Do you enjoy making good-smelling handcrafted soaps? Then turn your passion into profits! Here is how to start a soap business from home.

Have you dreamed about starting your own business but have floundered with the ideas and where to begin? 

How about starting a soap-making business?

It’s not as overwhelming as it might sound, and this article will walk you through the steps of starting your very own soap maker’s business. 

Being in business for yourself is so rewarding, something you’ll likely never regret doing. And if you love everything about soap, this could be right up your alley.

How to Start a Soap Business

This article is broken down into three steps. You’ll start with the business planning section, then move onto the marketing side, we’ll talk about deciding where and how to sell your soaps, and we’ll also discuss the items you need to make soaps and how to find recipes.

The Business Side

When you’re setting up a business selling soap, you’ll want to complete some steps before you get into the actual soap-making and selling step. 

You’re going to need a business name, purchase your domain name, set up your website, and get all your legal ducks in a row. 

I recommend taking your time on the business name, don’t jump at the first idea you have. Let the idea sit with you, tell a very close friend or family member and get their opinion, make sure the name is available for purchase as a domain, and so on. 

You can go to sites like GoDaddy or Namecheap to check if the business name is available as a domain name. If it isn’t, I recommend moving to a different name and not choosing a .net. A .com domain name is important for your business. 

You’ll also want to put together a business plan. 

I know that might sound overwhelming, but no worries, we go over that step below. 

Why Do You Need a Business Plan? 

Consider a business plan as the road map to your business. Instead of flying wherever the wind blows you, a business plan anchors you and your business. 

The business plan will allow you to outline your vision, mission, and values and allows you to define your goals and what you want to achieve in your business. 

A business plan will allow you to delve into important parts of the business that may be overwhelming but are necessary to a successful business. 

Elements of a business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Product line
  • Sales and marketing strategy 
  • Operational plan 
  • Organization and management 
  • Financial projections 
  • Funding request (if you’re requesting funding for your business)

If you need help writing your business plan, grab this free business plan template!

How Will You Structure Your Business?

You’ll also need to decide what kind of business entity will you have and what will your business structure look like. Will you be a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, or a corporation? If you choose to formally incorporate, you will need to open up a business banking account; this is a good practice for sole proprietors too.

It’s recommended that you meet with a lawyer and accountant before launching your business; they’ll be able to guide you through the process of setting up the business side of your soap-making business. 

You can ask questions of the lawyer and accountant, such as do you need business insurance, which structure is right for your tax situation, and what protection each provides. Plus, a lawyer might be able to point you in the direction of FDA regulations even. 

Just take the business prep one step at a time; that way, you keep any potential overwhelm to a minimum. Anytime you’re doing something new, it can be overwhelming, but once you get through the business step-up, the fun part starts!

Bonus – need help with your business plan? Check out our Ultimate Business Planning Toolkit!

Marketing Your Soap Business

Marketing can also be a bit overwhelming if you haven’t experienced marketing a business, but it really doesn’t have to be! Marketing can actually be fun. Really, it can!

Some marketing ideas:

Social Media Marketing

Depending on your niche and target market may determine which social media platform is best for your business. 

As an example, if you’re looking for a video-heavy focus for your marketing, I’d recommend TikTok. For example, if you want to show behind-the-scenes videos, packaging videos, craft fair videos, and the like, you’d likely excel with that social media platform. 

No matter what social media platform you choose, I’d recommend not having your hands in too many pots unless you hire people to help you, as it’ll get overwhelming and become a time suck. 

Social media platforms to consider:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Search Engine Marketing

It’s highly advisable to incorporate search engine optimization into your marketing plan. Every business can benefit from showing up in the search results of search engines like Google. 

Even on marketplace platforms like Etsy, it’s good to utilize SEO to show up in their search results. 

What is SEO anyway?

You know how when you go to a search engine searching for something, and you type in words that pull up the results? Well, SEO is when businesses perform actions on their websites in order to show up in the results for specific keyword phrases that people are searching for. 

So, for soap making business, maybe you’d use phrases like “handmade oatmeal soap” or “homemade lavender bar soap” in order to show up in the search engines for those phrases. 

This just touches the surface of SEO, but I highly recommend learning more about SEO in order to get that organic traffic from Google and other search engines. 

Pinterest Marketing

Did you know Pinterest is considered a visual search engine? 

Pinterest isn’t social media, as some may consider it. People tend to go to Pinterest to have a question answered, a need taken care of, to learn, or to find products. It isn’t a place to connect with others, which social media tends to be.

You’ll want to treat Pinterest similarly to Google in that you’ll want to use specific keywords and use SEO tactics in order to show up in their search results for those specific keyword phrases. 

Because soaps are beautiful to look at, Pinterest could be a great tool for your business. I recommend learning more about marketing on Pinterest, and whoever you learn from, make sure they’re up to date on the latest Pinterest marketing news. 

Paid Ads

Social media platforms do offer paid ad options for those interested in that. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok allow their users to run ads in order to get your ad in front of buyers. Even Pinterest, which isn’t technically social media, allows you to promote “pins.” 

Although not necessary for a successful business, paid ads can give you immediate sales and results vs. the typically longer route of social media marketing and SEO. 

I would advise that you learn everything you can about paid ads before going that route. 

Business Cards and Word of Mouth Marketing

Don’t discount old-school marketing like business cards and word-of-mouth marketing; they can really help kick-start your business. 

Tell your friends, your family, and your colleagues about your new business. Start a FB group and invite friends and family to join. Give out samples and ask people to test them. Give out business cards and marketing material at craft shows, and anywhere you have the chance to talk to somebody about your new business.

It’s a good way to start!

The Soap-Making Process and What You’ll Need

Now, the most fun part of all is the soap-making process!

Maybe you love the idea of making soaps, but you aren’t even sure what you need in order to make soaps or the process of the soaps. The steps below will give you a great jumping-off point to getting your soaps made and in the hands of your customers!

According to Candle Science