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Incrtalent

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Okay, boys and girls. Let me just start with a howdy, as I have not been around for a couple of weeks. I want to just take this opportunity to confess, and to hold myself as a shining example of what NOT to do when you start a business! Despite extensive reading, expermenting, etc., etc., once I developed what I considered to be a super product/product line, I could not wait to get it out there. (That, and the fact I wanted to make some money back!) So, of course, I sent out some samples and a few brochures. The problem? I had projected what I WANTED to be able to to as what I COULD do. Eg., lotions, mists, and body butters. The plan was to do these made-to-order. The problem: I was not prepared. Yes, I had my cigar labels for my soaps. But then it seemed that things started snowballing, and for every problem I'd solve, I'd turn up five more problems. Eg., lotions, etc., need lbottles and labels, too! And I need bags for my stuff. And if I do baskets? Well, I need baskets and fill. And brochures. And order forms. And if I do soap parties? Soap party fliers. And of course, postcards for invites. And what we are going to DO at the parties. (I still haven't figured that one out, and I have three parties booking next month.) And on, and on, and on.

At this point, finding myself EXTREMELY undercapitalized, (and panicked), I have had to be EXTREMELY creative and so have been working from dawn to dusk to solve these problems and put out a professional-looking product. I was nowhere NEAR ready to come out with these and should have considered these things on the front end. So this is my little warning to all those just starting out. There is starting "small" and there is starting "small." If I had started "small" I would have stuck with soaps, and only a few of them--instead of 12. Then I would have slowly added products as these were successful and perhaps considered all these other things on the front end. Still, I'm tenacious, so I'm getting it done, but not without a lot of hard work and lost sleep! Oh, and here's one for you. I apparently have a salon interested in wholesale, (for which I have no prices and just got sample lotions, etc., made last night), and another store interested in consignment. Somebody kill me now.
 

Tabitha

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So are you telling us you have too much business? Watch what you wish for right?

I do understand about stretching yourself too thin.

I consistantlt find I need to trim my line down to a managable size & limit my fragrance choices. If you make 8 items, you must have about 200 ingredients/supplies on hand at all times & you will always be out of 5-10 things & those will always be the things you need *that day*.

Right now my line is far too large & out of control. It needs trimming again.
 

Soapmaker Man

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Good points for anyone starting out wanting to "rush" into selling for profit. Sorry you have had such a rough time, but a diamond will shine through when done. I've been making CP for 2 years now and Lotions and Creams for 2-1/2 years, and sell a little, but more interested in mt TOG Soapmaking Tool Business right now. I do love making soap, with a passion! Thank you for your story!

Paul.... :wink:
 
G

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Hmm.. Been there done that.. the first time around LOL

I learned quick! I closed down not too long after I opened. I couldnt keep up with the demand.

Good Luck! and B R E A T H !
 

dragonfly princess

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Ok I am excited, there is a store in the plaza where I work that would like me to bring some of my soap baskets down to sell them. they are going to do a sign on the window and everything YIPPEE!!

So I asked the guy what his cut was, he said whatever you want to give me. Um............any ideas of what that should be?
 

Tabitha

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I think a 30/70 cut is fair on both sides. You keep 70 for all of your efforts & he keeps 30 for his overehead. I have been on bith sides of commission & believe this to be fair from either side.

You go girl!
 

soapbuddy

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Tabitha said:
I think a 30/70 cut is fair on both sides. You keep 70 for all of your efforts & he keeps 30 for his overehead. I have been on bith sides of commission & believe this to be fair from either side.

You go girl!
That sounds fair to me too.

Irena
 

Bret

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Incrtalent said:
And if I do soap parties? Soap party fliers. And of course, postcards for invites. And what we are going to DO at the parties. (I still haven't figured that one out, and I have three parties booking next month.)
I'm a Stampin' Up Demonstrator and can give you a few ideas. Have a door prize for a guest (I usually do a drawing off their info cards). Have a small gift for the hostess. Have an incentive for guests to book parties, ie a free lotion if they book a party, or a candle, etc. Have ready made order forms. These can easily just be printed off, nothing fancy. Make sure you have a plan for your table display to make everything "nice".
 

Incrtalent

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Missed out on the party!

Well, it seems like I've missed out on the party! So much good information here! I want to thank all of you for your tips, and congratulations, Carrie, on getting your soaps in a store! That's wonderful!

As for me, I don't really have too much business--what I have is business I wasn't ready to handle, because I wasn't fully prepared. I've been working like a crazy person trying to get eerything where it should be. Of course, I THOUGHT I was doing this small, but with 12 different soaps, (and of course, adding lotions, mists, butters, scrubs, and salts)...not so much. This was TOTALLY my doing. Now that I have nearly all my samples in place, (and labels, and packaging), I'm just waiting on my brochures. Then we'll see what happens. I hope I can pull this off. I'm going to try the "made to order" approach--i.e., money first, then product. That way, it will help me purchase my supplies. I've given myself a two-week lead time from order to delivery, so...we'll see!

Once again, troops, thanks for the support!
 

pepperi27

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This is something that every newbie needs to know this business is not a get rich quick business at all. I'm glad I went slow because I would've been out of business long time ago. I've only been in business on the net for one year, but I've been doing this 2004. I still can't believe it when I think about it. I'm glad for the testing and for these forums!
 

NEASoapWorks

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Yep!

Well,

I'm planning on selling soap, and I'm gonna stick with...soap, and 3 varieties at that. If things take off, then I can look at adding...another bar of soap. LOL!

I know what it's like to be stretched too thin — it's not a great feeling. I also know that figuring out how to manage a growing business is sometimes more trouble, than actually making the products FOR the business.

I know of one particular sista, who makes some AWESOME hair/bodycare products. Her website has been "under construction", for AGES. Now, she's already wholesaling (sp?), so I'm able to get products from another online source. She's not up on responding to inquiries — I wanted to sell her products, but she never got back to me. She's got great stuff, but I wonder if she's just got too many irons in the fire. I don't have a husband and/or kids, and I have a hard enough time keeping up with my life.
 
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