Starting a candle supply business that sells items such as wax, molds and wicks can be an interesting as well as rewarding way to fulfill your dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
Many ancient civilizations used candles for light. Today, although candles are no longer the prime form of lighting in most homes, they are more popular than ever. This is due to their decorative value, with candles having a beauty when lit and unlit. Originally, candles were made from undyed and unfragranced wax and formed in simple shapes. The range of decorative candles has grown, however, with candles being widely available in many different colors, shapes and scents.
As the interest in candles grows, many people are seeking out new and unusual types of candles and these are often candles that have been handmade by artisan candle makers. Candle making is a popular craft and many candle makers sell their candles either as a small sideline or as a thriving business.
Candle makers and candle making businesses need good quality supplies. The growth in the artisan candle business also means that there is a growing demand for candle making supplies. The types of supplies that a candle making supply business will sell include:
- Waxes - paraffin, beeswax, or soy
Ideas for Starting a Candle Supply Business
There are many different ways of starting a candle supply business. Some of the main considerations include:
Bricks and Mortar or Online?
One of the most important decisions that has to be made is whether the candle making supply business will operate from a building, such as a shop or warehouse, or will exist solely online. There are advantages for both models:
- Bricks and Mortar: It is possible to get to know the customers and this helps forge a positive relationship. There is also the opportunity to run classes or courses and this can help build a strong customer base.
- Online: Online stores have less overhead than the bricks and mortar equivalent. This means that the prices charged can be more competitive. An online business can be run from anywhere, although consideration will need to be given to the storage of stock over time.
Types of Supplies
In order to succeed when starting a candle supply business it is important to consider how this business will be different from the competition. This point of difference might come from only stocking locally sourced goods, specializing in hard-to-find candle making supplies, only offering organic products or supplying exceptionally high quality supplies. This will help to define the business and the potential market.
Range of Supplies Offered
It is important to consider what range of supplies to offer. A start up business should develop a core line of a few key products. It is important not to tie all the start up capital up in products that might not sell. That money will be better spent in marketing the business. An extensive product range can follow as the business grows.
How to Promote a New Candle Supply Business
Letting candle makers know that there is a new supply business open and ready to trade is vitally important. A simple, well prepared email, flyer or advertisement in a trade magazine will help to get word out. Another idea is to prepare business cards that can be handed out at craft fairs and markets.
Special offers are also a way to bring in new business. During the early days, it is absolutely vital to offer exceptional customer service. Therefore, any candle making supplies that are being offered as part of a special promotion should be available for immediate delivery. There should be no danger of these items being sold out, which will leave unhappy customers. People enjoy free things and a range of free candle making recipes or projects is also a great way to bring people to a Web site. If the recipe also gives information about the supplies required to make the candle (perhaps with a handy 'buy now' button), visitors will be tempted to buy supplies. If a new recipe is added weekly, then this will ensure that visitors have plenty of reason to bookmark the site and return.
Any new business will present its challenges as well as its rewards. However, with a bit of forward planning, a candle supply business will be on the road to success.