If you have been dreaming of getting your cosmetic business started this year you may fall into the category that so many experience in the early days when you’re moving from the dreaming stage into the planning stage. For so many of us wanting to get into an artisan craft business it starts as a life long hobby, and those of us with a dedicated passion, hobbies can get expensive, so why not make some of that spending money back. If you’re ready to market and sell your work let’s talk about the ways to get started by keeping our expenses as low as possible.
1. Use Reliable Recipes.
Sure, it’s your creation and brand, and you want to show the world your brilliant creativity. You have all the time in the life of your business to explore with your creative talent. When you are just getting yourself known make sure you make a product with wide market appeal to the most broad consumer. This means soaps, lotions, scrubs, and such that are familiar in feel and fragrance. Simple recipes can feel like pure luxury, and make sure you have plenty of honey, milk, and oatmeal soap, goat’s milk, and lavender types. When people see you have something home made and familiar to their senses, they instant feel warm toward your brand.
2. Expensive vs. Fresh Oils
OK, this topic is all about “cheap” oils. It’s perfectly OK to buy cheap oils as long as you don’t buy cheap oils for your ingredients. Let me explain. As the owner of your business it’s your job to watch every penny that goes into your product and keep these costs as low as you possibly can. You want to find the cheapest comparable oils and compare them against various sources. For example: Any of your soap supply companies will sell you a fine quality coconut oil. You’ll get a better deal if you order a large quantity, but shipping a block of oil is a price you have to calculate into your total cost.
Compare that cost to a 56 oz. container of Great Value brand coconut oil from Walmart for $9.98. If you pick it up at your local Walmart you won’t have the additional shipping fee, and at the time of this writing this is the best on-the-shelf price currently on the market right now. However, buying the least expensive oil is not always the goal. If you come across a slashed discount or oils that have been moved into a clearance bin, they’ve probably been on the shelf for a while nd are about to expire.
You want to be careful to buy the freshest oils for your hand made soaps, and stay away from items that are about to expire, or may have aged closer to rancidity. This won’t help you at all, even if you do get the deep discount price, because you may not even get to use the entire amount before the oil is too old. Be careful that your oils aren’t marked cheap because the quality has been compromised while you’re hunting for the cheapest prices for the best quality.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Copy
If you see something that works from another soap maker that you admire or like to watch, don’t be afraid to use their ideas in your work, especially if this idea helps with cutting your cost or working efficiently. The secrets to a successful business isn’t actually a secret at all. Discover what works, and repeat it over and over. It’s all very simple. First of all, all the business owners who succeeded before you didn’t invent business, and they certainly didn’t invent soap making.
Even if you do come up with the most brilliant recipe, idea, look, or work method completely sprung from your own brain, I’ll kindly remind you right now, you didn’t invent it. Some one out there has done it before, and others are thinking about it right now. Instead of worrying about being unique and original, worry about compiling all the best ideas no mater where they came from. Do what works first, then you can be creative as you go along. Business IS a science. Find a successful formula, and repeat. This is the difference between a business and a fantasy.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Little
We all have to start somewhere, and in a world where everyone wants to show their best side on social media it might feel like other soap makers have a hustle and bustle business, while you have a just a few loaves cured and ready for your market table. If all you have is a table cloth, a small banner, and 60 bars of hand made soap, be proud of your work and set up a table at your local market with pride and a smile. Literally, no one has a negative thought about a person who is up and smiling on a Sunday morning at the Farmer’s market offering something they’ve made with their own hands. If you want to get out there, don’t let anything hold you back. You aren’t expected to be a full blown retail store. The moment your potential customer catches a hint of your inspired energy, you will leave a memorable impression for your sprouting brand.