Ever wonder how a small beauty company navigates an industry dominated by beauty giants—and finds success? Andrew Knox, President and Chief Operating Officer for POPbeauty and Pixi, talks about how he manages his $15 million business in a land of beauty giants by following these three “musts” for doing business.

1. Don’t leave your retail partner with a list of to-dos. A small independent beauty brand is faced with the challenge of standing out in the competitive crowd. Retail partners are taking a risk by bringing your brand into their stores and/or websites. They are committing limited resources, time and money, to grow your business. In turn, small businesses need to respond to their retailer efforts by giving them what they need on the spot. Not a day, week or month later. As soon as possible. Your buyer has 1,001 things to do each day. I know that I don’t want my company to be the 1,002 item on their to-do list.

2. Create that “Million Dollar SKU”. This is where your innovation and entrepreneurial spirit can turn you into a beauty player. The company that finds the gap, whether it is a new ingredient, technology, package or creative process, wins. Know what your customers beauty habits are and what they aspire to be. You dont have to pay for costly ethnographic studies. Be on the pulse. Understand what the trends are and how your company can take advantage of them. Also, consider what your competitors are doing. Your competition may not see the value in a product that could be hitting on a significant consumer trend. You can swoop in to make it your own and in turn own the market.

3. Manage the limited resources you have well. As a small company, budgets are tight. Packaging and formula cost of goods run high because you are most likely just meeting minimum runs. Small companies cannot afford expensive outbound marketing campaigns, so consider your options: What is the expected payoff? What are the costs? Some companies have their hands in a multitude of promotional activities, while others place all of their eggs into the social media basket. Which is right for your small business? Are your efforts too focused or spread too thin? A balance has to be made. Small businesses need to measure their successes or failures so they can make the right decisions to move forward or to put the brakes on. Being dynamic is essential for entrepreneurial companies.