Professional Candle Making Supplies Since 1972
December 01, 2006
Looking Into the Future
Looking Into the Future
As we draw to a close in 2006, we would like to personally thank all of our customers
who made this year so successful. As you may have read in our July issue we celebrated
our 35th year in business. We could not be here without you and hope that we can help you
continue to prosper in the upcoming years. As the industry continues to change, we will
always be here to help you with your candle making needs. We pride ourselves on taking
the time to keep on top of any of the important issues impacting the candle industry. Nothing
gives us more pleasure then when someone takes the time to say they learned something from
our newsletter or how informative our website is.
It is usually about this time of year all the various publications start writing about the highlights and lowlights of 2006. I don’t know about you, but I just got used to writing ‘06 in my checkbook. Rather then following this tradition we would like to get an early jump and think about what lies ahead for many of us and what we can do both short term and long term to try and make the most sound business decisions.
Many of the business decisions you make in the upcoming weeks can have an impact on how 2007 will start. The first area to give serious consideration is your inventory. For many mid size and small companies this can be rather significant. While the every day items of your waxes, standard fragrances and dyes will always be needed, there is not much to do except ensure that you have sufficient inventories to start 2007. You don’t want your staff coming back and not having all of the materials to start making candles again.
The key is how to handle inventory that will more than likely be idle for quite some time or never used. This will include your holiday finished candles, fragrances used during the holidays, packaging and/or containers. There are several things to consider and you should consult your accountant to find out what is best for your particular situation. Some suggestions include donating them to a charity to receive the tax deduction. 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. Yes the fragrance may have cost you $15, but if you will not be using it then you may want to think of liquidating the product.
We have written about it before, but if you have a scent that you marketed for the holidays like “Christmas Eve” or others, try changing the name to “Winter Wonderland,” “Pine Dreams” or other winter sounding candles. This will extend your selling cycle for several months. If you have a mailing list, store or other direct avenues, be one of the first to discount your candles and to move excess inventory - everyone likes getting items at deeply discounted prices. If the candle is in a decorated tin/glassware it can be safely stored and the user can put it away with other holiday items and then bring it out next season. They will more likely purchase the item if discounted enough.
Another way is to give them away directly to the community. Take 20-30 candles with a nice bow to your Church, spouses work or neighborhood holiday party and 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.
Whatever your inventory situation is, you should examine it. There is a lot that can be done to help your tax situation.
Another important step for 2007 is to start to reach out to all of your customers and let them know some of your plans for the upcoming year. It might be the new fragrances, new containers or even types of candles. 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. Get samples in their hands quickly and follow up with pricing.
The question on many minds is what is going to happen in the paraffin wax market in 2007? The year of 2005 and the first part of 2006 where historic in terms of wax pricing. While there were many contributing factors to these price increases including continued reduction in the number of refineries making, hurricanes in 2005 and reduction of imported waxes caused the majority of the inflation. Over the last half of 2006 there has been stability in these prices and how long this will continue is of widespread speculation. The belief is that it will be stable for awhile. Many will be watching the inventory levels of the refineries closely, how much the imported waxes increase/decrease and how the larger users patterns may or may not change.
One of the hot topics for 2006 and will most certainly continue into 2007 is candles made with natural waxes. This segment of the candle industry continues to see growth and will continue to do so in 2007. Interestingly for the first time Soy waxes could be purchased at a better price then paraffin waxes in many instances. Be sure to check out our January issue of the Enlightener where we will feature the continued growth of natural wax candles.
What does scent load, double and triple scented candles mean?
Let me see if I can make sense (pardon the pun) of this question. The proper amount of scent is purely an individual determination. Many sources have tried to simplify things by recommending 5 percent, 6 percent and etc., but even these levels can cause problems, because scent strength levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. A scent load of 5 percent by one manufacturer may result in a certain scent smell but you may find that you are able to duplicate that smell using only 4 percent of the same from another manufacturer.
The percentage is the amount of scent relative to your total formulation. For example, if you were making a 100-pound batch of candles, your wax (provided you are using a blended wax) would be 95 percent and the remaining portion would be scent, so you would say it has a 5 percent scent load. There is no right or wrong amount of scent to add to a candle, within reason. You must always test burn the candle once you have determined your scent load to ensure it performs properly.
Some candle companies have used terminology such as triple scented and double scented.
This is more of a marketing technique since there is no true standard to measure it against,
it is therefore not possible to quantify. Your selection will be based on where your nose leads
you and the thoughts that are conjured up along with it. Enjoy the journey.