Have you already perfected the art of creating your own handmade soaps and feel as though you want to share your products with the rest of the world? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Knowing exactly where to begin when starting your own independent business, especially in a niche market such as this, can be daunting to say the least. Although you might be tempted to simply share your products on eBay or the Facebook Marketplace and hope for the best, having a well-constructed business plan moving forward will ensure that you gain traction at a steadier rate. First and foremost, you have to decide how much time and effort you’re willing to sacrifice in order to build your handmade soap making business from the ground up; do you endeavor to sell your products as a simple side business, or do you dream that it will eventually be profitable enough to replace your monotonous day job?

If you fall into the former category and envision yourself selling your unique soap as a side-hustle whilst maintaining your primary career, the path forward will be exceptionally easier for you. In the midst of the computer age, the ever-growing online market is a solid first step, although you should concentrate your efforts on niche art-driven websites in lieu of overly saturated websites like eBay. For instance, Etsy is the largest online marketplace for arts and crafts worldwide- as such, individuals who might find themselves admiring your products whilst browsing are far more likely to be interested enough to buy. In a similar vein, ArtFire, eCrater and Folksy are all great first stepping stones as an online platform.

Alternatively, if you have ample time over the weekend, local and independent markets can be a great place to both spread your brand and make a quick buck. It’s essential that you provide your customers with a diverse range of soap, both in aesthetic and ingredients, if you’re seriously considering the possibility of booking a table at your suburb’s market. Quite luckily, if you do plan to only sell handmade soaps as a side business, you are freed from some of the more complex elements of building a successful brand. This way, you’ll be able to better concentrate on creating beautiful and unique soaps, rather than spending most of your time bogged down over the convoluted semantics involved in running a business.

However, if you fall into the latter category and you’re passionate about building a business that will be profitable enough to alleviate you of your day job, the journey will both be significantly harder, but much more rewarding all the same. You’ll need to be prepared to surrender hours of your time to your handmade soap business if you expect it to generate the sheer amount of traction that you’ll need, given that you wish for it to become extremely economically viable. First, you’ll need to develop your unique brand- the worst move that you can make is to simply copy those around you as it’ll be almost impossible for you to stand out among the masses. Ask yourself, what could you change to your product to make it truly a one of a kind soap? The answer could exist anywhere between its physical representation to it’s skincare properties. In all likelihood, the most successful market will be one that is niche in nature; would somebody have more success if they were to introduce their soaps into the current market, or develop unique soaps free of animal products to then sell directly to vegetarian and vegan customers? Once you’ve figured out what your unique asset, selling point or target audience will be, you can then begin to build your brand around that idea.

Now that you have thoughtfully crafted both your product and brand, you’ll have to become well-versed in the business world. Initially, you should start networking with companies, publications or individuals that might represent the sort of person that’d love to use your unique product; don’t be surprised if you have to invest some money into advertising in order to develop a profitable partnership. Moreover, carefully establish how much soap you’ll have to make for your current customer base consistently. Having too much of your product will purely be a waste of money, and having so little that you’re forced to turn customers away will inevitably cause people to lose faith in your brand.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Successful entrepreneurs in the world of handmade soaps have an onslaught of helpful information that is available at your fingertips and, more likely than not, the many kind people within the community would be more than happy to answer your questions directly. Don’t venture into the dark unknown without a wealth of support surrounding you. After all, if you have enough support and faith within yourself and your own talents, you’ll be sure to land on your feet.