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December 20, 2017

Farewell 2017

December 2017
As we close out another year, those of us at Candlewic wish to send a big “Thank You” to all of our customers. Without your continued support, we would not be here year after year. As we enter close to 48 years in business, we honestly have to say that this industry continues to be fun and exciting. And we feel honored to continue to be a part of its growth.

We hope that you avail yourself of all of the resources that we offer on our website. We have videos, “how to” projects, guides for selecting wicks and, naturally, our Enlightener newsletter, which – based on the comments we receive – is an inspiration for many. We're always looking for new and unique ways to improve our publication and are open to any suggestions our customers might have. Our subscriptions continue to grow, and we hope you have the time to read the newsletters as they are released monthly, normally around the 15th-20th of each month.

As the year 2018 (It's hard to write that – didn't we just start 2017?) is about to begin, we're here to make sure your experience with Candlewic is an extremely positive one – one that will keep you coming back.

One of our favorite traditions at Candlewic is revisiting a December newsletter that we wrote a number of years back but which seems to get the most positive comments from our readers. We apologize to our long-time readers for not offering any new content, but, over the past number of weeks, we have been doing everything we can to ensure that customers receive their orders in a timely manner so they can meet all of their Holiday demands. 

Again, we cannot thank everyone enough for a great year, and we wish you all a Safe and Happy Holiday Season. We will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, but, other than that, we'll be here shipping out the last of our 2017 orders.

Your Friends at Candlewic
The 12 Days of Candle Making
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 2017. 5 Golden Rings!
4 Calling Birds 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 new 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." 3 Candle Names
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. 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 2017. 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 2017. Most important, be sure your passion and love for the business still burns. 1 True Love
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.
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