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Handmade Soap Business Idea

Have you recently discovered what ‘good clean fun’ soap-making is and want to make it your livelihood, but have no idea what to do beyond making the soap itself?

Start a soap making business today!

First, you need to develop your soap making business product line…

Don’t limit yourself to the common, single note fragrances everyone else uses. Develop your own signature fragrance combinations.

Invest in the nicest packaging and labeling you can afford so your product looks professionally-made, even if you are going for a homespun look.

Your Soap Making Business Product Line

Find interesting molds, or make your own using mold compounds and a found object, such as an old doorknob or finial. You can find mold-making supplies and kits on the internet, just be sure the materials are heatproof and will release your soap easily.

Identify some niches your soaps can fill, such as the following:

Children’s soaps

  • Choose names with animals in them for your soaps (like Chelsea Cheetah’s Cherry Soap)
  • Embed a rubber bath toy or other plastic toy inside a clear bar of soap. It will be an “incentive” to use the soap and get to the toy. Don’t be afraid to try something adults would find unattractive, like a fake hairy spider or snake.
  • Fruit scents and bright colors are attractive to children.
  • Be sure to use gentle ingredients and state that on any labels or literature you hand out.

Men’s soaps

  • Use masculine coloring, such as browns and greens
  • Use masculine scents, such as sandalwood and cedar
  • Develop a soap especially for shaving
  • Include ingredients that contain natural deodorant properties

Liquid soaps

  • Develop a moisturizing hand soap in a pump for the bathroom
  • Bottle your liquid hand soap in a foaming dispenser
  • Create a line of bubble baths with a range of bath experiences—relaxing, stimulating, romantic, and choose scents to convey them

Gift soaps

  • Seasonal shapes and scents
  • Small guest soaps
  • Three-dimensional shapes that people might collect, such as chickens or hearts

Special purpose soaps

  • Dog washing bars or liquid soap
  • Anti-itch or poison ivy remedy soap
  • Moisturizing soaps
  • Exfoliating soaps

Eco-friendly or organic soaps

  • Gardener’s soap
  • Mechanic’s soap
  • Shampoo- liquid or bars

When you have developed your product line, print up some information about your soap making business, your products and ingredients, and your story.

Get business cards, too, and make sure all of your printing coordinates with your product label. You are creating a brand, after all!

Then identify places you can market your soaps, such as:

Selling Yourself (with a higher profit)

  1. Local farm/craft markets
  2. Art/craft fairs
  3. At your house or a friend’s, by way of a party invitation

Find out from your state Department of Revenue as to whether you have to collect sales tax from your soap making business sales.

Selling to retailers (although you sell your soap at wholesale, you may make more by selling in higher volume)

Local gift shops

  • Tourist attractions (as a souvenir of visiting the area)
  • Mom & Pop- style grocery stores or pharmacies
  • As part of a church, school, or charity fund-raising sale
  • As a door prize or give-away item at a fund-raiser
  • Bridal shops (if you make an item suitable for table favors)
  • Appropriate businesses, such as camping stores for poison-ivy soap, garden centers for gardener’s soap, et cetera

Make appointments with the owners or managers so that they know when you are coming. This will allow them to choose a time when the business is not at a peak traffic hour. Bring at least a two dozen of each product with you, so that if your products are well-received, you can sell some on the spot.

If you don’t make a sale, leave a sample with the buyer, along with your literature and business card. Keep track of samples you give away, as you may be able to expense the cost of making them on your tax return.

With a little dedication, you can have a few outlets for your soaps, and very soon you will be getting repeat business. As your soap making business grows, someday you may even have your own web site or storefront!

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