Starting your own candle making business doesn’t have to be complicated. There are helpful ways that you can plan for all the best—and worst—parts of your business before you even open up shop. To do so, all you have to do is write your own business plan. But where do you even start?
How to write your candle making business plan:
- Outline your operations, or how you’re going to run your business.
- Outline any legal information, like how you’re going to insure your business.
- Describe your staffing and your management structure.
- Create a budget for both short term and long term.
- Describe where you will be conducting business, whether at home or in a physical storefront.
- Outline your marketing strategy.
- Write your mission statement and set goals.
Your business plan is the backbone of your business. By creating your business plan at the start of your business creation, you will not only have a road map to initial success, but you will have a way forward through any issues you may have throughout the operations of your business. Read on to find out what needs to be in each section of your business plan.
Outline your operations, or how you’re going to run your business.
As you start your business, the most important factor you need to consider is how you are going to run your business. This may seem vague, but as you start to answer questions, you will get a deeper understanding of the industry and your business overall. This is the part of your business plan you will refer to when you need to make hard decisions in the future, so be as thorough as you can in creating this section.
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
- What should I name my business? In this case, if you are operating under a name that isn’t your personal name, you may have to register under a “doing business as” business, depending on your location. Registering under your own name may force you to register your business differently. Make sure your business name is unique, not just for brand recognition, but because you need to register it with the government.
- What kind of business should I have? You have options, like the “doing business as” option, a partnership with another person, or creating a limited liability company. In most cases, a limited liability company is your best option, but consider speaking to a lawyer or attorney to solidify this choice.
Outline any legal information, like how you’re going to insure your business.
Even if you are just starting out as a small business online or Etsy, you should consider insuring your business. While if you are a limited liability company, you will have some protection, you should also make sure you have the appropriate insurance on the location where you will be creating your candles. Candles are technically a fire hazard, so making sure you are safe will also help you in the long run.
If you are working out of your home, contact your existing home insurance provider. If you are renting or purchasing a location, your provider for that location will have information about what you need to do before you start creating candles.
In some cases, you will also need business licenses before you start selling online. Consider contacting your local government to find out what you need before you start.
Describe your staffing and your management structure.
Even if you are opening the business by yourself, writing down the management structure is key if you ever want to expand. Questions you should be asking yourself include:
Am I going to run my business, or is someone else part of all major decisions?
This comes down to your business structure. If you’re in a partnership with someone else, make sure you outline each of your responsibilities here. When it is just you, use this section to outline what you do to manage your business, so if you decide to hire new people down the road, you have a structure to do so.
If I hire employees, who do they answer to?
Especially if you are working with multiple owners, you need to determine the management hierarchy.
If I hire employees, what benefits should I provide?This may also feel like something far down the road, but you will need to offer benefits to your employees if you decide to hire on. While this doesn’t have to be set in stone, getting it down in writing will help in the long run.
Create a budget for both short term and long term
Your business can’t even begin without creating a budget.
Questions you should ask yourself as you write out a budget include:
1: How much money do I need to run my business month by month? For a business out of your home, you will need inventory, a place to sell your inventory, and marketing. Don’t forget to set aside a salary for yourself.
2: How much profit do I need to break even?
3: How much profit do I need to expand?
4: How much will I charge per candle?
These questions are most likely answered after determining what inventory you will need and breaking down the costs by individual candle. When you have done that, it is much easier to determine your budget and find out just how much capital you need to start your business.
Describe where you will be conducting business, whether at home or in a physical storefront
While most candle making companies that are selling handmade items online are making their candles in their home, it does not always have to be the case. In this section, outline where your business will be. If you have to move into another physical location, outline what you need in that location and what you’re willing to pay. It will help guide your decisions as you look for a space.
Outline your marketing strategy
In your budget, you should include costs for marketing, whether that is online, through social media, or another outlet. You can’t sell your items without people knowing about them, so create a marketing strategy in your business plan.
Questions you can ask yourself include:
- Where will I market my items? If you want to sell on Etsy, you can easily set up a shop there. If you’re looking strictly at selling off your own website. There are ways to include a shop on your own proprietary website, like using Shopify.
- When on social media, how often should I post? This is extremely important in our social media age—post too little, no one remembers them, or post too much, and you will get ignored. Find a happy medium in posting every other day or a certain time during the day.
- What demographic am I trying to reach, and where are they looking the most? Outlining your demographic is key in knowing where to sell your items. If your candles are geared more towards the Boomer generation, you’re not going to find enough marketing to keep you afloat on TikTok.
- What should my brand look like? Decide on your logo, fonts, colors, etc. and make sure you stay consistent among all your social media and your website. Customers want to see something that looks professional and cohesive. Decide what you’re doing before you even open your store, so you can have brand recognition from the start.
Write your mission statement and set goals
While you may think you don’t need a mission statement or philosophy for a candle making company, you might be surprised. Truly thinking about why you want to start this business can solidify what you’re doing and when you share it, you can bring in more customers just by your idealistic approach. People don’t just want companies anymore—they want to shop with real people.
In this section, you can also start to set goals for yourself. Find out what you really want to do this for and outline the ways you are going to get there. Whether it’s profit or because you found a niche in your community you wanted to fill, it doesn’t matter your motives as long as you set goals to get there.
Don’t be afraid to add more to your business plan! The more information you have, the better—if a problem arises down the line from when you start your business, you will have your plan to refer to in order to make better business decisions.
I want to start a homemade candle making business at home. How much money do I need?
If you want to start your business at home, you will need about $1,500 for a point-of-sale system, a way to display your candles online, marketing, and inventory.
Is it safe to make candles in my home?
Yes, making candles at home is perfectly safe if you take the necessary precautions. Make sure your wax does not get too hot as it melts, and use a thermometer if necessary. Keep your work area clean, setting down newspaper or wax paper for easy clean up.
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.