OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 3

Questions to ask your self  BEFORE you get into the RETAIL business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Welcome to part 3 of the Opening a Retail Soapmaking Shop-

So this brings to me to the HARD QUESTIONS that you  need to ask yourself before you get into the RETAIL business.

Are you using the “DREAM” of owning a retail shop to cloud your judgment?  We’ve all been here before— that’s why we got into business in the first place.  We were all dreaming of owning a cool bath and body business like “XZY” down the street and dreamed of how happy you would be once you had it.  But don’t get sold on the “IDEA” of having business, do you research and find out what the day-to-day operations will be like.  It is HARD work and involves a lot of time.

Can you afford it? Do you have enough income to cover overhead just in case?   I had a backup plan that included sales from difference resources just in case I didn’t have  sales for that month. You will need enough to include your rent/lease/utilities/maintenance expenses. Money is scarce and it’s tough getting business credit. Credit cards helped me getting started with the basic start-up costs involved with opening a retail shop. Most of my income coming in my business got rolled back into the business for a few years.  A portion of it continues to get rolled back into the business today.

A few tips: In the beginning a landline phone is not necessary, you don’t need an  internet connection in your new place either or  pay for regularly scheduled picks from UPS and FEDEX.  Save those for later on when your business is established and making money.  Use the “Square”  for all your credit card transactions and your business cell phone as your regular line.

Do you have unlimited time to invest in your retail shop?  Post your  hours and  be present/open during those times.

Competition-  This should be included in your feasibility studies and it will give you a good opportunity to scout out the competition.  I would inquire discreetly how well they are doing. You could learn from them and adjust your ideas before you get started. You could also ask your small business rep to see if they know them; maybe they could give you insight on what to expect.

Conduct your own market feasibility study to see if your idea will be supported in your community.  {A feasibility study evaluates your project’s potential for success as it examines the marketability of your product}

Your SBA office should be able to help you gather the data to support it. Find out if your “DREAM” idea will bring in the money or send you into financial ruin.

Links for you to check out!

What Is Product Marketability?

31 Days to Build a Creative Business

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 1

OPENING A RETAIL SHOP  ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

thedream

Day DREAMING about a BUSINESS? START HERE ——>

Most businesses run out of money the first year in business because of bad planning and choices. Most people get caught up in the dream of having a business and realized too late in the game that their planning was not funded well enough. In the next few weeks I will be sharing with you my tips for starting up a business on a shoestring budget.  I will be sharing some easy to implement ideas to saving money during your first years in business. Get the word out without paying a dime, learn about unconventional ideas that lead to more sales and customers.

Businesses are as different from each other as they are to the personalities of their owners.  The are… after all… our babies.  From the business idea, conception, growth, to established and finally the exit.  You can view your business like a growing child into adulthood and then the exit or death of  a business– (infant, toddler, teenager, adult hood, maturity and finally the exit).

If you have dreamed of having a retail bath and body retail shop this is for you. So today, I am going to try to help you decipher the why, what and how.  But mostly how I got started.

My early career started in direct sales with a well-known company who sold bath and body products through retail mall store fronts.  They had a separate “At Home” division in which I brought their products to the living rooms of a few of my closest friends and family.  I fell right into their branding, followed their program to the “T” and I was successful.

After about two years into selling, the company decided to closed their “At Home” division .  I was then left with customers and NO product. That was when I decided to open my own business and soap seemed to be the next best thing. After discussing it over with my family, we decided to become entrepreneurs.

My husband  and I began the process of  making soap, while learning how to brand it and build a company selling it.  It took me a while before I felt comfortable with product manufacturing but through time and testing we preserved.

After my first year in business I needed to get my operation out of my home so I started looking into opening a studio.  I found a location in a small shopping center within a residential area that offered a month to month lease that included all utilities. That way if I could afford to pay for it if the money was not coming in . Without losing my shirt!

soapmaking classes

Mossy Creek Soap Studio in Warner Robins Georigia 2010-2012

This was my first studio. Rent was cheap, it was month-month and it included all utilities. But was NOT in a busy area.

Things did not happen they way I expected it to. Most people believe all you have to do is open a business and your customers will be rushing in to buy your products. It’s much harder than that otherwise everyone would be sucessful.  Soon after I opened, I discovered that I needed to have more than one revenue stream coming in to keep my doors open everyday.

When I began including different revenue streams and it was then I noticed a difference. Which included maintaining a website, an ETSY  shop and adding more wholesale accounts along with in-house classes. It was then my business began to financially stand on it’s own without my own contributions. Then things finally started coming together.

My methods of getting and staying in business are unconventional; so although these things worked for me;  you will STILL  have to do the foot work to find out what works for you;  in your own backyard.

 

 

STAY TUNED for next installment of this series for TIP #1

 

 

Here are some links to help you get started!

Retail.About.Com

Small Business Admin

And if you want to start your SOAPMAKING BUSINESS our next class is Sept 20-21!  SOAPMAKING BUSINESS WORKSHOP

5 Top Mistakes When Working With Color In Soapmaking

1. SELECTING TOO MANY DARK COLORS– I go back to my photography composition and rule of thirds skills on this one. It’s important to create balance, a good balance of light and dark.

2. NEGLECTING TO TEST YOUR COLORS BEFORE YOU SWIRL THEM– This one is important because if you know what the outcome is going to be then designing the outcome will be easier. Swirling a batch of soap is not a good time to find out your beautiful blue turned pink on you.

3. IGNORING YOUR SCENT COLOR FAMILY– All scents smell like a color. If for example you make an ocean/air/ozone soap—you immediately think blue. Now is not the time to make it a pretty dark brown color with a gold swirl. It will throw your customers off. People gravitate toward color and the ones that like blue scents may not like brown which may signify sweet. (which would be the brown/gold swirl one)

4. USING A FRAGRANCE THAT IS NOT CLEAR TO START WITH– The color of your fragrance or essential oil could change the colors you are expecting. For example, if you use a fragrance that was a dark yellow and you are adding a pretty blue color, you may end up with a green version of it instead of the pretty blue you started with. If the fragrance contains vanilla it will darken over time no matter how much white you apply.

5. FORGETTING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTRAST– You need a good color wheel to find that magical opposite color. Opposites attract and stand out—good ones anyway. To purchase a good color wheel see more here: COLOR WHEEL

Hope this helps a little, we will be posting more tips and tricks for using color very soon— stay tuned!

We are moving to a much larger location!

We are moving to a much larger location!

We are moving to Beautiful Downtown Perry! Just a bit further south than Warner Robins. We are carrying fragrances, essential oils, soapmaking oils, soap equipment and we teach you how to make to it & start a business!

Welcome to Mossy Creek Soap Studio

Just thought I would personally welcome you to the Studio where we learn how to make all kinds of soap and bath products.  We are located in middle Georgia approximately 1 1/2 hours from Atlanta.  Founded in 2010, Michelle Rhoades the owner/teacher is a certified cold processed soapmaker with the Handcrafted Soapmaking Guild.

Welcome to our corner of the world! We call it heaven in a bar of soap~  If you are wondering where we are located…Break out the map~ Point to the middle of Georgia and well that’s where we are located!

Mossy Creek Handmade Soap proudly offers Eco Friendly Wedding Favor Soaps, Bridal Shower Favors,Handmade Artisan SoapNatural Soap Wedding Favors and All Natural Liquid Soap. Scented with essential oils of Lavender, Lemongrass, Coconut, Rosemary, and Spearmint.. Made from scratch Naturally Fresh for you~ We believe in natural made soaps made with ingredients that you can purchase in your own grocery store. Not out of a chemist laboratory but homemade goodness without added fillers to make it last longer on the shelf.

Our soap was FEATURED on the FOODNETWORK.com Gifts Guide for her, MACON TELEGRAPH, 13WMAZ CBS News and FOX24 NEWS. Owned and operated Georgia, we take pride in providing southern perfection in our handcrafted soap that take well over a month to cure. A Certified Soapmaker with the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and soapmaking teacher.

Michelle Rhoades, Owner of Mossy Creek Soap (above) grew up in the South and even though she wasn’t born here she considers herself a southerner. Thanks to her dad who was in Army when they got stationed in Georgia in the second grade.

Intrigued with things like cucumber, carrot creams and chamomile soap~ She wanted to create something good. Armed with her new found knowledge she practiced scent blending and making bath products. Then she jumped on the band wagon with a direct selling company doing spa parties at home. She did pretty well until they decided that division wasn’t making money and closed it down. Her husband was the one who got her excited about making soap and since he so gallantly took up the mixing of the Lye, then there was no reason for her to refuse! They made a lot of soap together and  filmed him making soap… check out those videos here:http://www.youtube.com/user/MossyCreekSoap/videos

Then she went on to open her own soapmaking studio where she can teach the craft of making soap and bath products: see More about that here: Soapmaking Classes

Uncomplicated, Pure & Simple.

Follow us on our blog at:
mossycreeksoap.blogspot.com

Facebook:
facbook.com/mossycreeksoap

Our Studio Fan Page
facebook.com/soapmaking.classes

Twitter:
Mossy Creek Soap