Little help for where to start selling

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Pyropyro

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Can you help me choose regarding the best niche market for my future soap business?

I'm thinking of choosing from one or more of the following markets:
1. local eBay market
2. Events giveaways
3. Hotels and Resorts (there's lots of resorts near our place)

My current skills and resources are:
1. Beginner/theoretical level knowledge in soap making
2. Me as the only staff (for now)
3. Decent amount funds to help start up a business
4. Knowledge in identifying possible inventive processes and registering them as patents
5. A decent kitchen to make the soap in.

My goal is to create generic and/or locally developed herbal soaps in the mean time until I have enough money and experience to create my own recipes of soaps created from recycled oils/fats.

My mother also suggested that I apprentice myself to a soapmaker to learn the ropes of the business. Perhaps I could also earn at the side by helping said soapmaker, which is a family friend of ours.
 

Relle

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You might like to read this to help with your decisions -
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/f23/you-ready-sell-your-soap-16002/

You are putting the cart before the horse - I think as your Mother has suggested apprentice yourself to the soap maker and learn the craft first, then worry about a market. The soap maker can give you some idea of the marketability in your area.
 

Pyropyro

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You might like to read this to help with your decisions -
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/f23/you-ready-sell-your-soap-16002/

You are putting the cart before the horse - I think as your Mother has suggested apprentice yourself to the soap maker and learn the craft first, then worry about a market. The soap maker can give you some idea of the marketability in your area.
Thanks for the link and the tips. Wow... that's a handful of things to consider.

I hope I can also support my funds a bit by helping him sell his soap.
 

100%Natural

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It's never too soon to start thinking about your target markets and where your products would be a good fit - it's all apart of building a proactive business plan. However, selling too soon can be detrimental to your business and other businesses too. Take your time and be sure you have a high quality product before you decide where to start selling.

I started visiting local markets and seeing how busy they were and to see what type of products they sold. Going into local businesses and seeing what they have to offer is also a good idea. Start building a 'relationship' with the business owners that you think would be a good fit for you. A lot of my sales have come from simply shopping in their stores for other products and starting a conversation with the shop owners and employees. I don't wholesale, but I have grabbed a heap of customers this way.

Good luck!
 

Pyropyro

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I think working with a local soap maker would be great. I wish I could find someone here to work with.
I think there are lots of people that practice soap making and will wish to have an apprentice to pass their craft to. You just have to broaden your networks a bit. I met one of my potential candidate "masters" at our graduate school.
 

Pyropyro

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It's never too soon to start thinking about your target markets and where your products would be a good fit - it's all apart of building a proactive business plan. However, selling too soon can be detrimental to your business and other businesses too. Take your time and be sure you have a high quality product before you decide where to start selling.

I started visiting local markets and seeing how busy they were and to see what type of products they sold. Going into local businesses and seeing what they have to offer is also a good idea. Start building a 'relationship' with the business owners that you think would be a good fit for you. A lot of my sales have come from simply shopping in their stores for other products and starting a conversation with the shop owners and employees. I don't wholesale, but I have grabbed a heap of customers this way.

Good luck!
Those are good networking tips. :) Hmmm... I guess I'll have to visit some crafts business expos in the future.
 

welsh black

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Hi there good luck with your venture. If your target market is the tourist in your country I would go with local ingredients which are synonymous with the country. I would then sell through the tourist areas hotels local craft shops ect. But the comments are correct, I would make sure I had a lot of practice first, sometimes I think I'm doing good batches of soap then I make an awful mess with the next one. I'd never trust myself to sell yet (I've been going about 6 months), good luck!!
 

Pyropyro

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Hi there good luck with your venture. If your target market is the tourist in your country I would go with local ingredients which are synonymous with the country. I would then sell through the tourist areas hotels local craft shops ect. But the comments are correct, I would make sure I had a lot of practice first, sometimes I think I'm doing good batches of soap then I make an awful mess with the next one. I'd never trust myself to sell yet (I've been going about 6 months), good luck!!
That's a good idea! The Philippines is overflowing with coconuts so perhaps I can use its oil.

Glad to have an apprentice like me on board :) I believe that you can sell your soap eventually :)
 

jean1C

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I don't know if this will help, but last year I took a cruise with my husband and some friends. At one port, when I got off the ship, a woman was selling her soap. She only had about 5 different scents and a small table. She packaged them in map paper. ( I think this was a huge selling point for those that bought her soap for souvenirs or to take home for others). I spoke with her for a while and wish I would have purchased some, but I didn't want to carry it around all day. I did notice that she had a lot of sales for the time I was there.

I agree with the previous poster that stated about using products that are unique to the Philippines if you want to target the tourist market. AND...definitely take advantage of anyone that wants to teach you.
 

Pyropyro

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I don't know if this will help, but last year I took a cruise with my husband and some friends. At one port, when I got off the ship, a woman was selling her soap. She only had about 5 different scents and a small table. She packaged them in map paper. ( I think this was a huge selling point for those that bought her soap for souvenirs or to take home for others). I spoke with her for a while and wish I would have purchased some, but I didn't want to carry it around all day. I did notice that she had a lot of sales for the time I was there.

I agree with the previous poster that stated about using products that are unique to the Philippines if you want to target the tourist market. AND...definitely take advantage of anyone that wants to teach you.
So I should study packaging as well. Thanks for the tips :)
 

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