Surf the wave of organic cosmetics

A business of specialists, cosmetics? Isabelle Carron, 48, and Arnaud Pigounides, 35, prove the opposite: initially, they are bosses of a communication agency – and have remained. Their strategy deserves all the more to be studied. To launch Absolution, they bet on organic (Ecocert label, recyclable packaging) and originality with a range of unisex products compatible with each other (this is far from always the case).

Not experts, but pusher, they worked a year and invested 300,000 euros: development of herbal recipes by a botanist, selection of a manufacturer in Aix-en-Provence (thank you Google), a supplier of tubes and jars at the LuxePack show … The start-up in September 2009 was done in specialized stores, Sephora, Marionnaud and the other big brands being inaccessible at the start. After a fundraising of 200,000 euros, they seek 1 million to develop.

Our advice: as did the creators of Absolution to be known by professionals, it will be smart to rent a small stand (5,000 euros) at the famous annual beauty salon, Beyond Beauty, in Paris.

Be one of the first to develop express beauty treatments

Having left for a few months on the Essec campus in Singapore, Hugues de Braucourt had discovered in the local metro the QB House lounges, which offer busy people a haircut in ten minutes for 5 euros, without an appointment. Back in France in June 2009, the young man, still a student, decided to take inspiration from the concept. To validate it, he will survey hairdressers in Paris, launch questionnaires on Internet forums (like that of Aufeminin.com), but also interview family, friends, students of his school …

Comforted in his idea and joined by his sister, Diane Frachon, Hugues then approached commercial landlords to get a cheap local. Unibail offers him 30 square meters in his shopping center of Part-Dieu, in Lyon. After having raised 100,000 euros from the banks thanks to the support of Réseau Entreprendre and Paris Initiative, he opened his first hair salon and cheap express care, BeNow, in December 2010. Six months later, the breakeven is achieved.

Our advice: in the express service, the key is to settle in places with strong passage (station, metro …). Another designer, Nicolas Langer, installs his Beauty Bubble hairdressing bubbles at airports and hypermarkets.

Bringing Asia’s centers of relaxation and relaxation cheap

When the former co-creator of Monceau Fleurs launches a new business, it deserves attention. In 2007, Pascal Royer discovered Henartural in Spain, care institutes where they are … beds that massage the body. He contacts suppliers, all South Korean, and discovers the magnitude of the automated relaxation market – more affordable than manual care – in Germany, Canada and the United States. After the low-cost flowers, why not cheap massages?

Several trips to Asia later, to discover other amazing machines (foot arch massage, foot baths), this former Dauphine opens in December 2008 a first TheraCh’i institute in Paris (300,000 euros invested). “Given the success, I declined the concept in franchise,” he says. With seven stores, the network now has 1 million euros in turnover.

Our advice: Forerunner, TheraCh’i is still alone in this highly fashionable market, but expects the arrival of competitors. Note that the Spanish Henartural, which he was inspired, is not present in France but may soon disembark.

Make yourself a place, thanks to the franchise, in the market of dietary stores

One billion euros! The French market for weight loss weighs heavily. It is not easy, however, to create a concept to distinguish itself from an exacerbated competition in this sector, which includes food supplements as well as slimming care, books or coaching … So, it may be smart to integrate a franchise into full expansion, like Naturhouse.

Present since 2005 in France, this manufacturer of Spanish food supplements, which sells its products in an original way, multiplies the openings: “90 this year”, rejoices Olivier Roques, former boss of a high-tech company, who has paid 200,000 euros to obtain the master-franchise (exclusivity) of the French market. Certainly, we will not make a fortune with a single shop. But, given the expansion of the chain, it is quickly possible to open several. “Our biggest franchisee has seven stores and 2 million euros in sales.”

Our advice: a dietician for advice and food supplements sold in stride. The principle of Naturhouse is simple enough to imitate. And there is room on the market …

Use the Internet to sell personal development tips

The wellness niche is not just about products and services for the body. There are also juicy things to do for anyone who wants to take care of the mind. See Jean-Pierre Camard, 61, and France Hétier, 51. Two years ago, this couple launched the site Jeconsulteunpsy.com . Neither of them are from the seraglio, he being a computer engineer and she is a physiotherapist. “But we are passionate about psychology and we followed a therapy before duplicating this very popular concept in England,” they say.

The principle ? Psychologists (initially approached in the directory of alumni of the EPP, a reputable school in the profession), which the site retribes fees, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before contacting them by phone, just check their availability on the site. The price of the consultation? 1 euro a minute. To build the IT platform, a budget of 130,000 euros was needed. A useful investment: this year, the turnover should reach 800,000 euros. And Vivendi, which owns a similar site, has already offered to buy them back.