June 02, 2014

Summer Homework Assignment: Improve Your Candle Business

Summer Homework Assignment:
Improve Your Candle Business

Now that the school year is over for most kids, business owners or startups can focus solely on their own homework: how to grow the business. Summer can be slow in terms of sales for many candlemakers, but it is a great time to research the candle industry and related industries for trends. It's a time when you can add something new and exciting to your line or test new advertising avenues.

One thing many business owners may have observed over the past several years is that the methods they previously used to grow their business aren't working as efficiently in today’s new business climate. Pouring in the same container, with the same fragrances, isn't exciting the current consumer. Attending craft shows with same product mix year after year isn't getting your booth noticed. Advertising in the same publications isn't bringing new customers to your store.

One thing small businesses must do is continuously change to meet the current trends in marketing and selling. In today’s world, many media marketing opportunities can be done for free or at lower cost than traditional advertising.

Free Publicity

  1. Write an article on different ways to incorporate your candles into home decor. One of the ways we have always promoted is using candles in the fireplace instead of a fire. Other suggestions might include scenting luminaries used outside during evening entertaining. Be creative and use suggestions from customers on how they have used your candles.
  2. Write an article on the safe way to burn a candle.
  3. Share the article by posting on Facebook, tweeting some highlights, or posting a picture on Pinterest that links to your article. Use social media to your advantage when articles are published or even when you announce a new fragrance or jar.
  4. If your community sponsors an event, find a way for your business to participate.

The key right now is to get your company’s name out there so that when they are ready to make a purchase, they are familiar with your company.

Naturally can be Better

The interest in candles made of natural materials is stronger than ever. Candles made with beeswax, soy or palm are great additions to any product line. When making candles using these raw materials bee (had to use this pun) sure to really highlight the materials used in your marketing campaign, as well as the labels used. A recent issue of our Enlightener highlighted how to make candles even more green by using 100% recycled glass.

Rolled beeswax candles are also rapidly becoming popular because they are easy to make and made of 100% natural beeswax. These sheets come in a variety of colors and you will be surprised how easy they are to use.

Unique and Different

You may try making unique or custom candles not normally found on retail shelves. Make extra large candles like 5" x 9", 6" x 6" or even 8" x 8". Finding unusual sized round molds like 5" and 8" diameter may be easier than you think. Aluminum tubing, acrylic and PVC pipe all make great molds and these materials can be found at your local home improvement center. Once you have the material, all you need to do is make a base for the molds. The base can be made using the Miracle Mold Material. This material can also be used to make your own custom mold of any shape or design.

In most instances, candy, chocolate and soap molds are great for candlemaking. Soap molds can come in some very unique shapes, such as frogs and ducks.

Candy molds are great to use for making “sun catchers” in the summer and holiday decorations in the winter. This project is quite simple in that you just take an unwaxed wick and make a loop, dropping both open ends in the mold and then pouring beeswax into the cavity.

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Based on current economic predictions, this summer could be weak for the gift industry. In order to succeed, it will take a lot more effort and work than previous years. Instead of doing 1 craft/festival a week, it may be necessary to find that extra show during the weekend or evening hours. Making more candles and offering them at a greater discount than in the past may also help you keep sales up.

In Conclusion

We all know the candle market will always be viable. The key to success is just finding what is going to work best for your customer base. No matter what direction you decide to go, a quality product and new,innovative product line is what will keep customers coming back for more.

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

I have only sold my candles to co-workers and friends. Is it difficult to sell to retailers?

When calling on retailers, it is always important to find out as much as you can about the retailer's terms and conditions. Many retailers have additional discounts they will take once the price is provided. These include, but are not limited to, advertising allowances, returns, damages and new store discounts. Be sure to know all the conditions before providing a quote.

In addition, you should be familiar with these commonly used retail terms:

  • ROI (Return on Investment) - This is the percentage of return that you get from investing in advertising, equipment or wherever you've invested funds to help grow your business. This is a common term used these days when referring to paid click ads on the internet.
  • BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) - This is a very common tactic to drive sales for a particular product.
  • Planogram - A layout of the products that illustrates how and where retail products should be displayed, which is usually on the store shelf.
  • Margin - This is the percentage between what it costs to produce and sell your candle.
  • Target Market - The defined market the retailer or candlemaker is trying to capture. Depending on the store, the target market might be teenagers or housewives.
  • Loss Leader - When the retailer will sell an item below cost to drive traffic to their store in hopes that the higher margin items will get sold.

June 2014

Featured Project:
Soy Candles

The demand for soy candles is still very strong and making them is very easy. The video link below is a great way to learn how to make these candles. The general process for making soy container candles will be the same with any of the soy waxes you choose. The best type of candles to make with soy wax are container candles. The best selling soy wax we offer is the Soy 125.


Click to view video

Quick Facts

When adding fragrance or additives, the following table will help guide you with any amount necessary (for example to reach 8%, simply add the 5% + 3% = 8%)

  • 1.1% = 5 grams per pound of wax
  • 2.0% = 9 grams per pound of wax
  • 3.1% = 14 grams per pound of wax
  • 4.0% = 18 grams per pound of wax
  • 5.1% = 23 grams per pound of wax
  • 6.0% = 28 grams per pound of wax

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