Another Good Year
On behalf of the entire Candlewic staff, I want to sincerely thank you for all of your support in 2012. Without the support
of our customers we would not be entering our 43rd year of business in 2013. We often write that over the 42 years there
have been many changes in the business environment, but in our little "candle world" very little has really changed. Yes, there
are new types of waxes, new fragrances being introduced and new jars designed, but the basic premise of melting
the wax, adding color/fragrance and pouring remains virtually unchanged. In the technology world, it seems that every year a new
product arrives another one becomes obsolete.
While the changes are not dramatic in our industry, it is still essential for companies to adapt to the little changes. Customers desire
new and innovative containers, a continual offering of new fragrances, and unique designs and types of candles. Over the years Palm,
Soy, and gel waxes have filled this desire. At Candlewic, we are always looking for and adding new products to our line. We now have close to 400 varieties of fragrances, 35 different types of wax, and over 100 molds to choose from. We hope to
continue on as your supplier in 2013 and for many years to follow.
In 2012 we have really ramped up our social media efforts, and we can now be found on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Be sure to follow us on these sites and check in on our blog to keep track of the new and exciting things happening at Candlewic.
We can't thank you enough for everything and wish you and your family a happy holiday season!
Managing Shipping Options
For the last couple of years the one issue that people seem to read over and over is our December issue. We apologize for those that
have read it in the past, but the response from our new readers makes it worth the tradition of sending it out. Whether or not you've read it before, as you wrap up your business
year, be sure to spend time reading this issue.
12. Drummers Drumming (Can't resist this one)
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 your inventory.
11. Pipers Piping
The fiscal year for most companies will be ending shortly. Be sure to get your tax information together so that 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 free up valuable space within your warehouse. You don't make any money on candles sitting in your warehouse or on a shelf. Holiday candles are difficult to sell after January 1st, unless deeply discounted. Excessive inventory not only takes up space, but 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.
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 candles directly to your community. Take 20-30 candles with a nice bow on them 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 instance, 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 for which the profit is better than others. Examine ways to sell more of the higher margin products in 2013.
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 candles. Most people start the New Year with a lot of optimism, and if you can put ideas and concepts in their thought process early enough, you will have an advantage over your competition.
3. Change Candle Names
If a candle is a holiday-specific fragrance, rename it 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, such as purchasing any new equipment you might need. Year-end is always great for budgeting and planning so that you can kick the New Year off right. While the inclination is to wind down the year, we have always been advocates of taking this slow time to re-examine the entire business.
1. True Love
Most consumers love candles. Be sure to use this in your marketing plan for 2013. Candles can serve many functions: room freshener, accessory, and even lighting. Be sure to incorporate all of these popular uses into your plan for new products in 2013. Most importantly, be sure your passion and love for the business still burns.
I personally want to thank everyone for trusting me enough to answer all of your inquiries. I truly enjoy reading each and every email, because it
shows how many people share the same passion I do for the art and business of candle making. Candlewic is kind enough to give me
some time off from publishing in the Enlightener, but I am still available to answer all of your questions.
I would like to point out that while I may be off duty, we do have several other resources that may be of assistance: