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How To Start Soap business in Nigeria



Starting capital – from 2.5 million rubles.

Soap is almost the only product in the mid-price category that has been successfully competing with all kinds of hygiene products, for example, shampoos , for the past few decades , and is doing it quite successfully. The assortment of soaps on the Russian market is quite wide. And even despite the high competitiveness in this market segment, the soap making business still remains promising and profitable for both investors and start-up entrepreneurs.

Products made according to a special recipe from natural ingredients can become your trump card for attracting audiences of different ages. This is because customers are more likely to opt for environmentally friendly hygiene products, and such products are quite difficult to find on the shelves of our stores. According to the latest data, the saturation of this market segment is no more than 42%. According to forecasts, the growth rate of demand for natural hygiene products (for 2018) will be more than 15% per year. In subsequent years, this figure will grow inexorably.

You can organize your own soap production, or you can work under a franchise of another organization. In the first option, you are independent from other manufacturers – your trademark will belong to you and only you. Of course, more start-up capital will be required:

  • Registration of an individual entrepreneur and a trademark (all this will take about 65 thousand rubles);
  • Creation of unique recipes for the technological process (it is advisable to expand the assortment as much as resources allow you to attract as large an audience as possible – start producing at least 20 different soaps);
  • Ordering advertising sources;
  • Search and purchase of equipment;
  • Finding a work space and much more.

The second business project is perfect for start-up entrepreneurs who do not even have basic knowledge in chemistry and related sciences, have limited start-up capital and rely on small production volumes.


  • Workroom requirements
  • Necessary equipment
  • Technological process
  • Working staff
  • Calculation of start-up capital. Advertising campaign. Payback period
  • Implementation
  • Video: Galileo – Decorative soap

Workroom requirements

To organize a production line for the production of soap, it is necessary to select the appropriate room. The required area is more than 65 square meters (including production workshops, office and warehouse premises). You will pay about 35 thousand rubles a month for renting such a territory. If you want to save on rent, find a room outside the city limits, while as close as possible to the city itself. Suburban workshops usually have a lower cost, plus everything, you will save on transportation services for both raw materials and finished products.

Necessary equipment

To launch the technological process, it will be necessary to purchase specialized equipment (the main manufacturers are the countries of the Far East, mainly China).

More information about equipment for the production of cosmetics, as well as soap, you can find in the article ” Selecting equipment for the production of cosmetics “.

The minimum complete set of the production line should contain:

  • High power production mixer for soap making;
  • Mill plant with 3 runners;
  • Soap molding machine;
  • Soap stamping machine;
  • Freezing equipment;
  • Soap cutting machine;
  • Metal platform (preferably steel);
  • Belt type conveyor;
  • Assembly line;
  • Recoil machine.

If you want to save on this cost item, you can find used equipment. At the same time, carefully inspect the installations for integrity and operability. Finding used ear equipment that will work properly is quite problematic. Plus, such installations will break down and fail more often, so we will need full-time repairmen – and this is an additional item of expenses. The choice is yours.

Technological process

If you are going to make expensive soaps from natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, you will need to spend money on creating colorful packaging. The classic paper or polyethylene wrapper is not suitable for this purpose. Such soap is most often packaged in plastic bags to preserve the aroma and beneficial properties. From above, the product is covered with craft paper (“craft” most often means manual work, higher quality of the product – although now this word is more widely used) paper, which makes the soap more aesthetic and marketable.

For the production of soap on a large scale, inexpensive raw materials are most often used:

  • Beef, pork, or combined animal fats;
  • The cheapest varieties of vegetable oils – palm oil is often used;
  • Rosin;
  • Organic fatty acids and so on.

Naturally, to call soap, which is made from the most affordable components, environmentally friendly and natural, you will not turn your tongue. The costs for the raw materials listed above will be about 40-50% of the total start-up capital. If you decide to include exclusively natural ingredients in the soap, the percentage of expenses for this item of expenses will increase to 70-75%. The production of 1 thousand units of ordinary toilet soap requires a material base in the amount of 125-150 thousand rubles, not taking into account the auxiliary costs for essential oils, vitamin mixtures, various cosmetic additives (plus another 30-40 thousand rubles).

The technological process of making soap on an industrial scale can be divided into 2 key stages: chemical and mechanical. The first stage (consisting in cooking soap) is carried out to obtain an aqueous solution of sodium salts (or potassium) organic acids and their derivatives. This production stage is based on the so-called “saponification” reaction – hydrolysis of an ester compound with alkali metal bases (sodium and potassium). Upon completion of this reaction, we obtain the potassium / sodium salt, as well as alcohol.

Crude fats are processed in specialized boilers for cooking using caustic alkaline compounds (mainly caustic soda – sodium hydroxide) – at the exit we get “soap glue” – a viscous mixture with a homogeneous consistency, which begins to thicken under the influence of low temperature. The composition of this glue is a soap base and glycerin. The percentage of acids can be up to 50 to 65%. This method of producing “sticky soap” is called direct.

After the resulting glue must undergo a thorough cleaning: the soap boiling process is completed by treatment with electrolyte substances – an excess of alkalis or sodium chloride. Under the action of the electrolyte, the mixture begins to exfoliate: soap of high concentration (“soap core”), containing no more than 55% fatty acids, “floats” to the surface. In the lower part of the container, a mixture of water, glycerin and other components (“soap lye”) begins to form. Very often, glycerin is additionally purified, and then it is again added to the soap solution or used for other purposes (for example, in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages and various confectionery products).

The soap obtained by the above operations is called “sound”. The process of separating the soap from the soap solution is called salting out, and this production method is called indirect.

These methods are used to make standard laundry soap (which is free of protein impurities and dyes, the concentration of the soap substance is quite high). To improve the quality characteristics of the product, as well as to reduce its cost, auxiliary fillers can be introduced into it: sodium salts, adhesives, starch paste. In the manufacture of all kinds of cleaning compositions, granular sand is added to liquid soaps, as well as greasy clays, which contribute to better cleaning by hand.

At the mechanical stage of the technological process, the previously made semi-finished product is mechanically processed: cooled, dried, auxiliary ingredients are added to it, finished and packaged. The soap core is rubbed on the rollers of the peeling machine – this helps to increase the percentage of fatty organic acids, the resistance of the future product to rancidity, drying, as well as resistance to temperature effects. After the peeled soap is pressed into rectangular pieces. Such a soap is considered the highest grade product: the proportion of fatty acids can reach 75%! If you add caustic soda during the manufacture, you get a solid soap, and if you add potassium hydroxide, you get a liquid one.

The percentage of water in toilet soap is significantly reduced – less than 13% (for comparison – in standard soap this figure can reach 32%), then various perfumes are introduced to obtain a certain smell, coloring, moisturizing and bleaching agents. Soap with moisturizing properties is considered a product, the percentage of vegetable oils in which is more than half of the total volume. For example, coconut oil foams well and is highly soluble in water. The higher the content of vegetable oils, the more cost the product will have. In addition, in the products of the highest price category, in order to improve the formation of foam, saponin obtained from the so-called “soap root” is used. This component will improve not only the foam formation of the soap, but also its solubility in water.

Various flavoring, preservative components, perfumery fragrances, dyes can be added to various formulations of standard soaps. This is done to give the product a more aesthetic and marketable appearance, a pleasant smell. They also help to increase the shelf life. In some cases, in the process of making soap, components are added for additional disinfection or foaming, as well as vitamins, medicinal and other additives.

One of the main components of soap is synthetic detergents (this function is performed by the class of surfactants), which have a good detergent effect and retain it even in hard and highly polluted water. In addition, rosin can be used in the soap making process. It is obtained in the process of processing the resin of conifers. This substance is a mixture of various resins. The percentage of rosin in standard laundry soap can be up to 15%, and in toilet soap – less than 9%. The high rosin content makes the soap soft and pliable.

In total, commercially produced soaps are mainly composed of the following ingredients: animal fats, vegetable oils, synthetic organic fatty acids, perfumery fragrances and coloring agents.

Working staff

To organize a production line, it is necessary to hire a working staff (about 6-8 people). The salary is about 75 thousand rubles a month. In addition to service personnel, you will need the help of a process engineer, accountant, managers and handymen. At first, you don’t have to hire a full-time designer, but use the services of a freelance designer.

Calculation of start-up capital. Advertising campaign. Payback period

The start-up capital required for the implementation of the soap production enterprise is at least 2.5 million rubles. Additional expenses – more than 350 thousand rubles per month. Advertising campaign – about 25 thousand rubles – placement of advertising sources in thematic publications, participation in various events, creation of your own website with a complete catalog. The last point is the most expensive – from 20 thousand rubles or more, the same amount is needed for his “PR”. But the Internet page serves more as a business card than a full-fledged promotion tool.

The cost price of a piece of soap weighing 100 grams from natural and environmentally friendly ingredients – from 25 rubles. Its minimum wholesale price is 65 rubles, and its retail price is over 120 rubles. Taking these figures into account, the payback period will be from one and a half to two years of regular work. The profitability of the enterprise is 35-42%.


The main sales channels for the soap made are pharmacy chains, specialized perfumery shops, souvenir shops, and beauty salons. For a small business operating in a small region, you can consider opening your own household chemicals store or renting a department in a shopping and entertainment center (in principle, any place with high traffic is suitable).

Galileo – Decorative soap

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