2. PassionIf you think selling soap is your destiny, you better bloody love it and I mean LOVE it. This is an art, a passion, but it's about to become your job. You will have customers, real live people, that rely on you to process orders, update your inventory, keep them informed, and post regularly on social media. Your batches, be them big or small, will cost you, and often the the price of one batch can't be taken lightly, even for bigger businesses. There will be so many things you, as a business owner, will be required to do that do not involve actually putting lye water into oils and stirring, so you better really like that part, otherwise the rest of it will seem an overwhelming mess.
3. MarketplaceOnce you've decided to sell your soap, you're going to need to sell it somewhere. There are loads of options from Facebook Webstores, to Etsy, to Store Envy, to local farmer's markets, to your own website, to boutiques across the world, etc. When picking where to sell, consider your personal location, whether or not you are willing to ship, both internationally or just in your country, the extras you would need to purchase/make if you take your product to fairs and markets, if you like to interact with real humans ;), and the time it takes to set up a webstore. Selling at craft shows and selling online are two completely different fields, and who knows, you may want to do both!
4. RecipeI advise that you create a basic recipe you like and have used multiple times for the first 15+ soaps you create for your customers. Make sure the recipe is versatile and easy to use because at this point in your soap journey, you probably won't have loads of extra cash lying about if your bath flops three times in a row. Also, by having an easy to work with recipe, it's easy to add fun things like calendula, lavender, clays, milks, sugar, salt, etc. and see the effect it will have on your colors and finished bar.
5. Moral SupportHaving an encouraging group of people who cheer you on is an absolute necessity. These cool kids don't necessarily have to be related to you (because let's face it, your relatives have already figured out you're nutters by now) but they should be like-minded and ready to give you a pep talk when you're on the floor in tears because you dumped a whole jar of mica out. Join a couple of Facebook groups too!
Professional and pretty packaging is an essential right from the very beginning. Your soap may be gorgeous, but if your packaging is sloppy, it ruins the effect. Handmade bath and beauty products are often given as gifts and you want your soaps to live up to that standard. Think about what you would like to receive and ALWAYS include ingredients!
This is another biggie from the very get go! Get yourself a logo, for goodness sake. Pick out a name that expresses YOU. Design some labels that really catch a person's eye. Print them on label paper that won't run or bleed if wet. Include all of your business information. Do I need to do a set of branding posts? I feel like I do. ;) This is an essential because (especially online) your customers and loyal followers will need something to quickly identify you with!
Essential. An absolute essential. Write down everything you have ever bought for your business. EVERYTHING. Gas you spent driving to the store, those big fat paper clips to hold the sides of your silicone liners to the mold, discounts given by your suppliers, I mean everything. You'll thank me later and it will save you so much time and money in the end. I highly recommend Soap Maker 3 and if you're more dedicated than I am, you'll utilize the poo out of that sucker. It makes your job as soap secretary a piece of cake!
9. SpaceThis is also a big one. When you sell soap, you have to keep it somewhere. Make sure this place is very DRY and somewhere out of reach. Pets and children (though I adore both) can really be a nuisance when it comes to oils, micas, or even soap bars so if you have to get a locking cabinet to keep their little paws out, I highly recommend you do so. Also, remember that having a lot of inventory will help you sell. This is something to consider before you even start. Do you have room for this profession? Hopefully, you outgrow your space and have to move somewhere even bigger :D but here at the beginning, make sure you at least have enough for the amount of supplies you'll be acquiring.
10. FunYeah, it's corny, but by gum if it isn't an essential. Remember, you're doing this because you love it, so keep on loving it! Laugh off the glitter spill, learn from the flopped batches, share and show off your creations to your friends and supporters, and just have fun. Soap is fun.
I hope some (if not all) of these tips assist you in starting your own soap business! If you'd like to see more business help posts, just let this gal know and I'm on it like a duck on a June bug!