Soapmakers and chandlers fall into many different categories when it comes to finding homes for their products.
Some are hobbyists who make soap for their own enjoyment and to give to friends and family. Others sell at a moderate level, attending craft shows or selling via word-of-mouth advertising. Still others have production space and sell wholesale. Some even have brick and mortar locations where they produce and sell their goods. Of course, a few sell using alternative methods, some more common than others. Are you selling or do you want to sell your products?
Good research and preparation is essential to the success of any business. You not only need to know your products inside and out, but you must become knowledgeable about business practices. Simply loving to make soap or candles isn’t enough. You must decide how to structure your business and how to operate effectively to reliably produce your creations and make a profit, taking into account your talents, lifestyle, and resources.
In choosing a business model, it’s important to carefully and truthfully analyze your strengths and obstacles. For instance, if you work weekends, but your local farmer’s market is on Saturday, it’s not an option for you unless you can find a way around your obstacle. Although a brick-and-mortar store may appeal to you, if you are a caregiver, then it is not for you, at least not at the present. If you can’t raise capital, then your plans are confined to what you can afford at the time.
What to do? One concept that some soapers/chandlers employ is the home party plan. It may ideal because you can produce out of your home or in a location less expensive than a retail location, you can plan parties around your schedule, and your initial overhead is lower than several other methods. You tap your friends and family to get started, so no panic-inducing cold calls are necessary.
Interested? Good, because the upcoming Saponifier issue is all about home parties. Learn what they entail and how to get started. You may just find your business taking off!
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.