|Sandalwood Patchouli with French Green Clay|
1). Keep experimenting (within reason)
I love to try new things with my soap, but there's a limit to how many things I should try at once. For example, last week I decided to try 4 new elements in one batch of cold process soap. The first element, room temperature soaping, I had tried before and since it worked fairly well, thought I'd give it a go again. The second and third elements...adding salt and sugar to lye solution was supposed to make the soap batter more flexible and the final soap more hard. The forth element I added was a water discount. The result: a big disaster. My soap was like sun-softened fudge plopping out of my new Essential Depot silicone mold like mud chunks. And since I tried so many new things, wasn't sure what went wrong. After much speculation, I believe it was two things...possibly false trace and plugging the water discount wrong into my Soap Maker software. Moral of story...add one new element at a time.
2). Keep personal finances separate from business finances
I just recently set up a business checking account for my soap
making income and expenses. Prior to this, it was too easy to go on late night Whole Sales Supplies Plus ordering binges funded with my personal funds. Since I did this on a semi-regular basis, I made a ridiculous number of orders, each about $30 each (the minimum order for this company and ended up with a number of products I haven't even used and now risk expiration and depleted personal finances. Now that I have a separate business account, I'm much more mindful about my orders and plan to place only a few large orders
|Magic Carpet Ride|
3). Keep up with Facebook Page
I'm developing a very nice customer base and find Facebook a fabulous tool for keeping my customers updated on events and new soaps on the curing rack. This would be easy if I was a natural FaceBook type person, but I'm really not, but I definitely see the benefit.
4). Try Home Party Format
I've only done a few shows and they were hit and miss...some I did well and others I didn't because there wasn't much traffic or I was placed in the back with seven other soap makers up front; however, I did a open house at my place and the 10 or 12 people
5). Define my Product Line
I read somewhere that it's best to build deep before you build wide, so I've concentrated on the soap and just a few other bath and body products...whipped shea butter and hard lotion bars. I make loads of other stuff like facial serums, bath salts, scrubs, etc. for my own personal use, but don't want to bring those out yet. For my soap, I need to figure out 5-10 standard scents that I offer year round. I've decided on a lemongrass/lavender, sandalwood patchouli, and oat meal milk and honey because I know they sell well, but I'm still on the fence about others.
I think that's enough for 2014! Happy soaping to you and may you have tons of successful batches, little ash, and much profit!