How To Start A Candle Business

Cameron Fleming | 16 August 2022 | 2 years ago

how to start a candle-making business

You can probably turn on or dim the lights in your home by asking Alexa or using your smartphone. Maybe you have an electronic air freshener plugged into your wall. So, surely the centuries-old technology of the candle has become obsolete, right? In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You may not think it, but candle-making has become a multi-billion dollar business that is projected to continue growing. 

If you are a crafty entrepreneur who is looking for an opportunity to make some serious money, here is our ultimate guide to how to start a candle-making business.

Decide What Type of Candle You Want to Produce

The barrier to entry in the candle-making business is low but for your business to be successful, you will still need to produce a premium product for your brand. There are multiple options for you to choose from when deciding what type of candle your business will manufacture. Start with one option and then you can add additional products to your catalogue at a later date. Let’s look at some of the more popular options for upstart candle-making businesses in 2022:

Soy Candles 

Soy candles are the hippest type of candle. Consumers love soy candles because they are made from, well…soy. Soy wax is derived from soybeans so soy candles are all natural which will allow you to tap into a niche but potentially highly lucrative market. These candles burn longer than other types and are made from a renewable source so many environmentally conscious consumers prefer soy candles to standard oil or paraffin-based candles. 

Vegan Candles 

Vegan candles cater to consumers who are even MORE environmentally conscious than soy candle consumers. Even in soy candles, beeswax can be used in production. Vegans take issue with this as they want NO animal products or bi-products in anything they purchase. Just leave out the beeswax and use natural fragrances and they are basically the same as soy candles, with the added bonus of being able to market them as “Vegan”. 

Decorative Candles 

Some consumers want candles that are solely used for decoration in their home or office. The ingredients, scents, and impact on the environment are usually not taken into consideration by these customers when they purchase a decorative candle. They want a unique candle, almost like a piece of art. Once you’ve learned the basics of candle-making, creating decorative candles can be quite fun to make and you can charge a premium price for your unique designs. 

Aromatherapy Candles 

Who doesn’t love walking into a room that is filled with a lovely, welcoming aroma? Aromatherapy candles are an incredibly popular sector of the candle industry. Perhaps a customer enjoys a pumpkin scent during the fall, peppermint for the holidays, lavender to welcome the spring season, and citrus during the summer. There are practically endless combinations you can create with different scents. Aromatherapy candles also offer an excellent marketing opportunity. Many people associate these candles with mental and physical health benefits which adds another string to your marketing bow.

make your candles

What Supplies Do You Need to Get Started?

Let’s quickly run down the basic list of items you will need to get started. It will be a trial and error learning process at the beginning, so you can start small with the necessities and then build up your inventory. 

  • Wax – There are many options to choose from. Beeswax, Soy Wax, Gel Wax, Bayberry Wax, Tallow, and Paraffin Wax. All have their own pros and cons so do some experimenting and see what works for you.
  • Wicks –  Commonly used wicks are square, wax-coated, and flat. Wicks perform differently based on the composition used in the make-up of the candle such as the quantity of fragrance, type of wax, and what dye is used. 
  • Containers or Molds – Again, there is a wide variety available for you to choose from with metal, silicone, and plastic the most popular. There are also certain containers which are better for certain waxes so be sure to check before you buy. 
  • Double Boiler – A double boiler is a kitchen tool used for applying gentle heat to the stovetop. It’s the best way to melt wax because it will not burn it. Double boilers range in price so shop around for the best option.
  • Heating element – You will also need an appliance to heat the wax. If you don’t have a suitable stove, you can purchase a hot plate which will do the same job. 
  • Fragrance Oils – If you intend on making scented candles, you will need a range of different fragrance oils. It’s recommended to use one ounce of oil per pound of wax on average but some waxes may require more or less. 
  • Dyes –  Different varieties of dyes such as block, liquid, and flake are widely available online at a decent price. When you start out, the best thing to do is to test which ones work best for your candles. After that, you can experiment with other dyes and expand your product lines. 
  • Utility Items – Cleaning supplies, thermometer, a hot glue gun, and a scale. 

Do Your Market Research

There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself when starting a candle-making business. Who do you want to sell to? What kind of candles are your competitors selling? What does their marketing campaign look like? 

Exploring these questions will paint a clearer picture of your competition and your potential customers. You should also dive into sites like Etsy, Pinterest, and Facebook Marketplace frequently to see what the hot trends and best-sellers are in your area and around the world.

Essentially there are three target markets in the candle industry. First, there is the budget market. These are customers looking for a good deal on affordable candles. Basic scents, basic packaging, and no-frills. Usually in the £4 to £7 range. 

Next, there are middle-market customers. These customers are looking for a higher-quality candle. They pay more attention to unique scents and more aesthetically pleasing packaging. While they are willing to pay more, they still pay attention to value. They generally spend in the neighbourhood of £9 to £11 on a candle. 

Finally, you have your luxury customers. They expect nothing but the best. They have no problem spending £25 to hundreds of pounds on candles. Your product must be exquisite, your packaging and branding must be modern and eye-popping and the scents must be spectacular. 

Start Perfecting Your Brand

With so many competitors, the next thing you need to decide is how to stand out from the crowd. Design a logo or have a professional graphic designer do it for you and then decide how your candles will be packaged. The selection of your packaging design is an essential step in accelerating the progress of your brand as customers’ eyes are immediately drawn to exceptional packaging.

The design of your candles, scents, and packaging should also sync to create an emotive sensation for your customers. Your brand should be vibrant but also flow together aesthetically. Be sure to create a consistent brand message across all of your social media platforms and any purchased advertising campaigns.  

Finally, and possibly most importantly, try to create scents that are unique and immediately identifiable to your brand. According to candle.org, the scent is the number one factor they consider when deciding on what candle to purchase so if you can manage to create a scent that is appealing, you will be well on your way to success.

Create a Comprehensive Business Plan

Now that you have completed the aforementioned steps, it’s time to create your business plan. Your business plan will be your guide when starting your candle business. Define your strategy, identify challenges, understand the required resources, and examine your complete idea before the launch. 

Organize your thoughts, set some goals, and figure out the best way to get started. You can find many different templates for business plans online.

Your business plan should include:

  • An executive summary – This is a one-page overview of your entire business plan. Here, you’ll introduce your company, explain what you do, and lay out what you’re looking to achieve.
  • A market analysis – This is a close look at the industry you’ll be entering. It should include things like an overview of the industry and an examination of current trends.
  • A company description – This should include your company’s history, mission statement, and any other relevant information. 
  • A product or service line – This is a list of all the products or services you plan on offering. For each one, include a brief description and an estimate of how much it will cost.
  • A market analysis – This is a close look at the industry you’ll be entering and a description of your target market.
  • A competitive analysis – This is an in-depth look at your competition. Who are they? What are they doing well? What could you do better than them?
  • A description of your products and services such as candles, diffusers, and room sprays as well as an explanation of your pricing strategy. 
  • A sales and marketing plan – This is a detailed outline of how you plan on selling your products or services. This should include things like what channels you’ll use to sell. 
  • Your financial projections – These are an estimate of your company’s future financial performance. It should include things like your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. 
It may sound daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before but don’t worry, there are many resources at your disposal. All of these sections are important, but the financial projections are especially critical. You need to have a good grasp of your expenses and how much you think you can realistically make in sales. Once you have all of this information, you can start working on your funding.

candle business success

Secure Funding

There are a few different ways to fund your business. You can use personal savings, take out a loan, or look for investors.

Personal savings is the most common way to fund a small business. If you have some money saved up, this can be a great option because you won’t be in debt or beholding to any investors.

Taking out a loan is another option for funding your business. There are many different types of loans you can apply for, such as SBA loans or personal loans. The fundamental benefit of this option is that you can get a large sum of money to help get your business off the ground, but of course, you will have to repay the loan with interest.

Another option can be finding investors. This can be difficult, but if you have a solid business plan, product, brand, and pitch, it’s definitely possible to secure capital. You will have to give up equity in your company depending on the size of the investment, but you will not have to repay the money. 

Get Insured

Once you have funding secured, you need to make sure your business is properly insured. The type of insurance you need will depend on your business model, your assets, and what kind of products you are selling. Some common types of insurance for small businesses are:

  • Product liability insurance – This safeguards you in case your products cause injury or damage.
  • Professional liability insurance – This insures you personally in case you make mistakes in your work.
  • Business property insurance – This protects your business equipment and premises in case of damage or theft.
These are just a few of the options available, so be sure to speak with an insurance agent to figure out which policies make the most sense for your business.

Final Thoughts

Starting a candle-making business can be a fantastic way to tap into the ever-growing demand for scented candles. As with any business, the two most important factors for success are delivering an excellent product and creating a solid business plan. This means putting in work to develop your brand and products, doing your research, putting together financial projections, and securing funding.  With dedication and a lot of hard work, you can make your candle-making business a success. Hopefully, this article has given you the motivation and information on how to start a candle-making business. Good luck!

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