Time to Light a Fire for
Hard to believe summer is over and most people are back to their fall schedule. For the sports fan, the fall is the best time of year, football “Kicks-Off” and playoff baseball is in “Full Swing”. For candle makers the fall is generally when we like to “Light a Fire” to our candle business. For the non-sports fan please stay with us as we draw an analogy between baseball and candle making. It is a little bit of a reach but we are going to take a shot since we are hoping the Phillies are in the World Series.
The fall schedule is critical to the success of any size candle company. The holiday season can account for up to 40-45% of your candle sales and for many smaller companies this figure can be much higher. We hope that by turning the 3 potential strikes below into hits you can make your company a winner in any league.
Strike 1: Find what fragrance load works for you
Many learn quickly that the reason most people purchase their candles is the fragrance it delivers to the consumer. However creating a balance on correct fragrance throw and still selling the candle at a competitive level can be a very tough subject and one that everyone has varying opinions on.
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 may 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 and when you then try and smell them your ability to sufficiently evaluate can be compromised. Also it is very difficult for you to be the own judge of the finished product.
When smelling fragrances for too long of a time period your senses can become somewhat dull and you become accustomed to smelling them 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.
Strike 2: Sell your candle at the correct price
Setting the proper price for your candle might be one of the most difficult tasks in candle making. There are many issues which must be considered. Naturally we would all like to sell at the highest price but your target audience might not be willing to pay that price. On the other side there are consumers who feel if you sell the candle too inexpensively there is something wrong with the product. For initial guidance on developing your prices be sure to check out our June 2007 Englightner. Some important considerations must be; what is your competitor selling the product for? What is the target audience that your candles are being sold in? Can you offer some products at a lower margin in hopes that they buy the higher priced items to go along with their candle purchase? Depending on the market you are selling at, you can also run "specials" where people feel like they are getting value in the product.
Strike 3: Add new fragrances
One of the best things to get all of your customers to continually come back is offer new fragrances. Every year the major candle companies launch new and exciting fragrances and you should be no different. How many times do you hear when a customer comes to your booth or store "What do you have new?" If you are doing a specific event, maybe offer a candle fragrance that is specifically geared for that show. This may entice the customer to make that impulse purchase. Other new fragrances may be seasonal or become part of your collection. Since many candle makers are in constant communication with customers, be sure to ask what they see is popular.
Hopefully by paying attention to each of these potential strikes and following them you can hit that "Home Run" and have a very good holiday season.
Now for the baseball fan lets hope it is an exciting one.
What are some holiday projects for groups to work on?
As we approach the holidays, groups and organizations are actively engaged in crafting activities, and so I am asked this question quite often.
In general, there are several creative group projects, which are ideal for any age group. I have listed them along with the links for previously featured projects.
In order to get the most out of a project, it is always best to engage in products that do not require the wax to be heated and ones which the participants can take the project home when completed. Some of my favorite include the following:
Beeswax Candle Sheets -- Fun, Easy, and Profitable
Candle Making Made Fun...Wax Art Crystals