Candles have taken a place in our society and they may not be replaced soon. Candles can be used in a lot of ways. The ancients used candles as a source of light and for religious purposes. Some religions still include candles as part of their worship but modern technology has displaced candles as a source of light. Now, candles are popularly used to decorate homes and beautify events. Candle making business is an opportunity make money from something you actually love doing. There are many people involved in DIY candles but do not know that such project that seems small can actually yield large results. However, just like every other business, some considerations need to be made before starting.
Reasons for a Candle Making Business
Perhaps you still have doubts concerning starting a business, the following are reasons candle making is a good business.
There is always market for candles...
With the large demand for candles nowadays for various purposes (decorative or religious), there is always a market for candles. All round the year, people make use of candles. This means that a good candle making business will yield profit throughout the year. This is one opportunity you need to take advantage of.
It is a very easy business to start...
Candle making is a very easy business to start. Compared with other business, candle making requires just a little capital. One of the most popular business clichés is to ‘start small’. By making a business out of candles, you can really start small and begin to make good money almost immediately. It is a business you can even start in your kitchen, alone. Yes, that's how easy it is. This is not to say candle making is all rosy. But with it, you can avoid most startup problems that other business face.
You choose when and how you work
Candle making also offers much work flexibility. You can choose when and how you want to work or even focus on making specific types of candles. Whatever way you choose, your business would be fine. Besides, you need not leave your job for making candles. Candle making is very good as a part-time secondary job. Anybody that has extra time can go into it.
Required Skills for Candle Making Business
Every type of business requires a specific skill set necessary for success, and candle making is no exception.
Candle Making Skills
Before going commercial, you need to actually know how to make candles yourself. While you can begin to employ people to make candles as your business grows larger, you are the one starting the business and you need to gain knowledge and experience in candle making. This means making several candles for yourself before you begin to sell. Making candles yourself would give you required expertise and teach you various techniques that can help your business when you start.
So before you begin your business, give yourself to learning. Learn as much as possible about the various types of candles, wax and wicks, fragrances and so on. Even if you plan to focus on making a particular type candle, learn to make other types as well. You would not know when you might need the knowledge. Be patient enough to practice, a lot.
Improve on your marketing skills too before beginning your business. Even if you make great candles, no one would patronise you if they do not know your product. This is why you need to invest so much on publicity. Now that the internet has become part of our lives, take advantage of social media. If you are not social media savvy, please be before you start your business. You might need to take courses on digital marketing, blogging, website development and so on. Be prepared for this before you begin. It goes a long way in determining the success of your business.
Candle Making Supplies
In this section, I will talk about the various materials you need for making your candles especially on a small scale and I will also talk on the types of candle making machines for more advanced candle making. Before you begin making candles, decide the type(s) of candles you want to make beforehand. There are container candles, pillar candles, tealight, votive, taper candles and so on. One or two different types are okay at first. To expand your business, you can go into making other types later on.
Together with the wick, the wax is the most essential element for candle making. The wax supplies the fuel that keeps the candle burning. And it also holds the wick firmly. Paraffin wax is the most popular type of wax and good too for people just starting candle making. Paraffin wax is also very versatile and can be used to make any type of candle. Paraffin wax can be toxic so vegetable waxes are a healthy alternative.
Leading the pack with vegetable waxes are soy wax and palm wax. Be careful with this anyway as not all types of vegetable waxes can be used to make all kinds of candles. Gel wax is a very soft wax only suitable for making container candles and may not be recommended for beginners. Beeswax is probably the best kind of wax you will find but it is more expensive than the rest. You can start with a single type of wax and move onto others as the business grows.
Wicks are another essential part of candles. Just like waxes, there are various types of wicks to choose from. Flat braided wicks are most common and you can start from them or one of the others. Usually, you use one wick per candle but for larger container candles, two wicks might be needed. Do well to read instructions on how to double wick your candles.
Fragrance and Colour
For making scented candles, there are various flavours of scent oil. Choose one as it suits you. As a beginner, you might need a couple of different flavours for variety in your candles. Colour dyes are also an optional addition to candles. There are Shoreham candles dyes and you would find them in blocks or as liquid. For using fragrance and colours, make sure your fragrance flavour matches the colour you want to use. You should not give your candle a vanilla flavour and use blue colour. Making them match is more pleasant.
Other Materials and Tools
Apart from the key ingredients, there are also materials and tools that you would need. While the ingredients can be purchased, the tools you need are common household items. They contribute to the ease of candle making. First, you would need to melt your wax with a double boiler and a heat source such as a stove. Some use an oven to melt wax. But keep it in mind that making rolled candles do not involve melting of wax.
Temperature is important in making candles. There is a temperature at which you turn off the heat, add scent or colours and even a temperature for putting the wax. For this, you would need a thermometer. Other materials include wick stabilisers, stickers and tabs, though there are handy alternatives to them which you would come to know as you learn how to make candles. Paper towels, old rags and old newspapers are also needed for cleaning.
As the business expands, you may want to ditch making candles at home for using machines. Machines are great because they afford you the opportunity of making candles on a large scale. There are various types of machines and in choosing one, consider the rate at which you want to produce. And consider cost too. Machines can be expensive and that is why they may not be suitable for startups unless you have a huge capital.
Manual machines require the most user input. Semi-automatic ones are most advanced and user-friendly. Fully automated machines require the least of your input, are more technically advanced, and give a higher production output. Of course, this comes at a cost higher than the others. Before you begin using machines, properly educate yourself on the type you use and adhere to all safety instructions.
Setting up the Business
Candle making is an art and turning it into a business is using your creativity to make profit. This section covers all you need to make your business viable.
Start with a business plan
There is almost nothing that works out well without planning. Candle making may be easy but it is not something anyone should just dabble into. Know what separates your business from other similar ones. Name your business and write out the plans for it and how you want to accomplish them. Make the plans as realistic as possible unless you would be disappointed if you fail to accomplish them.
In your business, determine the type(s) of candles you want to make and the type(s) of waxes, wicks, fragrances and so on. Determine all this beforehand so your business can run with a purpose and you would be focused. Plan your business with a budget also. Know the amount of capital you are going to need to start and other expenses.
Adhere to all legal requirements in your area
Do not go about setting up your business without proper registration unless you would be sanctioned. You can even get a lawyer to help you in this. And in running the business too, make sure you obey all local, state and federal laws. Not doing so would land you in trouble with authorities. And be prepared to pay taxes too. This is very important. You can start your business at home but as time goes on, you would need a proper workplace. Choose a store at a convenient location to buy or rent.
Manage your business well
Once your business takes off, you need to manage it properly. This includes setting up a business bank account and keeping of financial records properly. This helps in planning your business especially when you decide to expand it and will help you make right financial decisions.
Promoting the Business
This seems to be a challenging aspect. But note that it is important and vital for your business. People need to know about your product and patronise you.
There are many ways and platforms to showcase your business with social media the most important and easy. You can use such online platforms as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and so on to target customers and get them to patronise you. You can also buy spaces in magazines and so on for advertisements. Whatever you do, that makes people know about your product is publicity. And it never ends. Even the most popular businesses still publicise their product from time to time. As I mentioned early in the article, take online digital marketing classes to know how to use social media effectively for your business.
Also, you can set up a website where you showcase your various products. This is especially important if you plan to sell your products online. You can hire someone to do this for you. However, you need not be a pro to set up a basic website, at least for a start. Use whatever means necessary to make your products known. Also you can go to craft shows to display your products. This is an especially great way to network with people and meet potential customers in person.
You would need a store to display your wares to people. So do so before you start. Apart from this, you can also market online. Connect with various online stores to sell your products online. Or, as mentioned before, set up a website. To reach more customers, you might also need to set up a delivery service. This is necessary for an online business. You get more customers by that because you do not wait for them to come to you, but you take the products to them. At the beginning, it would be easy to do this yourself but that may not be so later. For starting a delivery service note that you would need a means of transport.
Ensure there is good relationship between you and your customers. This involves treating them nicely and serving them well. Your customers might have complaints to make. Be ready to listen to them and resolve problems as soon as possible. When the business grows to a point, you would need to have a customers relations department.
I believe you have learnt a lot from this article. A candle making business is easy to start but involves a lot of things. You would need a lot of patience and endurance because sometimes things may not work out as planned. One major theme that reoccurs throughout the article is the need to adjust for expansion unless you want your business stagnant. Understand when you need to expand and make necessary changes for such. Goodluck!
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