Candle-making and supplying quality component for the process can be a great part or even full-time business. It doesn’t take a lot of capital to get started, you can make your own hours, and you get to do something that you love. So, how do you become a candle wax distributor?
As far as the ‘how’ in how to become a candle distributor, it ultimately is going to boil down to deciding about your offerings, getting the appropriate permits, locating suppliers, and developing a distribution plan.
Today we’ll explore the steps that you need to take so that by the time we are done you’ll have a basic business blueprint that can help you to get started and a better idea of what you can expect with your new and amazing business. Let’s take a deep-dive into the world of candle and wax distribution!
How Do I Start a Candle Wax Business?
As with starting any business, you’ll have to strategize and take care of legalities before you’ll be able to get started as a full-fledged vendor of fine candles and candle supplies. Let’s take a look at the basics of what this is going to entail. You will need to do the following:
Perfect Your Craft and Select Your Favorites
If you are going to sell your candles to the public then you need to make sure that you are bringing your ‘A’-game. Select your favorite candles, the ones that you feel are approaching or already at a perfect and professional grade. Don’t select too many in the beginning but don’t select too few, either.
Create a basic selection that you are comfortable starting with to show-off what you can do.
To check the current price and availability of Candle Wax, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
Name and Legitimize Your Business
Word of mouth won’t do you a lot of good without a memorable name and you can’t do business legally without the paperwork! So, decide on a business name that you feel is memorable and worthy or your products and after this, it is going to be a good idea to speak with a business attorney to make sure that you get all your paperwork in order.
An attorney is really going to be vital at this point and you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you skip this unpleasant step and try to do things on your own. This is because you are going to first need to decide things like ‘is my business a sole proprietorship or a corporation?” and this will affect risk factors, taxation, and more.
Furthermore, your licensing and permits will also be specific to the business type and will need to be obtained at local and federal levels. Doing it yourself could lose you business, should a vendor decide that they like your product and then find out that your business doesn’t have the necessary permits.
At best, it simply looks unprofessional, but at worst it could cost you current and future business so you want to make sure that you get an attorney so that you can do this right and get on with selling your candles like a pro!
Planning Your Market
Creating a marketing strategy gives you a focus beyond simply making the best products at the lowest costs that you can. After all, even if you make the best candles, if you haven’t planned where you are going to sell them then there is no way that you can profit!
By creating a plan, you are setting goals for your marketing and if it’s a good plan, then it can even get you funding (which we’ll discuss next). Here is a sample basic strategy just so that you can get an idea of how it’s done:
- Step 1 – Renting a booth at Farmer’s market for weekend sales and exposure this year
- Step 2 – Establishing online presence – This includes building a website and/or setting up online stores on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy
- Step 3 – Establishing contact with and providing free samples to the following local businesses – business 1, business 2, etc.
- Step 4 – Providing samples to 10 non-local businesses per month, list to include the following… business 1, business 2…
Unding Your Business
By crafting your strategy as we have listed, you will be better prepared to solicit funding but this isn’t going to be your only option. Other strategies for getting the start-up cash to pursue the strategy which you have tailored for your business include the following:
- Financing your equipment – Upgrading your equipment may be easier than you think. In business cases where equipment needs to be financed, lenders often provide the amounts and use the equipment as collateral.
- Business loans and credit lines – By taking the time to create a business model, you increase the likelihood of getting a small business loan or a line of business credit. The latter is more flexible but either one can go a long way in getting you started.
- Business grants – Look into small business grants that the government may provide for encouraging the growth of small businesses. If you don’t, you’re shooting yourself in the foot because these grants are out there… it just takes a little Googling and patience.
- SBA Microloans – Research SBA microloans as another option for startup capital. If you qualify, these can help you to get started fast and more aggressively than you could on your own.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Candle Business?
When you factor in your gear, such as double-boilers, jars, supplies, shipping and marketing considerations, then you should expect to invest a minimum of $1000 if you really want to get started right.
Compared to other business models, this is actually quite reasonable and if you are making $500 – $1000 making candles and providing supplied part-time then you’ll recoup your initial investment very quickly.
When you go wholesale there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. While you get more sales, the profit margin is going to be much lower, and you are definitely going to need to do some research to ensure that your prices are competitive and thus attractive to potential buyers.
Here are some steps and startup-tips so that you can assess what will be involved should you provide wholesale offerings:
- You’ll need to research local markets and trade shows to get an idea of what vendors are actually paying.
- You need to determine what makes your candles worth more than the competition. Perhaps you use specialized materials or make them all using an antiquated, traditional process that makes your products more valuable to certain clientele.
- When finding the right price range to sell for the wholesale market, start by selling for half of the retail price based on comparable products that you’ve scouted out and surveyed. This cost of producing your candles should be less than 50% of the wholesale price you are offering prospective vendors, if not, then adjust your price or process.
- You will need to make an informative brochure to give prospective clients. This should discuss what you produce, any special methods and/or ingredients involved that may help sales, and a list of wholesale costs and recommended retail sales prices so that potential clients can consider your offer with this information all in one place.
How Profitable Is a Candle Business?
The candle business can be quite profitable if you are marketing your product aggressively enough. This is because it has some very excellent perks when it comes to a business startup option and also, statistics support that people simply love candles. About 7 in 10 houses in the United States have and use them regularly, so the demand is definitely out there!
Let’s break down profitability a little from a startup perspective:
- Candle price – The price you attach to your candles will make a huge difference, of course. Higher-end markets will likely mean that you’ll need a better grade of ingredients, but they also come with considerably more profit.
- Ingredients – Ingredients are quite affordable once you’ve switched to wholesale, so this makes for an excellent profit margin, especially when you are doing the work yourself. That said, ingredients and advertising are going to be your biggest costs.
- Advertising costs – This is where you will be spending the most in the beginning. Sending out free samples and looking out for new customers is a slow, tedious process but as you are getting your ingredients wholesale, much of these costs are still fairly minimized.
- Sales take-home – Due to the small start-up costs and the low costs for making each candle, typical profit margins are going to be high – usually 50% to 70%. If you get an assistant, then this can go down to 25% to 50%, so it’s best to do the work yourself until you’re well on your way to building a solid customer network.
Is There a ‘Ballpark’ Figure on Profitability?
Ultimately, this is going to depend on you, but if we had to throw out a ballpark figure, we’d say that you can expect $500 to $1000 per month when you are getting started and this amount will increase over time as your customer base grows.
This means that you’ll be starting out part-time, but you need to be ready to put in more hours as-needed or to hire help when your business starts to take off. You may also need to upgrade your equipment eventually as demand gets higher but don’t worry about this yet.
You are going to need to make some decisions on pricing and this can be tricky when you are getting started. If an 8-ounce candle costs you about $2.50 to make, consider selling it for $10 and see how that goes. For larger candles that cost around $5 to make, try pricing them at about $18.
Rent a space at your local Farmer’s market, sell on Amazon and eBay, and start getting samples out and querying suppliers that you like personally to see how you can expand your business and then the numbers will be appreciably higher!
So, there you have it! Starting your own candle and candlewax distribution business is a great way to make a little money while doing something that you love. You’ll need to get the required permits, located some good suppliers, and definitely develop your brand to fit the markets which you are targeting.
While it’s not going to be easy, with a bit of persistence, an aggressive business model, and quality goods the word will start getting around and your distribution base will grow. Just be patient with the process and consistent with your products and you’ll find the perfect niche for your brand.
So, what are you waiting for? Start mapping out your strategy with the steps that we’ve give you today and get your candles out there. With a lot of patience, a little luck, and some excellent candles then you might just have the recipe for success!