Do you have a creative flair and a love of candles? If so, starting your own candle-making business could be the perfect way to turn your hobby into a thriving business. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps involved in starting your own candle-making business from home.
We'll cover everything from choosing the right supplies to marketing your business. So, whether you're just getting started or you're looking for ways to take your business to the next level, read on for our tips on how to start a candle business!
What Skills Are Needed To Run A Candle Making Business?
To run a successful candle business, there are certain skills you will need to have:
- An eye for detail
- The ability to follow directions
- Good organizational skills
- The ability to work independently
Today, candle making is more than just a hobby; it's a thriving business. To be successful in candle making, you need to have a passion for the craft and an eye for detail.
You also need to be able to work with a variety of materials and have good marketing skills. Most importantly, you need to be able to create high-quality candles that will appeal to customers. With the right skills, you can turn your candle-making passion into a successful business.
What Makes Your Candle Business Different?
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself when starting a candle business is “What makes my candles different?” That could be anything from the type of wax you use to the scent or even the shape of your candles. Once you know what makes your candles unique, you can start to build your brand around that.
For example, if you’re using a unique type of wax, make sure that’s clear on your website and in your social media posts. And if you have a signature scent, make sure that’s something you highlight to potential customers. Differentiating your business is essential to standing out in the crowded candle market!
Choose the Right Candle Supplies
The next step is to choose the right supplies for your candle business. That includes everything from the type of wax you use to the wicks and even the jars or tins your candles will be in. There are a lot of choices out there, so it’s important to do your research to find the right supplier for your needs.
You also need to make sure you have the right equipment for candle making. That includes a double boiler or melting pot, thermometer, and mold for pouring your candles. Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to start making candles!
Create a Business Plan
Now that you have your supplies and equipment, it’s time to start thinking about your business plan. That includes everything from your target market to your pricing strategy. If you don’t have a solid plan in place, it will be difficult to make your candle business successful.
Once you have all of that figured out, you can start working on the next step: marketing your business!
Marketing Your Candle Business
There are a lot of ways to market your candle business. You can start by creating a strong social media presence. That means regularly posting about your candles, running promotions, and even doing some paid advertising.
You should also consider exhibiting at local craft fairs or setting up a booth at a farmers market. This is a great way to get your candles in front of potential customers and make some sales.
Another option is to create a website for your candle business. This can be a great way to reach even more customers and give them the ability to buy your candles online.
No matter what marketing strategy you choose, make sure you’re consistent and always promoting your candles!
The initial costs of starting a candle business can vary depending on the scale of your operation. If you’re just getting started, you can probably get by investing in some supplies and equipment. But as your business grows, you may need to invest in things like packaging and labels.
You should also consider the costs of marketing and promoting your business. This can include things like social media ads, attending craft fairs, or even setting up a website.
While the initial costs of starting a candle business can be relatively low, it’s important to factor in all of the costs associated with running your business. That way, you can be prepared for anything!
First off, you’re going to need wax, whether it’s soy, gel, paraffin, or a mix of all three. You’ll also need wicks, as well as melters (a double boiler might be enough, but you should also consider industrial-grade equipment).
Next up, are the jars. Feel free to go with something a little more creative, though- something that originally had another use but has been recycled, perhaps. Maybe that’s your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Candle Making Supplies
You’re also going to need molds, fragrances, dyes, packaging supplies, and measuring instruments.
Because so much marketing is online nowadays, you’ll also need to think about how much you want to invest in a website, ads, and social media platforms.
If you’re launching a candle-making business, you’re likely the creative type, so maybe you’ll want to pay to promote some engaging video about your business (TikTok being the most obvious choice).
It’ll be hard to know how much of all of these assets you’re going to need. There’s not any way around it; there’s going to be some trial and error.
Not having enough materials can slow your business down, but having too many materials can often be just as inconvenient.
Business software is another cost you need to consider, which can range from $50 to as much as $500. But, as much as these costs may seem significant, it is a lot less than the costs required for businesses in other industries.
It’s possible that, by the time you’ve worked out all the other details, your business name has already sprung to mind. Maybe you’ve known from the start- or maybe the idea for the name was the reason you got into the candle-making business in the first place.
Bear in mind that competition will be brutal. A bland, simple name is not going to cut it. Don’t underestimate the influence that the name of your brand could have on the overall performance of your business.
It’s possible that you could have everything else ironed out and raring to go, but your brand would be doomed from the get-go because the name just isn’t catchy enough.
Think about what your brand represents, and what makes your candles unique. Try to channel these points into an effective name that not only rolls off the tongue but will stay in customers’ heads.
Acquire The Appropriate Permits, Insurance, And Licenses
One of the aspects of launching a candle-making business that you’ll probably begrudge is sorting out all the required licenses, insurance, and permits from the local and federal governments. But without all three, you won’t get far at all.
The exact requirements can vary depending on where your business is located, and the business structure that you’ve chosen. But at the very least you’ll likely need several separate business licenses, at the local, state, and federal levels.
It can be tricky to know where to start when you reach this stage, but consulting with experts should keep you on the right track.
Several other potential requirements are depending on your type of business. If you’re going to be hiring employees for your business, then you’re going to need an employee identification number (EIN) for tax purposes.
There are benefits to acquiring an EIN (employer identification number) even if you’re not planning on taking on any employees in the immediate future.
Another thing you’re going to need to look into, particularly if you are employing people, is business insurance. You may require disability insurance, workers' compensation, and unemployment, as well as commercial property and general liability insurance.
If you’re unsure what you’re going to need, consult with a business lawyer and they should set you straight. Having the right coverage is essential, especially considering you’ll be in the business of flammable materials.
With that in mind, you should also look into the fire codes in your area, and work out what you’re going to need in terms of fire coverage.
Link With Reputable Vendors
You may not need a ton of connections to get started in the candle-selling world, but if your initial foray is successful and your business starts to grow, you need to think about the supply chain, and how you’re going to go about profitably sourcing your supplies.
Research reputable, wholesale vendors, whether they’re in your immediate area or not. Only go with vendors that you know won’t mess you around, vendors that you know will be capable of delivering both the quality and the quantity that you require.
It’s also vital that the materials your vendors are supplying are of the highest quality that your business can afford.
A product won’t go far on the market if it’s been made with subpar materials, so let prospective vendors know what your expectations are, and if they can’t meet those expectations, go elsewhere. This is not the stage where you can get away with skimping.
Yes, when you’re launching a candle-making business, you will eventually get to the stage where you’re producing candles. Don’t go overboard at first, though.
Just because you might have a whole range of ideas for different kinds of candles doesn’t mean you should be attempting to produce them all right off the bat.
Start with the most basic kinds of candles, and if production is a success, then you can move on to your more complex ideas.
If all of the candles you want to produce are complex (whether they’re floating candles, pillar candles, votive candles, or they have many different colors and scents), you should still be starting small; make just a few of these candles at first.
Once you know that you’re capable of producing these candles to the standards you were hoping for, you can finalize your starting product line.
If your candle-making business sees success, you can introduce more candles, and eventually, you’ll be able to invest in more advanced equipment that will make the candle-making process a whole lot more efficient.
Test Your Candles
One of the most important parts of making your candles is the testing process. This is vital to learning how candles behave in certain ways.
You’ll be testing most of your initial candles, but once you’re up and running, you should be setting aside around four for every 85 or so candles that you produce.
Testing your candles will allow you to figure out whether a candle smells nice, whether it’s safe to burn, and which container you’re going to need for certain wick sizes.
It’s all about getting the most effective procedure nailed down as quickly as you can, and making the required corrections.
Decide Where Your Candles Will Be Sold
The next step in starting a candle business is selling your candles! There are a few different options for doing this. You can sell them online through your website or social media, in person at craft fairs or farmers' markets, or even wholesale to local stores.
No matter how you choose to sell your candles, make sure you’re pricing them correctly. That means charging enough to cover your costs and make a profit. If you’re not sure how to price your candles, there are a few resources available to help you out.
Sell Candles On Your Own Website
If you’re selling candles on your website, there are a few things you need to do to make sure it’s successful. First, you need to have high-quality photos of your candles. This will help them stand out and attract potential customers.
You also need to write clear and concise descriptions of your candles. This is your chance to sell potential customers on why they need your candles in their lives! Make sure you’re including important information like the scent, size, and burn time.
Finally, you need to choose the right platform for selling your candles. There are a lot of different eCommerce platforms out there, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that’s right for you.
Sell Candles On Etsy
There are a wide number of online marketplaces, a lot of which are tailored to handmade products specifically. The most popular example by far would be Etsy, a site that makes it very easy to list and sell your products.
The great thing about Etsy is that it’s already a well-established platform with a huge number of potential customers. That means you can get your candles in front of a lot of people with very little effort on your part!
The downside to Etsy is that there is a lot of competition. The best candle makers use high-quality material and are well-priced to stand out from the crowd.
Sell Candles In Person
If you’re selling candles in person, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to have a great display setup. This will help attract potential customers and make your candles look more appealing.
You should also have a good selection of candles to choose from. This way, potential customers can find the perfect candle for them. And don’t forget to bring along some business cards!
Finally, you need to be prepared to answer any questions potential customers might have. This includes things like the scent, burn time, and price. Be sure to know your products inside and out so you can make the sale!
Sell Candles At Retail Stores
Another option for selling your candles is wholesale. This involves selling your candles to local stores or businesses. The benefit of this is that it gives you a wider reach and allows you to sell your candles in bulk.
But before you start selling wholesale, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure your candles are high quality and meet the standards of the stores you’re selling to.
You also need to be prepared to sell in large quantities. This means having enough inventory on hand to meet the demands of your customers. Finally, you need to negotiate fair prices with the stores you’re selling to.
Pricing Your Candles
As we mentioned before, it’s important to make sure you’re pricing your candles correctly. That means charging enough to cover your costs and make a profit. But how do you know what price to charge?
There are a few different things you need to take into account when pricing your candles. First, you need to figure out your production costs. This includes things like the cost of wax, wicks, fragrance, and packaging.
You also need to factor in your time and labor costs. How much time does it take you to make each candle? How much do you pay yourself per hour? You should also consider any other overhead costs, like your website or shipping.
Once you have all of that information, you can start to figure out a price for your candles. A good rule of thumb is to triple your production costs. So if it costs you $100 to make 100 candles, you should sell them for $300.
But ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how much to charge for your candles. Just make sure you’re taking all of the costs into account and charging a fair price!
Acquire Funding For Your Business
It can be hard to grow your candle-making business by any significant amount if you don’t have the money to do so. As demand increases, so will your expenses; production, supplies, marketing, legal counsel, insurance, etc.
You may be going to need to acquire funding from a third party, and there are a few different options.
One of these options would be business lines of credit, which are more flexible than standard business loans. This would allow you to draw money from a set amount, only when you need it.
Business credit cards are another option, and you might want to consider this even in the earliest stages of launching your brand.
Far less credit history is required to open an account like this, and it’s essentially a loan that’s free of interest if you pay off the initial balance before their introductory offer (which tends to be 0% APR) has come to a close.
At that point, variable APR would set in.
You may also consider equipment financing, the purpose of which is exactly how it sounds. If you’re using equipment that costs more than your business can afford, you can take out a loan to buy equipment specifically. This equipment would then be used as collateral for your loan.
Final Tips For Starting A Candle Making Business
If you want to start a candle-making business, do your research and make sure that you have a good product. Utilize online resources to help market your candles, and make sure that you are always looking for new ways to improve your business.
With some hard work and dedication, you can create your own candle business successfully. Are you ready to start burning up the competition?