My Top 5 Priorities For Starting a Soap or Skincare Business in 2024
What 5 things would I consider if I were to start a brand new soap or skincare business in 2024.
This is a really tricky one as to be honest I have SO much in my head that I want to say but I am going to keep it short and sweet. I could write a whole book on the topic but here are a few takeaways to get you thinking.
1. Niche- The Heart of Your Business
I can't stress this enough – finding your niche is paramount. Your products need to resonate with a specific audience, as trying to appeal to everyone generally ends up meaning appealing to no one. Think about it, a generic range of soap with bland branding won't stand out. A range aimed at teenagers, men or gardeners has an instant audience of people who will all think the products are perfect for them.
2. Limit Your Product Range Initially
Starting small has its advantages. By restricting the number of products initially, you not only get the chance to test your niche and concept but also to fine-tune your branding. Moreover, it's a cost-effective approach, minimising the risks associated with a large inventory.
3. Plan for the Future from Day One
Look ahead. Envision where you want your business to be in five years and start as you mean to go on. I knew I wanted a strong online presence, possibly with stockists. So, from the beginning, I invested in a professional e-commerce website using Shopify. Planning for the future firm foundations for growth later.
4. Diversify Your Suppliers and Avoid Overreliance
One of the biggest lessons I learned is not to rely on a single business or supplier. Whether it's using essential oils instead of being tied to specific fragrance oils or diversifying your product sources, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Unexpected disruptions can occur, as we've seen with the recent challenges in the fragrance oil market. (at the time of writing one of our most popular suppliers here in the UK has gone out of business very suddenly leaving numerous small business unable to source their assessed fragrance oils)
5. Build and Leverage Your Customer Email List
From day one, start collecting email addresses from your customers. Whether it's at events or through order confirmations on platforms like Facebook, having a growing list of customer emails is invaluable. Tools like Mailerlite can help you manage and leverage this list for future sales and engagement but don't get too hung up on the tech initially. It is challenging to get to grips with it all from day 1 and you can also import your email list to a dedicated email program later on.
So there you have it – my top five priorities for anyone starting a soap or skincare business. Remember, find your niche, start small, plan for the future, diversify your suppliers, and build that email list from day one. These insights have been pivotal in my journey, and I hope they guide you on your path to success.
Looking to turn your business in to a hobby? Need some direction on how to get started? Check out the Soap Business Boot Camp.