HOW TO START YOUR OWN SOAP BUSINESS: PART TWO
This is part two of our guide How to Start Your Own Soap Business. You can access part one by clicking here.
Pricing and Profit. Price your product so that you are able to make profit but try to keep your price within the same range as other similar products in the market. If you mark your price too high then most likely customers will go to different sellers but you also don’t want to be cheapest. Doing this might lead to not making enough profit and also sometimes cheapest dictates not so good quality. When setting a price consider the time and effort it takes to create the soap along with the cost of supplies and packaging. Usually the price for cold process soap is around $7.00 per 4 oz. bar.
Pay attention to the market and your competition. Take a look at your competitors and see what value you can add to your soap to make it more marketable. It will also help you figure out the audience to target and make your product more attractive by educating the potential sellers about the benefits of the ingredients included in your soap. Let them see the difference between your soap and your competitors’.
Take care of all the legal requirements. To legally start a business you need to get a business license and permit. Check with your local city to find out all the requirements. You can also find lot of details on SBA’s (Small Business Administration) website. You’ll also find details about financing assistance or loans and investors. Details about tax, insurance are also available on this SBA’s website.
Selling Channel. Now you need to decide how you are going to sell your soap. Are you going to sell online, to local community at farmer’s market, flea market, craft shows, etc. This decision can require lot of brainstorming. If you are just starting then highly recommend to start with selling your products to your family and friends. The best way to do this to host home parties and invite your friends, neighbors and families. By doing this you will able to get some quality feedback about your products as well. If selling online then try etsy.com. It is a great way to get in touch with thousands of potential buyers plus it is so easy to set your own shop with Etsy. If you are planning to wholesale then get in touch with big stores like Costco, Walmart, Target, salons and spas and so forth and see if they are interested in your products. Remember to check with your local city requirements regarding wholesaling permits and paperwork. You can take online classes offered by SBA to learn more about the rules and regulations.If you know very little about business and need some professional advice then I highly recommend SCORE which offers local and online workshops related to business and covers topics such as business startup, running and growing business, marketing and financing, management and technology. You will also be able to team up with a mentor for some excellent free advice.
Labeling and Marketing your products. This is the most creative part other than making the soap. Let’s first start with labels – you can create your own labels or you can have someone else create them for you. If you need someone else to create the labels for you then the cheapest way to do that is to find an artisan on etsy.com. There are many artisans offering very creative and interesting labels, and marketing materials at an affordable price. But if you know someone who can create labels and marketing materials for you at much cheaper price or free then go for it.
One important thing to note regarding labeling is that it needs to follow the FDA label requirements. The label needs to include the quantity of content – in terms of weight, the use of the product, and ingredients. You can find more details about the FDA requirements by visiting FDA Cosmetics Labeling section.
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There are many marketing channels, choose the one that’s appropriate for your soap business. You can mail out postcards, share flyers and can get them posted at your local coffee shops, your city’s chamber of commerce office and so forth. Also pass on your business cards and postcards or flyers with every purchase so the words keep spreading out. Vistaprint is offering some great discount deals like 40% off on all marketing materials and you get $10 Vistaprint cash for every $40 you spend. You can get 100 business cards for less than $10! If you are a DIY expert then you can print the business cards at home, Avery’s business cards works great.
Conclusion. Soap making is fun and a creative business to have. With lots of passion and knowledge you can make it successful. Do all the preliminary research like finding your niche, determining selling channels, legal requirements, finding best suppliers, you should be all good to start. Don’t forget to start with your business plan which is the most important in order to set your goals and follow them. Knowing what you need to do and when, will help the whole journey make less frustrating for you. I wish you all the best! There are many other details for setting up a successful soap making business but this is a good start. I’ve included links to more resources, soap recipes and videos below. Hope you’ll find them helpful! Have fun!