More and more people are working from home these days, and when you want to start your own business, you don’t have to be the exception! If you’re looking to start your own candle business, it’s entirely possible to do so out of the comfort of your home. But what do you need to do to make that happen?
Easy Steps for Starting Your Candle Business From Your Home
- Know what you’re doing—and do it well.
- Create a business plan.
- Get your licenses and insurance.
- Set up your point-of-sale system.
- Get your supplies and create your inventory.
- Market your candles.
You will have to go step by step on your business creation much like any other business—except you get the added benefit of working out of your home. What does that mean for you? Is there anything different to expect or plan for as you move forward? Read on to find out more about how to create your business from home.
Know what you’re doing—and do it well
The candle industry does upwards of $2 billion in sales annually according to the National Candle Association, which means you’re already entering a fairly saturated market. Because of that, you need to know your craft and make sure you’re doing it to the best of your ability.
This is a great time to determine what makes your candles unique. Because of that saturated market, you’re going to need a niche for your candles, whether it’s something like Original Man Candle with their stereotypically masculine scents or something like Fragrant Jewels, which sells candles with jewelry inside. You don’t need to have an extra gift in your candles to make them unique, but find something that represents what you want out of the industry before you even consider starting your own business.
While it may not seem unique, using all natural products is something that many people are looking for in this environmentally conscious age. Using essential oils as your fragrances and a more natural wax like beeswax or soy wax may bring in a discerning customer focused on the environment. While those supplies may cost more, that means you can charge more for your candles. There will be consumers who will pay more for a natural candle if it means its ingredients are also natural.
Create a business plan
As with all businesses, even once you start at home, you need to have a business plan. What this plan does is outline your entire business, including operations, finances, management, and even staffing. While this may not seem like a priority now, it may be in the future—so if you plan for it at the beginning, it won’t surprise you if you get to that point in your business growth.
Your business plan should also consider your business structure. For most, a limited liability company is best for small businesses, even ones starting at home. If you need legal help, consider contacting an attorney during this process.
You should also consider insurance. It is vital to a company that produces items that could be considered a fire hazard. Even working out of your home and not at a separate location will be important in the process, so be sure to talk to your existing home insurance provider for additional information regarding how that change could affect your insurance.
As you determine your business choices in this plan, you should also consider the name of your business. Make sure it is not something that is already used by checking online, but also make sure it represents you.
Your business plan should also define what your business is and what you intend to do. Make yourself a road map for what your goals are and what prices you will set for your candles, along with what ingredients you plan on using.
Within your business plan, you should also consider the budget. Because you are working out of your home, it should be much cheaper than purchasing a secondary location, but you will still need to plan for inventory, a website or point-of-sale system, and marketing, along with setting aside in your budget enough money to pay for your labor.
If you need additional funding to start your business, there are options. You can either go to a bank for a small business loan or consider financing. Friends and family may also help give you a loan as you’re starting out.
Additional information on how to create your business plan can be found at the Small Business Administration’s website in their guide.
Get your licenses and insurance
As mentioned during the business plan, you will need insurance. Because you are doing it out of your home, you will have to go through your home insurance provider to find additional information. Understand that your insurance could increase based on your business type and the fact that you are running the business altogether.
When it comes to licenses, you are going to need the standard business licenses required by your state and federal government. The employer’s identification number allows the Internal Revenue Service to collect tax on your products, and you will need a business license to operate. Because you don’t need a physical space, you will not need a certificate of occupancy or any of the licenses that go with that separate space.
Also note that there are legal standards for creating candles. ASTM International outlines all the standards, including fire safety warnings, information about the type of glass containers you use, and what is required to be on the labels.
Set up your point-of-sale system
This is a broad step, but selling from home gives you the option to do everything online. At this point, you should set up your shop’s online presence, whether it’s through a website or through a third-party seller like Etsy.
If you decide you want to sell in a physical location, you may need additional permits to do so. Consider working with local boutiques and small businesses to get a booth in their shop, or sell it at a local farmers’ or flea market. Regardless of where you sell, you will need a way to accept money, so during this step, set up that system, whether it be through a cash register or through an app on your phone.
Get your supplies and create your inventory
You can’t make sales without inventory, so this is the point in your business development that you will need to get your supplies. You will need at least one chosen wax, wicks, containers, colorants, fragrances, labels, and shipping supplies. Make sure wherever you get your supplies, you are sticking to your budget.
You should also strive for consistency in your products as you create your candles. Your customers are going to expect consistency, and because you’re doing it at home in smaller batches, you may struggle at first to maintain that consistency. Keep working on your craft to make sure your products are all the best you can create.
Market your candles
If people don’t know about them, they can’t purchase them, and that’s where working from home can be complicated. Without a storefront, people just can’t walk in, so you need to bring them to you. If you’re working off a website, it’s easy to link people to your site through your social media. Whatever you post, just make sure you keep things consistent under your messaging and your brand.
Connecting with your customer is what’s going to make your lack of physical shop easier. Knowing what they want and giving them what they want through an online seller is key—and you can keep them coming back for more. You’re going to need to become the ultimate salesperson, which means you need to talk about your product and market it wherever you go.
A great way to get your name out there is working locally. While you can do all these steps whether you’re working from home or not, the best way to reach out for more assistance is by connecting with other local businesses, whether they are candle producers or not. You can get assistance through those small businesses, and they may be able to help you with any challenges they have faced as they have started their business. It’s important and vital for you to create that networking, as you don’t know how much they can help you in the long run create a thriving business out of your home.
How much does it take to start a candle making business at home?
Because you are not required to use a physical storefront, it is much cheaper to start a candle business at home. Your main costs will be inventory, a point-of-sale system like a website or Etsy, and your marketing. If you are starting small, that should only cost you about $1,500.
What is the average cost of a candle?
A candle sold on the market right now has between a 25 percent and 50 percent markup, meaning if your ingredients cost $10, you should be charging $12.50 to $15 for that candle.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.