So, you’ve made your first candles and now you’re thinking, “Hey, these are pretty great. I should sell them!” But then you remember that you’ve never started your own business before and you aren’t sure what you need to do to get things going. Well, have no fear! We have come up with a few steps you need to take and some things you need to take in consideration once you have decided to take the leap and start your own business!
First, you will need to register your business with your state government. Most people will set up their company as a corporation because it separates the business finances from your personal finances. Not only does this help you with sales tax, it can also help keep you liable from debts or damages that the business may incur and it can help protect your personal assets. Each state has their own rules and regulations set for creating and registering a business so you will need to check with your state’s government to see exactly what steps you will need to take to register. Click here to find your state’s requirements.
It’s important to understand who you want your customers to be. Why? Well, if you don’t know who is going to buy your candles then how will you sell them?!? Here are some things you will need to take into consideration when you are defining your market:
How much do I want to charge?
How am I going to sell my products? (internet, craft fairs, stores, etc.)
Do I want to sell at a retail level, wholesale, or both?
Do I want to use all-natural products, synthetic, or both? (waxes, fragrance oils, wicks, etc.)
These factors will help determine who your customer base is going to be so it’s important that you take time to understand them.
Many of our customers with established businesses have figured out a way to tell a “story” with their products. Once you know who your customer base is, this should be a little bit easier to do. Some customers have chosen to create a rustic or country type of product line. Others have selected a more modern or chic aesthetic for their products. We even have customers who are inspired by things that they love like books, movies, or nature. Whatever story you decide to tell, make sure you design your brand around it. Create a logo and product labels that help support that story so your customers understand it.
Whether your business is brand-spankin’ new or you’ve been around the block a few times, you will always want to make sure that you budget for your materials and labor. When you are choosing your wax, jars, wicks, and fragrance oils you have to ask yourself, “How much do I want to spend?” If you are considering purchasing a huge industrial wax melter, make sure that it is worth the investment up front because those things are hard to return! When you are just starting out, you may have to budget based on how many candles you can make each day. If you don’t have a lot of capital set aside to get your business started, you may only be able to purchase more supplies once you have sold the candles you’ve already made. Eventually you can work up to setting a budget for each week, month, or even the whole year!
This last step is probably one of the most important things that you MUST do when starting your own business. Whether you have been making candles for 20 years or 20 minutes, you need to TEST your product! You need to make sure that your candle is burning safely and efficiently. A candle is burning safely as long as the flame is not too big, it’s not emitting a lot of soot, and the wick is the right size for your container. If the flame is too large or too hot it could possibly fracture or shatter the glass container your candle is in which can mean a huge liability for your company. If you are adding fragrance oils to your candles you will want to make sure that they are giving you a good strong scent throw. The scent throw of a candle is what will help draw your customers in and keep them coming back for more!
Starting your own business is a big deal and it can be a lot of work. Whatever type of business you decide to create just make sure you have all the legal matters and logistics set up so you can have fun with it. Creating products that your customers love can be exciting and very rewarding. If you are passionate about your products and put your heart and soul into it, you can have a successful business!
Still not sure where to begin? Try one of our starter kits! We offer a number different kits that come with everything you need to get started and are great for beginners! Click here to check them out!