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Sales Support Blog

Formulations: Success Tips For Developing Your Product Line

Formulations: Success Tips For Developing Your Product Line

Do you have a formula you’ve been making in your kitchen? Or in a small lab? That’s terrific because you already understand what you want and you likely have customers who already love your products.  That said … your formula may not be ready for commercially scaling up to larger batches and it may not be stable when stressed.  That’s one reason why you would work with a cosmetic formulator who is part of a contract manufacturing team.  One of the services that we provide is to work with your formula and take it through commercialization and scale up.

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We're all salespeople

We're all salespeople

I’ll never forget the first day of my introductory sales management class in college. Once all of the students had streamed into the room and found a seat, the professor stood up with a warm (and what appeared to be hopeful) smile and asked, “Who wants to be a salesperson?”

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WHY WE’RE NOT CERTIFIED ORGANIC (we think it is a good thing…)

WHY WE’RE NOT CERTIFIED ORGANIC (we think it is a good thing…)

Our skin care products are all made with natural, wild crafted, organically-grown, real ingredients that are protective, nourishing, calming, and hydrating to skin. So why aren’t our products certified organic?

This is a question many of our customers have asked, so we wanted to answer it here. We are absolutely committed to providing only the best nature has to offer to all of you, but we don’t want to incur extra costs that we believe are unnecessary—and then have to pass those costs on to our customers—just to support an organization.

WHAT WOULD AN ORGANIC SEAL MEAN?

An organic seal on a skin care product means that the product has met the requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be labeled organic. This is the same organization that certifies foods organic, and the requirements are the same for personal care products—they must be made of mostly agricultural ingredients, and must meet the USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) standards for production, handling, processing, and labeling. The ingredients must be grown and processed without chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, GMOs, or synthetic pesticides.

If the USDA approves the product to use the seal, the following rules apply:

  • To label a product as 100% organic, the product must contain 100% USDA certified ingredients (excluding water and salt), have no non-organic ingredients, and all processing methods used to make the product must be 100% USDA certified organic. If the product meets all these requirements, it can display the USDA organic seal, and also must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
  • To label a product “organic,” the product must have at least 95% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and the remaining 5% can be non-organic. These can also display the seal and must include the certifying agent’s name and address.
  • To label a product as “made with organic ingredients,” it must contain at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and the remaining 30% can be non-organic. Manufacturers can’t display the USDA certified organic seal, but must display the certifying agent’s name and address.

THE CONFUSION

All this works very well for food, and the USDA organic certified seal is one of the most trustworthy labels around. It’s quite different in the world of personal care products, however. The USDA has jurisdiction over farm-raised ingredients only, and not all beauty product ingredients are regulated under their program.

For example, plant-derived ingredients (like those we use!) and essential oils are not regulated through this program, as they are not typically food products. Other items like cinnamon, honey, and avocado are, but you can see the complications we’d run into, as we love our plant ingredients and what they can do for the skin!

The USDA has simply not created specific organic standards for formulating and labeling personal care products that contain organic ingredients. That means that for us, a USDA seal wouldn’t mean much.

OTHER ORGANIC LABELS

There are a number of other organic certification organizations we could go through to get a seal to put on our products. Ecocert and Natrue are a couple of them, but there are many others. These are businesses offering a service. They would check our ingredients and our production processes, verify they meet a certain set of standards (which differ from company to company), and grant us the right to use their seal. We’d spend a lot of money for that process and the final result.

We find these labels confusing, however. Since there is no standard organic requirement for personal care products, it’s hard telling what you’re getting with a seal. The IOS Natural and Organic Cosmetic Standard, for example, makes sure all food ingredients are organic and that the company follows a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines. But the BDIH certification association requires natural, not synthetic, raw materials, and considers the ecological impact of each product. Whole Foods has their own certification system that guarantees the products contain “safe, gentle ingredients” (whatever that means) and are free from synthetic dyes, fragrances, and “harsh” chemicals.

Ecocert was the first certification body to develop standards for “natural and organic cosmetics,” and requires the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes, and a minimum number of natural ingredients from organic farming.

Which of these labels would you choose? We can guess you’d be just as perplexed as we would be. It gets even worse when you’re thinking of putting money on the line—money that you have to regain through the price of your products.

THE COSTS

As you may imagine, there is a mountain of paperwork and red tape involved in securing any certified organic seal. You’re essentially paying for someone else to say your products and your manufacturing processes meet with their standards and approval.

The process is lengthy. First you have to decide which certification organization you want to go with. You need to study and understand their requirements, outline your own production practices and verify your compliance, then fill out and send in a lengthy application. You sign a contract and an estimate—after all, these organizations are in this for the money—and a certification officer proceeds to validate your raw materials, formulas, manufacturing processes, labels, and communication tools. He also does an on-site audit, then processes your file, and if after everything (which can take months to a year), if the organization approves, you receive certification and permission to label your products accordingly.

Then you continue to pay an annual certification fee.

It’s not uncommon at all for the process to end up costing in the tens of thousands of dollars, especially when you consider all the hours spent completing the process, as well as the payment to the organization.

At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves one question: Is it worth it?

WE ESTABLISH OUR OWN GUIDELINES AND WORK TO WIN OUR CUSTOMERS’ TRUST

At Wild West Skincare, we decided the answer to that question was “no.” Why make our customers pay for certification? We have seen other companies with certification seals that are delivering products that are not effective for their customers. It all comes down to marketing, as these other companies are going through the process strictly to sell more products and justify a higher price.

We know what our standards are. We care deeply about what we put into our products. We research carefully to be sure our raw materials are of the highest quality. (A number of our ingredients are labeled “organic” on our ingredient decks because they come from suppliers that follow organic standards.)

Finally, we work hard to establish trust with our consumers. That’s what it’s really all about. We believe you’re unlikely to trust us more because of a label—particularly if it means you have to pay more for the product! So we choose to do our thing without seeking the approval of some organization.

We hope you agree it was the right decision!

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How to Outsource Effectively and Earn Back Your Time

How to Outsource Effectively and Earn Back Your Time

As an entrepreneur, you wear several hats. Some of them might even look good on you.

But there will inevitably be some parts of starting and running a business that fall outside your expertise.

On top of that, you’re one person: You’ve only got 2 hands and 24 hours in a day.

Just because you carry the weight of your business on your shoulders, doesn’t mean you need to shoulder all the responsibility alone.

Delegating responsibilities to other capable hands frees you up to focus on your vision and the things only you can do, whether it’s growing your business or even spending more time with your family.

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9 Simple Ways to Write Product Descriptions that Sell

9 Simple Ways to Write Product Descriptions that Sell

When you write a product description with a huge crowd of buyers in mind, your descriptions become wishy-washy and you end up addressing no one at all.

The best product descriptions address your ideal buyer directly and personally. You ask and answer questions as if you’re having a conversation with them. You choose the words your ideal buyer uses. You use the word you.

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Learn the 7 Life Hacks of How Really Wealthy People Grow Money

Learn the 7 Life Hacks of How Really Wealthy People Grow Money

We all have the potential to build streams of income and wealth. Here are some powerful ways to get there.

During the long course of my life in business, I've had the opportunity to meet some very wealthy people. For the most part, I've found that they're just like you and me--with the added bonus that their bank accounts make mine look like a teeny-tiny mosquito, or maybe a gnat.

And there's one more thing I've noticed about people who are truly wealthy--they have a different way of looking at the world than most of us. It's this different way of perceiving the world that allows them to see opportunities and convert them into successful businesses that build wealth.

Try these seven hacks of really wealthy people and see what they do for your bottom line.

1. They truly love what they do.

The really wealthy never settle--they go after what they really love in life and pursue a career in a field that means something to them. They live the advice, "Choose the career that you will be excited to get up for every morning." And if there's not a business that meets their needs, they create one themselves. Because they don't settle and instead go for what they truly love, wealthy people throw themselves into their work, they continue their search for answers to make their career even better, and they don't waste their time on frivolous things.

2. They constantly evolve.

Whether it is the latest technological advancement or a better way of listening and communicating with their staff, they continually educate themselves, keeping up with the latest trends for the betterment of all in their lives.

3. They edit their lives.

Really wealthy people frequently take a close look at where they are currently and where they want to go in their lives and edit as needed. Instead of merely existing within a company or staying in a not-so-great relationship, they move on and out to better choices for themselves.

4. They give generously of themselves.

They volunteer their time to help those causes they strongly believe in. They help the old lady in the store pick up her groceries when the bottom of the bag falls out. They effortlessly praise the work of their staff and genuinely appreciate those who work for them.

5. "Bad luck" is not part of their vocabulary.

Wealthy people believe, with every fiber of their being, that there is no such thing as bad luck--they believe that the lives they lead are the end product of the choices they have made. They tend to have a lot of very positive habits. Most regularly exercise and eat healthy, they work tirelessly, and they read and observe insatiably. All of these positive habits are the catalyst for their good luck like new business opportunities and a long, healthy life.

6. They ask a lot of questions.

The very wealthy ask a lot of questions and tend to be the best listeners. They are motivated by the desire to learn what it's like to live in another's shoes and they thrive on learning about others--some of their best ideas come from these conversations and really listening.

7. They don't live on wishes--they thrive on goals.

So often you hear people say, "I wish I was rich," or, "I wish I could find a different job." The very wealthy got where they are today by setting goals, not wishing--in fact, a very high percentage of them go after one significant goal yearly, whether it's a major career change or purchasing an island. What fuels their goals? Avoiding procrastination at all costs--the wealthy create lists daily and then conquer them.

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Five Sales Training Tips For Your Retail Staff

Five Sales Training Tips For Your Retail Staff

Complete the PDF we attached in our newsletter with your staff for each product! You'll get some great ideas and sales tips if you engage all the sales people!

Running a retail store involves overseeing the selling activities of your sales staff.  When you have properly trained and motivated sales associates, you ensure your customers are receiving the best product and service information possible – and that leads t bigger and better results

In addition, highly trained sales associates make your job as a store owner or manager easier.  You can have full confidence that your employees are representing your business well when you’re not there.  And when you are in the store, you can concentrate on other essential tasks knowing your sales team is performing optimally.

So let’s look at some important retail sales training topics we cover in our sales training courses and that you can focus on in your business.

 Five Tips For Retail Sales Reps

Start From a Customer-Centric Viewpoint – Many sales reps have a tendency to think that it is all about them when in reality it is not.  Teach your sales associates to have the customer’s wants and needs as the starting point of any sales conversation.   When they know exactly what the customer wants, and why, they can fine-tune their sales message to satisfy the customer’s needs.

Product Knowledge Inspires Confidence – Once your retail staff knows and understands their product thoroughly they can then convey that knowledge in an effective manner.  Customers hate it when they get inaccurate answers to their questions and they can almost always tell when a retail associate is making it up as they go along.

Focus on Benefits…Not Just Features – To often retail sales reps will begin a presentation by rattling off a list of features or specifications.  In our retail sales training seminars we call it “being a sign.”  Instead, relate what the features of a product actually do for the customer!  Then give advice and tips on how to care for or use the product.

Be Prepared for Objections to the Sale – Your customers want to feel like they are making a good investment in a product and they often do this by either shopping around or asking questions so they can gain reassurance.  So whether the customer has a concern about price, value, features or product reviews you need to remember that the “selling begins when the customer says ‘No.’”

Great Retail Reps Listen and Observe – It is important to understand what your customer’s want in a product.  And that usually means that they are seeking to improve their lifestyle in one form or another.  It could be the pleasure of giving a gift or the pleasure they derive from using the product personally.  Listen for these cues and then relate them back to your presentation.

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My TOP 10 Anti-Aging Oils For Beautiful Skin

My TOP 10 Anti-Aging Oils For Beautiful Skin

While there are many commercial anti-aging products available, most of these formulas are expensive and contain potentially harmful chemicals which actually damage your skin in the long-term.

We’ll start off by listing the best carrier oils and their associated health benefits.

1. Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot Kernel oil is one of the best carrier oils for creating skin-healing oil blends. Rich in omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid, Apricot Kernel oil helps to hydrate and nourish skin while vitamins A and E contained in the oil encourage regeneration of skin cells and collagen production to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Apricot Kernel oil absorbs into skin relatively quickly and is considered non-greasy, so it can be used on virtually any skin type. However, this oil is especially helpful for hydrating and healing very dry skin.

2. Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond oil contains large amounts of vitamins E and K – meaning that this oil not only helps skin to regenerate and maintain elasticity, it also promotes better circulation. Additionally, Sweet Almond oil is a natural UV blocker, making it ideal for people who spend a lot of time in the sun.

Sweet Almond oil offers the added benefit of being odorless, making it a great choice for those who either don’t enjoy the smell of botanical oils or whose employers do not allow the wearing of scented botanical oils in the workplace. This carrier oil is only lightly oily (about the same consistency of olive oil) and absorbs relatively quickly.

3. Coconut Oil

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is full of anti-oxidant vitamin E, making it an excellent carrier oil for skin-healing anti-aging serums. Coconut oil is also comprised mainly of medium-chain triglyceride lauric acid, known to be one of the healthiest oils for your skin and body.

Coconut oil not only helps to reduce signs of aging, it’s also great for strengthening the epidermis against cellulite, fading stretch marks, and eliminating keratosis pilaris. Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen, so you can use it to guard your skin against sun damage without the use of harmful chemicals. It can even be used to prevent or treat skin infections.

4. Avocado Oil

While Avocado oil is a very thick oil – probably too thick for most people to use on sensitive areas like the face – it is one of the healthiest carrier oils for skin. Avocado oil is rich with vitamins A and E, as well as collagen-boosting plant sterolins.

Because avocado oil is so thick, I recommend only using serums with this carrier at night or when you’re planning to stay home for the day. Also, try using avocado oil in combination with another carrier if you find that your anti-aging serum is too sticky.

5. Argan Oil

Argan oil is comprised of roughly 80% fatty acids which work wonders to hydrate skin, restore elasticity, and fade fine lines and wrinkles making this another excellent carrier oil for anti-aging serums. Read more about the 11 Miracle Benefits of Argan Oil in this article!

6. Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip Seed oil may be used as either a carrier oil or an auxiliary ingredient, depending on the recipe. This incredible oil is most well-known for its high concentration (the highest of any pure botanical oil) of natural vitamin A – all-trans retinoic acid (or ATRA as it is often abbreviated.) ATRA is known for its potent ability to reduce the depth of wrinkles, fade fine lines, lighten age spots, and promote over-all healing of damaged skin by boosting the growth rate of new cells and increasing collagen production deep under the skin’s surface.

Rose hip seed oil is also rich in skin nourishing essential fatty acids including omega-6 linoleic acid and omega-3 linolenic acid which help to improve the elasticity, texture, and appearance of skin.  Also, because Rosehip Seed oil is lighter in weight than many other botanical oils used for skin care, it is ideal for people who want flawless skin without the feeling and appearance of an oily complexion.

7. Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed oil is full of antioxident carotenoids which boost the body’s immune response to UV rays, helping to prevent sun damage.  Carotenoids also stimulate the rejuvenation of skin cells, aid in the detoxification process, and can help to heal chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

8. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is an effective anti-inflammatory.  It also helps to lighten age spots and even out overall skin tone.  Geranium oil also improves circulation under the skin’s surface which aids in cell regeneration, making it useful for fading scars, wrinkles, and other visible imperfections in the skin.

9. Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil

Another vitamin-rich essential oil that is excellent for reversing the signs of aging, Sea Buckthorn Berry oil can help to moisturize dry skin, treat acne, and reduce the visibility of other skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and eczema.

10. Pomegranate Seed Oil

Pomegranate Seed oil contains very high concentrations of antioxidants which help to prevent free radical damage and slow the aging process.  Punicic and ellagic acids contained in this essential oil help to nourish skin, enhance elasticity, and promote cell regeneration. Pomegranate Seed oil also protects and heals dry, irritated, burned, or damaged skin such as that affected by eczema or psoriasis.

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What do you know about Keith Allen West the Founder of Organic Private Label Skin Care?

What do you know about Keith Allen West the Founder of Organic Private Label Skin Care?

Keith West, the Millionaire Branding Coach & self-proclaimed Mad Scientist, is an extremely successful and energetic presenter on branding, marketing and extreme retail growth strategies. Since 2014 he has reached the Inc. 500/5000 list with two of his cosmetics companies by growing revenue over 1,000%. The newest company, Urban Fresh Cosmetics, grew sales from $200,000 to $3.1 million in just three years.

Through a series of major life events, West has become an accomplished skincare marketing expert, journalist, motivational coach and leader in the climate crisis. West is a globally recognized speaker on sustainable business success, especially within the spa and wellness industry being honored with the Top Green Spa Award from DaySpa Magazine. Former Vice President Al Gore trained West in Johannesburg, South Africa as a Climate Reality Leader to teach solutions to our climate crisis.

West also owns the award-winning company My Sacred Fig which private labels organic, natural skincare products for spas all over the planet from their urban farm headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. A skincare expert since 1989 with over 28,000 clients, his focus has been on blending ancient Native America, African and Auyervedic beliefs into a system that enhances modern wellness practices. His studies in world wellness rituals earned him a Doctor of Divinity degree. West has been appointed Esthetics Director at several of the industry's leading wellness facilities. As a respected 'Celebrity Esthetician', his expertise in products and ingredients led him to work with top celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. His companies have been featured by BRAVO TV, HGTV, People Magazine, USA Today, VOGUE, Huffington Post, The Guardian, LA Times, NY Times, FOX, CNN, AOL, MSN, NPR and many more media outlets. His small business reality series through AOL reached 24 million.

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