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Determine the Right Fragrance Load

by Chandler 15. October 2011 01:46

Candle makers learn quickly that people purchase their candles because of the fragrance it delivers. However creating a balance on correct fragrance load (a.k.a scent load) and still selling the candle at a competitive level can be a very tough subject and one that everyone has varying opinions on.Fragrance load is the percentage of fragrance added to the wax

Adding more scent than you need is not always the answer and will be costly and may not be necessary. Fragrances do have what is commonly referred to as the point of diminishing returns; you are adding more fragrance, but it does not result in a better product.

For many candle makers, the tendency is to add more fragrance because you think there is not enough. The best thing to do is test your different formulas with friends and neighbors. Be sure to evaluate the fragrance in a location other than where you pour the candles. Fragrances can easily take over the room when you pour your candles. When you then try to smell them, your ability to sufficiently evaluate can be compromised. Also, it is very difficult for you to judge your own finished product.  

When smelling a fragrance for too long, your senses become dull and you become accustomed to smelling the fragrance at stronger doses. While it can be hard to let other people help you determine if your candle smells strong enough, it is critical to finding the right fragrance load.

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Categories: Candle Busines


Use Summertime To Improve Your Candle Making Business (Part 1)

by Chandler 25. June 2011 00:16

This is the first of four posts. Check back soon (or subscribe to our feed) to get the rest of the story.

While many are in vacation mode during the summer months, we always suggest that you do not take a vacation from your business or take away time to start your business. If your goal is to make and sell candles for the holidays, then it is very important that you start the process now. It will take you time to choose the proper wax, select the proper wick and start identifying which fragrances to offer. The summer months are an excellent time to begin and perfect this process. 

Summertime Advantages from Suppliers

During the summer, many suppliers are somewhat slower and you can have more access to the technical people during this time period. Orders can be shipped in more timely time period which can help you do your testing faster. Sometimes the best sales are held by suppliers to ensure people purchase products during the summer months. Use all of these advantages from the supplier to your favor as you start your company or look to grow.

Up next...Summer Ideas to Help New Businesses

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Categories: Candle Busines


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


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.


Marketing Ideas (Part One)

by Chandler 10. March 2010 01:27

Database Marketing
Maybe try some new craft shows, festival or flea market and use this opportunity to not only sell your product but to begin building a database.  Your database might be just names and address to send catalogs, mailings and special promotions.  Mailings sometimes are easier to capture the attention of the consumer because they actually have to grab the mailing but is more costly than emails.   If you have a strong database (one that has proven results when you do mailings), you might even want to send something like a scented tart highlighting your new fragrance.  The cost for a mailing like this would be higher but would be a more effective way of grabbing the potential customer's attention.   Think about how many times you smell the perfume swatches they put in magazines.

Email Marketing
These days email is definitely the most cost effective means to reach a large segment of the population. Consumers get inundated with emails so you will need to have a different approach and one that can bring value to the potential customer.   Have a monthly/quarterly or seasonal mailing that provides tips on using candles to decorate the home or reminder of activities coming up.   As part of that campaign be sure to include candles/fragrances that are very timely.

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Categories: Business Articles | Candle Busines


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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The Candlewic Company

Supplies the candle making industry with candle making kits, molds and accessories including candle wax, gel, and wicks.

3765 Old Easton Road
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800-368-3352 | Local: 215-230-3601
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