If you are ready to take your candle-making from a hobby to a business, there are several things that you will need to think about before leaping into it. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to creating your own business. However, there are certain professional standards that customers expect, which means that you may need to make certain changes to your process of making candles. This article will cover how to implement these as part of your daily routine.
What Does It Take to Make Candles a Business?
Your first question may well be what steps need to be taken for you to begin your new candle-making business. The answer is simple. Everything needs to change. This means that if you decide that you would like to make a living from candle-making, you will need to begin from scratch with all of your materials. Understandably, this can be expensive until you become more established and begin selling more candles, but it is a worthwhile investment. Just imagine what could happen if you have a successful business, and then all of your supplies end up going wrong because you didn’t realize that you needed to change the type or brand of wax or wick you are using. Instead, investing in new materials is a smart choice and could save money in the long run.
This also means that you will need to pay attention to safety from the start. When you go from creating candles for fun and family to making them as a business, you need to make sure that you halt the production of your current candle creations if there is something wrong with the wax or wicks. There is no use selling contaminated products because this could potentially result in legal repercussions. This is also an important thing to consider when making candles for friends or family members if you want to avoid any type of injury.
Where to Start?
To get your business off the ground, you need supplies. So, where do you begin with this? Well, for starters, looking into wholesalers is a good idea. Several candle wholesalers offer everything from raffle candles to prayer candle holders and tea lights to pillars of all sizes. You should have no problem finding what you need for a reasonable price if you simply search online and look around.
Candles come in many different colors, but you may not get such a wide variety of candle-making equipment such as mold containers or wicks. When shopping around, you should be aware of this because you will likely find that your local wholesalers only carry candles in a few colors. Many of the candles you will find start plain and require you to add color using dyes or paint. This isn’t always an issue, but it can make things a little bit more challenging to get started.
If you plan to continue your candle-making hobby after setting up a business, this may not be an issue for you. However, if you decide to start making candles purely as a money-making venture, then you will need to find a new place to store all of your supplies. Keeping them in the same area or closet is fine if this is what you normally do, but if you intend to use an entirely new storage system, it makes sense for you to keep extra candles on hand at all times as backup options. This could save time and money that may have otherwise been wasted.
Granted, these are some of the more important things to think about as you go from making candles for fun to a business. Many people have begun to sell homemade candles and have done quite well for themselves in the process. Take your time getting into the candle-making business for profit, and you will be able to make all different kinds of candles successfully at home.
The candle wholesalers will generally be able to give you suggestions on what color candles are most popular or which ones sell the best in your area based on what they have seen happening with sales in the past. If you know that certain colors sell much better than others, it makes sense for you to focus more heavily on this. For example, candles with a whitish tint are very popular for weddings, whereas other colors are not necessarily appropriate or wanted in that type of situation.
How Many Candles Should You Make?
Before opening up a candle business, you need to figure out how many candles you will be making regularly. Having too many candles in your possession when they are not needed could result in their deterioration due to extra exposure to heat or air. This can drastically shorten their shelf-life and hurt your bottom line, so it is important to prevent this from happening.
Candles that are too old should be thrown away. This is why you need to keep track of how many candles you have made and their overall shelf life. In this way, you know when it is time to get rid of some of the older candles. You should also be aware that you may want to remove these candles from your website and physically throw them away before their quality deteriorates even more severely.
A good businessperson will always try to make the most of their budget while also maintaining a realistic outlook on how much they can afford to spend regularly. The same goes for you as you make candles from home to sell them at various craft shows or other places where people are looking for homemade products.
Candles with different scents, colors, and other features placed into holders that come in presentation boxes will make the most profit overall as these are suitable for gifts. This simple concept can be executed successfully once you have the right mindset and an idea of what will sell better than others in your area or all over the country, for that matter.
The most popular fragrances will vary from place to place because some things work in one region and not others. Therefore, it makes sense to keep track of what is selling in your area because this is a good indicator of how well your business will be able to perform. Look at the competition to help you make wise decisions.
As you start making candles from home and selling them, it can be easy to get caught up in the act of making these candles and not making any money from them. It is important to know that this can happen if you do not have a business plan in place for your candle-making business before you start selling the candles.
Creating an effective business plan will ensure that your candle-making endeavor is profitable over time, rather than being just a one-off project that may not be able to keep generating a profit on its own. You need to find something that works well for your area and make the most out of everything you have at your disposal. Candle-making is only going to work if you put in the time and effort needed to make it profitable.
If you are serious about candle-making, you will need to know what all of your options are to make a plan that works best. This is why studying the most popular fragrances and colors and the typical type of boxes and holders used for these products is important. This allows you to create your candle-making business plan that can be carried out with ease and without any worries about hemorrhaging money and time.
As you begin making candles from home, you will notice that the process can take a lot of time. Therefore, you must stay organized and know exactly what steps need to be taken for your candles to turn out well. Some people enjoy candle-making, but others can find it too time-consuming because they also have other things going on in their lives.
Candle-making is a popular pastime because the overall result can be very beautiful. However, you will find that it takes time to get your skills up to make truly amazing candles. Therefore, if you cannot give this type of craft a lot of attention and focus, you should not be making candles regularly.
This is not to say that you will need to give up your candle-making hobby because it can still be very enjoyable, even if only done now and then, as long as you have realistic expectations. This means that if you do not make a lot of money from your sales, you cannot expect them to cover your personal expenses or even cover the cost of materials needed to make the candles.
Once you have created your candle-making business plan, you will need to get some boxes for the candles that you create. Make sure that these boxes are appropriate for the candles and do not get in the way of you selling your creations. When writing your candle-making business plan, make sure that you have an idea of how much you will need for each box so that you can purchase enough from a reliable supplier.
Candles can be packaged in several different ways, so you will want to consider what will work best for your business. You do not have to use plain boxes either. There are ample opportunities out there for creating unique candle containers that can catch the attention of potential customers. You can even use specially designed boxes and packaging depending on your candle-making business plan. When selecting boxes, you may wish to consider the following options:
Standard square or rectangular boxes made from sturdy paper will work best for candles if you are trying to save money. For example, plain white gift boxes can be purchased from many sources online and at retail stores. You can also look for plain colored boxes and save some money by not buying a lot of specially-designed packages.
Candle tins can be another great addition to your candle-making business if you are trying to sell products wholesale. Many people prefer the classic tin container because of its timelessness and its adaptability. Make sure that you do your research to find out about the best candle tins and buy from reliable sources online or at retail stores.
Novelty containers can also be considered for some of your candles, so that you can offer an added value to potential buyers.
Once you have created a candle, you will need to prepare it for its box. This includes ensuring that your candle is properly dried before packing it into the box of your choice. The last thing you want to do is place a wet or undercooked candle into a box because this can cause all kinds of problems. You do not want to have to throw away a box because it got moldy or otherwise damaged, so make sure that your candles are dry and ready for their boxes.
You can purchase candle boxes from several places, and you can determine the type that will work best for your needs. For example, if you are only making a few candles at home, you may wish to consider purchasing smaller candle boxes so that they do not take up too much space in your home.
Depending on how your candles are stored, you may also want to create dividers and other structures that will help keep the boxes in check, and you can easily locate certain types of candles when needed. Of course, this is just one way to organize your candle-making supplies, and there are others as well to consider.
Candle-making involves a lot of different materials that you may not think about before getting started. For example, you will need wicks for your candles, which are available in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Candles also require wax which can be natural or synthetic depending on what works best for the type of candle you are trying to create.
You can also purchase fragrances and essential oils that will provide a more pleasing aroma to them. For example, if you wish to make jasmine-scented candles, you could use oleoresin from the plant as an essential oil for this purpose. You can also purchase fragrance oils from several different places, such as specialty stores and even candle-making supply catalogs.
One of the most important aspects to consider when making candles is where you will get your wax. For example, beeswax is considered one of the best candle waxes you can buy if fragrances are not a top priority. However, beeswax candles can be pretty expensive, and you may wish to use soy or paraffin wax instead.
Candle-making supplies can be found in specialty stores as well as online catalogs that sell candle-making materials. Make sure that if you shop online, you are seeking out high-quality products. You may also wish to look for specialty stores that are located near you and consider taking a trip there if you have time on your hands.
You can also join online forums where candle-makers gather, or seek out groups dedicated to this activity in your area. Make sure that you keep in touch with other candle-makers to share information about the business, materials, and supplies that work best for you.
Once you have made the candles, it will be time to find a place to sell them. Make sure that your candle-making business plan includes the option of selling online as well as through face-to-face interactions with potential buyers at local stores or trade shows. It is important to get some exposure so that potential buyers will know that your candles are of high quality. You may also want to consider attending some trade shows in your area where you can display your products and meet new contacts who could become future buyers.
If selling online is part of your candle-making business plan, study the various ways in which you can do this. For example, you can sell your candles on eBay. In addition, you may want to consider selling your products on Etsy so that you can reach a wider audience of potential buyers by offering custom options for different types and sizes of candles.
If your candle-making business plan calls for a bricks-and-mortar space, then you will need to find one that is close to home or work. Take the time to estimate your sales potential and ensure that you have adequate room in your workplace to keep supplies for candle-making. You may also want to consider purchasing some commercial-grade equipment for use in your business if you are planning on selling in a store. However, ensure you have room for all of your supplies and equipment before you start purchasing anything. You will want to make sure that you have a plan in place for what to do with old candles, besides throwing them away, so that everything looks clean and organized when potential buyers visit your store or workspace.
You can also consider offering your services for projects or events. For example, you can make candles that match a specific theme or occasion for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. You should have the added advantage of creating custom candles based on customer needs so that it’s easier to sell them.
As you begin planning out your candle-making business, you will want to set up a website so that you can get the most exposure possible. Many new businesses rely on their website as a critical marketing tool because it gives potential customers information about what they do and how they can be reached.
As part of your candle-making business plan, you may also need to hire help. For example, if you are selling face-to-face, then a few extra hands will be helpful when it comes time to pack up and move the items to another location. When selling online or at trade shows, having someone else around who is able and reliable will make your life a lot easier.
Candle-making is a fun hobby, but it can also be turned into a successful business. Just remember that you will need to plan out how you are going to turn your hobby into a profitable venture. In addition, make sure that you have room to store supplies and equipment and have accessibility to other people who can help with the work. As you establish your candle-making business, be sure to start with a solid plan and plenty of room for growth so that it will last for many years.
Candle Business Do’s and Don’ts
Starting any kind of business is a challenging task, but if you are in the manufacturing sector for any product, it is especially challenging as there are many things to manage. Luckily, if you are creating candles or any other kind of wax-based product, it is relatively easy to start at home, and it isn’t a very complex process. You don’t need to deal with an overwhelming number of vendors, nor do you need to rely on a large team to get the job done. You can do everything from sourcing to manufacturing to selling, all as a one-person enterprise.
How exactly you go about this business enterprise will depend largely on your personal skillset and what you enjoy doing. For instance, when it comes to marketing and getting sales, if you aren’t a very tech-savvy person or just prefer selling directly to your consumers, you don’t need to feel like your lack of online marketing skills will limit you in any way. There are plenty of extremely successful businesses that don’t rely on their online presence to generate sales.
You also don’t need to feel limited by what is currently available on the market. The wonderful thing about business and art is that there is always someone out there who is going to resonate with your product. In fact, you don’t even need to start out with a particular consumer or a particular market in mind. You just need to get the ball rolling and get started with the process. Later on, you can streamline your service to meet consumer tastes, or you might find that you have a niche audience of your own that likes your products the way that they are.
Similarly, you don’t need to price yourself according to the market. The candle manufacturing business is a business, but it is also an art. The price you set is not only the price of your product, but it’s also the value that you give your creation. However, it’s best to stay away from extremes, at least initially, as that often confuses customers and makes them reluctant to buy. Pricing it too low or too high can be detrimental as you don’t need to price-cut the competition to make room for yourself. Overall, there is no problem with being slightly overpriced than the market or slightly under it. Just stay within a price range that customers won’t find intimidating.
Here are a few “Do’s and Don’ts” for business in general and a few important considerations for a domestic candle manufacturing workflow.
1. Keep Quiet
It’s great that you are finally taking the initiative and starting the passion project you’ve always wanted to, but nobody really needs to know. It doesn’t need to be advertised on your personal social media, you don’t need to call up that cousin you haven’t talked to in ten years to tell them about it, and it definitely doesn’t need to be discussed with colleagues at your day job. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share this news with people who genuinely care about you and people that you love, but overall, don’t make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. Remember, you are starting a business, and you don’t need negative energy or people judging you before you get anywhere. You don’t need the pressure, and you definitely don’t want to let your competitors know that you are gaining on them with maximum momentum.
2. Be Consistent
If this is your first attempt at business, it’s a lot like riding a bike. You are going to fall a lot. You will initially need some support, but if you can persevere through the initial phase, it will become a life skill that will never leave you. Secondly, don’t gauge your success according to others. We all learn at our own speed, and we all have our own unique way of managing a business. The main thing is to stay consistent and keep putting in hard work every single day.
3. Make It Measurable
Everything from the kind of products you want to sell to how much you want to profit to the demographic you want to sell to—make it measurable. This doesn’t mean you need to hit every single target, but if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Also, if you do happen to hit a target or achieve a milestone, it will act as a lane-check to keep you in line. Don’t get sidetracked by unforeseen success or failure. Keep your metrics in view and keep working.
4. Have a Plan
Going with the flow is not an option. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve, and you should have a fair idea of how to achieve it. Many people who become successful unexpectedly get so caught up in the good life that just a few months later, the same business that was powering their vacation is not even covering its own expenses. Have a clear plan and stick to it. If things need to be changed as circumstances change, then have the flexibility to adjust things on the go.
5. Engage With Customers
Sales are your lifeline, and customers make sales happen. Even in everyday life, we tend to want to interact and work with people we feel a personal connection with. If you can connect with your customers, that will play a big role in how much traffic you can generate. For a lot of businesses, the main source of sales is actually referrals. Even if you look at one of the biggest companies on the planet, Tesla, they spend absolutely no money on marketing. They rely completely on word of mouth, consumer interest, and a very high-quality product to attract customers. Moreover, Tesla also allows consumers to modify their cars according to their requirements. While you may not have many custom orders when you start off, having a good relationship with your clients can definitely lead to that.
1. Don’t Take Anything for Granted
Even if you have an employee, don’t depend on them. If you have a supplier, don’t rely on them to ship the product on time, order in advance. Always hope for the best but plan for the worst and make yourself as self-sufficient as possible. Whether this refers to manufacturing, selling, or even delivering the product, you need to have the resources and the skills to manage as much of the business on your own as possible.
2. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Don’t make a perfect plan: there is no such thing. Be open to making changes and learning as you go. If you keep getting caught up in the finer details, you won’t achieve the big goal. As long as something is getting the job done, it’s fine, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Many productivity experts are of the opinion that perfectionism is just another form of procrastination. Therefore, aim to get things done rather than getting them done perfectly.
3. Don’t Give Your Vendors Away
Keep your unique selling point secret. If you look at some of the biggest brands in the world, the reason they still exist is that their secret is still theirs. To create your products, you will be working with vendors that might be providing many other people with that solution, but you certainly don’t want even more people to have access to the resources you have. It’s not that you are limiting the vendor’s ability to grow, or you are dismissive of the people who ask you for assistance, but your vendors are the backbone of your product, so keep those close.
4. Don’t Have Only One Supplier
The pandemic was the perfect example of just how badly a supply chain can get interrupted. Ideally, you should have multiple vendors for each item so that you are distributing risk. However, this applies to many business areas, and you may not be able to afford this initially, and it may not even be feasible for the business.
5. Don’t Take It Personally
The customer is always right, and to make this possible, you need to separate yourself from the business. This will help you generate sales, learn from competitors, and learn from your own mistakes. If you can manage to look at everything that happens from a subjective point of view, and if you can dissect the good and bad lessons from it, you will learn more than any business degree could have taught you.
- Don’t work in an enclosed area. When wax evaporates, you don’t want to breathe in the vapor. Can you imagine having wax solidifying in your lungs? When working with aromas and scents, these things also create respiratory problems if you are continuously exposed to their fumes. In fact, you can lose your sense of smell in the long run. If possible, work in the open or in a large room where fumes can disperse. Ideally, the room should have good ventilation, and you should have an exhaust installed to help remove the toxic fumes from the area. Also, be sure to wear a mask.
- Do keep candle-making equipment separate from cooking equipment if you are working from home. Many of the tools used are exactly the same as what you would use for cooking, and mixing these up can be disastrous. When you are handling hot wax, it may look like it is dripping off the spoon or spatula, or your bowl may look like it is clean, but there is a very fine layer of wax that hardens onto the surface of the equipment you use. The last thing you want to do is to have wax in your food and upset your digestive system.
- Similarly, don’t throw water from the double boiler down the sink as it has liquid wax in it, and when it dries, it will block the drain. In fact, don’t dispose of the hot water anywhere in the house. The best option is to let it cool completely and let the wax particles solidify. This way, when you are sure that the water has been separated, use a strainer to filter the water as you dispose of it in the drain. Throw the particles of wax that you catch in the strainer into the bin. If there is excess wax stuck to the bottom of the bowl, you can scrape that off and throw it in the bin.
- Never try to melt wax over a direct flame. Wax fumes are explosive and can explode into a fire when they come into direct contact with a flame. The best and safest way to melt wax is through a double boiler system. If you don’t want to buy a professional kit, you can easily set up a double boiler on your own. All you will need are two pots or bowls. Put a tall, narrow pot into a larger, wider one and fill the large one halfway with water. Then place these onto the flame and place the wax in the smaller container. This indirect form of cooking will not only give you much better-quality wax, but it’s also a lot safer. If you are melting wax on a very small scale, you can use the same setup you use to melt chocolate for baking. It’s the same concept, just a bigger version.
- Don’t make the mistake of pouring hot wax into a cold glass container. First, it will crack the glass, and second, if it doesn’t crack the glass, when the wax dries, it will separate from the glass surface, leaving a very visible gap. Use warm glass heated in a warm bath to prevent air pockets. This way, when the glass and the wax cool down together, they will adhere to each other more efficiently, and you will end up with a professional-looking candle. If you are using plastic containers or a silicone mold, then you can get away with not heating the container, but for glass, make sure the surface has been warmed and dried.