How to Start a Soap Making Business
Everyone dreams of getting paid to do what they love. Truly, there is no better deal in the world than that. Which is probably why it is the dream of many passionate soap makers to start a soap making business. After all, if they love making soap and are always making soap, they may as well get paid to do it!
When you start a soap making business, the first thing you have to think about is if you can actually make enough soap to sell. Your business will probably have to start in your home so you have to see how much soap you can make in one day, and how many varieties of soap you can make in a week. You also have to consider the time it will take to cure the soap (if necessary.)
Once you've figured out how much soap you can produce, you will be able to tell if you have enough to start a soap making business. If you do, the next step is to find a good and constant source of soap ingredients. Remember that as a business owner, you shouldn't run out of soap. After all, you have to be able to service the demands of your clients. The best way to do this is to make sure you always have ingredients.
Find a source that has inexpensive ingredients, and is willing to sell soap in bulk. Usually, you get the cheapest rates by going directly to manufacturers or online distributors. These two sources are likely to sell in bulk, and for cheap too! In the beginning, try to use the same basic oils or ingredients in your soap (ex. cocoa butter, glycerine bars) and simply change coloring, fragrances, and essential oils to differentiate your soaps. That way you are saving money by buying large quantities of one ingredient instead of smaller quantities of several.
Next, get all your paperwork in order. This is very important when you start a soap making business. You want to make sure that your operations are legitimate. Find out how to get a business license in your town or state (expect to renew this yearly), and find out what other licenses you may need or what standards your home has to pass in order to be the base of operations for your business. Also, get insurance for your business, and make sure it is separate from your homeowners insurance.
Now that you have all of that in order, you can go back to what you love the most: making soap! Start by making large quantities of recipes you've already perfected. Then, try different soap recipes so that you can slowly expand the variety of soaps you can make. You can also try finding a niche or trademark that your soaps will be known by. For example, when people see bright colors, smell exotic fragrances, or see wacky shapes, should their first thought be of your soap? Consider what your trademark is, and make sure most, if not all, of your soaps follow it!
The last step is to get your soaps out there! Throw a soap launch for your neighborhood. It can be a lawn party where you invite everyone to try out your soaps and order them from you. This is also a great way to give out calling cards and fliers. You should also join craft fairs to get exposure for your soaps. This is another great way to give out your business card and fliers.
Go bigger by marketing your soaps online by putting up a website (great if you accept orders) or put up an online store on eBay or Etsy,com. If you start a soap making business online, be sure you take great pictures of your soap. Pictures are very important, and they need to be appealing.
Finally, have fun! Remember why you started this business, and make sure you never stop enjoying yourself!