Ask yourself why the current plan isn`t working? Are you giving customers what they really want? What can you offer that nobody else can?
Let`s here about your bar soap business. We can offer suggestions.
How are you marketing your product? Are you talking with retailers, selling online?
Thanks for your concern. Presently, the cost of product is increasing daily. After production, the production cost almost swallow up everything. And I cannot increase the price at will simply because I am not the only one in the market. Though my recent purching power is not strong enough simply because of my financial state. Could this be the advantages of others? If yes, what strategy should I adopt to raise fund to enable me measure up with others? Since it has not been easy to raise enough from my current production.
Perhaps you could add features to your soap to make it more desireable over the competition. Cool shape, anti-bacterial, unique scents......
Then charge more.
I am confused. What do you mean by "focus on the software side of that marketing campaign"? I do not think of soap as just an `old commodity`. She is correct; there are a lot of people selling soap in the marketplace.
Personally, I look for soap that does not cause an allergic reaction. Somebody mentioned `Neutrogena` and the `Oil of Old Lady`. Neither of the soaps are not kind to me. Soaps that have colored dyes and perfumes cause me problems. `Dial` antibacterial soaps (bars or gel) cause me grief. It`s okay for your hands -but not the rest of you. That`s not the way it is supposed to be!
I use Pine Tar Soap, the stuff your grandmother used to use. It has its disadvantages too, due to its brown color it leaves residue on tubs, showers and fabrics. People who have Psoriasis or Eczema (like me) are always looking for alternatives. Believe it or not some of us use Baby Shampoo as a Shower Gel. It`s gentle on the skin - but it does nothing for the itch. Things like Aveeno (that has MENTHOL in it), feels wonderful - but it is not soap - its lotion - it`s temporary feeling.
In my area, NATURAL is in! I attend a lot of CRAFT show events where CRAFTERS / ARTISTS go to show their wares. One of the craft shows I attended, there was couple of ladies who had a business together – they made special soaps made out of different herbs. I took particular notice that they had a promotion of “test driving” their products. This would be normal if it was a "food" booth. There was a small sample cut in pieces. Big enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Next to the pre-cut samples, was a list of the SHOWS where they would be for the next few months, and their business card that bore a telephone number. I think their idea was that you take the product home, try the product and contact them to PURCHASE more. If you could not go to the next show - Call.
This booth impressed me – it had my attention. These ladies were willing to cut a small sample of the soap of your choice for sampling – I noticed these ladies have a following. While they did not have anything to fit my needs, I watched as they interacted with their customers. They do not have a website. Maybe someday they will. After their customers were gone, I asked them if they ever make special soaps for sensitive skin / special needs (kids/adults). The answer was YES, but they had not made a “batch” recently. As I communicated with them, others came by at the same time looking for the similar types of soap I was . . . they were at show with no samples. Nothing to “show-off”. They did tell me they would do special orders.
Soap things that come to mind that that I`ve seen while at Craft Shows:
I have met many home-based small business entrepreneurs who are SOAPSTERS. They do not have websites. That is a far-away goal. Many of them are friends of mine! They have a DAY JOB and they do the SOAP creating, marketing and selling on the side. Their ultimate goal is to ditch the day job and only do soap. In some cases, their full-time employment disappeared, and SOAP has become their fulltime employment.
I maintain business cards of CRAFTERS/ARTISTS with unique products and services that I picked up while at craft show events in my area. If your unique product or service has worked really well for me, I am going to find you to purchase more. If I really like your unique product or services, I am going to share the information. Just like my business, I want their business to thrive.
Suggestion: You appear to have a PASSION for soap making. Take a field trip to the of the soap industry – wherever you go, what do you see? What do you hear? What soaps are people purchasing and why? Is it because it is made out of something unusual? Creative packaging? Is there something in the marketplace that you would like to see, and its not there, bet you could make it and sell it. If you’re looking for it, chances are high someone else is looking for the same thing. I hope you find your niche.