Are you passionate about the perfect candle wick or always on the lookout for the freshest new soy-based scent for your home? If you are the person who can't walk past the candle aisle without investigating, launching your own candle company could be a career dream. Because candles are such a popular gift and a universal piece of home decor, beginning a candle-making business can be a rewarding and lucrative choice.
Candles enjoy a wider target market than some other goods and services since most people have at least one candle in their home. This is excellent news for candle-makers and can allow for a great range of flexibility in bringing your own candles to market. This article provides further details on what it takes to create a candle-making business and offers a step-by-step guide to successfully designing and marketing your own candle company.
Designing Your Own Candle Company
Like all small business owners, candle-makers need to take the time to carefully plan out their product line. Two vital decisions that you will have to make early include which types of candles your company will specialize in and where you will sell them. Which fragrance oils do you plan to use? Certain types of essential oils can increase the overall pricing you will need to place on your candles in order to make money from them.
Examples of candles you might choose to focus on include beeswax, paraffin, or soy candles. No matter which type of candle you choose, you will need to purchase at least one double boiler. This is the piece of equipment necessary to melt the wax down to a liquid form so that it can be poured. The standard price range for a double boiler runs between $48 and $200 and it may be necessary for candle-makers who are doing this full-time to have more than one on hand.
The question of where to sell your candle creations comes next. Will you be approaching major retailers like Macy's or do you plan to sell from home on Etsy or a platform like Shopify? Other great market avenues for candles include craft shows, farmers markets, and flea markets. You might also consider partnering with any local gift shops in your town that would provide the space to display your wares inside their facility.
Steps to Starting Your Candle Business
All great business ideas require the know-how to bring them to life. Candle-making is no exception to this rule and it is important to know what to expect before you begin. One crucial decision to make early is how central this business will be to your income. Will your new candle company be your full-time job or simply a side hustle? The answer to that question may inform the type of business structure you choose for your new business. The following sections offer insights into the legal, regulatory, and financial requirements of starting a candle business.
Legal Requirements and Necessary Permits
The first step toward legally launching your candle company is writing out a business plan. Your business plan needs to be as thorough as possible and take into consideration every predictable aspect of your startup that you can imagine. Naturally, some aspects of business don't go as planned, but the more detailed you can be in this stage, the less likely you are to struggle with unexpected challenges later. Here are a few items to include in your candle-making business plan:
- Business name: Visit the online site of your local secretary of state's office to see what business names are already taken. You'll want to choose a name that is unique, catchy, and also representative of your candle-making skills.
- Business structure: If you will be the only worker in your candle company, you can run your business as a sole proprietorship. If you would like your business to be kept separate from yourself at tax time, it is beneficial to register as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation.
- Startup costs: One of the most vital components of a successful new business is a strong budget. List out everything it will cost you to buy the equipment you need, rent any booths or other spaces you require in order to sell your candles (this includes a domain name for your online store), and all other expenses pertaining to the launch of your candle company. Utilizing professional accounting software like that available through Skynova can help you plan and manage your startup costs in an organized and understandable manner.
- Storefront/online: If you plan to keep a brick-and-mortar candle store of your own, you will likely need to obtain a certificate of occupancy. For online businesses, be sure to register your domain name as early as possible so that you can match it closely with your business name.
Candle-makers may need to register their company names with the local secretary of state's office and obtain a formal business license that allows them to sell goods. Most business licenses are handled at the state level but certain regions or townships may also impose city-based permit requirements that you will also be responsible for meeting. Check with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office to get details on what is required of a small business in your particular area.
The proper labeling of candles is regulated by the National Candle Association, as well as by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These governing bodies mandate certain verbiage that must appear on all candles relating to their natural flammability and special rules that pertain to certain forms of packaging, such as glass. Be certain that you have read and reviewed all of these expectations so that you can ensure that your candles are tested to meet requirements.
You will also need to take out business insurance for your candle company. This would be true for any small business that you began but special requirements may be in place due to the fact that the candle-creation field is based around the usage of fire. If your candle company will have employees other than yourself, you may also want to look into insurance coverage for them.
Finally, think about obtaining an employer identification number (EIN) if you plan on hiring employees or want to open a business bank account. This will also help the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognize your business at tax time. You may also want to take out a business credit card to build your company's credit history if you plan on taking out loans in the future.
Bringing Your Candles to Market
Although the target market is wide for candles, it is important for all fledgling candle-makers to realize that they are up against shipping giants like Amazon in the competition for customers. This means that your new business needs the strongest possible marketing plan you can muster. A large part of modern-day marketing is done on social media and all of the social media platforms should play a hefty role in getting your candle brand name out to the public.
Every startup needs its own website as a marketing start. There are many online platforms where tech-savvy candle-makers can design their own websites, such as Squarespace and Wix, but you can also assign this task to a freelancer. Check out sites like The Creative Group or Upwork if you need to enlist the help of a freelance professional in setting up your e-commerce site or creating a social media marketing strategy.
Of course, you'll also want to market your candles in person. Visit your nearest craft store and see if they have suggestions on where to place your goods. Pop into local gift shops, craft fairs, or any other place near you that emphasizes the work of local craft aficionados. Leave business cards everywhere you stop and get contact information for the people you meet. At the very least, you can ask them to sample your candles and then review them on sites like Google My Business or Yelp for Business.
Managing Your Candle Company
Creating homemade candles may seem like a relaxed industry but selling them professionally comes with many operational tasks. The day-to-day operations of your candle business may include everything from creating purchase orders for large quantities of soy wax to processing numerous order confirmations and sending out countless packing slips.
You will also be expected to keep up with the billable hours for any employees or freelancers you take on and manage your candle company's daily receipts, social media presence, and any email marketing you plan to do. Keep in mind that the size and scale of your business will dictate a great deal about your workload, as will the type of candles that you choose to make.
Being honest with yourself about how much work you can take on keeps you from overextending your company, which can lead to negative customer experiences. Utilizing customizable business templates offered by Skynova can help you keep ahead of demands and not get lost in the paperwork that comes with running your own business.
Get Expert Help Launching Your Candle Company
A candle-making business can be a creative and exciting way to make money. Making early decisions about what type of candles you will specialize in and how you will market them can keep you ahead of the curve in launching your startup.
For the rest, there is Skynova's accounting software, software products, and business templates. Don't drown your candle-making flame in unnecessary stress over bookkeeping. Check out Skynova today and enjoy professional support as you build your candle-making company from the wick up.