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Employing people

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  • Employing people

    I am thinking of employing a couple of people to help me make my soaps and other products but at the same time don't want them to know the recipes etc., as my products would be worthless if it is common knowledge do I work around this? your assistance would be much appreciated...

  • #2
    I know it's very different but my DH works for an engineering company where they are market leaders in their product and he had to sign a contract to say he won't use or pass on any knowledge outside of the company...and that includes for a product he was instrumental in developing.
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    • #3
      Thanks NattyNetty, I was wondering about this too...I wonder if there is a simpler way?


      • #4
        My husband has to do that too. There's a word for it that you could google if I could remember what it was....

        Oh her you go


        • #5
          Alternatively or as well as - instead of using measuring jugs and weighing scales use unmarked scoops of different shapes and sizes this way employees wont know exact amounts of ingredients. The scoops would need labelling somehow so they knew which scoop to use for what. The different shapes and sizes of scoops would stop them from being able to just work to ratios.
          Non-disclosure agreements are a good idea but how would you actually proove someone was using your recipe without it costing an awful lot of money? I'd try to make it so that the soap could only be made on your premises using your equipment. That way if any of your employers starts up a soap business in the future you can be confident they aren't using your exact recipes.

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          • #6
            Decant the ingredients into new containers and add your own labels:

            smell 1 +
            smell 2 +
            Base liquid 1 +
            Powder 7 +
            Colour 23 mixed and poured into
            Mold 19
            = The Pink Rose Soap

            and so on. That way they'd never know what they were mixing!

            I know that a few of the big food/drink manufacturers do this: Instant Mix 1 plus Red Glop 3 = Coca Cola, that sort of thing!
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            • #7
              I considered that Stef but then wondered where she'd stand with Health and Safety as chemicals would be involved but I think as long as the appropriate health warnings were clear on each container it probably wouldn't be an issue - would need checking out though to be on the safe side.

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              • #8
                Thanks guys this is very helpful. I think coding this way is an excellent idea, like you said they wouldn't know what they are mixing. But of course there will be sufficient warnings on lye mixtures etc., Thank you so much for taking the time to respond x


                • #9
                  Would they not simply look on your website or your labels if they REALLY wanted to know your recipes? I don't mean to sound mean but surely it's a bit doubtful that you'd be asking them to make something so extraordinary that you'd be the victim of industrial espionage of this kind...although I suppose a non-disclosure agreement might be a good safety net...but would you really be prepared to spend thousands sueing someone for breach of contract?

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Bath Bomb - we employ people to help us with our soap business.

                    As any soap maker will know, making the soap is the easy bit, it is the wrapping and packing that takes the time. Making a 50kg batch of soap takes little time - wrapping it takes hours and hours.

                    We employ a bank of people who all work less than 16 hours per week, that way many employment laws are avoided, and I don't have to pay into their pension.

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                    • #11
                      A list of ingredients on the label is not the same as the recipe....or do you all have to list the specific recipe (amts.) on your labels?? Surely not!

                      I think also that it's a matter of Raleena wanting to keep her exact recipes, that she has worked to develop, protected. That's quite reasonable and understandable.

                      Jane (greannancrafts) said: We employ a bank of people who all work less than 16 hours per week, that way many employment laws are avoided, and I don't have to pay into their pension.

                      Is that okay to do?? Should you state this publicly? It sounds risky!

                      bathbomb said: although I suppose a non-disclosure agreement might be a good safety net...but would you really be prepared to spend thousands sueing someone for breach of contract?

                      Actually, if they are found guilty, don't THEY have to pay the legal costs you incurred suing them? I think the non-disclosure agreement is a deterrent more than anything else. And who knows...maybe raleena HAS discovered something unique!!
                      Last edited by removed10; 30-07-2011, 04:05 AM.


                      • #12
                        I agree with Jane - making the soap is the easy bit. If someone working for you wanted to make soap on their own, they will and they will do what you did [ play around with recipes and ingredients until they come up with the one they like best.

                        And packaging is so important in selling a product too. If you need staff to help you make more/sell more could you get friends family to help out?



                        • #13
                          Susan, In UK you can work up to 16 hrs per week or you can employ someone up to 16 hrs a week without getting involved in employment tax, National Insurance etc., etc., and it is all legal and above board.
                          God helps them that help themselves.


                          • #14
                            I agree with Susan, a list of ingredients on the labels is not the same as having the recipe, they may too use too little or too much of something and it won't be the same recipe as's fine to experiment and figure this out for themselves but I have put in a lot of time into experimenting with these recipes and perfecting them. Not quite sure I want to share them yet I have got excellent feed back from people who have been using handmade natural soaps for a while as well and phone calls saying there eczema/cracked skin (one claimed to have cracked skin that even blead) went off in less than a week, for me my recipes are something special and unique as every soap maker uses their own quanties and recipes unless they are using recipes off the internet or books, which is why some soaps work better than others. Thanks guys for your lovely responses x