Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start a small soap business?
If I were you, I would try to concentrate on one or two products and get those down to a science.
For example, come up with a good recipe for CP soap and use just that. To start, don’t have several formulas, using different base oils as this becomes confusing and leads to errors. When you are ready to expand this, have controls in place, so things don’t get mixed up.
Scent and color is what usually makes the difference from soap to soap. It is what the customer notices first. Well, packaging is right at the top too, especially if you are fully covering the bar. I would suggest starting out with about eight scents, building the number of selections little by little as your find what people in your market are looking for.
CP soap is the “Premier” of soaps. It is difficult to go wrong with it and you make it from scratch – meaning you get to do all the labor, you even get money for the water in it.
With M&P, you have to buy the base and pay shipping, plus 1/3 of it is water.
Liquid soap is profitable and again, you can make it from scratch.
Lotions are good later on when expanding your line, but you have to have something to put it in, same for liquid soap and containers can get costly.
Persistence and discipline are the key factors in any business. Things get tough, and many times the picture looks grim. Just don’t ever give up. Force yourself to do the job, even when there seems to be nothing to do. There is always research – find the deals, find the short cuts, the best products and shop, shop, shop. When you find yourself up against a problem look outside the envelope, you have created. There are a hundred ways to do the same thing.