It’s always easier if you’re from a well off family who can help set you up in business, but for most of us, that isnt an option. I started a soap business and here I have tips for starting a soap business.
But there is no reason why you can’t make a business from your own home office or even dining room table, not necessarily soap but some other craft you love doing and are skilled at.
The pandemic has changed the face of working from home and the usual 9-5 working from an office has gone, at least for now.
Hard to cope when everything we have known suddendly and catastrophically ends, but not just for you, but for EVERYONE!
This unprecedented time can be the transformation you need to start a side hustle/passion business. Getting up in a morning and working on the career you have dreamed about or a passion you have a flair for.
I think that having a way of making money when the world is falling down about your ears, is essential for survival.Its futureproofing ourselves and is never more important than now.
Starting a craft style business with all the experience and skills you have, is easier than you think and I am going to show you how to do this. My soap business was started a couple of years ago after a decade of hobbying. It dawned on me one day that I could make a business from it!
First of all, lets have a reality check….
Starting a business doesn’t all come from being passionate about your product. You need a Business Plan. Once you have written up a plan, it makes implementing it much easier.
Having a game plan takes the stress out of the pathway set for your business, easy to implement and means that your passions stays a passion!
The Business Plan
A business plan gives you the foundation for you to start a soap business. There is no magic plan for a soap business than really any other business really. They tend to follow a template which we will go through here.
Summary Of The Business
So really this is the main points of your business. I know you know what they are but it’s good to get them down on paper and be able to refer back to them when moments of indecision creep in. Pinpoint the main features, a quick summary of them, and what you hope to achieve. Something like this …..
My Cottage Cosmetics is an artisan soapmaking business, specialising in natural soaps, hand lotions, body butters, shampoos etc. The focus is on use of natural ingredients etc… You get the idea.
You can see where you need to go with this, really setting out your intentions.
Write A Mission Statement
Include your intentions for your company, how you fit into the market and be specific about what goals you want to set, short and long term. Have a plan to where you would like to get with your business. Being an artisan is fine, but even stretching your wings and selling internationally is a great vision.
What makes your product special? It helps to write it down, refer back, add extra details.
– What is your unique selling point
– Does it differ from what is already available?
– Does your audience gain a benefit from your product?
– Does it fill a gap in the market?
Something like this……
Each product at My Cottage Cosmetics is made by hand in limited batches, with quality and care. No plastic packaging, reduced carbon footprint as much as possible for ingredients. So a natural product without preservatives, addatives used.
This allows us to offer the highest level of craftmanship to every single product, ensuring that each product is unique and perfect for every customer.
There are two features to this.. how you will market your products and what price you will charge for them.
Once I had priced my products, I did extensive research into the general pricing. Taking into consideration sizes etc. I didnt change any of my prices.
Take time and think about your brand. This includes a business name, how you want your website to look, colours, fonts, appearance – contemporary, natural, eclectic. All these set your brand.
Build your front of house. The first step in starting your business. If you dont know how to do this, go over to Wealthy Affiliate – where I learned everything I needed to know to build a website, from buying a domain name, to hosting. Everything you need to know they will tell you. Follow the link below and start your website today. You can try it out for free for a week. Go to Wealthy Affiliate
Legalities and safety
Certain legalities depending on where you live in the world. In the UK, you need to get every product toxicologically tested and upload your product onto a portal – this is changing when we leave the EU and there will be a UK portal to register each product. There may be similar legalities you need to do.
Open a business bank account in your business name. This starts everything on a good footing. Makes it easier to keep your finances straight for tax.
Business insurance is a necessity. Not only for your equipment but insurance against some reaction your customer may have to a product. If you have produced your products well and invested time into your formulations, this should never happen but you have to be prepared.
Don't Compete On Price
I have found there is no point in competing on price. You can be competitive but must know your prices for your own products regardless of others. Be confident that your products are worth what you set them at and dont be tempted to reduce them to fight a competitor.
You Don't Get To Make What You Like
Sadly this is true, you can’t make what you like, you need to make what you are short of, those products that sell. I have found this to be a little tedious at times but we are in it to make a profit not have pretty products sitting on a shelf not selling.
There is a market for everything
Having said the previous comment, there is a market for everything, it just depends on how hard you are prepared to fight to find it.
Take Great photos
With such a visual craft as soapmaking and bath bombs, lotions and shampoos, you need to take awesome photos. This doesnt mean you have to buy the best camera on the market, but take note of background and positioning before you take a photo and a good phone camera is great. I use an iphone 11 plus max and its perfect!
be passionate about your product
Its ok to be your biggest fan! You need to be passionate about your products, that leads to the desire to perfect every one, make them the best they can be, learn and fine tune them !
This isn’t a race, but more of a long distance walking marathon. Taking it too fast you will not build the foundations of a good business. Your audience will still be there when you are ready to roll, so get your building blocks set and build a great business.
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