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Candle making business plan

Knowing how to make candles is only part of starting a candle-making business.

Thorough planning is required to ensure that you business grows into a successful venture and to determine whether your candle business idea is even feasible. You do not have to make a tedious business plan, but considering a few key issues will help your business start on the right track.

Operating Budget

Determine how much money you have to put into the business, and then figure out how much money you need to operate on every month. Take into account costs for supplies, fragrance oils, wax, marketing materials, your website, fees for craft fairs or retail space, candle association memberships, and packaging. For example, if you have £3,250 to start your candle business, you will be operating on about £270 per month over the course of an entire year, so you'll need to decide what per cent to allocate to each of your business' needs.

Pricing

Without proper pricing, you will end up either losing to your competition by charging too much or not making enough money to cover your expenses. Research what your competitors are charging to ensure that you don't price your candles too high or low. Remember to not only account for the cost of materials, but labour and packaging. Shipping is typically a separate cost and only applies to retail sales. When pricing candles for retail sale, you must first figure out how much money you need to make. Let's say you have a goal to make £9,750 per year from your candle business.

If you sell each candle for £9, you will need to sell 1,000 per year to meet your goal.

If you sold them for £3 each, you would need to work three times as hard to reach your yearly goal and sell at least 3,000 candles annually. If you plan to sell your candles wholesale or in bulk, the rule of thumb is to offer buyers half the retail price.

Competition

There are many independent candle businesses in existence, and you should think about how you plan to differentiate yourself. Choose a niche to serve, such as soy candles, gourmet scents, or wick-less candles. Then, research to see who the top three candle businesses in that niche are.

Note what they seem to be doing to be successful, their product selection, branding, and any areas of weakness. Then you can start planning how to be a contender against these established companies.

Marketing

With an independent candle businesses, a website and online store are essential for long-term success.

But you also need to find other ways to market your business by knowing who your target market is, who is most likely to buy your candles and what kinds of media would best reach them.

Part of marketing also includes public and community relations, so consider donating part of your profits to local organisations, holding community classes to teach candle-making, or donating candles to fundraisers. Helping your community not only improves your company's image (which is good public relations), but it will also increase your standing in the community.

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