One of the most accomplished business leaders of last 100 years is Peter Drucker. And one of his most famous axioms is “that which is measured improves”. Most small business owners know this instinctively. This little tip can be the difference between a successful business and a losing proposition. The next question then becomes, what should I measure? This follow up question is the most important question that will super charge your results and allow you to pull away from the crowd. Because of time restraints the average entrepreneur cannot measure unlimited aspects of their business. Some criteria must be presented by which the decision is made about what are the best and most accurate and productive measurements to make. A very effective hack, is to start with a group of five to eight metrics to be measured only initially and find the one or two metrics that most effectively allow you to be focused, and measure the growth of your business. These metrics could include users, visitors, inquiries etc. Find your measured metric and find your success.
Ridiculous, absolutely not. Even if you website is thefrugalgirl.com, you can do promotional giveaways to grow your audience and engender real emotional connections with your fans. Every business can benefit from well thought out giveaways. Most small businesses have more requests for charity donations than they have resources to fulfill. The key is to make these relationships work for both parties.
Almost all charities are looking for additional fund raising opportunities. This where a small business can step in and help. Offering a fund raising program to charities soliciting your donation can in many ways determine the seriousness of the solicitation. If your offer is dismissed out of hand you may reconsider the donation(not always). Bath and body products make great fund raising items as our society becomes more health conscious . Research what other small businesses are offering and tailor your offer to fit your line of products.
Pat Williams wrote this amazing book, Marketing Your Dreams, about the life and inspiration of Bill Veeck Before the current crop of marketing mavens there was the unlikely story of Bill Veeck. He was the managing director of three different major league baseball teams. He used his marketing ingenuity to draw attention to his product in creative and clever ways. Using his model of incongruity you may promote your own handmade products with similar success.
My favorite story is the drawing he had to give away Eskimo Pies. Instead of giving away 1000 pies to the first 1000 entrants to the park he would give away 1000 to one lucky ticket holder and watch the mayhem begin. What would they do with ice cream. They were presented their prize on the field and now had to figure out what to do with all of the boxes. Inevitably they would start giving the ice cream away before it all melted. What a memorable event for all those attending. Seth Godin might even call it remarkable. Make your soap business just as remarkable.
Great video by Curtis Stone about his take on what the three hardest issues for running a small urban farm. These are some of the same issues I have been harping about for several years. I believe that they are not particular to any small business by you will find they are common for most of us choosing the entrepreneurial path.
1. Marketing your small business
Spend 50% of your working day implementing your marketing strategy. You can out-source this but it is expensive for start-ups that are cash strapped. I recommend Dan Thies for long term sustainable solutions https://twitter.com/danthies?lang=en
2. Accounting for your small business.
Hire a book-keeper.
3. Staffing your small business.
Use a payroll service.
We have been recommending to all of our soap re-sellers to give away soap samples for years now. I was reading an article about a baker/businessman from France who wanted to expand his cookie business into the US. One of his strategies was to give away over one million cookies as samples on the streets of NYC to create a buzz about his products. The launch was a huge success.
This got me thinking, how large an item would you give away to get free publicity for your cause or business endeavor. I Googled the specific term “free car” in quotes and got back over one million results. The idea of giving away valuable products to grow your business is a powerful part of any marketing strategy. Especially for an item like soap, where a tactile, visceral response can garner your business an immediate and then repeat customer.
Hey guys! We’re doing a new series of videos every morning talking about how to kick start your small business. General tips and tricks, product giveaways, and tools you can use to help grow your business. Watch the video for a more detailed explanation.
Stinson’s Carberry Soap Company founder Margot Stinson sells her soap at DesignNook. This wonderful consignment shop is an answer to the main problem facing all crafting start-ups. Where do I sell my crafts?
Spaces are divided into individual sales areas where you can rent a space for as little as $160.00 per month. Although this ideas being implemented in Toronto, the idea is solid and could be done in most towns. One way to keep costs down is to have artisans scheduled to mind the store at different times to eliminate the labor costs. A strong general manger will be needed to streamline procedures and adjudicate vendor disputes which are bound to arise. DesignNook is the brain child of Colleen Imrie and includes three different stores on the same block. More here:
After you have completed making your amazing soap creation, the immediate question becomes, where do I sell my products? There are the traditional online outlets, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon are outlets where many soap makers have had success over the years.
The number of sellers that directly compete with you is enormous.
One way to have success is to try different sales avenues than all of your competitors.
Local markets offer a way to get repeat customers with much less competition. Most markets open in the spring, so now is the time to start filling in application forms. I just found another online venue that is offering soap makers a great outlet Sell soap here.
How to price you wonderfully and carefully crafted handmade soap products. I was walking past a handmade soap display in an upscale grocer when I came across a neatly packaged bar of handmade soap that smelled amazing so I turned it over to check the price and was completely shocked by the price tag, $15.95 per bar. this is an alternative universe to any successful and sustainable soap market I am aware of.
In order to figure out the how much to charge for soap you must take into many factors including labor. You also must be able to work efficiencies into your production so your cost structure is alignment with ongoing market forces. By the way, this market is no longer in business. Here is a great article about how to figure out your costs.
I just found an article about the science of bath bombs. This is a sure sign that bath bombs are reaching the peak of popularity when a science publication does an article. about a bath and body product.
There are some great tips on bath bomb making and some experiments suggested. This resource is a keeper. Be sure and bookmark it for future reference. I have been advocating for years not using corn starch when making your bath bombs and this article suggests trying to make them bath ways, great idea.||Scientific article