Marla Bosworth is the founder and owner of Back Porch Soap Company. She teaches classes, corporate events and experiences including candle making, soap making, organic skincare and perfumery.

January 13, 2010

How To Start A Soap Business; Make Research and Planning Your First Priority

This is the first in a series of posts aimed at helping you launch your natural skincare or cosmetics line. Over the coming weeks we'll take detailed look at the steps to get your new or current business off the ground.

Earlier this week an entrepreneur asked me how to find a niche for a soap company she is launching. She also asked how to determine her target market. You see, she had already created her products, logos and labels with great enthusiasm, but had not yet focused on sales and marketing.

She is not alone. Many soap hobbyists and crafters reach a point where they are making products for fun and then decide at some point they want to start a business. They've created soaps for friends and family, and perhaps have sold at a few shows, but are so immersed in creating products that they miss a key business point: who's my target audience and how am I going to appeal and market to them?

As a whimsy, creative type, I flew by the seat of my pants when I started my business back in 1998. Business types would ask me if I had written a business plan, and I'd shrug them off saying that I was "...going where the winds took my sail." I was convinced otherwise by several business advisors, and sat down and wrote my business plan. Was it a breeze to write? Not really, it took me several months. However, the process and the final result was eye-opening and enlightening. It gave my business new life and new direction. I found my niche, and my business skyrocketed.

In my consulting practice today, one of the first recommendations I make to bath and body entrepreneurs is to get their vision down on paper: niche, target market, marketing plan, SWAT analysis, competitor analysis, short-term goals and long-term goals.

We'll be covering all aspects of starting and running your own bath and beauty business in next week's class, which runs simultaneous with our 4-Day Bath & Body University.

What are your questions for starting or running a successful bath and body business? Post your comment below and I will answer them in the upcoming posts throughout the next few weeks.

In the meantime, you can find out more about private consulting and classes on my website. Sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on future product and business webinars.

Here are some of the business classes I teach:

How to Launch and Run a Successful Bath & Body Business
How to Differentiate Yourself in the Bath & Body Industry
Business Plan Writing
Product Planning
Marketing Strategies
How to Implement Social Media and Internet Marketing
How to Wholesale Successfully

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