan your budget and employ the best marketing strategies to ensure business success.


Is owning a beauty supply store profitable?

Selling cosmetics and other beauty products online or from a physical location can be very profitable. The average gross profit margin is in excess of 58%, which translates to a net profit of $35,000 to $70,000 per financial year. Eye cosmetics are deemed the most profitable item, with skincare products representing a firm second choice.

How much does it cost to open a make-up store?

Cosmetic startups can cost $10,000 to $20,000 per item to cover product development, market research, marketing and inventory, so an initial budget of $75,000–$200,000 is a realistic estimation. You can save by doing adequate planning, leasing rather than buying, launching the business online, and bartering and negotiating discounts on bulk offers from distributors.

How do I start a mobile beauty supply business?

How to open a beauty supply store? Draft a mission statement, research target demographics, and fine-tune your particular niche. Then, check out the competition and draw up a business plan to make your brand unique. Finally, handle the budget requirements and apply for all permits and licenses required by legislation.


My eyes rarely take a break from staring at my laptop's screen—I am Big Brother, scanning the web for news and information worth sharing. Full transparency—a substantial chunk of my screentime is also dedicated to watching TV shows, but balance is key, right? Writing is how I choose to share my findings with the world while keeping my love of language and creativity alive.

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