I’ve been making handmade soaps for four years and have dabbled in to selling them for profit. The notion of selling soaps is very appealing. You may want to turn your soap making hobby into money. Lots of people have had success in doing so. Here are a few things to consider about soap making for profit
1. Finding a venue. This is really important. If you were a large company selling $500 iPads, you’d probably know where to go to sell. However, when selling handmade soaps it can be hard to know where the small retailer should go. You can decide to sell your soaps online using artisan craft sites like Etsy or you can sell your soaps locally through consignment or at farmer’s markets. You’ll need to find the most economical and profitable way to get your soaps out there. Some venues like online shops can be very affordable but require heavy promotion to generate sales. Other venues like farmer’s markets and consignment, can be very prolific but take a bit of foot work and cost to set up. You’ll need to find a middle ground where you can find a place to sell that’s just right for you.
2. Time constraints. As a hobbyist soap maker, you may be initially overwhelmed with the business side of things. It may be hard to adjust to producing orders when you’ve only really made soaps for parties and small gifts. It’s important to organize time to devote to your business. You aren’t simply selling wares, you are making and distributing your products yourself. So take time out to wear both owner and creator hats.
3. Hobby vs. Product. When you feel you’re ready to turn your hobby into a commercial product, you need to consider a few things. Things like presentation, appearance and demand are important aspects of your success no matter how small you are. You may grow tired of creating soaps without as much creativity and freedom as you used to. Many people find it hard to keep the momentum going when their pastime turns into a job. These things need to be considered before you jump in.
4. Cost. Unlike most businesses, which can require huge investments of both time and money, soap making is a great and affordable way to make money without large overhead costs. As a soap maker, you have to consider the cost of ingredients more, now. You may have been willing to splurge for your occasional hobby. If you’re trying to make a profit selling your soaps, you might need to do things like change your recipes, alter your presentation and even consider different ways to make your soap. A seller once said that because he now sells his soaps, he’s switched from cold process making to hot process because it saves time.
5. Demand. A lot of people try to turn their hobbies into business based on the demand from their friends and families. This is always a skewed demand because there are many reasons why they like your soaps. It may be because they like you, the soaps are free or just the simple gesture. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your soaps will make it in a competitive market of thousands of other soap makers. Also, your soap making can become a job when you don’t get to make the soaps you like and can afford to make but rather the soaps that your customers want.