Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Marketing Your Home-Based Soap Making Business

The first home-based business went to Market with a plan,
The second home-based business went to Market with none;
The first home-based business went "he he he he" all the way to success!
While the second home-based business went OUT of business.

I'm always interested in hearing how others got their start in soap making. On a personal level, I never really aspired to be the owner of a soap making supply company. It was an evolution that happened through experience, opportunity, preparation, and a passion for something I loved. I can't even say that my business degree played an important role in where I am today. I certainly don't discount the value of my business education, but it's certainly not necessary to run a profitable business.

In my early years, I dabbled in many entrepreneurial ventures. Some successful, others not. My first business venture was back in the late 70's. It was a mail-order catalog for doll making supplies. Apart from buying television air time, the only means of marketing a product was by advertising in the back of a magazine under CATALOGS. Internet technology, as we know it today, did not yet exist. (I'm really dating myself!!) Starting any new company is hard work. Let no one kid you about that. It's no secret that a good number of new businesses fail every year. Every day, I receive emails from customers wanting advise and assistance about starting a soap making business. It seems working from home in pajamas and doing something you love is everybody's dream. This article addresses some of the questions presented to me about marketing products as a home-based business. My company has now grown well beyond those home-based years, however, those start up days provided me with valuable lessons beyond any university textbook or lecture.

Below are some tips that I believe helped to grow my business to where it is today.

Can you really succeed in a home-based business?

YES, but not without a business plan, sheer luck, or divine intervention! A business plan is your best choice. Unless you're a leprechaun with a pot of gold, or have a direct line to God, you're destined for failure. Seeking the advice of a reputable accountant and banking institution about start up costs is invaluable in developing a business plan.

What does it take to succeed?

  • Powerful desire to achieve

  • Ability to carve out a new niche in the market, often a niche invisible to others

  • Willingness to step outside your comfort zone and take a risk

  • Persistence to transform your vision into reality

  • Viewing failure as a chance to prove you can get it right a second time

  • A gut feel for what customers want

  • The ability to build on your own special set of skills, strengths and weaknesses

  • An ABSOLUTE knowledge that there is no "get rich scheme" in operating a home-based business

Know Your Market and Competition

All the business capital, marketing skills, and inventory in the world won't result in sales unless you've researched your particular market. At least once a week I receive an email from someone wanting to know how much to charge for a particular hand-crafted soap product. Crystal balls don't work. A West Coast market may sell a handcrafted soap for $7.00. In the rural mid-west the same soap may fetch $4.50. I can't emphasize enough...RESEARCH YOUR MARKET!!

Who's your competition? Whether it's a neighbor, local retailer, or an internet web site; know your competition. Don't try to follow the masses, but do have an awareness of your competition to enable you to carve out your own niche. Build your product line and business based on your own creative sparks. Always take note of your competitors but never base your business decisions, product lines, or marketing strategies on what they are doing. Be inventive and carve out your own piece of the pie. Create your own trend and product line so competitors follow YOU!

Final Note

Your smartest strategy as you start to develop a home-based business is an awareness of your own special skills, strengths and weaknesses, and build on these.

Strive to be first in all that you do.

* Denise Marks is the president of Nouveau Designs LLC which offers one of the most extensive selection of quality soap supplies and soap molds on the Net. She is an experienced soap maker and owner of one of the largest soap mold manufacturing companies worldwide. Visit for a complete listing of soap making supplies, soap molds, or more FREE articles.

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