Business Planning for 2020

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by amd, Aug 7, 2019.

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  1. Aug 10, 2019 #21

    Nanette

    Nanette

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    Oh nonononononono.....sell them 6-8 weeks later, or so....some I keep longer, like Castile or salt soap bars..so I need to anticipate what I want a month or two down the road and make them. Since I do such small batches I am always making soap, I suppose when I get tired of that I will make larger batches from the get go. It is particularly hard with the humid sticky weather here right now...nobody wants to dry..I have older soaps, but again, since such small batches I usually sell them pretty quickly--within 6 months or so except for the salt bars or Castile that I hold back. Its like you making soaps for Christmas now..only I am always doing that-making future soaps now.
     
  2. Aug 11, 2019 #22

    penelopejane

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    I am so sorry to hear this Primrose.
    Take all the time that you need.
    IMG_2111.JPG
    My soaping room (the laundry) is unheated and it is freezing here so I've been putting off making soap for Christmas.
     
  3. Aug 11, 2019 #23

    dibbles

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    Oh, Primrose - I wish there were more to say than I'm sorry. Life changes can be so difficult. *Hugs*
     
  4. Aug 11, 2019 #24

    Cellador

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    I'm so sorry, Shunt & Primrose. That must be very difficult to process :(
     
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  5. Aug 11, 2019 #25

    SideDoorSoaps

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    Every year about this time I start researching for next year. I think about what new scents I want to try, designs and packaging. I change my labels and package every couple years. This year to try out new packaging at the holidays and see how it holds up and collect the data of what customers say about the products. I want to show off the soap color/design and see if that makes any difference for me.

    I’m also going to debut a luxury line with more expensive butters and oils and see how the label appeal works out. My soap is sold by scent because I package in a cotton bag so people can’t see the soap. People like my whimsical naming of some soap (like Orange we Mint to be and Euca Lyke This). I introduce a couple of actual FOs this year that sold pretty well so I will be removing some EO blends that didn’t perform well.

    I raised pricing this year and will bring it up a bit more for the holidays so I can go into the new year with the pricing intact. No one really batted an eye about the pricing. My hope is that I can raise them to a better profit because I pretty much break even every year. I can usually buy what I want for new items but to buy in better bulk would be nice.
     
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  6. Aug 11, 2019 #26

    cmzaha

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    I will leave all the planning to all you good people. I am retired I Wing It!
     
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  7. Aug 11, 2019 #27

    Nanette

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    Love it!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  8. Aug 12, 2019 #28

    penelopejane

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    This is my opinion - the opinion of a nobody who doesn't know your soap but if it helps you that is great. Also bear in mind that it takes an awful lot to make me buy someone else's soap, so my opinion may not be representative of a lot of people.

    I wouldn't buy a soap I couldn't see. I really hate websites where the soap is covered by the label and they don't bother to take a photo of the finished soap without the label. It worries me that they are trying to hide something.

    I have a sample soap from each batch that I am selling that is in clear cellophane so people can see the soap. All the other soaps are wrapped in paper. If the sample gets sold (which it frequently does) the soaps just sit there until I bring back another clear cellophane sample. No one will buy them without seeing a sample first.

    I think you are doing really well to sell hidden soaps and think it is a really great idea to have packaging that allows you to see the soap or some other system.
     
  9. Aug 12, 2019 #29

    LilyJo

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    I think it depends on whether your soap has a design or not and if you are selling online or in person - there are loads of big companies who dont show the soap but rely purely on smell or shape.
     
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  10. Aug 13, 2019 at 12:37 AM #30

    SideDoorSoaps

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    My professional field is in marketing and branding and I’m slightly obsessed with packaging. Over the last few years I’ve honed my packaging and labeling based on customer observations. I’ve researched a lot of successful and desirable products and packaging is usually what stands out first. Many store bought brands never show what their items look like in the store/on shelf. I actually started setting out samples this past year but have yet to notice increase in sales.

    The first couple years we used shrink wrap so that people could see the soap and not many people ever said anything about what the soap looked like. It was mostly about the labels. People pick up the soap to read the label and then almost always go to smell it. The ick factor to me was people would put their noses almost or touching the soap directly.

    And then I found out my friends would actually buy my soap for decoration instead of use lol at least they bought it. I thought about how could I make my soap more apt to be used instead of used for decor.

    I can’t really stand naked soap. I don’t buy soap from other vendors if they use a lot of plastic in their product line-up. I’m an avid label reader for ingredients. I’m not impressed by colorants or a lot of pretty soap. I like quality ingredients, scents and wholesome packaging. It takes a lot for me to buy another’s soaps other than for novelty.
     
  11. Aug 13, 2019 at 1:18 AM #31

    Marilyn Norgart

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    I still think we need a love button!!:computerbath:
     
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  12. Aug 13, 2019 at 2:53 AM #32

    penelopejane

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    That sounds similar to my personal preferences. I can't stand the thought of naked soap and I don't touch my soap with my hands, ever. I don't want to buy soap with stearic spots, glycerine rivers, partial gel or DOS but I don't know how fussy other people are.

    I only have natural colours so all my soap is very subtle. I am into the ingredients too with no "chemical" additives but I am not sure the people here even read the label. I think they go more by the look of the soap and the paper (Aust made). I only use wood fibre cellophane and paper tape. The only reason I make soap is because I can't buy what I want for me - and a few others want it too, it seems.

    I have to tell my friends there is lots more soap where that came from!

    It certainly is very confusing to work out what people want and what they care about. I hope your new system works really well.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2019 at 4:42 AM #33

    Primrose

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    Aw whats wrong with the poor glycerine rivers?
     
  14. Aug 13, 2019 at 5:33 AM #34

    Dawni

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    Hugs for @shunt2011 and @Primrose... Can't say I know what it's like to be in the middle of that, but I know you got this. You're a woman after all ;)

    I plan to start selling by 2020. If I can get things set up, before Christmas is even better. Planning but no concrete plans yet lol just making the decision to get back some of my costs, making lists of to dos and to haves.

    I've already sold, unofficially, to relatives and friends, within the last month.. My mom's friends are great customers coz they apparently see the changes in her skin and they want in on the "secret" haha

    I currently have three recipes that I've made over n over throughout the past year, and that have gotten good reviews with the above mentioned people, and seem to be performing well in terms of hardness, longevity, color fading, not sweating and no DOS close to a year. The soaps I post here are mostly experiments that will not be sold anytime soon.

    I'm going to be picking everyone's brains out soon... Will be needing advice, and have questions I haven't found answers to in previous threads.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2019 at 1:24 PM #35

    shunt2011

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    I'm so sorry Primrose. I'm the one who initiated the divorce on my end but he's still in our house until he receives his settlement. Sending you hugs...it's so difficult. Message me if you need to talk. I'm still not sleeping well either. Nap when or if you can. Take care of yourself.
     
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  16. Aug 13, 2019 at 4:25 PM #36

    jcandleattic

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    Because this is such a part-time thing for me, and I only do the 4 shows a year, I'm one who "wings it" so to speak. I mean, I do some planning, but it's certainly not elaborate. I crunch my numbers and make sure the little I do, is profitable, and I try to estimate how much I will sell during those 4 shows so I'm not "eating" product, or have a ton left over, but other than that, not much else goes into it.

    Every year, in the past 6-7 years, the limited planning has served me well. I rarely come home with more than a case or so of soaps, very few candles, and other sundries.
     
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  17. Aug 13, 2019 at 4:35 PM #37

    jcandleattic

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    Umm, nothing!! LOL
    I will sometimes purposely design a soap specifically to have glycerine rivers. If people don't want them, no worries, more for me. However, not once EVER have I had a customer question or even wonder about the rivers, ever. Stearic spots, yes, but never have they turned their nose up at the rivers. LOL
    I view them the same as I view wet spots in candles. Just a natural part of the process and aesthetic only.
     
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  18. Aug 13, 2019 at 7:29 PM #38

    Lin19687

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    I think Stearic spots make it Handmade ;) ok ok, I don't care because mine are Rustic and I like a few in there,


    This year I am writing down on a NOTEPAD the Fairs/FM that I like so I can sign up for next year and not lose it saved on my Puter.
     
  19. Aug 13, 2019 at 7:30 PM #39

    amd

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    Oh my! Please don't look at my soaps - I almost always have some kind of stearic spots (seemed to be switching from lard to tallow that got me), I adore glycerin rivers, partial gel happens... but of course, nothing with DOS gets sold. I have one bar that I noticed on Saturday that had developed it (the other bars from the same batch are fine), so I pulled it out, debated briefly if I should throw it into my personal immediate use pile and then decided to bin it right then and there. The only thing I ever worry about is DOS when selling (or buying for that matter). Pristine soap is high expectation for something that is going to be used until gone.

    @Primrose so sorry to hear this! Please take care of yourself.

    I've added show setup to my list of things to do for 2020. I was looking through my show setup notes from years past and stumbled across my original plans for booth tables (hubby had drawn it up for me in 3D modeling), showed it to my husband and asked him if he remembered why I had nixed that original idea... he shrugged and said "I have no idea, but I have always thought you should stick with that one. It looks good, it's easy to haul and setup, and best of all it's cheap to build. I think you could easily go back to this with the branding you've done, keep a couple of the display pieces you've added this year and have a really nice booth." I'm completely amused that after changing my booth setup 5 times over 4 years, I'm going back to my original idea... :facepalm:

    Another question that I have is how to plan for growth? Do you figure that in to the overall plan, or do you plan what you know you can sell and then if you need to make more to sell you plan when the time comes?
     
  20. Aug 13, 2019 at 8:51 PM #40

    scard

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    I'm thinking about starting an Etsy shop, I know the competition is killer, but I'm not big on the social media, youtube thing. I would just like to eventually earn a bit to feed my various hobbies, we'll see? o_O
    Shunt & Primrose I'm sorry you are going through this, I can relate. Whether you want it or not, it's no picnic.
     
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