Soap making as home-based business
I was thinking about what can make a business idea super easy? and just a little bit of thinking led me to my answer. The answer is, a business idea is easy if you have easy access to your raw materials. In addition to easy access to raw materials, it is also important to possess required skill sets and space. That is how, I came across idea of soap making. Soap making is easy to accomplish using ingredients available in our kitchens. It also requires little or no skill set in a limited space. Therefore, any one can try it at home.
Generally soap manufacturing will require following ingredients:
Crystalline Lye / Potash (340.2 g)
Olive oil(680.4 g)
Colorant (as required for appearance)
Scent (113.4 g)
water (907.19 g)
Safety precautions while handling lye
Usually, the ingredients used in soap making are safe except lye, which requires careful handling. Now a days ready-made saponified soap bases are available. Soap making can be accomplished by easily available home appliances and a temperature sensor. However, it is advised to keep equipment used for soap making separate from your everyday cooking equipment to avoid contact with Lye.
There is a lot of information about soap making scattered on internet, which also means there is a lot of competition in this field too. However, you can set up your own identity by making specialized soaps which will have advantage over other regular brands available in market. For example, handmade soaps containing 100% natural ingredients are gaining popularity now a days. Some good information on natural soap making can be found in this book. In addition to natural colorants (turmeric, Kesar (saffron), Chocolate, crushed tulasi leaves) attractive shapes and fragrance (dried and crushed jasmine or rose petals, sandalwood, multani mitti) can help you to pull customers for your product. People often report itching due to poor quality soap, therefore make sure your soaps do not fall in this category. Herbal products which are good for skin get more attention from customers now a days.
The success of your business will depend on your ability to get raw materials at discount prices in bulk quantities. Getting loyal customers would be your next step. You can market your product in initial phase by giving free gift samples but be cautious of quality of product all the time.
Soap making can be started single-handed as a fun thing and at later stage may be converted in business. There is not much manpower and special space requirement for this business. This will be a plus point for individual who would like to start business at home.
I hope this post will help many readers to take up soap making as their hobby cum business and attain sustainable livelihoods.