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Getting started with your own soap making business.

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

We’re just over two weeks into the new year – how’s 2022 starting out for you?

One of my #gardeninggoals this year was to take some good (or if not good, at least better than last years!) photographs of my hellebores, one of which flowered this year for the first time. Working on my photography skills is an ongoing thing – so I’m pretty proud of these!

It feels good to get a small goal out of the way so early in the year – but it’s never to late to start working on a goal. If your goal was to start a soap making business in 2022, here are 5 things to consider and get you started.

1. No matter how much you love making soap, you won’t be spending all your time doing that.

It helps to build your business around doing something you love, but there is a lot more to running a business than just producing your product. After spending time researching, practicing, and perfecting your soaps, you’ll be spending more time on packaging, branding, marketing and paperwork – at least 80%. If you don’t have the hours to put into selling your soap, you’ll only have a very expensive hobby.

2. It’s going to be scary.

This is true for starting any business. Starting anything, actually: the unknown can be a frightening place. If you accept that fear is part of learning and moving forward, then it doesn’t have to stop you achieving your goals. Be honest about how you feel and make dealing with your fears part of your plan. Be brave. The alternative is never trying anything new.

3. Pricing is key

If you want to start a business that makes money, getting your pricing right is the most important thing you can do. It is hard to price a handmade item, and it’s hard to not use price as a competition point by going for an ‘affordable’ price based on somebody else’s market or what somebody else is doing. Price your soap according to its own value and quality – and build in profit right from the start.

4. Again, it’s not just about soap – there are a number of laws that govern selling soap, and you’ll need to be in compliance.

Firstly, products need to be safety assessed by a cosmetic chemist and declared safe to use

according to UK / EU specifications. They then need to be registered on the Cosmetics Products Portal of the country or countries where you sell your soaps. You are required by law to keep Product Information Files, which detail your ingredients and everything else related to the manufacture of your products, and a record of your Good Manufacturing Practice. You’ll also need to be insured – with product and public liability insurance.

5. Starting a business is an investment.

You need to invest in yourself: keep learning, growing, and pushing your limits. Try everything, make all the mistakes. Know your strengths and use them and spend your time and money getting help when and where you need it. Build a strong support system of people or groups who can keep you accountable and focussed. You’ll be investing a lot of yourself in your business, as well as time and money, and a support system will keep you moving during the hard times and help you celebrate during the good times.

And there will be good times: many, many of them. So go on! Start today x

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