What to Think About Before Starting a Soap and Skincare Business in 20 - The Soap Coach
Start UK Soap or Skin Care Business 2024

What to think about before starting a soap and skincare business in the UK in 2024.

The world is changing rapidly and external factors that may be occurring on the other side of the world all directly impact us small business owners whether we realise or not. The most obvious currently are the cost of living and the rising price of raw materials.
When I am asked what I would do if I were to start a new business today the answer is very different to what I would have said 5 years ago and it is also why I rewrote the Soap Business Bootcamp this year as the old version was no longer fit for purpose.
This blog is an overview of a YouTube video, if you would prefer to watch the video you can find it here. It talks about the things I would consider if I were to start a new business today in 2024. It will probably change again in 1, 2 3, and 4 years time but that is what being a business owner is all about - adapting, evolving, and keeping an eye on what is happening in your area of business.


First things first, I would plan, a lot! The online business space is incredibly crowded and competitive. The market is saturated, yet many businesses are thriving. You need a clear plan outlining what you’ll sell, who your target market is, and how you’ll reach them.

For example, if I were starting my business, "The Dog and I," again, I’d narrow my focus. Instead of a broad range of products, I might niche down even more and offer just my dog balms and soaps or ensure everything is unperfumed. This focus would help keep costs down, which is crucial given the current economic conditions and enable me to concentrate on those best sellers.

2. Extensive Market Research

Before taking any further steps, conduct thorough market research. A saturated market means there's demand, but you'll need to identify how you can stand out. Look at larger companies to understand what works and what doesn't. Check product reviews to see what customers appreciate and what problems still need solving.

When analysing your competitors, consider where you'll position yourself in the market—are you aiming for the top, middle, or bottom tier? Identify gaps or weaknesses in their offerings that you can capitalise on.

3. Create a Five-Year Plan

Develop a five-year plan. Knowing where you want your business to be in five years will guide your decisions from the start. Whether you aim to have a small sideline or grow into a nationwide brand with online and wholesale operations, your long-term vision will influence your short-term actions.

4. Understand the Investment Required

Accept that starting a business requires significant time and money. Many have previously viewed soap and skincare businesses as an extension of a hobby, but today, you must treat it as a serious business venture. The landscape has changed, events and craft fairs are less frequent, and online shopping is predominant.

Be prepared to invest in high-quality labels, attractive leaflets, and social media presence. You’ll need to detach emotionally from this investment and understand that immediate returns are unlikely. Viewing your business as an experiment will help you embrace risks and opportunities more freely.

5. Embrace Failures as Learning Opportunities

Understand that failures are not setbacks but learning opportunities. Business is about trying different strategies, seeing what works, and learning from what doesn't. Even large companies experience failures and move on. Adopting this mindset will help you innovate and grow continuously.

6. Maintain a Business Mindset

Always keep a business mindset. Your business decisions should benefit the business itself, not just cater to your personal preferences. This includes maintaining consistent branding and product alignment. For instance, if your brand focuses on natural outdoor products, introducing a unicorn bath bomb would be out of place and could confuse your customers.

7. Leverage AI for Efficiency

Make use of AI to streamline various aspects of your business. AI can be a huge timesaver for tasks like generating product names, writing descriptions, planning social media content, and more. While it shouldn’t replace your personal touch, AI can provide a solid foundation for you to build upon.

8. Get Comfortable with Technology

Lastly, get comfortable with technology. This includes setting up a professional website, managing email lists, engaging on social media, and creating video content. Visibility is key—showcasing who you are and what your business stands for will attract and retain customers.


In summary, if I were to start a soap and skincare business in 2024, I would:

  • Plan extensively.
  • Conduct thorough market research.
  • Develop a five-year plan.
  • Recognise the required investment of time and money.
  • View failures as learning opportunities.
  • Maintain a business mindset.
  • Utilise AI for efficiency.
  • Embrace technology for better visibility and customer engagement.

These are all relevant for existing businesses as well and should be revisited regularly in your business. I hope these insights help anyone looking to venture into the soap and skincare business. Remember, it's all about planning, research, and adapting to the ever-changing market landscape. 

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