So there are some of you wondering...what's involved with starting this type of business? Well, let me say....ALOT. Its not something that can be taken lightly and the ol' "I'm just going to whip up one kind of soap and sell lots of it" attitude will kill your business before it even starts. It is HARD work. 90% of it is business and the other 10% is making the actual product. Not to mention the time of a year or more before even considering you have a good enough recipe to sell! I have mainly just shared on this blog the 10% of what's involved. (I'm hoping to do a tutorial soon on how lotion is made.) Now, just to touch on the 90%. Here are some things of "what's involved".
*Register a fictitious business name with the county
*check on business license/permit
* check on local zoning laws
*Register your business name through the state and ask about a license
*get a sales tax #
All in the meantime you're working on product, logos, labeling, packaging, formulations/recipes, business plans, inventory, and supplies.
Some things to consider:
Do you have product liability insurance and do you want personal liability insurance? Yes, these are 2 totally different things! Product is if your product harms a person and they want to sue you. Personal is if for example someone is shopping in your home and they slip and fall, they get hurt and want to sue you for their damages. Also, if you are going to use your car for your business, do you need to look into different car insurance policies?
*Get a business account.
*get a good book-keeping system and accounting software
I actually went with Soapmaker 3 pro edition and it is VERY detailed. It keeps track of my inventory, when my supply is low to reorder, does my lye and fragrance calculations, tracks my invoices, prints customer receipts, and even calculates the cost of my materials and labor to give me the price of the bar of soap. For the price, I'm very impressed with it.
*Find a tax professional who will be available to give you answers to any tax questions you have
*Check FDA requirements and lINC codes for labeling.
This is just lightly touching on some things of "what's involved". There are a TON of stuff involved with a craft and home business. And, depending on what your craft is, there are laws and requirements for each thing. For example, if you are doing a craft with wool, there is special labeling. Children toys have special requirements. Kneedlework with yarn has special requirements by law. Check Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Information Services.
I'm not much on quoting other people, but I have to quote Maria Given Nerius for she says this the best and all of us can pretty much say "YEAH, THAT!"
"I wish I could tell you that crafting is considered an important and highly respected profession. But that impression might lead you to stumble. I have a resume that contains seven pages of published work listing my more than 500 designs in print and my own television segment on a national cable network. But when I tell people I'm a professional crafter, nine out of 10 respond by saying, "How cute. Must be nice to sit home all day, making crafts." And my husband and family wonder why I don't have a big ego. If you hear comments like this often enough, you'll want to pull your hair, hold your breath until you turn blue, and pitch a temper tantrum. So much for professionalism! I've learned over the years to smile and tell all who are listening that indeed I have the best of all worlds as a sole proprietor. I'm a small business owner who has the freedom of creativity and expression while earning an income from my crafting."
There is much more to a craft and home business than "sitting and making a craft". It is hard work. You have to be able to balance your time properly. This is challenging with small children at home, a husband, homeschooling, and so many other things in our lives. It is a job. But, its one I'm loving. I'm teaching my children, my husband is getting involved making it something we have together, and I'm able to do this from the comfort of my own home with my children. :)
Stay business savvy!