How to Start a Successful Soap Making Business in Nigeria

The importance of soap cannot be over emphasized. Soap is an integral part of our daily lives and they come in various colors, sizes, fragrances, shapes.
Quality products easily stand the test of time and are daily consumables. Soap is used for personal hygiene, washing cloths, cleaning dishes or dirty surfaces.
The business is highly profitable because Nigeria has a huge market of over 160 million people. This provides a good platform for profit making if properly utilized.
Soap making
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Soap Making Business
Why Start a Hand Made Soap Business
The simple fact is that soap making is profitable. However you face serious competition from established brands.
In Nigeria huge conglomerates run the soap business. But there is still room for small scale manufacturers.
To succeed you need to focus on a niche and produce high quality products. Make sure your products are sold at reasonable price.
The packaging, branding is very important so make it attractive and easy to identify. Slowly build a customer base through promotions, discounts, local advertisement.
To start small you need basic tools readily available in the open market. Another advantage is the low startup capital, home practicability. You can also operate alongside your regular job part time or full time.
  • soap making is profitable
  • focus on a niche
  • produce high quality products
  • sell reasonable price
  • create an attractive product
  • you need basic tools
  • low startup capital
  • home practicability
  • part time or full time
Variety of Soap
There are two general categories the hard and soft soap. The presence of hardening agent produces the hard soap.
To start the business you need to know the different types available in the market. They are differentiated based on ingredients and manufacturing process.
Different types are transparent, glycerin, medicated soap. Others are guest, beauty soaps, novelty, perfumed soap, black soap.
The black soap (Dudu Osun) is made from natural ingredients like aloe vera, palm kernel oil, she butter, honey. More types of soap include antibacterial soaps, laundry, dishwashing detergent, cleaners.
Different Types of Soap
  • transparent
  • glycerin
  • medicated soap
  • guest
  • beauty soaps
  • novelty
  • perfumed soap
  • black soap
  • antibacterial soaps
  • laundry soap
  • dishwashing detergent
  • cleaners
Soap Making Equipment
The equipment you need depends on the size and scope of the business. Basic tools are soap cutters, melting tanks, drying trays, soap molds.
You need measuring tools, weighing equipment, safety equipment, storage tanks. More include mixing pot, scale, soap shaper, mixers.
Measuring tools are used to get precise measurements while Immersion blender is used to mix the ingredients. It is important you wear safety gear like gloves, goggles, boots, and apron. This is because you work with some corrosive chemicals.
  • soap cutters
  • melting tanks
  • drying trays
  • soap molds
  • measuring tools
  • weighing equipment
  • safety equipment
  • storage tanks
  • mixing pot
  • scale
  • soap shaper
  • mixers
  • safety gloves
  • goggles
  • boots
  • apron
Soap Ingredients
The type of soap dictates the ingredients used in the manufacturing process. Common soap ingredients are fats, oil, dye, lye. Others are shea butter, canola, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil. Others are different preservatives, colorants and base elements.
Develop a Soap Recipe
It is important you develop your own soap recipe. There are lots of resources to gather information on different ingredients and mixtures.
Learn through books, online courses, internship, and apprenticeship programs. Learn through vocational training center, seminar or a personal tutor.
The quality and efficacy of your product is the selling point. Invest in product development, standardization, quality control.
Soap Manufacturing Process
To make soap you need to first develop a recipe and assemble the ingredients. Make sure you wear protective gear then measure ingredients accordingly.
Mix your ingredients at same temperature and constantly check the temperature. Pour the mixture into prepared moulds and cover. Leave to set for 24-36 hours and unmold the soap. If your mold is in long bar form you can cut when soft into desired shape.
You need a manufacturing license to produce soap. The product should have a National Food & Drug Administrating number.
Register the business as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship. You need tax identification number, health insurance cover. There are also safety and environmental issues guiding the enterprise.
Sell your product in your immediate locality and use appropriate branding to differentiate your product. Offer promotions, discounts, and community based activities to introduce the product. Use word of mouth, family, friends and print medium. Make sure the price of your product is competitive.


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