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How To Start a Candle Making Business the Profitable Way

how to start a candle making business
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If you’ve ever found yourself asking “Is the candle making business profitable?”, if you’ve been growing an interest in candle making, or if you’re considering whether or not the candle making business could be a good opportunity for you, you’re in the right place.  Here, we’ll be discussing how to start a candlemaking business. We’ll also be discussing:
  • Some key statistics about the candle making business that should validate whether it’s a product that has sufficient demand
  • Helping you to see the potential in the market for a candle making business
  • Talking about the systems that would need to be in place to run a successful candle making business
  • And, I’ll be giving you my recommendations for where you can learn how to get the recipes and processes right to run a profitable candle making business
If that sounds good to you, let’s get started…

Facts That Make a Candle Making Business a Good Option

7 out of 10 US households use candles.  (Source: Candlescience) Candle sales are at $3.2 billion per year. (Source: National Candle Association) Depending on your target market, you can sell candles anywhere from $5 and up.  Candles can be sold for more than $22 in high-end markets. (Source: Candlescience) Google Trends shows a consistent trend of people searching to buy candles online:

how to start a candle making businessStep 1: Learn The Candle Making Technique

Candlemaking is a skill.  There are natural versus unnatural materials, various scents, balancing scent quantity to customer satisfaction, adding color and design, and even designing the wax with different shapes, print overlays, or color combinations.  Candlemaking is an art and can be very exciting! Even if you think candlemaking looks very easy, you still want to do your due diligence before selling your handmade product.  You need to make candles and decide on:
  • What wax you’ll be working with: Beeswax, palm wax, soy, or paraffin
  • The color quantity and variations you’ll have (tie die, layering, designs, etc.)
  • What scents you’ll be working with
  • The shapes you’ll make or containers you’ll use
  • and other specifications that will distinguish your brand

Step 2: Stabilize your Cost and Quality

If you’ve ever wondered how a company like McDonald’s is able to grow into a company worth several billions of dollars selling very inexpensive burgers (some as low as $1!), I’ll assure you, one key is stabilizing their cost.  They use the same quantities everytime. The same amount of:
  • ketsup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • cheese
  • meat
  • bread
  • labor
  • and even cooking times
Using the same amount of labor and material for each product enables them to know their cost pretty accurately.  They can tell you how much a burger cost them at each of their locations down to a penny (including fixed and varible expenses in the equation).  They’re also able to know exactly how much they profit from each burger (even the ones on the dollar menu). You’ll want to know your costs very accurately too.  Of course, your costs will go down as you buy materials in more bulk, however, you’ll still want to take note of: How much wax, scents, pouring pitchers, color, candle molds, payment processing fees, shipping, marketing, and other variable or fixed expenses are costing you.  Then, you’ll want to choose a pricing strategy that’ll help you get profit. Don’t choose a competitive-based pricing strategy if you’re struggling to sell in volume because that could be like shooting yourself in the foot.  Maybe you may have to choose a different target audience, but choose the pricing strategy that suits you and your business.

Want to Get Started Building Your CandleMaking Business? Get my Free E-Course Plus Join the Enterprise Builder Community of Entrepreneurs, and Free Coaching with me when you sign up here.

how to start a candle making businessStep 3: Begin Building Your 7 Business Systems

In a previous post, I wrote about the 7 Business Systems that Makes a Small Business work–the candle making business is no exception.  You’ll need to setup each of the business systems including…

1. The Lead Generation System

The lead generation system is your customer intake system.  Your lead generation system introduces strangers to your brand thru marketing, advertising, public relations, and outbound sales.  Some things you’ll need to do to get your lead generation system running is:
    • Set up Your Website
    • Sign up for Craft Fairs, Farmers Markets, or local stores (if the cost is reasonable in context with your startup budget)
    • Give Some Away as Gifts so More People can experience and give feedback on your product
    • Get referrals from family and friends
    • Use Search Engine Optimization on Your Website and Online Listings
    • Set aside a budget for paid advertising
We provide DIY marketing training that can help you with generating leads and conversions, and you can get started for free.  Check it out!

2. Lead Conversion System

After the traffic is coming to you thru your lead generation system, you’ll have to have a way to convert a lead into a customer.  You can have a short or long funnel that performs the job.  For example, many bloggers have cold traffic (people unfamiliar with their brand) coming to their websites.  From there, they have to build trust ,so people sign up for their email list, and they may not make a purchase for years. Depending on your lead conversion system, you could have a long or short cycle to turn a lead into a conversion.  A short funnel will build trust fast: live networking, valuable giveaways, or even webinars can help.  Here are some other things you should do to beef up your lead conversion system:
    • Setup up a Shopping Cart on your Website
    • Consider setting up accounts with Distribution Partners like Amazon FBA or Etsy
    • Create a Contact Us page and a FAQ page so customers can get questions about your product answered
    • Master outbound sales for times when you’re live networking

how to start a candle making business3. Branding System

Either your lead generation system or your branding system typically becomes your customers’ first impression, so you’ll want to take thought as you’re developing them.  Your brand includes your logo and color palette, but it’s much more than that–it’s your customer’s perception of you. Your brand can create a huge difference in what you can charge for your product or service and you want to create one that adds equity.  50% of your brand is what you do, the other 50% is what the customer perceives as a result of what you do, therefore you’ll want to take lots of initiative in your brand management.  Here’s some things to hone in on in your branding system.
    • Create a logo
    • Choose a niche
    • Develop your color palette anf fonts
    • Write your mission, vision, purpose, and dream
    • Create your elevator pitch
    • How you’ll build trust and reputation with customers
    • Get clear about your “Why”
You should reference some of the articles I’ve written for more help with branding.  Here are a few:

4. Job Prototypes

If you plan to have help, you want to be clear about the boundaries of each role so everyone knows their focus and things run smoothly.  It can get really frustrating as a helper when the structure of the leadership and assignments are unclear.  Similarly, if the customer keeps getting handed off or is unclear who to go to for what, it can be offputting and even cause them to leave. Before getting in front of people (especially in a live setting), you want to create job prototypes where you divide the necessary tasks to run the business, and inform each helper of the tasks they are in charge of and those they will be a backup for.

how to start a candle making business5. Management System

Someone has to be watching the processes, developing training manuals, ensuring people are sticking to their job prototypes, and documenting conflicts between the training manuals and prototype and real life.  These overseers are a part of the Management system. They are helping you to make the business machine work consistently well and hopefully get better with time. Their feedback will enable modifications to the training manuals and job prototypes to be made to make them more accurate or increase ROI.

6. Client Fulfillment System

Stabilizing your cost and learning the technique both fall into client fulfillment, however, some other components to consider are:

7. Leadership System

In his book, The E-Myth (available on Amazon), Michael Gerber said entrepreneurs have to be able to transcend to transform.  In other words, someone has to be able to look above the day-to-day work of making candles and selling them, and look into:
  • Whether the business is achieving the mission, vision, and purpose
  • How to be more effective at accomplishing the mission
  • Where and how to expand
  • How to improve positioning in the market
  • How to increase market share
  • Adding more competitive advantages
  • and other strategic thinking about the business

how to start a candle making businessStep Four: Start Testing with Your Minimum Viable Funnel

The last thing you want to do is go on a spending rampage, creating products, and have a huge inventory of product with little to no purchase orders.  That would suck. That’s why I recommend the minimum viable funnel.  Start out with the most basic business model you can and with as little overhead as you can.  Test out your sales skills, fill your pipeline, and get your lead generation system funneling leads to you before forking out too much money. Once you are getting sales, keep reinvesting a percentage back into the business to improve the product, keep a percentage for working capital, and reinvest some back into the sales and marketing.  As you continue reinvesting, your business will grow, you’ll have enough working capital to cover increased demand and hopefully, you’ll save aggressively enough to maintain a steady payroll for yourself and others.

Step Five: Get the Legal Stuff in Order

I know you’re probably wondering “Why did you put legl last?”.  It’s because I’ve seen many people dump a huge portion into their legal stuff in the startup phase, then they don’t have money for marketing and sales.  What’s the point of having an incorporated business that can’t get leads or sales? I think you should balance your legal processes with your proof of concept.  In the beginning, a company like candle making has very little liability.  You can start with an EIN number, a simple surname or DBA for less than $50, and open a business account. If you want to go for incorporation up front, go for it!  It’s typically closer to $300, but also enables you to open a business checking account.  The process would be similar: get an EIN number, submit the articles of incorporation to the secretary of state, and open a business checking account. Recommendations for Incorporating:

A Playlist on How To Start a Candle Making Business

I’ve compiled this playlist of videos on how to start a candle making business.  There’s quite a bit of information that can help you to start your business on the right foot.  You can scroll thru the playlist and pick which videos you like.  Hopefully this helps:

Want More Info on How to Start a Candle Making Business?

If this article was helpful, but you’d still like to learn more (maybe even see step-by-step instructions), then I’d recommend checking out a few courses to help hone the candle making skills and to learn how to streamline the business operations.

Candle Making for Beginners: For Fun or to Build a Business

Candle Making for Beginner Course Thumbnail Unlike a Youtube playlist where the information isn’t chronological and orderly, this course is step-by-step, and has high student ratings. The instructor is considered one of the leading candle supplies vendors and a candle maker, so you’d get the chance to learn from a pro! You’ll get information on how to:
  • Make the candles
  • Special design techniques
  • How to choose materials
  • and more…
If you’re interested in making candles for fun or for business, this course would probably be very helpful for you. You can check out this candle making course here.

Final Words on How To Start a Candle Making Business

The goal of this article was to show you how to start a candlemaking business. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out! If you would like to start or scale your candlemaking business, check out my free e-course! It’s a framework to grow your business: from idea to enterprise (if you want to). Included will be lots of bonuses including my invitation to my #1 recommended internet marketing community and 7 days of free coaching with me. Check out my free e-course here.

Now, it’s Your Turn…

What are your thoughts on starting a candlemaking business?  Have you done something like it before?  Did I leave out any important steps for starting a candlemking business?  Leave your comments below.

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