If you have a creative side and enjoy DIY projects, launching a candle business could be the perfect business venture for you. With options like online marketplaces and website builders, selling candles online is easier than ever.
These tips on how to start a candle business will help you become a successful entrepreneur.
How To Start a Candle Business
1. Start With Your Business Plan
A detailed business plan will act as a roadmap for your project. You can start putting together your business plan by researching the candle industry. It’s a 2.3 billion market, and it’s important to understand who your main competitors are.
Your business plan should clearly identify your niche, whether it’s home décor candles, gifts, or eco-friendly products. You also need to define your target audience and go over your financing strategy.
Don’t forget to include some predictions regarding ongoing costs and projected profits. Your business plan also needs to have a section outlining your plan for growth, whether it’s hiring an employee to increase your production volume or branching out to sell other types of gifts.
2. Raise Funds for Your Candle Business
How much does it cost to launch a candle business? Costs can range from $2,000 to $5,000 to launch a small business. Most micro businesses cost around $3,000 to launch.
You can get a better idea of how much you need to raise by listing your expenses. You’ll incur some one-time expenses, including the equipment and tools you need to melt the wax and make candles. Hiring a professional to design a website or take high-quality pictures of your products is a one-time expense.
You’ll also have some ongoing expenses, like your supplies, shipping costs, website hosting, marketing campaigns, sales tax, payroll, insurance, and more.
Business loans can be difficult to obtain. Recent data shows that banks are financing fewer businesses than ever.
Investing your personal savings into this project can be risky, but it will reduce the cost of financing. You can also use credit cards to purchase the equipment you need or get some help from friends or family.
3. Get Your Supplies
Before you learn more about how to start a candle business, you need a fully stocked crafts room.
Getting your supplies is an important part of the process because you’ll have to compare suppliers and put together a list of vendors you can rely on. You need to find the right suppliers to get access to quality raw materials at a reasonable cost. You also need to find reliable suppliers you can count on to have products in stock.
You’ll need to source soy wax or beeswax, wicks, fragrances, coloring, molds, containers, and more. Quality matters, but you should also think about working with suppliers who have transparent sourcing practices, as more consumers care about the environmental impact of the products they buy.
Finding unique containers or scents that other candle makers don’t have can set you apart from the competition.
4. Register Your Candle Business
Now that you have everything you need, make your business venture official by registering your business.
There are different business structures available:
- A sole proprietorship is easy to set up but offers limited protection.
- An LLC or Limited Liability Company will keep your assets separate from your business venture.
- If you have a partner, a general or limited partnership will make the most sense.
Taxation is an important consideration when setting up your business. If you opt for a sole proprietorship, you’ll pay taxes at the personal income level.
You can opt to have your LLC taxed at a sole proprietorship to avoid paying taxes at the business and personal level, but you should know that setting up an LLC can be more complex since you’ll have to file articles of incorporation.
It’s best to get help from an attorney or a business advisor if you’re not sure which business structure is right for you. Depending on the business structure you choose, you’ll have to file forms with the IRS and with your state’s business agency or Secretary of State.
5. Create a Website
Once you know how to start a candle business and have business registration and taxes figured out next step would be getting a website.
A user-friendly website is crucial. Even if your site isn’t the primary way people discover your products, potential customers will still visit your website to learn more about your reputation.
A functional website with a crisp design will inspire trust. You also need an engaging copy to present your products and high-quality product images to make your candles stand out.
Thanks to site-building tools, you can launch a great website even if you don’t have any coding or web design skills. There are different options to consider:
- WordPress is a popular option. This platform is behind over 60% of all websites.
- Weebly is a little more expensive but can feel more accessible to beginners.
- You can also go through Wix if you want a straightforward platform.
- Shopify also allows you to create an online store with an engaging storefront.
It’s important to compare your different options since migrating your website from one platform to another can be disruptive.
WordPress is one of the best options because it supports integration with different online stores and gives you access to advanced tools to optimize your content. However, Weebly can feel less overwhelming and allows you to integrate an online store from Square.
You also need to compare fees between Shopify, Square, and other online stores since these fees will impact how much you earn when you sell a candle.
6. Find More Distribution Channels for Your Candle Business
Your site is a crucial element of your business venture, but it might take a while before you start generating a steady stream of sales through this channel.
Additional distribution channels will increase your outreach and help you connect with your niche. There are many options to consider.
Create a merchant center account to have your products show up in Google Shopping results. Think about investing in paid search ads to target keywords related to purchasing candles.
Joining social media is free. It’s an excellent platform for engaging users and reaching out to new potential customers.
You should use Facebook since it’s the largest social media platform worldwide, but you can also use Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. Share high-quality images of your candles and fun videos to show the process of making them. You can also partner with influencers to increase your outreach.
With 300 million shoppers worldwide, selling your candles on Amazon is one of the best ways of increasing your outreach. You can also use eBay, Etsy, or Walmart.
The downside of online marketplaces is that these companies will keep a percentage of the sale price. However, these marketplaces remain effective for connecting with new customers.
After the initial sale, share a coupon code with these customers to generate a second purchase on your website where your profit margin is higher.
Don’t limit yourself to selling candles online. You can save on shipping and increase your profit margin with local sales.
You can sell candles at local craft fairs and farmer’s markets. You can even reach out to home décor stores or gift shops to see if they would be interested in featuring your products.
So, What’s Next?
Now that you know more about how to start a candle business, you can start working on a detailed business plan. We recommend researching your niche thoroughly to assess demand for your products and find the best way to reach out to the audience you want to target!