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December 11, 2015

Farewell to 2015

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December 2015
I can almost remember writing last year's final newsletter and here we are, getting ready to send out the final issue of 2015. We pride ourselves on having one of the few free candle making newsletters that is much more than a mailing of what is on sale. Each issue always covers a wide range of topics during the course of the year; not only on how to make candles but also running a business, marketing and maximizing your operation.

The Enlightner will begin its fifteenth year of publication; and we have you, the readers, to thank for all of the support. Much of the information in the Enlightner is from our 46 years in the candle business.

In 2016, you have our commitment, that we will continually improve and offer products that will help you grow your business. One of the most unique things that have changed in the last five to ten years is the ability to communicate with our customers almost instantly via Facebook and Twitter. We use these for flash sales, ongoing events and other timely matters.

We can assure you that we have many new and exciting announcements to make in 2016 that will help you grow your business, hobby or craft. As always, our staff is here to help you with all of your needs, from helping you pick a great fragrance to guiding you in selecting the right wax, and narrowing down your wick selection.

In each year's final issue, we bring back an article we wrote several years ago that has a great holiday theme! We do apologize to our devoted readers who have read this in the past, but maybe something came up during the course of this year that could be solved by revisiting this helpful article.
12 Drummers Drumming
(Can't resist this one!) As the number of shopping days dwindle, 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.
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. 11 Pipers Piping
10 Evaluate 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 that sit in your warehouse, or on your shelf. Holiday candles are difficult to sell after January 1, unless they're deeply discounted. Excessive inventory not only takes up space, but also hinders your ability to purchase new products.
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 you 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 tax questions. 9 Donate to Charity
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 nine to ten months.
Think about giving candles directly to your community. Take 20 to 30 candles with a nice bow on them to your church, spouse's 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. 7 Donate to Your Community
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.
While you are looking over sales data, also look at 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 2016. 5 Golden Rings!
12 Drummers Drumming
Reach out to all of your customers and let them know your plans for the upcoming year. It might be new fragrances, new containers or even types of candles. Most people start a 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.
If a candle is a holiday-specific fragrance, rename it so you can extend the selling season until the end of winter. "Christmas Cheer" might turn into "Winter Delight." 11 Pipers Piping
12 Drummers Drumming
Since there may be some slow days, look at your operation and see if there is any way to make it more efficient. For example, you may need to purchase new equipment. The end of the year 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.
Most consumers love candles. Be sure to use this in your marketing plan for 2016. Candles can serve many functions: room fresheners, accessories and even lighting. Be sure to incorporate all of these popular uses into your plan for new products in 2016. Most importantly, be sure your passion and love for the business still burns. 11 Pipers Piping
CHANDLER'S CORNER
Hi. I'm Chandler.I personally want to thank everyone for trusting me to answer all of your inquiries. I truly enjoy reading each and every email, because it shows how many people share the same passion that 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:
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We hope you enjoyed this issue of the En-Light-ener. Thank you for your continued interest and support. Our goal is to make this newsletter as entertaining and educational as possible. Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can improve.
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3765 Old Easton Road | Doylestown, PA 18901 | 800-368-3352
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