There is no business like a soap business. Aside from creating something that you will use everyday, you get to formulate and express your own creativity in a very consumable and necessary product. Especially in the midst and aftermath of a pandemic! When I first got started I had no idea it would turn into a business I could do from home, while making money online. You can learn more about how my soap business got started here and here. When I first got started there were so many questions, like:
- Should I turn my hobby into a business?
- What to name the soap business?
- How much to start a soap business at home?
- How much can I make selling soap?
- Where to sell soap online? Can you sell soap online?
The bad news is these questions didn’t stop, the good news is that everyday I sought out the answer and kept moving forward with what was turning into a dream of owning my own soap making business online. You can do the same thing.
Should I turn my hobby into a business?
If you watched the video and you are saying, yes I’m ready to start my own business online, FANTASTIC. If you said to yourself,
- I’m not so sure that I know my product is safe or I don’t know how to make it…
- I don’t know how to calculate my cost or how much I should charge
Consider reading, researching and taking a few soap making classes to fill in the gaps. The two things you DO NOT WANT to do are sell a product that is dangerous or start a business that is not profitable.
Resources to Learn How to Make Soap
Soap Making Books
- The New Soap Makers Cookbook – Ingredients for Success | This soap making book outlines key ingredients to get you started while side stepping some of the most common missteps of many new soap makers. There are simple “ingredients” to shift your paradigm on your new craft going all the way up to cold process soap making.
- The New Soap Makers Cookbook – Making Cold Process Soap From Scratch | Learn how to make natural soap from scratch using the cold process method. This book outlines the soap supplies you need, steps and recipes in an easy to follow format.
- The New Vegan Soap Cookbook – How to Make Homemade Plant Based Soap | Make plant based soap from scratch with recipes, instructions and the supplies you need all in one place.
- How to Make and Sell Soap – Answers to the Top 50 Questions | Get the answers to the top questions to start making and selling soap inside this book. You also get exclusive access to bonus resources including: Free Downloads, Resources and Video Demonstrations. There is also a companion audiobook available if you prefer to listen instead of read.
Soap Making Classes Near You
Soap Making Classes and workshops are a great way to expand your knowledge and learn from experts. Unfortunately with social distancing it may be difficult to get to an in person training. Live Soap School has always been digital and accessible from anywhere in the world. Our wildly popular online training program Introduction to Soap Making has taught 100’s of students how to make soap at home. This is a self-paced training program that teaches you the science behind soap making and how to get started. It is a virtual soap class in a supportive environment with access to experts. Click here to learn more about our online soap class and how to enroll.
Soap Making Conferences
Another thing you can do to expand your soap making knowledge is to attend regional gatherings with other handcrafted artisans or industry conferences. Live Soap School offers an annual Virtual Soap Summit with speakers from all over the world teaching live and the beauty is you can attend our conference online and even in pajamas while growing your natural skincare product making and business marketing skills. Click here to get the replays from our last Virtual Soap Summit and getting on the waiting list for the next one!
How Profitable is a Soap Business
How lucrative your business becomes is completely up to you. When you are starting your business online you want to spend time focusing on: Planning, Production, Pricing and Promotion.
- Planning includes all of the aspects aligned with setting up your business, deciding on a name, finalizing soap recipes, supplies and ingredients needed to actually make soap at home.
- Production is all of the things you should put into practice to safely make and sell natural soap. This includes: Good Manufacturing Practices, Keeping accurate batch records, packaging soap and properly labeling your products.
- Pricing is where most new soap makers struggle, but this will be one of the crucial elements that determines if your business is successful or not. You must understand all of the costs associated with not only making your product but all of the business systems needed and the costs associated with them to properly determine your cost of doing business. Once you have this cost identified, then and only then can you determine a price to sell your products.
- Promotion is where you will need to leverage technology or pay someone to do it for you. Promotion includes any and all activities you will engage in to get the word out and attract customers to your business. My focus has always been the online space as it offered the most flexibility without the overhead associated with operating a brick and mortar store. Determine your model: Craft shows, brick and mortar, online, wholesale, consignment and then leverage the appropriate promotion channels. No matter what your promotion mix looks like, you MUST include Live Streaming.
Many people struggle with the technology aspects of running an online business. Live Soap School offers an innovative solution that includes audio podcasts, video tutorials, online community and downloadable resources to build your online business one week at a time. Learn more by clicking here.
Where to sell soap online?When it comes to selling soap online you’ve got options. You can sell on a marketplace like amazon or etsy. You can sell on a site specifically setup for ecommerce like Shopify or Wix. You can even create your own website using a content management system like WordPress. This is just the beginning though. You will need to create and cultivate an active social media presence. Many people will tell you to be active everywhere. I will tell you that is a sure fire way to burn out and not doing anything, anywhere. Start where you are and where you are comfortable with the format (video, text, voice). In deciding which Social Media platform the number one deciding factor is “where are your customers”. Not where your favorite soap makers are. I discuss more of this in How to Make and Sell Soap.
How much to start soap business at home?While it doesn’t cost mush to start making soap (less than $100 US), the cost associated with starting a soap business can grow quickly. Again you will need to look at the cost of buying your ingredients in bulk, packaging, labels, logos, registering with the state, accounting and bookkeeping, setting up a website, email service providers, marketing and advertising, internet connectivity and more. Your initial investment should continue to fund supplying your business as it grows.
What to name your new business?
You can name your soap business whatever you like. It’s a good idea to do a google search for the name you want just to ensure the domain name is available. Before you buy the domain name you also want to check at the federal level and the state level to ensure the name is not already registered and taken.
Your Soap Business in a Box
If you have read this entire article, you are definitely committed and I commend you for that. The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as a Soap Business in a box. It is going to take time, money and dedication to start your natural skincare business. Additionally you are going to need passion and stick-to-itiveness when things aren’t so easy, batches misbehave and people may not be buying. You can overcome all of these challenges by building your own box on a solid foundation of knowing what you are making and a soap business plan. Be ok with starting small, 1 order a week or a month and continue to grow from there. The only guaranteed for any new business is the individual all other factors are variable. Control what you can and allow the rest to fall into place.
Until next time.