Does starting a soap business sound like living it up to you? Natural soap certainly does sell well and you really can turn a soap making hobby into a money builder very fast in comparison to many other home scale small business ideas. Here’s the thing, it costs so little to get going that many folks give soap marketing a try. Here are a few real world tips for starting and running a soap making and marketing venture.
Do you really want a business of any sort? Often turning a hobby into a business ruins the hobby and never makes any money either. Do you really want to deal with all that goes into interacting with people and selling? Then there’s volume production to consider. How would you like to move from making dozens of bars of soap to tens of thousands of bars? It may turn into a lot of work. Even making hundreds of soap bars in a fairly short time frame is much like real work.
Licenses and other obstacles need not be a complete stop. Sometimes that’s the first thing business writers want to talk about. Get real… There are very few regulations about making soap. Now cosmetics, like lotions, are a completely different matter. Soap is not highly regulated, so that’s a real plus. Now licenses are something you should look into, but be realistic. To start, you’re probably just working at the hobby level. Don’t let the need for licenses stop you from getting started. Get what you need, but don’t be paralyzed into inaction.
The product is key and here’s why. Here’s the deal. There are plenty of people making soap. Why should anybody buy yours? Can you answer that easily? What you need is a product that truly is different, something that’s unique to you. That’s fairly easy to do with soap if you know how… and you can learn.
Marketing can be relatively easy if you get started a particular way. Making soap is one thing. Selling is quite another. Your plan should include a way to get people to try the product, hopefully a way to get lots of people to try it. There are ways, you know. Then the easy part is following up with customers to get repeat sales. Even though that’s easy, most soap makers don’t do it… probably because they don’t know how.
Can you make money selling soap? Possibly… That’s because there is a good potential profit in a bar of soap. The material cost is quite a bit less than the price a bar of soap brings. But you have to buy materials wisely, plus you have to move a lot of soap in a hurry. Both of those can be done, if you know what you’re doing.
My family learned about starting a soap business by doing it. We sold about 35,000 bars of soap, plus many other related items, working part-time. Starting a handcrafted soap business must be one of the easiest to start manufacturing businesses there is. However, you have a lot of competition so you have to get started right or you’ll probably at least waste time and maybe money as well…