Selling homemade candles for profit is a great business with very low overhead that any Tom, Dick or Harry can do. But not all of them can make enough money from their sales.
The job demands good organizational skills, coupled with keen eyes to spot low-cost candles. It could be the perfect work from home job for moms.
If you are thinking about starting a candle making business, here is a quick step-by-step guide that will help you turn your venture into a real money making business.
What will I learn?
1. Decide on What Candles You Want to Sell
That would be your niche defining your business. The variety of candle types out there is huge, so be clear on what you want to make and sell.
Some of the more popular ones are hand dip tapered candles, and natural candles using waxes from soy and palm (these have gained great followings lately) like Mia Bella candles.
Beeswax and honeycomb candles represent yet another category of popular natural wax candles.
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Once you have decided on the material to be used for your candle production, you can go on to make gel candles, aromatherapy or container candles.
If you are so inclined, maybe you want to experiment with confectionery candles, a special genre of candles that reproduce the look and smell of popular food items. Through the molding process, there is no limit on how you can shape your candles.
Alternatively, you could decorate your candles to add visual impact; you can use anything from flowers to paint.
2. Learn How to Make Candles
Invest time to acquire the necessary skills in candle making. You can enroll in a class organized by the neighborhood craft shop or buy a book for this purpose.
Alternatively, check out the internet on free Internet video or free online tutorials on how to make homemade candles.
And don’t forget to practice.
You could spend long hours picking up skills on candle making but until you get your hands dirty, all these efforts would be in vain.
3. Legal Issues
You may need a license issued by your city before you can run your little retail business—note that there could be variations in requirements subject to your location of operation. Some requirements cover a fictitious name certificate (DBA), Employer Identification Number or sales and use tax permit.
For candle production at home, you might have to deal with a separate set of legal issues.
In general, you have to pay attention to permits, taxes, licenses and especially insurance.
Getting insurance coverage may be tricky if you plan to produce candles at home, primarily due to the flammable nature of candles.
Of course, as with other sorts of merchandise, you need to have a proper labeling system to mark your candles, in order to conform with the local and federal standards established.
A great place to learn about the laws and regulations regarding starting a small business is the Small Business Administration’s website.
4. Buy Supplies from Wholesaler
Candles can be made from a wide variety of source materials, so naturally prices vary.
Subject to the sort of waxes and oils used in their production, it has an impact on your cost.
But usually, there is a healthy margin for every candle you make.
For example, soy and palm waxes are more expensive than paraffin or gel, but you will make more money when you sell these sorts of candles.
Most raw materials used in candle production are relatively low, but the extra ingredients like oils, fragrances and waxes tend to be higher in cost and there is also a huge variation in costs among them. Still, the total costs that go towards candle making are not considered substantial.
Getting your supplies from wholesalers always ensures significant savings, or you pay through your nose if you buy from a retail outlet like a craft store.
Work on the packaging for your candles.
Packaging provides the differentiation between your candle brand and the competition. Ultimately packaging is the first thing that consumers can see.
My advice is to stick to a consistent marketing message. If you sell candles that mimic the look and smell of desserts, bakery boxes-like packaging could immediately strike a chord with the market.
If you want to project an eco-friendly message with your candles, use raffia to tie around your candle containers, with labeling done on recycled paper.
6. Find Customers
Find as many outlets as possible to sell your candles.
On the internet, you could hawk them at your own e-commerce website, or promote them at an Internet artisan marketplace.
You could even sell on eBay and Etsy.com
On land, bring your presence to flea markets, bazaars, local craft fairs, brick-and-mortar storefronts, or you could strike a deal to sell your candles at bath and body boutiques, and home decor stores.
7. Marketing, Marketing and Marketing!
Whether you are selling candy or cars, marketing is one of the most important parts of the whole deal.
To start, create a website or blog dedicated to candles.
You could also send samples to magazines and other publications well patronized by your intended market so they could review your candles.
And finally, join a candle retailers group like the National Candle Association. This is an excellent place to network with suppliers and get connected with potential customers.
8. Make Money Selling Your Candles
Depending on factors like the size, ingredients, and designs of your candles, you can expect to pocket a few dollars to over $20 from every candle sale.
Obviously, the most important factor is still how much the market is willing to pay for them.
Another way to make more money is to sell directly to distributors or specialty stores.
A candle making business has a few great benefits that not many other businesses offer.
For one, it’s a business you can lunch for under 100 dollars.
It’s fun and depending on your situation, it can be turned into a fun activity for the whole family.
But perhaps the best part is that almost everyone is your customer. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like candles.
If you like to learn more about this business, Danica White has a great little eBook that will teach you everything you need to succeed, at CandleMaking4You.
To wrap it up, you can make money selling candles with hardly any investment, while having fun making things that almost everyone loves.