Are you a rising entrepreneur, interested in a new challenge? Or perhaps a candle fanatic who has never taken that next step to turn it into a business? If you are trying to learn how to start a candle business then this may be the place for you.
Selling candles is a great market to get into. You can start with little funds and you can do it on your own schedule, working for yourself. Or maybe you’re more enticed with the candles themselves; the fragrant, beautiful decorations that can add that missing touch to any room. Candle-making is truly a venture worth pursuing, but how can you turn that journey into a profit?
Today I’ll be going over everything you need to know before starting a candle business and then how best to go about doing it.
While jumping straight in and getting started immediately may sound enticing, there’s some information that should be considered before you start your small business. For example, how much does starting a small business cost? The answer, it turns out, depends on you. The actual cost to start your business ranges from anywhere between $9,500 and $78,000. Some of the important things you’ll need to spend money on are:
- Insurance and other legal fees – $2,000
- Software – $300
- Equipment – $3,000
- Supplies – $3,000
- Permits and licenses – $400
Besides monetary issues, however, there are some other things worth discussing. Firstly, before getting into the candle market, it’s important that you yourself have a strong grasp on candle production. Even if you have the best business plan and the best marketing available, your business will still fail if the candles aren’t up to par, so make sure that they are. Furthermore, having a good idea of what your brand is going to be can be exceptionally helpful when sharpening your skills, which leads me to step one of starting your business:
Branding may be one of the most fundamental aspects of starting any business. If you want people to remember you, you have to do something to make your business stick in their head above others. Start thinking about this as soon as possible because it might take some time to come up with good ideas. Start asking yourself questions like:
- What kind of candles do you want to produce?
- What do you want to name the business?
- What color schemes, logos, or other visual branding tools do you want to use?
- Do you want to have unique candle holders?
Another great option for branding is finding your business’ selling point. An example of a selling point could be your scents, your wicks, or even your decorative candles. Basically, your selling point is just what makes your business stand out from others. All of these things contribute to branding. Establishing a unique but not overbearing brand that keeps customers coming back is very important. No matter how good your candles are, if nobody gives them a try, it won’t matter.
Marketing is just as, if not more important than branding. If you want your business to have a fair shot at succeeding, marketing is essential. There are a lot of ways to market and advertise your candle business; there’s social media marketing, paid advertising, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing. The options for marketing are limitless, however, there are some key factors that can play into how effective these advertisements actually turn out to be. For example, if a user does click on the advertisement, what will they be greeted by? A white page with a buy now button with no reviews or information? Or a well-designed, multi-layered, functional, and fast website that gives the user faith in you and your candles.
Advertising is only one part of marketing, and arguably the easiest. If you want your candles to get popular, you have to get a website, design it well, build up reviews and build loyal customers. Overall, as long as your product, website, and advertising are good, you should succeed, even if it takes time.
Develop a Plan
There are tons of great plans out there for how to start your candle business, I’d recommend figuring out the best for you depending on your different variables, however, I’ll be going over some of the most important steps you’ll probably want to be taking.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a business plan. While it may be boring, and even difficult, making sure that you have a business plan before you open your business is essential. This includes choosing your name, your entity, and your products.
Next, you’ll need to get the required licenses, permits, and insurance. Again, this step is boring but essential. Ensuring legality in all regards is paramount, and insurance could be the factor that saves your business from shutting down. While this step may be both tedious and pricey, it’s important nonetheless and paves the way for future steps.
After that, you have to decide on a way to sell your products. Will you sell through your website? Open your own storefront? You could even sell at the local farmers market, and you can do all of these at once! The point is, you have to know where you want to sell your goods and decide how you’ll begin working towards that goal.
You’ll also have to figure out funding. If you want to set up your business it’s going to take a startup fee. Where you get that money is largely up to you. You could start with SBA microloans or a business grant. You could also use business credit cards. If you lack equipment, it might be a good idea to get equipment financing which is a type of loan specifically to purchase equipment. There are lots of ways for you to secure the funding needed to start your business, but it’s important that you find the best one for you, so make sure to look over the options carefully and decide accordingly
The last step before marketing is setting up your workspace. It’s important that you have an efficient place to make your candles before you begin marketing. The manufacturing space could be in your basement, or it could be in a privately rented space. Whatever your solution is, it’s vital that you set up your space so that there’s a flow.
Now, comes marketing. At this point in the process, you’re ready! Begin marketing your business, and now, the real work begins. When it comes to marketing make sure you’ve identified your selling point or what makes your candles better than others. Do they smell better? Longer? Or are they more environmentally friendly? Maybe they have a specific cause like a charity that they are linked to? Whatever it is, some kind of selling point is essential, you have to give people a reason to want to buy your candles.
If the workload isn’t getting too overwhelming on the production front, hiring employees to make your candles might not be the best option for you. Instead, consider hiring a professional marketer. The marketer will help you build your business, and as it grows, you can focus more on employees if the need arises.
How to Make Your Candle Business Successful
The steps above are good ways to start a candle business, but what about actually maintaining one, and ensuring that it remains profitable for years to come. The following are the most essential steps to begin growing your business and turning a profit.
The most important part is finding your niche. Having your specific selling point. Defining your niche can take time, but once you’ve identified it, the rest is easy. Part of this is knowing and learning your market. Your niche will only be effective if it’s something that the customers want too. When it comes down to it, this step is just knowing your market and planning accordingly.
Come up with your business name and other solidify other branding aspects. A great idea is to involve your friends or family in this step. If you’re trying to find an identity as a business, they could be the most reliable source for how to come up with something that suits you and establishes a good identity for the company.
Start with a small product line, and expand over time. As long as you have a selling point that people want and good marketing, the rest will work itself out. Focus on making your candles and success is likely.
When it comes to where you sell make sure you are making the right choice for your business. This decision must be well thought out as it defines your company. However, if you can do this, once again, the rest will work out for you in your favor.
The steps above can provide guidance for how you can start your candle business, but, depending on your personal business, adaptations will probably need to be made, don’t treat this as a bible for your business because, in truth, it’s more of a general guideline. However, so long as you focus on the core talking points throughout the article:
- Know your market – define your niche
- Create a brand name and identity for your business
- Start with a small product line
- Carefully choose where to sell
So long as you focus on these key concepts and consider hiring a professional marketer to help with that aspect, success is all but guaranteed. Good luck! I’ll see you in newspaper headlines as the next great candle business entrepreneur.