HOW TO START A SOAP MAKING BUSINESS
We have heard stories from our grandparents about how they used clay or mud as soaps and how effective it was. We heard about their benefits and it was hard for us to believe if there could be a natural alternative to soap. It might have been possible in times when there were fewer people and they could rely on natural resources. We are quite sure that it is not possible in the present as there has been a hike in pollution and such quality of pure clay is absolutely unavailable. Our only resolve is the Soap. Soap is a necessary item of a household now. They are not just used for bathing but also for clothes and other cleaning purposes. With an increase in the disposable income of people, they are ready to pay for the premium quality of soaps without thinking of prices. For soap makers, they are being as creative as they want to be while making soaps, be it design, texture, or scent. The soap industry in India has a long history as India’s first soap manufacturing unit was set up by British Raj in Meerut UP in 1897. We have come a long way and thanks to Jamshedji Tata for setting up the first indigenous soap factory in 1918 and setting a model for Indian manufacturers to invest in this business. Today there are 700 companies that comprise in Indian Soap Industry that have total annual revenue of $19 billion.
If you want to be one such company, Here are the steps to start a Soap making business for you:
Create a Plan
If you are manufacturing, you need to understand it is not an easy task and requires a good understanding of the science behind manufacturing your product. Your scale of soap making business will depend on it a lot. With that decide what will be your reach. If it is an offline store, will you be heading out for deliveries in your local circle or are you willing to extend your business to online mode? Will you deliver out of your town or within it? Decide the storage area you are going to keep your goods in.
The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market and the soap making business needs investment and time when you are creating a new brand. You will also need a workforce that will help in the making of soaps. A team of researchers to check if the composition is safe and a factory where all this can be manufactured. So plan accordingly.
Do your research
A soap-making business although looks like an easy venture to open. You have to do a lot of research about how the market functions and what is the demand and supply chain in this business. If you are manufacturing your products you must have the knowledge of the ingredients you are putting in your soap. You need to have a great shopkeeper’s skills and a compassionate personality. You must know how to attract customers to your business.
Decide on product
There are different types of soaps available in the market. Some are for medicinal purposes while some for glowing complexion or other to make skin soft. There are also liquid soaps that are popular in the market. Based on your expertise and according to people’s choice, decide what type of soaps you will be producing.
Make sure you produce soaps in an optimum amount to avoid wastage. Always have a distributor who can provide you with the raw material for your product.
The business will expand and the list can always increase but decide first what is your introductory range and how influential it is and will it get enough attention.
Decide on the size of business
The business has a lot of scopes to grow. Make a plan for what is going to be the size of your business at first. The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market and the soap making business needs investment and time. One should always be ready for bad days and thus also take care of the amount that is produced on a daily basis. It is better to start small and develop as your customer base develops.
License and Permit
To start any business in India, you need to have legal permission sorted beforehand to avoid any hassles with government officials. You’ll need to get yourself registered as a business person, get Trade license, and get all the documentation handy.
You are making your new brand, make sure you get a patent by your brand name so no one can copy your products.
The location of your soap making business matters a lot. Try to keep your shop away from a place where there are already several stores available. Open a store in a densely populated area so even if there are competitors around, you will always have people buying from you. Buy or rent a space that is big enough to equip all your soaps making equipment and has storage space for your items. For factory choose a place that is away from the main city and follow all safety measures
Buy equipment and machinery
Research about the machinery and equipment required for you to set up a soap-making factory. Buy good quality machinery which lasts long. You can opt for fully automatic machines too as there is a variety of them available easily and are cost-efficient.
Get the manpower
You will require a group of people who are ready to work hard. Hire labor for loading and unloading, the technician who is going to operate the machine and other workers for water and electricity control, etc. Think about all the prospects where you will require human effort and get yourself enough people to run your business smoothly
This is amongst the first things to do. You are setting up a soap making business at home. It will require a principal investment. Get yourself sponsors who are willing to support a local business and have your back
Create a brand name and logo
Although this sounds very common before opening a soap making business, understand that a brand name is very important in this industry. Decide for yourself a brand name that people, when hear, can relate with the soap-making industry and there is no confusion in their mind about what the product could be. Make sure once you decide the name and logo of the brand, get a patent.
Setting up any business requires a strong local connection and communication so that the business can propagate but with the rise in the use of e-commerce, things have become a lot easier. Make a website for your soap making business and set delivery boundaries according to yourself. Arrange your products in different categories and use various models and tools which are available online to make your website catchier and more attractive.
Social Media presence and Marketing
Be ready to do a lot of marketing. Social Media is used by almost everyone around the globe. It is almost certain that at least one person in a household must be using any social media platform. Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and asking youth in youth in the locality to share it amongst friends, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your store. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you already have an offline store and most customers who have done business with you will keep your number saved, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one-to-one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
Help from Influencers
Take help from the local influencers of the city by sending them free products and ask for them to promote them for you online. People listen to the influencers they follow and this can help you build a popular base quickly.
It is exciting to see a lot of entrepreneurs working with full force and empowering themselves by setting up a small business. Don’t let your morale down when you see those big brands competing. Keep the quality of your product high and enjoy the process of growing and learning. All the best!