There are some products called EEE (essential for everybody every day) products. Soap is one of them and that’s why you will never be wrong by starting a liquid soap business. Normally, the best business to invest in is the type that meets the need of both young and old on a daily basis.
Nowadays, there’s hardly a building you’ll get to that you won’t find at least a bottle of liquid soap. This is because liquid soap meets versatile needs. From washing of hands to washing of plates, clothes and sometimes, bathing. Therefore, the liquid soap business is a profitable venture to start in Nigeria.
As long as humanity exists, the demand for liquid soap and other washing agents will continue to increase because men must wash. However, the high demand for it has made many to venture into the business, thereby creating stiff competition.
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As a matter of fact, some people no longer purchase their soap from retailers, they prefer to produce it themselves for personal home use. Hence, if you want to start the liquid soap business at this time, you must devise an unusual branding strategy that will make people choose your brand above others.
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A lot of people do not make a profit in this business because of over-familiarity. So, they handle it like a mere hobby that can only make a meagre profit. This article is for those who want to run the liquid soap business on a professional and structured level.
This article covers the chemicals you need to begin, the procedures for making it and the best ways to market your liquid soap to get the required profit.
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Materials Needed For Liquid Soap Production
Basically, the basic materials needed for the production of liquid soap are:
- Hand gloves
- Containers (plastic bottles)
- Nose mask
- Stirring Rod
- Measuring cup
Steps involved in Starting A Liquid Soap Production Business
Step One: Draft A Business Plan
An investor can predict the success or failure of your business just by reading your business plan. As the name implies, a business plan contains detailed information on how you intend to run your business.
It includes thorough feasibility studies and marketing strategies you want to explore. In addition to that, you must be able to expressly state the goals and objectives of your business, your target audience, competitive advantage, financial projections, and the likes.
Usually, an aspiring entrepreneur that takes his/her time to draft a detailed business plan will most likely do better than those who don’t.
Furthermore, with your business plan, you can approach any venture capitalist or investor for funding.
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Step Two: Register Your Business With CAC
CAC is an acronym for the Corporate Affairs Commission, the recognised body in charge of business registrations in Nigeria. Registering your business makes you an authority in your business and prospective customers see a registered business as trustworthy and reliable.
Basically, all you need for your business registration is your valid ID card, personal details, passport photograph, and signature. To start, visit CAC’s website to check for the availability of your chosen name. This is because there is a likelihood that your desired business name has been registered by someone else.
There are two types of registration you can go for. You can either register a business name or as a limited liability company. The price for a business name is lesser than that of a limited liability company.
For an easier approach to registering your business, pay someone to carry out the registration for you. One of the firms you can trust is ReDahlia, located at 43B, Emina Crescent Off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. For them, your location is not a barrier as you can send them your details via email and your certificate will be delivered to your location once it is ready.
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Step Three: Get A Space For Your Liquid Soap Business
This step is optional if you are starting on a small scale. Liquid soap business can be done from the comfort of your home and you can package it and sell it to your customers.
But, if you are starting on a large scale, you may need to rent a facility for your production. In addition, if you plan to sell as a wholesaler, running the business from home will not be professional and appropriate.
Besides, not everyone should have access to your home. Except, of course, you intend to produce the soap in your home and deliver it to the retailers yourself.
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Step Four: Get The Liquid Soap Ingredients
The next thing to do is to purchase your liquid soap ingredients. At this point, it is important to get the right proportion of ingredients as that will go a long way to tell on the quality of your liquid soap. Basically, the required materials are mostly chemicals. This is why you need a nose mask when producing your liquid soap.
Here is the list of ingredients needed to begin:
- Sulphoric Acid
- Caustic Soda
- Soda Ash
- SLS (Sodium laurate sulphate)
- STTP (sodium tripolyphophate sulphate)
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If your business location is in Lagos, the best place to get these ingredients is Ojota Market. There, you can tell them the litres you want to produce
and they’ll give you the accurate measurement you need. In addition, you will also need to get the materials mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Step Five: Produce Your Liquid Soap
Once you have the required ingredients and materials, the next step is to begin the production process. Here, you will learn the procedures for producing 20litres of liquid soap and the required measurements.
The ingredients are:
- Sulphonic acid – 1 litre
- Caustic Soda – 1/3 tin milk cup
- Soda ash – 1/2 tin milk cup
- Nitrosol – 1 tin milk cup
- Texapon – 5-6 teaspoonful
- STTP – 6-6 teaspoon
- Perfume – as desired
- Formalin – 5-6 teaspoon (optional)
- Colorant – as desired
- Water – 19 litres
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Method of Preparation
- Get 1 litre of water and soak the caustic soda in it for 30minutes or more to ferment. Alternatively, you can soak the caustic soda overnight as that will make the soap glitter.
- Dissolve the Soda Ash in 1 litre of water for 1hour or more
- Get a big bowl, then turn the sulphonic acid into it. Also, add texapon and perfume into it. Pour 3 or 4 litres of water into the mixture and stir very well for 10 minutes.
- Dissolve STTP with 2 tin of milk cup water and stir
- Get a separate bowl and dissolve SLS into it with 2 tin of milk cup of water and stir
- Get a bigger bowl that can contain all the separate mixtures, then turn nitrosol into it and 4 to 5 litres of water. In place of Nitrosol, you can use antisol but antisol requires two days soaking before use.
- After the Nitrosol dissolves, turn the dissolved sulphonic acid, texapon and perfume into it and stir vigorously
- Add the dissolved caustic soda into the mixture and stir
- Pour the dissolved soda ash and stir
- Add the dissolved STTP and stir
- Pour the dissolved SLS and stir properly
- Add 5 teaspoonful of formalin and stir
- Dissolve your colour in water and add to the mixture
- Leave the mixture for some hours for the foams to disappear before packaging it
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Step Six: Package Your Liquid Soap
The packaging is very important in this type of business as that is what will differentiate you from the saturated liquid soap market. You will need to purchase plastic bottles of different sizes.
The prices of the bottles differ depending on the size and design you go for. If you are starting on a small scale, you could begin with used pet bottles and reuse them just like many people do. Thereafter, you can begin to purchase special bottles, then print a label that’ll be wrapped on it.
Importantly, if you are producing on a large scale, you will need to get a NAFDAC registration number. Else, your production process can be halted or your products banned from circulation. But, if you are producing for personal use, you may not need to deal with NAFDAC.
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Step Seven: Promote Your Business
There are recognised liquid soap brands Nigerians have come to trust. If you want them to look past those brands and choose yours, you will need to do a lot of marketing plus the branding you’ve done in step six.
One of the strategies you can employ to invade the market is to use the price penetration strategy. Obviously, the liquid soap business is profitable. You can make N15,000 from N5,000 liquid soap production. Therefore, you can reduce your price and approach supermarket owners to resell for you.
Also, advertise to everyone in your neighbourhood and encourage them to tell their friends about your product. Preferably, offer them a commission in return. That will motivate them to refer their friends.
Furthermore, take advantage of online stores like Jumia, Konga, Etsy, etc. Create an account with these platforms and reach your audience through them. One important thing to note is that the quality of your soap will either draw prospective customers or send them away. Therefore, take time to produce quality soap and ensure it’s not watery.
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Other ways to market your liquid soap include:
- Create social media presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc)
- Give freebies to prospective customers
- Connect with intending couples and event planners to suggest your product to them as gift items
- Place an advert on local newspapers
- Share handbills and flyers
- Reach out to hotels and restaurants for supplies
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Things To Note When Starting Liquid Soap Production
- Some of the chemicals used in producing liquid soap are harmful to the body. So, be cautious during production. Cover your nose, wear covered clothing if possible.
- When purchasing the chemicals, some portion may accidentally leak away and this may lead to a great loss. Therefore, treat the chemicals with utmost care.
- Before adding colour to your mixture, make sure the colour is completely dissolved because if not, it will show patches of the colour on some sides of your soap and that’s not good for business
- Don’t overuse the chemicals. Ensure you have accurate measurements as that will tell on the quality of your liquid soap. Moreover, your product needs to be safe for home use.
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Functions of Some of Liquid Soap Chemicals
- Soda ash works as neutraliser and builder for the soap
- Caustic soda serves as the base for soap production. It also functions as stain remover
- Sulphonic acid works as a foaming agent while SLS is a foam booster
- Nitrosol helps in thickening the soap
- Formalin is needed for the preservation of the liquid soap to maintain its foamy and thick nature
- STTP is also a builder and helps in softening the water used and suspension of oil in the soap.
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Capital Needed To Start
Actually, the required capital depends on the size of your business. If you are starting small, you can begin with as low as N10,000. If you are starting on a large scale, you can start with N500,000 to N1,000,000. In large scale production, you have to factor in the cost of rent, salaries, transportation, registrations, etc.
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In conclusion, liquid soap business does not need any formal training other than the basics you’ve learned here. However, you will be at a great advantage if you can develop and execute a good sales strategy.
All the best.
Share now with your friends who want to start this business. Also, share your thoughts in the comments if you already run a liquid soap business.
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