Do you know that soaps are one of the top-selling handmade products?
Why would they not be?
A successful soap making business from home requires minimal investments. Plus, if a good soap making business plan is in place. Then, it can turn out profitable as well.
That is why handmade soaps is a good one to start. If you are in a phase of testing out handmade business ventures. Then, you might want to read further.
What You Need to Know for a Successful Soap Making Business
Since you are reading this post. I am sure you have dabbled in soap making. Or you are considering to start a handmade soap business.
Whether you make soaps from scratch with lye through cold/ hot process soap making. Or you create without handling the lye through the melt and pour way. As long as your finished product sells for a profit. You can call yourself a successful handmade soaps entrepreneur.
Depending on where you are in your soap making journey. You can benefit from the pointers listed below to accelerate your soap business.
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1. Excel in Soap Making Craft
It makes sense to hone the craft of soap making to excel in the soap making business.
Though do not get overwhelmed with the idea of learning. There are a few reputable online courses. You can make use of them to improve your soap making skills.
Since I also dabble in handmade soaps. I know it with a personal experience that handmade soaps tend to discolor with time. The oils in them turn rancid. Thus, giving them an unpleasant color and a funny smell.
It took me some time to correct my soap making calculations. Now I am conscious of my fats to lye ratios.
Hence, before you turn your soap making hobby into a business. You must master the skills to make your creations survive a myriad of weather conditions.
2. Identify Who Buys Handmade Soap A.k.a Niche Down the Target Market
If you have prior experience of operating a business. Then, you will agree that as a business you cannot serve everyone. You have to be laser-sharp about identifying who you are going to serve.
The earlier you get this part right. The easier it will be to tick mark the next steps.
You could be serving people with skin sensitivities or the ones who are a part of fandom.
3. Keep a Good Name for Soap Business
To run a business, it has to have a name. The rules are simple for that. Your business name must tick mark the following branding principles:
- It should be unique. There should not be other registered business with that name.
- The name should not attract any cultural or religious backlash in any language.
- It should be simple to write and pronounce.
The best hack to name your handmade soap business is to name it after you. That way it gets to have unique personal branding after you.
4. Track Down Wholesale Soap Supplies to Start a Business
There are 2 ways to have a successful soap-making business:
- Lower your expenses
- Increase your prices
If you concentrate on the first one. Then, the soap supplies constitute the major portion of the fixed costs. If you could crack down sources to get them at wholesale rates. Then, you can bring up your ROI at a significant rate.
Though do not sacrifice the quality of raw materials to gain profits. Else your handmade soap making business will never pick up the pace.
5. Price Them Right
Pricing is a complicated task. Moreover, it becomes more difficult when it comes to pricing your handmade soaps.
The theories of pricing require its separate book or a blog post. But as a general rule of thumb, I go by the following principle:
Price your product 10% more than the average price point of your niche.
Then, as a cross-check, that price should match 3 times the cost of your tangible raw materials.
These simple tactics would ensure that your soap making business remains successful.
But you must nail down #2 and #4 prior to pricing your soaps. The Handmade Business Plan worksheet in my Shop can help you with that.
6. Dress them Well
Packaging is crucial to brand your soaps. Many first time buyers make an impression of your soaps through your packaging.
Hence, it is important to get it right.
Handmade soap makers are in luck when it comes to pricing. That is because organic chemical-free soap niche associates itself with minimal packing. You should thank Lush cosmetics for pioneering this trend.
So, you can even use burlap or recycled newspaper for packaging. This way you also add the nature-friendly elements to your soaps.
7. Identify Best Places to Sell Handmade Soap
To have a successful soap-making business, you must sell all the soaps you create. Though it is easier said than done.
Depending upon your operational and technology skills. You can choose as many options as listed below:
- Your own brick-and-mortar store
- Stocking your products at other physical stores and malls
- Your own Shopify e-commerce store
- Selling on generic online e-commerce stores – Amazon, E-bay
- Selling on niche e-commerce stores – Etsy, Amazon Handmade
No matter where are you in your handmade soaps entrepreneurial journey. You must showcase your products at various sales points to drive mileage.
8. Comply With Regulations
This one is important as it ensures that you do not land up in a legal complication. Making and selling soap from home requires legal specifications too.
As a hobby soap maker, you can avoid not getting your soaps approved by legal bodies. But if you are serious about your handmade soap business. Then, you must not refrain from complying with the legal formalities.
Moreover, the regulations will differ from one geography to another. So, the best place to inquire about the legal information would be your local business center. Also, you must follow the regulations of the geographies you ship your soaps.
9. Keep Marketing Forever
Marketing is the backbone of your business. Thus, your handmade business cannot survive without it.
Thanks to current times. You do not need a massive financial budget to market your soap making business.
A blog and social media marketing go a long way in marketing your business to a wide audience. Though the caveat is that you must know how to do handmade business online marketing. It is much more than slapping random content everywhere.
10. Stick to a Simple Handmade Soap Business Plan
When you get all the above pointers. Then, it is time to summarize your learning. A business plan is a perfect tool to achieve that purpose.
If the idea of a business plan scares you. Then, do not worry. You do not have to fill up complicated excel sheets. There are simple ways to get to the point of running a handmade business.
If you can fill up the blanks below. Then, you are all set to launch your homemade soap making business.
- Summarize Your Business in 7 Words or Less
- What is that YOU SELL
- How do you define YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
- List YOUR 3 Competitors
- List down YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
- Visualize Your Operations
- Identify your Sales and Marketing Channels
As you can see. This plan lets you visualize yourself and your business. Every step builds up the premise for the one that follows it. For instance, Step #5 will help you decide your work hours in Step #6.
Thus, it is necessary to fill it up in sequence to create a successful soap-making business. It helps you get a roadmap for your business. Try your level best to stick to it to achieve the best results.
You can download this simple handmade business plan to get clarity on your business.
11. Keep Learning
Much like life. Running a business also requires constant learning. That means the strive to improvise your handmade soap business must remain constant.
For that to happen, you should keep looking for the following:
- New stores and kiosks to place your soaps.
- Identifying new geographies to sell.
- Learning and executing new modes of promotions.
- Expanding the product line to bath bombs, bath salts, and other toiletries.
- Learning from the soap making business success stories of others. Their mistakes and pitfalls will help to lower your learning curve.
Starting a soap business is one of the most common handmade businesses.
Though making soap business successful involves investments in time and effort. To get the benefits, you need a well chalked out business plan along with soap crafting skills.
Although the soap making ingredients seem to be the lone expenses. But soon you will realize that marketing is the major bottle-neck. So, selling homemade soaps at farmers’ market will not be enough to pay your bills.
So to make your handmade soap making business a success, you need to up your game.
This article lists down tasks to create a successful soap-making business. You can follow the steps in a sequential order to start your business with a strong foundation.
Do you own a handmade soap business? What do you do to make it a success?
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