As we are a candle business ourselves, we love promoting the idea of creating your own small and local business. And if you're passion is candles, what better thing to start with?
Obviously, you should have some experience with making candles and that whole process, and if you have done so for several years, then you should consider starting your own candles business. It's something that you would have fun with and it can bring in some money for something you love.
However, many people are hesitant when starting a business. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered and it can be hard to get started. That's why I wrote this article, to get you moving in the right direction and give you pointers on what decisions you need to make and everything you need to take into account. If you are interested in starting your very own candle business, continue on below, because I give you all the tools you'll need to succeed.
This is the first thing that you must decide when starting a store, as it will be crucial to your business model. Do you want a store front where you can display your candles or an online store where you can reach customers all over the world?
The biggest thing to consider is the start up cost. Obviously, having a physical store will have so much more start-up and recurring overhead fees throughout. Alternatively, you could set up an online shop when its all said and done for around a hundred bucks and you could probably end up designing the site yourself through Shopify, as they are extremely easy to use. (That's what we use here).
I would personally recommend at least starting out with an online store. So many people shop online now that stores in person are starting to become a thing of the past. Yes, people do like going to candle stores in person so they can actually smell the products, but you will get a much larger customer base online. It is also so much cheaper that the costs don't even compare. Once you establish an online presence, then you can start to sell your candles to other physical stores, so people will be able to test your products in person before buying.
If you do end up going the route of having a physical store, I still think it is completely necessary to have an online shop as well. For how easy and cheap they are to setup, they are well worth it. You will instantly be able to get customers from literally any part of the country or world.
The next thing you need to determine is the second part of your business model and that is what your company's image will be. For example, here at CCF, we take pride in being a company of sustainability.
While we are fans of supporting the environment and would love if you do the same, you definitely don't have to. There are so many niche markets in candle making that you will be able to pick one that best suits your skills
Examples of Types of Products
There are many types of candles you could make. Like I said, you could go for higher-quality and an all natural route like we do for making soy candles, or you could even take it a step further and make beeswax candles, the most natural wax available. Just know that you would have to charge quite a bit as beeswax is expensive, but your niche market could be selling to wealthy customers who want the cleanest and highest quality burn.
You may also have unique candle designs, almost like sculptures if you are an artistic person. Customers would be buying your candles not just for the scents, but for the art aspect as well. Whatever type of product you choose, make sure you can do it well and one that people will love it. This perfectly ties in with the next section.
Whatever route you pick just know that there are already thousands of other candle companies out there. The big question is, what will make yours stand out? Only you can answer that question, but there are several things to consider.
The first is that many people will buy your candles if they are good quality and home made or hand crafted. Let's face it, as far as price goes, you will simply not be able to compete with the large candle companies. They are massive corporations who have much more resources and ways to cut costs. So your candles will be more expensive, so people will need a reason to shop at your store.
The handcrafted aspect goes a long way. Many times, candles from these big companies are made on an assembly line in mass production. There's no creativity or personalization, it's just a scent in a jar. Make your candles more than that. Whatever it is you do. Either with unique scents you make yourself, or the packaging, it doesn't matter, just make sure you stand out.
I'll use us as an example again. All of our candle containers are made from recycled glass bottles, which you don't see many companies doing. Pick something unique and go for it. If you're having trouble with this part, check out our article on 5 Creative Candle Making Techniques that could easily give you some inspiration.
It's hard to jump feet first into a brand new business and it definitely comes with its risks. The bottom line is that if you are going to create a candle business, your product must be good. There's already a lot of competition out there, so your candles must be professional grade.
One thing that I would highly recommend early on would be to host a candle party. This can be a simple get together with family and friends where you have all of your candles and invite people over to test them out and possible buy them.I've actually already written an article detailing all the steps you'll need to host a party like this, so check out that article here if you'd like to learn more.
As they are people you know and are close with, they may just end up buying the candles anyway to support you. But ask them for the honest feedback. Tell them your purpose, that you want to start a business and ask them if they think the quality would be good enough. This a cheap way to really see if people would like your product.
Trying Selling Them
The next step you can take after throwing a candle party is trying to sell your candles to a local candle shop. It's one thing if you can sell your candles to friend and family, but it is a completely different thing if you have success selling to strangers.
You probably won't have any luck selling to a major chain, but if there is a local shop near you, consider making up some of your finest candles and pitch a sale to them. If you offer to sell a large amount to them and with a good price, they just might bite.
All of this planning and talking is good, but at the end of the day what really matters is your execution. You know how to make candles, so I won't detail that, but many people are lost on where to buy their materials.
You'll need first to decide exactly what materials you'll need, and that will obviously be different for everyone based on their products. Once you have that decided, you need to buy your materials in bulk. This is because it will be much cheaper and you will, therefore, be able to turn a profit quicker.
There are a lot of sites out there where you can buy wholesale candle items in bulk. One popular site that I would recommend is CandleScience, as they have any candle supply you could think of and in huge quantities. This is probably the most versatile option, but it is only one in many. Yes, they have fairly good prices and it wouldn't be hard to make a profit off of it, but you may find even better ones. Just browse around for the materials you personally need in wholesale and see what you get.
Yes, starting up your own business requires a huge leap of faith and you may be a little nervous or cautious. That's ok and completely natural. Many people simply just don't know where to start when wanting to enter this field.
That's my purpose of this article; to give you all the basic tools and things to consider when starting your own business. If you do all of these things when first starting off, you should have no problem creating your own candle shop soon.
I included several links to our previous articles in my post, but we have even more on our blog that are great resources and can help you with all of these processes. Make sure you browse our blog and if you have any additional questions don't hesitate to leave a comment below and we'll get back to you soon.
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