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End of the Year Business Tips

by Chandler 12. March 2010 00:34

12. Drummers Drumming
As the number of shopping days dwindles, it's imperative to finish strong. Be sure to “Drum” up as much business as possible before the holiday.  Offer incentives to help reduce inventory. 

11. Pipers Piping
Most companies fiscal year will be ending shortly. Be sure to get your tax information together so when it comes time to pay the piper (had to reach on this one) you will be prepared.

10. Evaluating Your Inventory
Evaluating your inventory is a very important year end exercise for any size business. Reducing inventory can be very important because it can generate cash flow for the new year and not be taking up valuable space in your warehouse. You didn’t make any money on candles sitting in your warehouse or shelf.  Holiday candles are difficult to sell after January 1st unless deeply discounted.  Excessive inventory takes up space and hinders your ability to purchase new products.  

9. Donate to Charity
If it appears certain candles will not sell, consider donating them to an appropriate charity. This will go to a good cause and can help with your tax deductions. If they have no value, be sure to get them off your books so you do not have a tax liability on items that have no “market” value. Check with  your accountant for all true tax questions.

8.  Discount
When it appears selling at full value will not happen, offer deep discounts because generating the sale in most instances is better than having the inventory for another 9-10 months.

7. Donate to Your Community
Think about giving away the candles directly to the community. Take 20-30 candles with a nice bow to your church, spouses work or neighborhood holiday party. Give them to individuals that may not necessarily know that you make candles. They would be very appreciative of this gesture and may be more inclined to purchase your candles in the future.

6. Geese a Laying
While the information is fresh, look over your holiday sales and determine which items were big sellers (Golden Rings) and which are ugly ducklings (in this instances non-sellers). This will help determine which products you will want to drop from your product line.

5. Golden Rings
While you are looking over sales data, don’t just look at sales but also gross profit (see the May 2007 issue on pricing). You may have several items that the profit is better than others. Examine ways to sell more of the higher margin products in 2009.

4. Calling Birds
Reach out to all of your customers and let them know some of your plans for the upcoming year.  It might be new fragrances, new containers or even types of candle. Most people start the New Year with a lot of optimism, and if you can put ideas and concepts in their process early enough, you will have an advantage over your competition.

3. Change Candle Names
If a candle is a holiday specific fragrance rename so you can extend the selling season until the end of winter. A Christmas Cheer might turn to Winter Delight. 

2. Be More Efficient
Since there may be some slow days, look at your operation and see if there is any way to make it more efficient.  Any new equipment you might need.  Year end is always great for budgeting and planning so you can kick the New Year off right.  While the inclination is to wind down the year we have always been an advocate of taking this slow time to examine the entire business. 

1. True Love
Most consumers love candles. Be sure to use this in your marketing plan for 2009. Candles can serve many functions; room freshner, accessory and even function as lighting.  Be sure to incorporate all of these as you plan for new products in 2009. Most important be sure your passion and love for the business still burns.

 

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Categories: Business Articles | Candle Busines


Candle Wax Options (Part Three)

by Chandler 12. March 2010 00:13

Beeswax Candles

The other natural wax which is commonly used and has been for hundreds of year is beeswax. This product is used in all type of candles including tapers, pillar, votives and even containers. Beeswax is one of the best all around waxes on the market.

Bayberry Wax

Soy WaxThe final wax is Bayberry and is derived from the bayberry bush and can be used at 100% or blended with beeswax. Bayberry wax offers you a very rich and unique smell. Bayberry tapers are traditionally burned during New Years. Bayberry is also used at many colonial, pioneer and other historical events.

Granulated Wax

The final type of wax which is used more for crafting and easy candle making is the granulated wax. This wax is a 140 Melt point paraffin that is formed into little beads. These beads can easily be poured into containers and a wick inserted for an instant candle. This activity is great if you own a candle shop, if you teach classes or when you do shows it is an activity the kids would want to do while the parents shop your candle selection.

No matter which wax you are currently using it always helps to know what options are available if you are adding another line or looking to change things up.

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Candle Wax Options (Part Two)

by Chandler 12. March 2010 00:11

Soy Wax

The first wax we will feature is soy. Soy wax is simply hydrogenated soybean oil and the best application for this wax is in containers. When using soy wax it is important to note that there is definitely performance and appearance differences between paraffin wax and wax and soy wax.

  • First and foremost is the appearance of the candle. Soy wax in general produces candles that have a “flat” or pastel shade to the candle. This can play very well to the scents used; in the fall nothing is better than harvest colors and fragrances.
  • Soy wax will always require more dye to get to the desired color.
  • It is as close to one a pour wax as exists in the market. It will still require some topping off if poured too hot or if the container is too large.
  • Another very positive feature of the soy wax is that the pouring temperatures have less impact on the finished candle than paraffin waxes.
  • Depending on the scent load you are using, in most instances no special additives will be needed.

By now you have to be asking yourself if it is that good then why not just switch to this wax while I read this article? The main reason is that the scent throw that candle makers achieve with paraffin just cannot be at the same level when using soy wax. As these waxes get better at scent throw or fragrance companies improve the scent throw that can be achieved, the soy market will continue to grow.

Palm Wax

The other natural wax to consider would be the Palm wax. This wax is produced by hydrogenated Palm Oils. These waxes are great because of the unique textures which can be produced with these waxes. In most instances there is a crystallizing pattern which is available for both containers and freestanding candles. In addition there is a feathering pattern which is available for free standing candles.

One of the best natural waxes we offer is the CSP wax. This is an all natural blend of soy and palm wax which creates a very nice creamy finish. This wax is excellent for pillars, votives and tarts.

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Categories: Candle Making (General) | Candle Making Projects & Crafts


Candle Wax Options (Part One)

by Chandler 11. March 2010 23:22

Straight Wax for Candle Making


Soy Wax Straight waxes, also known as paraffin wax, do not have any additives and are what many blends start with. These are used in many other applications and in most instances the most cost-effective product. The type of candles you make will dictate the melt point of the wax you use.

For containers a melt point of 121-129 °F is ideal for this application. You can make a very good container by using any waxes with these melt points and then adding a very small (no more then 1%) of Vybar 260. To enhance the wax you can even add 5% of Micro 180 to this wax.

For votives the ideal wax melt point would be 130-142°F. You can make a nice votive by adding some Vybar 103 (no more then 1%) and maybe something like 5% Stearic Acid.

For pillars it is best to use waxes 137-150°F. If you plan on putting a great deal of fragrance adding something like vybar and Micro will make for an excellent formulation. The nice thing about using straight waxes is that you can constantly tweak your formula and find that special look. The other added advantage is that in most instances this will allow you to purchase at the most economical means.

Candle Wax Blends


If you are starting out and want to simplify your process then blends are the best way to go for your operation. Blends are a combination of the paraffin waxes and then various components such as Micro’s and Petrolatum’s are used. In most instances the manufacturer will not provide the formulation to the end user. Blends are an excellent option in that all you will need to do is add your color, fragrance and UV inhibitors.

 

Soy Wax

The short comings of blends are that in most instances they have to be developed for a wide range of applications so if you are adding a little less fragrance then the manufacturer is recommending, you may not get the exact results you desire. Another flaw with blends is that if problems develop, it can be difficult to troubleshoot without knowing what the components of the particular blend.

The next category would be the Natural Waxes and we include in this selection Soy, Palm, Beeswax and Bayberry. Without doubt Soy wax is continuing to grow in popularity.

 


Marketing Ideas (Part Two)

by Chandler 10. March 2010 01:33

Marketing at all Events of the Year
Wedding season is rapidly approaching along with showers and there is not a better gift for the attendees to these events then a candle to commemorate the occasion. Develop a "custom package" that simplifies the selection process for the bride or individual organizing the activity.  Maybe it is organza bag with a votive/small jar with a nice personalized tag identifying the event including names and dates.

While it is coming fast enough for my kids, end of the school year will occur soon and candles can represent a nice thank you gift for Teachers, Bus Drivers and School Aides. The key would be to have a package that can easily be customized.  The Avery Company has made if very easy to make custom labels using their templates you can import your own pictures, graphics and text.  Let your customer choose what goes on the label including possibly a picture, quote or graphic.  The way the templates are set up you can make each label personalized fairly easily and if you a color printer they can be printed right at your home computer.

Real Estate Agents and other professionals are always looking for nice gift items to give away to their customers.  Candles that can be customized for them presents a great marketing tool.

On a larger scale the entire retail climate has undergone a transition where only the strongest retailers are surviving and others are shutting their doors.  This can create tremendous opportunities because consumers still want choices and with so few retailers to choose from the selection of "niche items" like candles are hard to find.  The key is to try and reach these consumers.   

With the current high employment rate people are going to be looking for new opportunities.  Some of the most successful candle companies have achieved their success through "party plans".   Pitch the idea of a candle party to your friends, neighbors and acquaintances as a way for them to make money.   Even if the attendees may not purchase anything be sure to get them to sign up for your mailings.  

Online Marketing
In addition using every online resource is going to be essential for survival.  With new technology and other conditions building a website is much more reasonable.    As you may have read just putting up a website will not be enough you will need to drive traffic to the site but in the end it can be more cost effective than opening a retail store.   If you already have a retail store use the site to drive traffic to your store by offering coupons that can be printed out.  Or if your customer prefers to shop from home make that experience easy as well.

As you begin to build a customer base, the key is also to keep on top of the trends in the industry.  Fragrances are very important to people and having them timely to the season of the year is critical to maximize the impact of the season.

Without doubt the entire supply chain is undergoing a huge transition and techniques and efforts that may have been successful even several years ago will not be as effective.   The key is to continue building your own brand that consumers want even if currently on a local scent.


About the author

Hi I'm Chandler. Thanks for visiting! Illumine is all about helpful projects, ideas, and articles related to candle and soap making and the candle and soap making business.

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