A bath and body business is a business that is concerned with selling products that are used for bathing and pampering the body. You can run this business in two ways. First, you can make and sell your products, or you can source your products from established manufacturers and then set up the retail arm of your business.
A bath and body business is a creative way to help people take care of their skins. This type of business can start out small, and be expanded upon over time to incorporate more products and services. Starting just about any business requires time and effort and it is the same with a bath and body business. But if you are dogged, you will definitely make something good out of your sweat.
One way you can start your bath and body business is to start it from the comfort of your home. It will be necessary to hold conversations with your customers to find out what they need and want from you, so that you can go about supplying those needs right from your home office.
Starting a business from home maybe simple and would even require less startup capital, but you need to know how to go about it so you don’t bring problems for your business. For that reason, we will be showing you how you can start your bath and body business right from your home and run it to success.
15 Steps to Starting a Bath and Body Business from Home
If you want to start your bath and body business from your home, here are processes that are involved.
Table of Content
- 3. Register your business
- 4. Prepare for inspection
- 5. Obtain the materials
- 6. Obtain your ingredients
- 7. Start Creating Your Product
- 8. Buying Your Supplies, if you don’t want to make them yourself
- 9. Design handmade tags, stickers and bags
- 10. Selling Your Product
- 11. Branding your bath and body business
- 12. Don’t aim to be the cheapest bath and body product on the block
- 13. Make photography work for you
- 14. Work for success
- 15. Build on sustainability
Draw up a sketch
- 3. Register your business
Not all businesses are the same, so you need to figure out what is unique about your business before you start. You have to note what scope you want to operate on, the products you wish to sell, and even the profits you aim to make.
Record in a notebook a few recipes for each product that you want to begin selling or making. Add any other information, such as packaging ideas and estimated costs. In a bid to not shoot yourself on the foot, it is recommended that you begin with a few soaps, lotions and shampoos as well as some bath bombs. Research recipes to add to the list of items over time. Stay ahead of the game by having all business expansion ideas recorded as they are thought of.
2. Get your home ready for business
Of course you cannot start a business from your home without making the necessary preparations. You will need a sterile and safe environment to make your soaps. Ideally, you should set aside one room that can only be used to prepare and package your soaps. You might want to buy materials such as a sterile steel worktable, large mixing bowls and measuring cups and a heating source, such as Bunsen burner for your product line.
3. Register your business
Even if your business is operated from home, you will still need to get it registered to make it official. Here are a few things you need to address;
Most in-home businesses begin as a sole-proprietorship, and this is the easiest way to begin. You may also choose to setup your business as a partnership, corporation or LLC. Discuss the pros and cons of each entity with your accountant, lawyer or business professional.
Depending on your locale, your city and/or county may require that you obtain a license to conduct business out of your home. Annual licensing fees can be very low for in-home businesses that do not receive customers at their door. Contact your City Clerk to inquire about the licensing that is required to begin your business. You should also find out if your county or state requires licensing for your bath and body business.
Consult with your homeowners insurance agent to see if your homeowners insurance will cover your bath and body business. Typically, it will not. Once you begin using your kitchen or home office for business purposes, you may risk being able to make a claim on these areas should a disaster occur. As you begin acquiring inventory and supplies, you may also want to insure these items against loss in a possible disaster.
In addition to protecting your assets, it’s wise to consider protecting yourself from liability should a customer claim harm or damage caused by use of one of your products. Ask your insurance agent about the availability of liability insurance. Join one of the toiletry making or soap making eGroups to ask other business owners for recommendations on the agents or insurance companies that they use.
Accounting, Taxation and Inventory
In order to maintain proper records of your sales, expenditures, profits and inventory, it’s important to keep proper records. It is also necessary so that you can properly report and file your taxes. A selection of small business accounting books abound on the bath and body business, or you may wish to obtain an accountant who can advise you on the proper method for bookkeeping.
Your accountant can also advise you on how to properly maintain a record of your inventory and the cost of goods sold. Contact your state government to learn what you are required to do to collect and submit sales tax for sales made to residents of your state.
4. Prepare for inspection
If your city or country requires a business license, officials might come and inspect your home to ensure it is safe to operate a business there. They will check for items such as pests, and for safety issues such as having a smoke detector and proper wiring for your equipment.
5. Obtain the materials
Obtain the materials necessary to begin making the products that you wish to sell. Keep pots, pans and other necessities stored separate from your every day cooking needs. Decide on what molds and other supplies will be necessary for running the business as well. Record everything into your notebook so you can keep track of your expenses.
6. Obtain your ingredients
Obtain the ingredients that you will need in order to begin creating the products that you will sell. Decide whether or not you will grow your own herbs, and whether it would be worth it to have the goats necessary for making goats milk products. Be sure that everything you use is organic if you want to tow the organic line.
7. Start Creating Your Product
It is important to perfect the recipes for your product line. You could start small with a line of bath salts or you could cover all types of bath products when you begin. Purchasing the bottles from a supplier is the easiest option, but you will still need to design labels and a logo that will help customers recognize your product line. If you are not artistically inclined, hire a graphic designer to do it for you. When you pick out the labels, you want something that represents the values that you and your product represents. You can apply the logo and graphic design to your website as well.
8. Buying Your Supplies, if you don’t want to make them yourself
In the bath and body business, you can either make or buy and sell your products. If you want to market your soap as being pure, you will need to carefully choose whom you buy your products from. At the beginning, you might choose to buy from a craft or beauty supply store. However, you can save money by buying in bulk. You can look at both local suppliers and online suppliers to find the best deal. You want to order from a company that you can trust will deliver you pure products so that your soaps consistently come out at the same quality.
Design handmade tags and stickers for your bath and body products, or create them on the computer using an art program. To appear unique, you have to come up with ideas for an enchanting packaging, such as wrapping soaps in tissue paper and tying the paper closed with raffia.
Of course you have to bag customers’ purchases before you deliver them. Use regular shopping bags. Sell reusable bags and give a few cents discount each time it is reused. Put the purchases into small to medium size gift bags for delivery.
You can also provide gift wrapping for holidays and other events. Look for good buys if you would like to offer this service for free, or charge a dollar or so for the service depending on the size of the gift.
10. Selling Your Product
The places you sell your product will help determine your success in the business. Specialty bath soaps sell well at craft fairs, in gift shops and at boutiques. Selling items from your company’s website is a good idea as well. One option is to contact local merchants to see whether they will allow you to have a shelf space in their stores, some stores will allow you but with a percentage. Another option is to find a company that will distribute the product for you.
However, you might want to wait on that until you can produce large batches, so you can keep up with potential orders. You will need to choose a competitive selling price that leaves you enough margin to make a profit while buying new supplies.
11. Branding your bath and body business
If you think branding is as simple as picking a few colors, a pretty graphic you like, and bringing it all together, then you are so wrong. Branding is so, so much more than that. And without strong branding, you will struggle when starting a bath and body business.
Your brand should guide every action and decision you make in business. Is it right for your business to develop this new product? Is it right for your business to do that craft show? Is it right for your business to be on that shiny new social media network? When you have a solid brand and target market, these questions become less headache to you.
12. Don’t aim to be the cheapest bath and body product on the block
The biggest mistake some home bath and body businesses make is pricing their products in such a way that they feel is affordable or in line with an imaginary market. The problem with this is that many soap companies operating through their own websites, on Etsy/Artfire, or other venues, are creating their pricing on what someone else is doing. This means the “market price” continues to nose dive – to the point that no bath and body company who tries to compete on price will ever make a profit.
What you need to do is to ensure that your bath and body products are of good quality, then you set a price that you feel is suitable for your product offering. Market them not based on price but on the quality of your bath and body products.
13. Make photography work for you
Most home based bath and body businesses aim to sell their products online to reach the largest portion of their audience possible, which means your customers will rely on your ability to take stellar product photographs. And not everyone is a photography master.
If you’re really not a professional photographer, you will be hard-pressed to gain an interested audience. It’s important that your images accurately reflect your products and brand. That means product photos that are clear and well-lit. If you take a peek at Etsy or Artfire or other handmade product venues, you’ll notice that the products getting featured on the front page or in collections is due to awesome product photography.
If you aren’t fab with a camera, you will want to invest in professional product photography or learn how to DIY your own product photos. You’ll also want to get familiar with the best sites for downloading stock photos.
14. Work for success
Your bath and body business will only be as strong as you are. You need to keep learning, growing, and stretching your limits to build a successful soap company.
Experienced bath and body businesses became experienced because they knew they needed to keep learning. If you ever become stagnant in learning, you will become stagnant in growth, too. This doesn’t only apply to bath and body businesses, but to businesses as well.
The old adage that you need to spend money to make money is just as true now as it has ever been. When you first start out, focus on your strengths. And put your money where it matters: invest in educating yourself to strengthen your weaknesses and outsource to tasks you are crap at or hate doing.
15. Build on sustainability
If you are getting ready to start a bath and body business from your home, it’s always a top of the list priority to have an end game in mind. Do you want to grow your bath and body business into an empire that has production and retail facilities all over the country? Do you want to stay in your kitchen forever? Do you want a retail store or a manufacturing space or employees you can manage? Think about where you want your business to take you, and build your soap company to meet your needs.
If you want to sell to nationwide retailers, it’s probably not smart to start a bath and body business with a product line that requires intensive labor (like time-consuming, intricately designed soaps or made-to-order products). So, you will want to start focusing on production efficiency and growth hacking as soon as possible. If you want to stay small forever, (there is nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want), you’ll have more leeway on how you design your products, how you price them, and even how you market them.
Making and selling your own bath and body products from home can be profitable. The key to succeeding is finding the perfect formula and then finding the right way to market and sell your products. Handmade bath and body products sell well in beauty boutiques, at craft fairs and in small gift shops. You can also consider selling the products online. The bath products will appeal to a wide market. Working from your home will allow you to slowly increase your business and possibly continue at your current job till you build a sustainable business.