Brainstorm with me on businesses like this.

13 replies
I saw a post within the last week from someone here on the forum talking about running a soap business. She of course had a product listed in here signature that teaches you all about running a soap business.

I like the idea of this kind of a business and here is why.

1. It is a business that nearly anyone can be a customer for. Most people take showers or bathe in some manner and use soap in the process so anyone is a potential customer.

2. It's a business that can be done on and offline. I like this because I don't want to spend my life in front of a computer. I like to meet people face to face.

3. It feels legit to me. Not like I'm tricking someone into buying something that I know that they don't really need or is really not going to deliver what a promise for whatever reason.

4. It's portable so if I want to take a road trip I can bring the soap with me and perhaps meet new customers on the road.

I'd love to hear some other ideas for businesses like this. Along with the soap business some obvious ideas would be shampoo, lotion, etc. I'd love to hear other ideas outside of this.

I'm really looking forward to hearing what you brainstorm.
#brainstorm #businesses
  • Profile picture of the author thedark
    Since it is a real product, then yes you won't have the guilt of selling dreams to your customers. It is true that all people use soap. But, do people really spend time looking for new soap brand to use ? Are they researching a lot their choices ? Are they willing to change the soap they use right now ? For me it seems like all buy the soap from supermarket, and I never spend more than 1$ for soap. So there is little room to move around. I understand why you want to go offline, it seems attractive to me too, but I would choose a bigger product, where you have more to research, more to offer to your customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author dad2four
      Originally Posted by thedark View Post

      Since it is a real product, then yes you won't have the guilt of selling dreams to your customers. It is true that all people use soap. But, do people really spend time looking for new soap brand to use ? Are they researching a lot their choices ? Are they willing to change the soap they use right now ? For me it seems like all buy the soap from supermarket, and I never spend more than 1$ for soap. So there is little room to move around. I understand why you want to go offline, it seems attractive to me too, but I would choose a bigger product, where you have more to research, more to offer to your customers.
      Like?

      I agree with you. Another downside is that there is a ton of competition in the luxury soap market. There are many other downsides as well, but there are downsides to any business you choose.

      I'd love to hear your ideas on alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    I imagine there is room for someone to dazzle us all with a fresh, exciting take on soap.

    It had better be creative, honest and fill an emotional desire for a more satisfying soap experience though, or you will lose out to the $1 soaps in the supermarkets the above poster referenced.

    Same goes for any other niche you decide on. There is no shortage of unexciting everyday "stuff" out there that can be marketed better. Just like any other business, though, if you can't effectively communicate to your market why your product is the superior choice, then you may as well not bother.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by dad2four View Post

    I'd love to hear some other ideas for businesses like this. Along with the soap business some obvious ideas would be shampoo, lotion, etc. I'd love to hear other ideas outside of this.
    These are typical MLM-company products. The reason MLM's tend to revolve around products of this kind is the MLM philosophy of "not asking people to buy anything they're not already buying, but just asking them to buy it from a different place".

    The potential difficulty with them (and I'm just thinking aloud, saying this) is that these consumable products (I don't mean edible, just "which get used up"), and which people continue to buy indefinitely, are also the ones manufactured by some of the world's biggest corporations, whose decades' experience at producing and marketing them mean that they can do everything for lower prices than anyone else, and it can be terribly difficult to compete with them. They can, if necessary, even afford to compete temporarily at a loss, just to get other suppliers/manufacturers/marketers out of the market.

    I think the path to success, with things like this, is probably "upmarket niches" in which high quality products of individuality can sell at a real premium to customers who don't necessarily care all that much about the prices? Because in any other part of the market, it's going to be really difficult to compete with household names producing and marketing things by the hundred-million?
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  • Profile picture of the author Katie Rich
    Pretty fruity soap slices and other toiletry products are great, but they are also faddy. People will try them out maybe once or twice, then go back to the supermarket soaps that they are used to. I have bought the same soap for over 25 years.

    We had a store open in my town selling exactly those products. It looked great, smelled divine and lasted for around 6 months. Everyone liked it but no one wanted to buy from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anne Laidlaw
    I just dont think its a product on its own that people shop online for. Mabey gift baskets of different soaps along with other complimentry products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      If you have a superior product, superior marketing, and a reasonable price, you can sell most anything.

      Your journey won't be easy and it won't be quick to profitability selling low priced items like soap.

      You'll have to get creative and maybe a little off the wall to come up with something unique.

      Here's one brainstorm idea - soap is poured into molds to set up into various shapes. How about soap for kids shaped like animals, or food, or letters, or numbers, or fish, birds, etc - things kids like and will recognize.

      Just a thought.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Many years ago I was involved with Amway and they started by selling soap and other similar products. The 2 biggest issues were:
    1. Price. Their costs were higher than you would normally want to spend.
    2. You have to plan ahead and so you may run out.

    I personally buy the cheapest homer brand soap from the supermarket. IT does the job and so why spend more.

    You're looking at a niche market, even though soap is used by everyone. So you need to think accordingly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    You can have a very profitable craft soap business.

    I love my network marketing business and focus nearly all
    of my time there but my wife and I also own a small herd of goats.

    Research the nutritional properties of goat milk... you'll be amazed!

    Anyway ... the wife makes a line of goat milk skin care products
    including scented lotions and soaps. She does very well with them.

    She sells on her Facebook page, on Etsy.com and at local farmers
    markets. She even has about a dozen local spas and boutique gift
    shops who buy from her at wholesale and resell to their retail customers.

    She has a hard time keeping up with the demand... it's a very good business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Maggs
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      You can have a very profitable craft soap business.

      I love my network marketing business and focus nearly all
      of my time there but my wife and I also own a small herd of goats.

      Research the nutritional properties of goat milk... you'll be amazed!

      Anyway ... the wife makes a line of goat milk skin care products
      including scented lotions and soaps. She does very well with them.

      She sells on her Facebook page, on Etsy.com and at local farmers
      markets. She even has about a dozen local spas and boutique gift
      shops who buy from her at wholesale and resell to their retail customers.

      She has a hard time keeping up with the demand... it's a very good business.
      I think you have a great idea potentially as the above quote demonstrates, I found myself thinking of soaps with healing properties etc. It's finding that unique spin and if you can do that I'm sure you'll do really well. You have plenty of places to market your product, so good on you I wish you every success.
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  • Profile picture of the author dad2four
    So you guys have come up with some awesome feedback on soap as a business.

    Anyone have ideas for similar businesses?
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  • Profile picture of the author ebooksmaster
    Your dreams may burst like a soap bubble if you don't niche in...
    I may be babbling here...but J&J have the whole niche for baby soap...
    So how about a soap for Seniors that suits seniors skin?
    How about a herbal medicinal soap for persons with psoriasis skin.
    Of course there may be legal complications.But i am just brainstroming!
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    • Profile picture of the author Bradley McK
      I have a lot of skin problems. I locally buy from a lady who makes her own line of goats' milk and oatmeal soaps. I pay $4.50 a bar USD and don't think twice. There is a market in many niches for specialty soaps. I also wanted to relay a story told to me buy another soap seller. He was selling a scented bar of soap for 2 or 3 bucks. Not selling well. He decided to wrap it up in fancy wrapper with colored trim and a bow with a tag. Gave it a fancy name and raised the price to $12 ( I think it was 12...?) Sold like gang busters. Sometimes it these everyday items that make people a bucket of cash.
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