The beauty product industry is highly competitive, and it’s becoming more regulated every year. While it’s still possible to start a beauty products business from home, modern entrepreneurs need to take steps to ensure product quality and protect their assets. They need to have their products tested by third-party labs. Read on to find out about five of the most important factors to consider when hiring a product testing lab.
1. Competitive Pricing
For most business owners, especially those just getting their companies off the ground, it’s important to keep an eye on the bottom line. When it comes to choosing a product testing lab, that requires balancing price against quality of service. Don’t settle for just any lab because it offers the cheapest pricing.
Do some additional research. If a lab’s lower price point reflects a lack of adequate testing procedures or a tendency to miss important deadlines, look elsewhere for service. There are plenty of labs, such as The Benchmarking Company, that offer competitive pricing without sacrificing customer service or accuracy.
2. Time Frames for Test Completion
Look for a lab that offers reasonably short turn-around times and has a reputation for following project timelines. Just keep in mind that industry standards play a role in determining timelines for testing. It can take weeks to recruit a test panel alone, and even the best lab can’t complete a one-month clinical trial in two weeks. Product testing labs need to establish protocols, conduct studies and perform quality reviews before they can issue their clients’ final reports.
3. Emphasis on Confidentiality
Every reputable product testing lab will provide potential clients with a confidentiality agreement. Reading through it should only be the first step. When touring a facility, keep an eye out for warning signs like competitors’ data or products lying around the lab. A professional laboratory will code each product to make it unidentifiable to testers during the trials and will take client confidentiality seriously.
4. Innovative Methods and Equipment
The world of beauty products is constantly changing. Manufacturers that are producing novel products need to work with third-party labs that can implement innovative solutions. If there is no established industry standard for testing a new type of product’s safety or efficacy, the lab should be able to create and implement new testing protocols. That may require access to more advanced equipment or just ongoing employee training to keep up with changing standards.
5. Impeccable Ethics
If a lab falsifies the results of a clinical study, it can get product manufacturers in serious trouble. When the scandal is uncovered, customers, sponsors, and other stakeholders will all view the lab’s mistake as a reflection of the manufacturer. Working with a lab that follows all industry standards and ensures compliance with important protocols is the best way to avoid reputation damage.
It can be hard to determine whether a lab is utilizing ethical practices until testing is underway. To make sure the lab is holding up its end of the bargain, consider conducting unannounced audits or requesting study documentation and raw data. It can also help to request training records for key personnel.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right laboratory for beauty product testing can feel like an insurmountable task. There are plenty of options out there, but not all of them check all the boxes when it comes to good business practices. Take the time to research different labs, their reputations, and their pricing before making a final decision.