One of the great things about candle making is that if you like it, it can quickly change into a part time or full time business. If you are a candle making crafter and you want to experience the benefits of an entrepreneurial life why not try turning it into a business.
Benefits of having your own candle making business are:
- You are your own boss
- Do the job you like and benefit from keeping the profits
- Build up your own business
- Have the flexibility to spend more time with your loved ones
- Control your own destiny
Candle making and crafting is one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK. Each year sales of candles and candle supplies continue to grow and it is easy to understand why candle making is such a great business opportunity. The advantages of starting your own candle making business include:
- Enter a vibrant, expanding market: A recent survey found that over 65% of all UK households used candles. There is a massive demand for people wanting to buy handmade products that have been locally made. If you sell your own handmade branded candles you will be able to tap into this demand .
- Low start up costs – It is easy to start up a candle making business because it does not cost too much money. You can start with a small work area and a few basic supplies.
- Good profit margins – Candle making has great profit margins – You can sell your candles online, at farmers markets or through local gift stores.
- You are part of a community – When you become a candle maker you become part of a massive caring community. People will give you help and advice and you can benefit from other people’s knowledge.
Tips On Setting up your Candle Making Business
The first thing that any new business should do is to create a business plan. It is a great way to plan a clear path forward and helps you focus your thoughts fully on what you want to achieve and where you want to go with the business. Think of it as the platform for deciding upon your brand and it laying the foundations for future success.
A lot of people are scared by the term ‘business plan’ – you should not be. It is simply putting down your business ideas down on paper and how you are going to carry them out. Remember this is not set in stone – as your business evolves so will your business plan – think of it as a ‘flexible blueprint’.
Develop your idea
Think of what you want your business to be and why customers should use you.
Be Clear What Your Target Market Is
One of the most important things of developing a brand is to determine where your new business will fit in the overall candle marketplace. You must decide where your candle will fit in one of these three segments of the candle market place:
- Prestigious or top-end: This is for luxury stores that are able to charge high prices. In most cases candles sold in the top-end of the luxury market are perceived as prestigious products and have expensive packaging and fragrances.
- Middle of the market: Here you will find candles that are at a more affordable price point and sold in locally owned boutiques and local gift shops. These candles also have very good packaging and fragrances and brand and image are also important.
- Mass-market: Here you will find candles sold in discount retail stores and these candles will usually have less expensive candle containers and candle packaging.
When deciding which segment of the market you want to target, you need to think who your candle buyer will be. From this you can determine what sort of candles they will buy and more importantly how much they will be prepared to pay. That then gives you a good starting point for what candles to make and what packaging to use. Remember your business will evolve over time and because you are in charge you can change direction whenever you need to.
What is Unique About your Candles
When you have decided what segment of the candle market that you are going to target, you can then decide on what will make you unique. You can do this by:
- Create your own fragrances
- Brand each candle with its own clever name
- Give back – donate a percentage of your profits to a local charity
What you are aiming for is to develop a unique range of candles that customers identify as being yours and as a result build up brand loyalty.
Have Your Own Candle Brand Name
Come up with a good name and logo for your candle making business. Think about what colour schemes you will use and try and carry this through into your packaging. Make sure that the name you have chosen is available to buy as a domain name and remember to register it as a trade mark. If it is already trademarked you cannot use it.
Set a Realistic Startup Budget
It is important to set yourself an affordable budget and stick to it. Work out how much your candle making supplies will initially cost, add on any equipment you may need and other overheads. Also remember that you do not work for free – factor in a wage for yourself as well.
Decide on What You Will Make First and Prices
When you first start making candles you should concentrate on two or three different candles and not make too many different candles. That way you can perfect your candles and keep everything manageable. Use family and friends as sounding boards – ask them what candles they like and how much they would pay for one. Then carefully cost out each candle – include materials and also your time and then decide on what price you would then need to sell it for to make a decent profit. Remember that you are not a charity – make sure that you price your candle at a price that reflects the hard work and effort that you have put into it.
Work Out Where You Will Sell Your Candles
Now for the fun part – after all of your effort and hard work you can start to sell your candles. The three easiest markets to sell to at first are:
- Farmers markets, craft fairs and local gift shops
- Online marketplaces like Ebay and Etsy
- Your own website store