HOW TO START A SANITARY NAPKIN BUSINESS
As we all know that menstruation is an important part of female human experience which indicates the normal reproductive organ functioning. Without menstruation, women would not be able to get pregnant or give birth which means we would have had human life on earth. Sadly, there are many myths and taboos surrounding menstruations and it is the women who have to suffer. India being a country that is still developing and has more than 22% people still living a life Below Poverty Line. The index which is not sufficient to elaborate what is the ground reality where we might will find more than half on people of our country not having basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. Women are one to struggle a bit more because the essential hygiene products such as sanitary napkins, tampons, etc are not available to them. Most of the women cannot afford them as the companies that manufacture them have priced them so high and there are also extra taxes on them as if they are luxury items. Women often use dirty clothing or rugs and sacks as pads during their period which is absolutely not safe for them. Many women even fall prey to uterine cancer because of unavailability of the basic resources. In all this, there is a silver lining that many young entrepreneurs and volunteers have taken charges in their hands and have started to manufacture affordable pads that are sustainable and trying to make it accessible to women not in just urban but also rural India. The sanitary napkin business is a very profitable business as the demand is never going to go down. It is a great investment as it not only brings profit but also helps women to lead a better and safe life.
If you are interested to invest in sanitary napkin business, here is the guide on how you can do it:
Create a plan
A sanitary napkin business although looks like an easy venture to open. You have to do a lot of research about how the market functions and what is the demand and supply chain in this business. If you are manufacturing your products you must have the knowledge of the raw material you are making your sanitary napkins from. You need to have a great shopkeeper’s skills and a compassionate personality. You must know how to attract customers to your shop.
Decide the size of business
The business has a lot of scopes to grow but keeping in mind that you are starting a sanitary napkin business from the scratch and arranging resources for it can be a task in itself, it is better to start small and develop as your customer base develops. You also have to take care of the quantity that you produce and if you are able to sell enough of it. None of your product should be wasted.
Decide on product
There are different types of sanitary napkin already available on the market, you have to first decide what are the qualities your sanitary napkin has and how is it different from other existing companies’ products. What are the different sizes and thickness of your sanitary napkins will be available in. You have to learn about the science of making the product and even the business and marketing part of it. The business will expand and the list can always increase but decide first what is your introductory range and how influential it is and will it get enough attention.
License and Permit
To start any business in India, you need to have legal permission sorted beforehand to avoid any hassles with government officials. You’ll need to get yourself registered as a business person, get FDA approvals, and get all the documentation handy. Get your product tested and make sure it does not cause any allergens that may induce reactions to the users. If it has an ingredient that typically causes the reaction, state all the ingredients in the packaging with the disclaimer.
If you are making your new brand, make sure you get a patent by your brand name so no one can copy your products.
Even if you are making your products or just selling products from different brands, you’ll need storage space. Since you are looking to start a sanitary napkin business, depending upon the space you need for manufacturing and packaging, look for a place that is big enough to accommodate all of your raw material and equipment and has enough space for all of the workers to work in the lab.
Setting up any business at home requires a strong local connection and communication so that the business can propagate but with the rise in the use of e-commerce, things have become a lot easier. Make a website for your sanitary napkin business and set delivery boundaries according to yourself. Arrange your products in different categories and use various models and tools which are available online to make your website catchier and more attractive.
Social Media presence and Marketing
Be ready to do a lot of marketing. Social Media is used by almost everyone around the globe. It is almost certain that at least one person in a household must be using any social media platform. Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and asking youth in youth in the locality to share it amongst friends, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your store. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you already have an offline store and most customers who have done business with you will keep your number saved, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one-to-one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
This is amongst the first things to do. You are setting up a sanitary napkin business at home. It will require a principal investment. Get yourself sponsors who are willing to support a local business and have your back.
Pricing and packaging
There are already many brands in the market that manufacture and sell sanitary napkins. Of all, they all are facing huge backlash for their prices and packages. The prices are too high to be affordable by working class and the packaging is all plastic and not environmentally friendly at all. Given the circumstances, it is better to keep your prices low. You must make sure that you make enough profit but don’t make is inaccessible to people and try to look for more sustainable packaging that is not too harsh for the ecosystem.
Create a brand name and logo
Although this sounds very common before opening a sanitary napkin business, understand that a brand name is very important in this industry. Decide for yourself a brand name that people, when hear, can relate with the sanitary napkin industry and there is no confusion in their mind about what the product could be. Make sure once you decide the name and logo of the brand, get a patent.
Help from Influencers
Take help from the local influencers of the city by sending them free products and ask for them to promote them for you online. People listen to the influencers they follow and this can help you build a popular base quickly.
It is exciting to see a lot of young Indian entrepreneurs working with full force and empowering themselves by setting up a small business. We have heard the story of Padman and how he started manufacturing sanitary napkin in the backyard so don’t let your morale down when you see those big brands competing. Keep the quality of your product high and enjoy the process of growing and learning. All the best!