Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Don’t I need to be a chemical engineer to make cleaning products and cosmetics?
A: You would if you were starting from scratch, making the raw ingredients, formulating the compounds, etc.
But you don’t need to be a chemical engineer to follow a recipe and blend ingredients together – in much the same way that you don’t need to be a chef to follow a cake recipe.
More importantly, however, you have the benefit of my 28 years experience in the production of these manuals and formulations – it’s experience which, until now, could not be bought.
The instructions are easy to understand, written especially with the beginner in mind.
And once you have a little practice, you will be able to experiment and make your own formulations using my recipes as a base.
Q: I’ve seen some recipes which use soap flakes and bi-carb to make laundry detergent – is this similar to your formulations?
A: No – definitely not. My formulations are all professional grade, none of them uses ingredients purchased from the supermarket – all are in bulk from raw ingredient manufacturers.
These “soap flake” type of detergents are not very effective for cleaning clothes, and not suitable for retailing. Detergents need to be able to perform the following four functions: 1. neutralise the acidity found in most soil; 2. remove oils and grease by emulsifying the particles, making them water-dispersible; 3. break down carbon, dust and clay into super-fine particles; 4. keep the soil in suspension so that the dirt particles do not redeposit themselves onto clothing during the rinsing cycle.
Formulations made from soap flakes are not able to perform the above functions. It’s actually quite easy (and a lot cheaper) to make detergents which meet all the necessary requirements, using raw ingredients.
I have seen one home-made detergent recipe which says that you should end up with a bucket of “gelatinous slime”. Again, the quality of the recipe is dubious, but more importantly, I doubt that you would find any consumers interested in buying a product with this description or consistency, or any retailers interested in stocking it.
Q: I’ve seen some recipes for making bath and spa products – are these similar to your formulations?
A: Again, no. These recipes might be ok for personal use or to give as gifts for friends if you’re a handcrafter – though I’m not sure in many cases that I would personally use many of these formulations on my own skin. But they’re generally not suitable to sell in retail outlets.
Most have few, if any, active ingredients. They might smell nice, but they have no therapeutic value – if consumers don’t feel a benefit, they will be less likely to buy again. Making skincare and make-up products with active ingredients allows you to produce top quality formulations, for which you can charge top dollar. You can use exactly the same actives as many of the leading cosmetic companies – and they’ll only cost you a tiny fraction of the retail price.
More seriously, however, many handcrafters’ recipes don’t contain the necessary ingredients to prevent the formation of bacteria. The co-existence of water and oil in cosmetic products can promote the growth of nasty molds and potentially serious bacteria – unless the correct ingredients are used in the correct proportions (which is not difficult to do, but always kept secret). Also, some of the oils in body/bath/skin preparations can easily go rancid if not correctly prepared. If you want to retail your products, they need to have a reasonable shelf life and be safe for use on the skin – even items given as gifts may not be used for six months. Many handcrafters’ recipes may have a shelf life of only two weeks before the formation of bacteria begins.
Extreme caution should be exercised in the use of handcrafter recipes for retail sale. My formulations are for the person who wants a serious business, with serious profits.
Q: I have seen some formulations for cleaning products, detergents, cosmetics, etc – but they all contain pre-made proprietary blends, so you have to buy your supplies from that particular manufacturer, or you won’t know how to make the product. Are your formulations like that?
A: No. All my formulations show you how to make your products from scratch, using bulk raw ingredients. These are not company formulations that you mix with water and fragrance. This is just another way the big players try to keep their strangle hold on the industry, by forcing you to continue buying pre-blended bases from them, never letting you in on the actual recipe. It’s just another way of preserving their secrets.
You can purchase the ingredients you need for my formulations in bulk from any number of raw suppliers. You have the actual recipe, containing the raw chemical ingredients – just like the major multi-national manufacturing corporations. This allows you to make the maximum possible profit, without being at the mercy of any suppliers.
Q: Do I need permission from the FDA to sell products to the public or retail outlets?
A: No. This is a common misconception – again, part of The Great Cosmetics & Chemical Manufacturing Conspiracy. In the US and most other countries, cosmetics are not required to be tested by the FDA, or any other authorities.
The FDA simply requires that you label your products accordingly and not use any prohibited ingredients or pathogens.
Because all my products have been professionally formulated, the ingredients comply with all regulations. You will be making products using the same ingredients as the major manufacturing companies.
Q: How much extra do I need to spend to get this business started?
A: To produce a large sample range of products, you will need approx $100 for simple mixing containers, and approx $100 for raw chemical ingredients. You’ll also need some packaging bottles and jars, and labels for the products you choose to manufacture.
Once you begin receiving orders and producing in larger quantities, you can buy larger mixing vessels to suit the quantity you intend to manufacture.
Then, you’ll only need to buy your raw ingredients and packaging in the quantity required to fulfill each order.
Q: Where will I find everything I need – chemical supplies, packaging, label printing, etc?
A: My manuals provide you with a list of suppliers for all these requirements.
You will be able to find many more in your local Yellow Pages – I direct you to the categories.
Q: How many different products do I need to manufacture?
A: This is entirely up to you. Some of my licensees make just one product with different aromas. For example, you could specialize in air fresheners, anti-bacterial/industrial hand cleaners, body butters, baby products or lip gloss. You could supply a complete range of hair or spa products to salons. Or you could make a small to medium sized range of household cleaners. Or you could specialize in supplying bulk industrial/commercial cleaning agents.
Q: Can you give me some idea of how I could start selling the products I make?
A: I have made some of my biggest profits from joint venture fundraising. Sports clubs, schools, churches, service organizations, charities, etc are always looking for new ways to raise funds. The most commonly sold fundraising products – such as chocolates, candles, cookies – offer the club or school only about 25% profit.
You can offer them a much greater profit margin than this – you can offer them 100% and you will still be making an excellent return. The club or school will find your products easy to sell – they are everyday necessity items.
You can label the products especially for them. As an example, some years ago I approached a popular sports club known as the SweatHogs, and showed them some samples for SweatHogs No Sweat Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. They loved the idea and it made both me and the club a lot of money.
I’ve done these “joint ventures” for marathons, dog shows, cheerleaders, and so many others – with a little imagination, the possibilities are endless.
Q: I had no idea how much money can be made from making cleaning products and cosmetics. Why haven’t I heard before how lucrative this is?
A: Let me ask you this: If you had a business where you made a product for as little as 25 cents (from your own home), which you sold for $5, and there was a huge market of regular, repeat buyers, would you tell anyone how much profit you were making?
I suspect not, but a word of warning: If you’re the kind of person who wants to brag to your friends and neighbours about what a fantastic profit margin you make, this is probably not the business for you. Cosmetic and Detergent manufacturing is so incredibly profitable partly because so very few people know anything about it. If you decide to take advantage of this opportunity, I highly advise you to keep this information for yourself – keep the secret a secret.
If you saw the secrecy contracts the big-name conglomerates force their employees to sign, you would know why you never hear anything about the profit margins or formulations from those who work within the industry.
Q: Isn’t making cosmetics and cleaning products too competitive?
A: Absolutely not – in fact, that’s largely the reason why the retail prices are so high and the profits so astronomical.
There are many, many more sales to be made other than to supermarkets or pharmacies – this is where the big players concentrate their efforts – which means literally hundreds of other hungry and extremely profitable markets are completely overlooked.
You’ve probably seen “price wars” in many other industries. This kind of discounting rarely, if ever, occurs in the chemical or cosmetic manufacturing industries. In fact, the strength of the industry and its secretive nature allows it to maintain a high level of profits.
When you look at the number of customers who purchase cleaning products and cosmetics, compared to the number of companies making these items, you will realise it’s a monopoly with few peers.
For anyone already involved in the cleaning industries, or anyone using cleaning products on a daily basis, the savings to be made by manufacturing your own are astounding.
Q: I would like to sell cosmetics and toiletries over the internet – is there a big enough market for this?
A: The market for cosmetics continues to expand, offering new opportunities to enter this exciting industry. According to a recent article in Cosmetic Design Magazine, the sale of cosmetic and toiletry products over the internet has “continued to grow significantly, now representing 4 % of total sales, making it one of the fastest growing retail channels.”
Other studies have shown that 4 %, or approximately $1.7 billion, of the total $42 billion spent on US beauty products, is accounted for by sales derived from the internet. Approximately 10% of women of all ages now make cosmetic and toiletry purchases over the internet on a regular basis.
This sounds like a big market to me – it’s no wonder the manufacturing companies are among the wealthiest in the world.
Q: Do I have to use the AustraLab name and trademark?
A: It’s entirely up to you – this is your business. The AustraLab trademark is a great marketing weapon. Around the world, Australian products are held in high regard for their quality. “Made under licence from AustraLab Australia” and use of the Aussie logos gives your business and your products instant credibility – which could otherwise take extra time and money to establish. It could even open up export opportunities for you. Also, the graphic designs will save you a small fortune.
Research has shown that the kangaroo is one of the most recognisable symbols in the world – you have a unique selling proposition from day one. All the hard work has been done for you.
However, if you would like to create your own brand names, I give you all the advice you need to get started. There’s no reason you couldn’t create a new name, manufacture items and establish a concept store for your products. You could then franchise your stores – The Body Shop is just one such example. You can still use the words “Made under licence from AustraLab Australia ©™ ” on the label.
Maybe you have an existing business and you would like to manufacture products under that name, use them yourself and sell them to your customers.
Some of my biggest contracts have come from businesses who have become tired of promoting another company’s brand, which can be purchased from thousands of different outlets. I have helped them create their own products and develop their own brand loyalty amongst their customers, who must then return exclusively to them to buy more.
This is known as private label manufacturing, and it’s a booming industry – there’s no reason you couldn’t offer your services in this field.
Q: I find chemicals scary – is it dangerous?
A: The word “chemical” is probably one of the most misunderstood, especially since the word “natural” became so popular. There are many “naturally” occurring toxins, which have the potential to cause much greater harm than synthetically produced substances.
Technically speaking, everything is a chemical. Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter. Anything made of matter is therefore a chemical. Any liquid, solid, gas. Any pure substance; any mixture.
Water is a chemical. Everyday we use chemicals. Regardless of what ingredients they contain, soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, lipstick, etc are all chemicals. Partly because of the lack of government regulations, there’s a lot of confusion about the meaning of “natural” products – depending on the definition you use, it can mean many different things and be misleading.
When you follow my simple, common-sense safety procedures, chemical and cosmetic manufacturing is safe and easy. In fact, I’m not joking when I say my wife has more accidents in her kitchen (between cuts from sharp knives, burns from hot stove tops and other assorted mishaps) than I’ve ever had in a laboratory.
Q: What makes you so sure I would be able to succeed in this industry – I don’t have much education and I’ve never done anything like this before.
A: For the past few years before retiring, I have tested my system with many different people from many different backgrounds (you can read their Success Stories). Some have had very little education, some have been students, some stay-at-home mums, some retirees, and some highly educated. All had one thing in common – they wanted an easy to operate business, with low overheads, low competition, and high profits. None had any previous experience in this industry. All were highly successful – of course, this means different things to different people. Some were thrilled to be able to make an extra $1000/week, working a few hours from home, while others realised the sky is the limit in this industry, and really attacked their chosen markets, making the kind of profits many people only dream about.
Q: I’m convinced this is a good business but if too many people get into it, won’t the market become flooded?
A: This is highly unlikely as these are consumable items used in every household and business, every single day.
To safeguard against saturation, only a limited number of trademark licenses are available.
The particular market you decide to focus on will determine which products you manufacture. It is highly unlikely that any two licensees would manufacture identical products for the same markets or individual retailers. Also, your products will still be entirely unique as a result of your chosen labelling, packaging, coloring, fragrances and properties – there are, quite literally, thousands of different combinations you can make.
Q: This business sounds like the answer to my prayers – is there a catch?
A: The only catch is that you must be prepared to put in some effort! Like any business, to make it work you have to work at it. In this business, like any other, you must be prepared to invest a certain amount of effort to reap its great rewards. However, I know from my own experience and that of my licensees, that the return on investment in this industry is like no other.
Q: I love the concept, but it seems like a lot of money.
A: If you paid $50,000 for this business, it would still not be too much. If you focus on the income potential and flexibility this business can give you, you will realise it is not expensive.
You can expect to pay a minimum of $40,000 for a lawn-mowing franchise, home cleaning franchise, or even dog washing franchise. You are restricted by geographical territories. These franchises cannot offer you the tremendous income potential of manufacturing cleaning products or cosmetics. You will either have to suffer with conventional, small profit margins or get stuck paying constant royalties to a franchiser. If you want a franchise (or any other business) which brings you a reasonable income, you can expect to pay at least $150,000.
With AustraLab, you get to keep all the profits you make and you can operate your business anywhere you choose, with absolutely no restrictive boundaries. It is your business 100%.
In most other businesses, you are selling another company’s brand and products. The problem with this, apart from the fact that they are making the bulk of the profits, is that you are advertising for them whenever you promote an item to your customers, who may in the future make a repeat purchase, but from another retailer. You’re also at the mercy of that company, who can increase their prices without notice, change their formulations, withdraw a product from the market, stock a neighbouring outlet, stop supply, etc etc.
Because you own the formulations, you have complete control of your future.