Do you want to start a wig business for cancer patients? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a medical wig business with no money or experience.
One of the side effects for people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy is the loss of their hair. The truth is that no lady wants to be seen bald whether they are undergoing chemotherapy or not. They would always want to get good-looking wigs so as to look beautiful and perhaps prevent unnecessary attention from people.
The American Cancer Society is one great resource that provides free medical wigs for adult women who financially qualify and are suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatments, but people who are not qualified would always look for where to purchase their own wigs.
This is the reason why the production of wigs for people with cancer has continued to soar. You can start your wig-making business for people with cancer from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally and internationally recognized.
Steps to Starting a Wig Production Business for Cancer Patients
1. Understand the Industry
Wig making business for people with cancer is part of the Wig & Hairpiece Production industry and players include establishments that specialize in manufacturing wigs, hairpieces, and hair extensions for both aesthetic and medical purposes.
The Wig & Hairpiece Production industry depends on strong consumer spending to spur demand for industry products.
Over the last half-decade, the economy started recovering from recessionary declines with both the Consumer Confidence Index and disposable income increasing. Going forward, as the economy of the United States continues to recover and consumers are expected to loosen their discretionary budgets, the industry is anticipated to thrive.
The Wig & Hairpiece Production industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of the United States of America and they generate over $224 million annually from more than 696 wigs and hairpiece production factories. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 1,997 people.
Experts project that the industry will grow at a 4.0 percent annual rate. No player can boast of having a lion’s share of the available market in this industry. A close study of the Wig and Hairpiece Production industry shows that the industry has low and steady barriers to entry.
For instance, the capital requirements to open a wig-making business are moderate and primarily consist of leasing a commercial property and purchasing machines and initial inventory. Increased vacancies and lower leasing rates as a result of the recession have improved new entrants’ ability to find low-cost property in attractive locations over the past five years.
One of the major factors that encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to venture into the wig-making business for people with cancer is the fact that there are readily available markets for hair extensions and similar products. Despite the fact that there is stiff competition in the wig-making business, if you are able to carve a niche for yourself, it won’t be too difficult for people to accept your products.
You can choose to start on a small scale selling your products within your city or state or you can choose to start on a large scale with your products spread across your country and even in other countries of the world.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition for this type of business is clearly defined; it is for ladies who are undergoing chemotherapy.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
There is no niche in the wig-making business for people with cancer. Those who are into the production of wigs for people with cancer are also into the production of medical wigs to meet the trends in the industry. Branding and packaging are major factors that can help you increase your sales and gain market prominence in this business.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the wig-making business goes beyond competitions in your city or country. This is so because, major wig brands from China, India, Peru, France, Italy, the united kingdom, etc. can be found in shops all across the United States of America. So, it will be right to say the competition in the wig-making industry is stiff.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to churn out quality products and that you know how to reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the well-known hair extension brands in the United States of America and in other parts of the world;
- Babe Hair Extensions
- Cinderella Hair Extensions
- Hotheads Hair Extensions
- Great Lengths Hair Extensions
- Donna Bella Hair Extensions
- Klix Hair Extensions
- Halo Hair Extensions
- Heat-Free Hair Extensions
- Galaxy 5000
- Boho Exotic Studio
- Indique Hair Extensions
If you are looking toward successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out a thorough market survey and costing of the required raw materials, packaging materials, and other equipment needed to successfully run the business.
The bottom line is that, if you are considering starting a wig-making factory for cancer patients, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of setting up the business and churning out quality medical wigs but also on how to build a robust distribution network.
The truth is that if you are able to build a robust distribution network, you are sure going to become a household name and indeed maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Unfortunately, you can hardly find a franchise of a wig-making factory/company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a wig-making factory, then you must be ready to start from scratch. This is so because the business is still pretty much thriving and there are loads of opportunities available to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The truth is that it will pay you to start your wig-making factory for people with cancer from the scratch. Starting from scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market surveys and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Please note that most of the big and successful medical wigs and hair extension-making factories around started from scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work, and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Despite the fact that there are threats and challenges when it comes to starting a wig-making factory for people with cancer, a manufacturer who has carefully studied the industry before launching his or her business won’t struggle to break even.
But that does not rule out the fact that if you decide to start your own wigs-making business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well–established brands whose products can be found all across the United States and the global market. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When it comes to starting a wig-making factory for people with cancer, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk.
It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings, and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your medical wigs-making company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation,s and of course taxes.
If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your business, you will agree that a limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as a limited liability company (LLC) and in the future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own medical wigs production company, here are some appealing names that you can choose from;
- TY™ Medical Wigs Production Company, LLC
- Sheila Nelson® Medical Wigs, Inc.
- Clara Brown® Medical Wigs Production Line Company
- Laura Bae® Medical Wigs Production Line Company, LLC
- Yvonne Stallone® Medical Wigs Line, LLC
- Lara Lyon® Medical Wigs, Inc.
- Stacey Lorenzo® Medical Wigs Production Line Company, LLC
- Jane Fresh® Medical Wigs, Inc.
- Maureen Blues® Medical Wigs Production Line Company, Inc.
- Prisca Martins® Medical Wigs, LLC
- Tracie Lopez® Medical Wigs, LLC
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Besides, the nature of a medical wigs production factory requires that you have the proper insurance cover in place or else you will be forced out of business if you are sued for any business-related issues.
So, it is important to create a budget for insurance coverage and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best insurance policies for your business. Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own medical wigs production company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own medical wigs production factory, usually you are not required to file for intellectual property protection/trademark because the nature of the business makes it possible for you not to challenge organizations and individuals in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Even though you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own medical wigs production factory, you will do yourself a whole lot of favor if you study a related course. It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize the business; you will be able to have a full grasp of the business.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation.
If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own medical wigs production company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Chemical handler certificate
- Health Inspection Certificate
- Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a medical wigs production factory can be relatively expensive even if you choose to start on a small scale. Securing a standard and reliable production facility and purchasing equipment and machines are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for funds to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard medical wigs production company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan.
If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing startup capital for your medical wigs production company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a medical wig production company comes with its own challenges; it is a business that can be started in any location as long as there are people and businesses that are ready to buy or retail your products. As a matter of fact, you can start your business in the outskirt of town and still grow the business to profitability.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people who make use of your products and with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.
It is important to note that a business facility in a good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough funds for leasing / renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your company, ensure that you first conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across a similar business that just closed shop in the location can’t be ruled out.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a medical wig production factory, it means that you should be prepared to purchase the needed raw materials. You are also going to need the appropriate welding, gluing, and stitching equipment in order to go into full–time production.
If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used equipment/machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a long life span.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of a production facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short–term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long-term lease or outright purchase of the property.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard medical wigs production company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (Owner), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Cosmetologist/Quality Control Officer, Machine Operators, Accountant, Distribution / Delivery Van Drivers, and Client Services Executive. On average, you will need a minimum of 7 key staff to run a small-scale medical wigs production business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Firstly, most medical wigs are synthetic hairs and they are made from polyester, acrylic, and other poly-filament fibers. One good thing about the production of medical wigs is that medical wigs production factories can either choose to make use of a single type of fiber or a combination of different fibers.
The production of medical wigs starts with the purchase of the needed raw materials such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, or other synthetic materials. You are also going to need welding, gluing, and stitching equipment in order to go into full–time production.
When the medical wigs are produced, they are made in such a way that they come out rugged, heat and wear-resistant. Please note that the manufacturer of medical wigs usually adopts processes that usually involve ultrasonic waves, precise diameter cutting, heating, welding, sewing, and coating.
Synthetic hair fibers are fine threads manufactured to resemble human hair. A medical wig production factory may use a single type, monofilament fibers, or a combination of two or three, poly-filament fibers. Wigs and hair extensions that are constructed of synthetic hair, are more affordable than similar items made from human hair.
When the wigs are produced, they are passed through the quality control department and once the wigs are approved, they are packaged and loaded into distribution trucks and distributed for sale. It is important to state that a medical wig production company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Marketing your medical wigs requires creativity and aggressiveness. No doubt there are competition in the medical wigs line market, but if your products stand out, you will be able to corner a portion of the available market.
One of the key strategies in marketing medical wigs is to create hype around your products. Creating hype around your medical wigs involves attending related business expos, and leveraging on both online and offline media platforms to promote your brand. Instagram and YouTube are some of the potent social media tools for promoting your brand.
Another major leverage in marketing your medical wigs is to get well-known celebrities in different fields to endorse your brand.
The truth is that if a celebrity makes use of your medical wigs, she will definitely help you generate traffic to your brand. It is one of the easiest ways to get people to fully accept your medical wigs in the marketplace. It might be expensive but it will surely be worth the while.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet (videos / YouTube) to market their services or products.
In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users; your website will become your number one marketing tool. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your medical wigs production business;
- Introduce your medical wigs-making factory and products by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to cancer treatment centers, retailers, and other key stakeholders in and around the locations you intend to retail your products
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Join local medical wigs production associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise your business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you produce your medical wigs at rock-bottom prices is to purchase your raw materials directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantities of raw materials that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you produce your medical wigs at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational costs to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save costs, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save costs for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The quality and uniqueness of your medical wigs, your business process, and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry. If wholesale distributors are making profits from selling your medical wigs, they will be more than willing to go the extra mile to help you push your products to every nook and cranny of the cities they distribute products.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust distribution cum business network. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your medical wigs can favorably compete with some of the best in the industry.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source alternative service providers or products.
If you can continue to make available a wide range of trendy medical wigs at affordable prices and your customer service delivery is top notch, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeat sales from them and also attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results, or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk SMS and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive compliance and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness.
If your intention of starting a medical wigs production business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening chains of showrooms across major cities, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
Here are the platforms you can leverage to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your medical wigs production company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and events and lifestyle magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community-based events/programs
- Leverage the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your medical wigs brand – business
- Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshow from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your medical wigs – brand
- Distribute your fliers and handbills to target areas
- List your medical wigs production factory – company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your medical wigs production factory on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your showrooms are located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and that all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
21. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
Running a medical wigs production business requires that you enter into a business relationship with suppliers of the needed raw materials such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, other poly-filament fibers, or other synthetic materials. One of the places where you can get to network with business partners is in chambers of commerce and industry, fashion expos et al.
Another major business relationship that is required is the relationship with wholesale distributors and even retailers. The amount of cash inflow in your business is determined by the number of wholesale distributors that you have.
It is important to create a win–win business relationship with merchants and wholesalers if indeed you want your brand to penetrate the market. You might want to sell below the average price in the industry especially if you are new so as to attract customers.