How To Beat Competitors in Your Homemade Soap Business

Sunday, 21 January 2018



Have you ever wondered if you start a business and someone just comes along and takes all of your ideas and then makes a “copycat business”? Then what happens to all the hard work you did to build the business in the first place? 

This is a big concern for a lot of us. I mean, if you have already spent over a year or maybe longer building your network, you customer base, your product, your business model...it is definitely very worrying. 

SoapLab realized that there were a lot of you who have asked this question… how to ensure I am not beaten by the competitors? 

What you must know is, your business needs to have a solid foundation. It must be differentiated from other soap-makers out there, and have its own unique selling points as well as reasons why people will come back to you and only you. 

For this to happen, we’ve come up with 5 tips that will ensure your business remains safe from the competitors and copycats. 


1) You must know “why” you want to do this business.


The first thing you must focus on, is why this business. Why not you make jewellery or any other craft? Why did you choose to make soap and skincare? 

A lot of us know that the customer is important and therefore we ask, what do the customers want… but in this case, when you are building the business make sure you have a very strong answer to the question “why have i started this business”.

This becomes the foundation of what your brand is. 


2) Design a business/ product that is hard to copy


When you create a product, ensure it is truly your own creation. Say you made t-shirts with cute “quotes” on it ? Anyone can go to a shop, order t-shirts to be printed with these quotes. 

Unless you come up with something unique, or if you can patent it...that is how you stay away from those who want to copy you. Try thinking “what can I do that is not in the market today” and “what can I do that is truly my own”

For example, using pure essential oils, not replacing good quality ingredients with cheap ingredients, using your own recipe for the soap base. 

This is one of the reasons we encourage you to make cold processed soap if you are looking to go into business, the formula you create and what your customers love will not be something that can be duplicated easily.


3) Create a Unique business


Our next tip is almost similar to number 2. The difference here, is not about how to make the product, but the difference in the product as well as its non tangible value (something that you can’t touch and feel- like a feeling, a purpose, or emotion that your product brings) You have to find something that your customers can see as a meaningful difference between you and your closest competitor. 

If you and your competitor are selling almost the same things, then it becomes a price war. This is no good, as simply dropping the prices will lower the “value” that people see in your product. From something unique and original, you will become just another soap maker. 

Therefore, you need to find what is your unique value. For example, your soap truly feels personal towards the people who buy it or receive it as a gift. 

Some decide that some of their profits from the skincare products go towards charities. 

Some make gorgeous soap shapes that are suitable for gifting (we’ve even seen “wedding cakes” made out of soap that is later cut and given as the door gifts) 

These are the things that will put your brand ahead of the others. 


4) Make something that will be missed by your customers


Now, it might be easy to create something unique, you can make a wedding cake shaped soap. You could donate your profits to charity. 

But how do you make customers keep coming back to you to buy ? You must make something that people will miss. 

This is about finding a gap in the market, to give people something that they need but have nowhere to get it from. You could improve on what’s in the market, or create something completely new. 

What we want is, if you go out of business there is nowhere else that people can buy what you were selling. You must find what’s unique, what’s valuable and what problems or market gaps you are filling. 


5) Continue to Improve


This my friends, is the most important thing that a lot of people forget. Not just small business owners but even large corporations. 

Once we get to a place that is comfortable, we stop wanting to grow and innovate. 

We must realize, what made us different, unique, special and provided value will always change with time. 

Nowadays there are new trends every few months and you must ensure that your product can remain relevant for the times. 

There is no point if your product was something people wanted in 2010 but do not want in 2018.  Remember how Nokia failed when they didn’t adapt to the new trends fast enough? 

There may always be new discoveries and ingredients to be used in skincare, previously there was mother’s milk , there was green tea etc and all this still work but you must also think of what the new trends will be in the coming months and keep working on your research and development. 


With these 5 tips, we hope that you feel confident enough to start and grow your business without being worried anymore. Always remember that nothing comes easy, and you will need to put your time and effort to build your brand. 

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