“Life is so much more complicated these days what with all the new technology to keep up with,” my mother recently stated. And truth be known, she doesn’t keep up. Still, she was voicing what many of us feel from time to time, that learning new technology seems complicated and we wonder if it really saves time, money or effort.
In reading Cindy Noble’s article, Digital Library Essentials, in the March-April 2013 edition of the Saponifier, it’s easy to see that going digital can save time, money and effort. We have so many more resources at our fingertips now, and even digital books are also less expensive than traditional books, not to mention the fact that they won’t fill bookshelf after bookshelf in our homes! I remember not all that long ago having to make a point of going to the library to look things up that I wanted to know about. If I wanted to buy a book, I had to either make a trip to a bookstore or send for a catalog, pick out my books, and send the order form and check back in and then wait for a couple of weeks for the books to arrive. Yes, we are saving time and money when we use our technology efficiently. Incidentally, Cindy suggestions for books to help you along in your business are outstanding. If you haven’t read her article yet, you’ll want to.
Are you contemplating selling out of the country? Tamara Dourney’s, Understanding ISO Compliance is a must-read to help you get your business ready for new horizons and markets. Of course, in order to sell, we also need good product photos. You could hire a professional, and that isn’t a bad idea, but may be out of your current budget. Tamara’s, Product Photography Revisited will inspire you to improve your photography.
If you’re selling products, you need to know about POS. You don’t think you have one? You do! Quite simply, POS stands for, “point of sale,” and refers to the way you take funds from a customer, whether a cash box at the farmer’s market or a credit card. Of course, it’s credit cards that have us scratching our heads, wondering if we can afford to accept them or afford not to accept them and then which one to choose. It’s a difficult maze, for sure, but Beth Byrne will make it easier for you if you read, POS and the Chandler. She attempts to take some of the mystery out of determining which credit card company to use.
Should I Quit My Day Job? Not only the title of Melinda Coss’ article, but a common question for entrepreneurs, it is puzzling to many of us who seek to make our businesses a full-time venture. We can never be reminded enough of the importance of good, realistic planning in making a successful business. Be sure to read Melinda’s article and take her advice to heart.
We are living in a time where natural is the buzz word. If you offer natural products, your customers will be determining–with varying degrees of discernment, just how truthful your statements about your goods are. If you purchase natural products or ingredients yourself, you are asking the same thing. Helping you to do that is Tammy Lane in, Sifting Through the Hype.
If you’re a business owner, then you are likely thinking often about how you can get your margins up and your costs down. To give you some practical advice on increasing your margins without necessarily increasing your prices, Marla Bosworth gives us, Work Smarter, Not Harder–Are Your Margins High Enough?
Lest you think this issue is only about business, take a look at the fine articles that Katherine Forrest, Victoria Donaldson and Elizabeth Sockol provided for our reading pleasure. Katherine shares tips for making beeswax candles, while Victoria teaches us how to make a basic soap mold in just fifteen minutes. Elizabeth informs us about the common Safflower. How much do you know about it? If you’ve read the article, we think you know quite a bit.
Last but certainly not least, pour over the photos in our Readers Showcase Gallery. Every issues offers a feast for the eyes and inspiration from our subscribers. Thanks to Fisika, Nancy Reid of Nature’s Soap and Mountain Farm’s soap. If you’re looking for soap events, be sure to check out our Events page.
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Finally, if you have comments or questions, please feel free to comment here or to ask questions on our Twitter or Facebook pages. We’d love to hear from you.
Have you devoured your November/December issue yet?
We at the Saponifier have done our best to bring you all of your favorites. From your favorite suppliers, scents and products, to recipes revisited and those for winter, you’ve likely enjoyed reading about them and perhaps have even tried some of the recipes. Were your favorites mentioned in Beth Byrne’s, Raves for Faves article? Have you sampled tried and true recipes from, Favorites Revisited: Saponifier’s Best-Loved Recipes, by Tamara Dourney, or, new recipes in, All-Time Winter Skin Favorites: Scrubs, Creams and Lotions, by Marla Bosworth?
We’re certain you enjoyed other helpful articles that will allow you to manufacture more efficiently and profitably, such as Victoria Donaldson’s, Personalizing for Small Orders. Or perhaps, you’re working up new formulas for scrubs of any kind, so you loved, Natural Exfoliants, by Erica Pence. What are your favorite exfoliants?
Are you looking for something new and exciting for candlemaking? If so, you’ve likely made plans to try Fire and Ice candles, by Erica Pence.
We’re sure you found exceptional business advice by Melinda Coss, in her new column, Savior Faire and Consistency–the Mother of Success, by Alexander Sherman. What did you find most helpful?
I found myself already thinking spring with Elizabeth Sockol’s, Wake Robin! Were you as fascinated as I was by the many uses for this lovely herb, as well as its history?
Let us know how you’ve enjoyed this issue and used the knowledge you’ve gained.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne for the Saponifier
We at the Saponifier are delighted to announce that we have added a new column and author
Many of you are quite familiar with the author of soapmaking books, Melinda Coss. Melinda is the author of 27 books on various crafting topics, three of them featuring soapmaking. They include: The Handmade Soap Book, Gourmet Soaps Made Easy and Natural Soap.
What you may not know about Melinda is that she is widely credited as the pioneer of modern cold process soap making in Europe. She began a soap making company in the 1990?s in the UK, which subsequently became the largest company of its kind, supplying UK stores and hotels with soap and other toiletry products. She sold her company in 2004 and moved to France, where she began teaching classes there and in England, which she continues to conduct. She also acts as a consultant to soap making companies. Melinda additionally works with social concerns in Africa.
And now, Melinda will be writing a column for the Saponifier, Savoir Faire.
Join me in welcoming Melinda to the Saponifier!
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.