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How to Start Your Own Soap Making Business

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Soap making is a simple business, which if done in the right way will offer decent returns. If you are interested, here is how you should go about it.
Soap making is a fun-filled activity. Handmade soaps are beautiful and very safe to use. They are also as different as possible from commercial soaps available in the market. These can also serve as gift items.
So, in case you are interested in making homemade soaps, then be assured that this is a very satisfying activity. With some efforts, you can transform your hobby into a full-fledged business opportunity too. The reason why it can turn into a profitable venture is, it requires only a small initial investment.
When you manufacture soaps as a part of hobby, you often do not focus much on the finesse of the product. You simply add your favorite oils and make them into your favorite fragrance and colors.
However, when you think of selling them, you ought to cater to what people like, and not what you like. Besides, your product should have a look and touch of something professional.

Devise a Business Plan

A sound business plan is of prime importance for the success of any venture. Devise a good business plan by taking into account the various aspects of your business. Conduct a thorough market research and know what is likely to work with your potential buyers.
Will you introduce your products in competition with other commercial manufacturers, or you intend to target niche buyers? Do you have any plans to launch a line of other personal care items such as hand wash, liquid soap, etc.? Devise a business strategy as per your requirements and capabilities.

Complete Legal Formalities

The next step is to obtain a license for making soaps on a commercial basis. Even if you plan to sell your soaps in the neighborhood or at a very small level, it is still mandatory to obtain a valid business permit. Also, you will need to get an insurance coverage to protect your production.
No matter if you make your soaps at home or rent a place, you will need an insurance coverage against theft, natural disaster, fire, etc. Your home insurance won't provide coverage for your manufacturing activities.

Find Your USP

You may find that there are several other people who deal in the homemade soap business. When you enter the market, you will face stiff competition from commercial as well as other small-scale soap makers. For sustaining in such a competitive market, you will need a product that will set you apart from the others.
Experiment with your ingredients to come up with an exotic fragrance. Shea butter, oils, perfumes, and coloring agents are some basic ingredients that can be used. See if you can introduce some other unique ingredients that may become your selling point. Do not hesitate to use wild colors or opt for unusually shaped molds.

Name Your Product

Now, choose a catchy name for your product, which can be based on the ingredients you have used in it, or its fragrance, or something that you think will easily be associated in the minds of consumers with your product.

Market Aggressively

Make sure you publicize your product on a large scale. Sell your product at local craft fairs or flea markets or gift shops. One of the inexpensive way of marketing your soaps is to advertise them on social networking websites. Some of these let you do so for no charge at all, and the information reaches a large number of prospective buyers.
Distribute informative brochures explaining the uniqueness of your soap. Do not overlook the importance of good packaging, as it is the first thing that people will notice about your product.
Last but not the least, price your soap appropriately. Always use good quality ingredients, so that it is even safe for children. With proper efforts, your hobby will turn into a money-making venture in no time.