Has the idea to start a soap making business been sneaking into your thoughts, haunting your dreams?
You, like many others, probably feel overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. Excited is good....overwhelmed is not!
Go slow, do your research, make a list of 'to do's' and then break each task down into smaller chunks.
Small challenges are easier to accomplish and give you a sense of achievement....of progressing forward.
I am not by any means an accomplished business woman! I tend to be scatterbrained...always thinking ahead to the next project before finishing the one at hand.
Building myself a soap making business is a challenging task....mostly because I keep changing my mind on where I want to go with it!
Below you will find some suggested tasks that I included on my list of 'to do's' for building a soap making business.
I'm quite sure the list will grow over time as I progress farther along in my soap making adventure. Hopefully this list will help you out as well.
Depending on your local laws, you may need to look into obtaining a business license, tax numbers (pst and perhaps gst or hst in Canada), register your business name and get a business number.
In British Columbia, Canada, One Stop BC Business Registry is a great site that gets most of it done in 'One Stop'! Each province will have it's own registration website. In the US, Business.GOV is full of information about everything you need to start your business up.
Once that's done, it's a good idea to open a new bank account to keep your business banking activities separate from your personal banking activities.
Since you've only been crafting up to this point, you probably don't have insurance.
Go visit the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Inc. and check out their website. Become a member of the guild and if more than 80% of your sales are hand-crafted items, you qualify for the insurance which is included in the membership price.
I sincerely doubt that you will find a better deal anywhere.
Put together a business plan! This is an important step in realizing your goals and dreams. Anne-Marie Faiola (aka "The Soap Queen") has a vast array of valuable business information on her blog including this series of posts on Building a Business Plan. This is a link to the final post in the series...it contains a list of links to the remaining posts.
Here are a few more links that I particularly liked. This list is only a sample of the helpful information Anne-Marie provides her readers...subscribe to "The Soap Queen" so you don't miss out!
Set up programs to keep track of your purchases, inventory, sales and recipes. This could simply be written logs (slow and painful), excel spreadsheets (better but not ideal) or purchase the 'Soapmaker Software'.
I'm stuck on the excel spreadsheet program myself and don't recommend it. It's quite time consuming and I find myself falling behind all the time...of course this is a problem of disipline, of which I tend to have none when it comes to paperwork!!
'Soapmaker Software' looks to do all those nasty paperwork duties, leaving you more time to be creative. Those who have purchased the program have nothing but good things to say about it.