How To Start A Candle Making Business

Start A Candle Business

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You've stumbled upon the idea to build a candle business and now you're ready to take the next steps.

There's a lot to think about when building a business, so we put together a guide on how to get started, launch, grow and run your candle business.

We also provide you with real-life case studies and examples of founders running successful candle business (and how much💰 they're making today).

💡 Idea

Is the candle business for you?

Before we dive into the specifics of starting your own candle business, it's important to identify if this business is right for you.

Candles are a big commodity, so it's important that you have crafty and creative skills to differentiate your product from the rest.

One great reason to start a candle business is that you can essentially decide whether you want it to be a part-time or full-time gig.

A lot of entrepreneurs in the space even start candle making as a hobby and then turn it into a business, to ensure it's something they really love and want to focus on.

DShawn Russel, founder of Southern Elegance Candle Company did just that and turned her business into a $20K/month revenue source:

I started Southern Elegance right after my son was born as a hobby.

Initially, I made a bunch of random bath and body products in addition to the candles. When I decided to get serious, I looked at everything and decided to just focus on one product and chose candles because they had the potential to be the most profitable.

I was working in education at the time and I absolutely hated it. One day walked into work and quit my job to make candle making a full-time career.

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100,000 revenue/mo) full story

Market Opportunity

According to the National Candle Association candle sales are estimated at $3.13 billion annually.

Additionally, below you can see that search volume for "candles" spike in December (high volume of sales during the holiday season), and remain at a steady pace the rest of the year and up until now.

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Players

Big Players

Small Players (the opportunity)

How To Name Your Candle Business

It's important to find a catchy name for your candle business so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your candle business

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your candle business so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your candle business.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your candle business:

  • Waxjack candle check availability
  • Illume Candles check availability
  • Lighter candle check availability
  • Candelvana Candles check availability
  • Serenity Scents check availability
  • Smells Good check availability
  • Candelaria check availability
  • Dadany & Sons check availability
  • Purple Broom check availability
  • Candle Light check availability
  • Wishful Blaze check availability
  • Wonderful Wicks check availability
  • Golden flame candle check availability
  • Voluspa check availability
  • Holiday Candles check availability
  • Eco Glo check availability
  • Swan Creek check availability
  • Herbs & Arts check availability
  • Good night candle check availability
  • Fabulous candle check availability
  • Sweet Breath Candles check availability
  • Moutain Lux Candles check availability
  • A Little Candle & Bath Shop check availability
  • Brite Shine check availability
  • Glowquest candle check availability
  • The Crafty Candle check availability
  • Rainbow candle check availability
  • Face Body Soul check availability
  • Potterwyx check availability
  • Soy Works Candle Company check availability
  • Wicky Flame Candle Co. check availability
  • Bright light candle check availability
  • Home Glow check availability
  • Village Candle check availability
  • Serenity Candles check availability
  • Soy Serene check availability
  • Incredible Candles check availability
  • High flair candle check availability
  • Flourishing Flames check availability
  • Foggy Notion check availability
  • Multi-brand candle check availability
  • Kandlestix check availability
  • Vivente Candles check availability
  • The Lucky check availability
  • Urban Burn check availability
  • Candle Attraction check availability
  • The Unique Candle check availability
  • Soft Serenity check availability
  • Trusted Twinkle check availability
  • Lights on candle check availability
  • Two Guys check availability
  • Kandle Queens check availability
  • Joy Candles check availability
  • Glass Wax check availability
  • Citrus Blossom Soy Candles check availability
  • Living Flame check availability
  • Bullfrog Candles check availability
  • Starlight check availability
  • Candle Cabinets check availability
  • Classy Twist check availability
  • Kai & Co. check availability
  • Candle Caddy check availability
  • Flicker check availability
  • Candle Enchantment check availability
  • Wicks & More check availability
  • Shinning candle check availability
  • Decorlight candle check availability
  • Flickers check availability
  • Rejuvenation check availability
  • Stinky check availability
  • Making Scents check availability
  • P.F. Candle Co. check availability
  • Star Brite Illuminations check availability
  • Make Scents check availability
  • Glow Home check availability
  • Decocandles check availability
  • Shorties Candles Co. check availability
  • Good Smells check availability
  • Flamecast Candles check availability
  • Just Candles check availability
  • Illuminax Candles check availability
  • Lowlight check availability
  • Candle Joy check availability
  • Athenian Candle Co. check availability
  • Grace Direct check availability
  • Heziglow candle check availability
  • F. Candle Co. check availability
  • Light Your Fire check availability
  • Creative Candle Co. check availability
  • The Candied Candle check availability
  • Lovely Lights check availability
  • Scentsy check availability
  • Mystic Harbor check availability
  • Wax n’ Wix check availability
  • The Melted Candle check availability
  • Perfect Match check availability
  • City Candles check availability
  • Cup of Ceremony check availability
  • Elite wiks candle check availability
  • Wild Bee Candle Company check availability
  • Quick Wick check availability
  • Melted Candles check availability
  • Fireflair candle check availability
  • Coco Bella check availability
  • Earth Gifts check availability
  • Glisten and Glow check availability
  • Kai & Co. Candles check availability
  • Brookstone Candle check availability
  • Elegant Radiance check availability
  • The Candle Company check availability
  • Candle Love check availability
  • Circle Shadow check availability
  • Pure Light Candle Studios check availability
  • Candle Cave check availability
  • Royal Candles check availability
  • Wick Pick check availability
  • Bag O’ Wicks check availability
  • We Know Wax check availability
  • Cupcake Candle Co. check availability
  • All About Candles check availability
  • Sweet light candle check availability
  • EarthGlo check availability
  • Gel Candles check availability
  • Hudson Grace check availability
  • Can Delites Candles check availability
  • Botanica Renacer check availability
  • Waxmax candle check availability
  • ScentJoy check availability
  • Classy Candles check availability
  • Flame wax candle check availability
  • PartyLite check availability
  • Candle Queens check availability
  • Wax & Wicks check availability
  • Bright Glow Candle check availability
  • Kandle Kids check availability
  • Well-Wicked check availability
  • Sweet dream candle check availability
  • DreamScents check availability
  • Candle Code check availability
  • Candle Desire check availability
  • Incredible candle check availability
  • Colorful Candles check availability
  • Candles R Us check availability

Read our full guide on naming your candle business ➜

Example of a clever candle company name

Homesick Candles did an exceptional job all around when it comes to their branding + name.

In a nutshell, they sell candles with the name of the place you grew up with a scent that reminds you of that place (ie. Wyoming with a scent of camping in the woods).

These candles are often gifted to friends/family that love and miss their hometown (and might be feeling a little homesick).

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  • The name explains exactly what their mission is
  • Short, easy to spell and easy to remember
  • Displayed front and center on the product
  • Targets a very specific niche

🎬 Start

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your candle business.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

Identify Target Customer

A very critical piece in building candle business is to identify your ideal target customer.

  • Develop a niche and create a consistent brand that reflects your target customer.
  • The colors, logo, content, and overall website should resonate with your target customer and should draw them in by helping them solve their specific "need".

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Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary explains the importance of finding your niche:

It is your responsibility to find your niche and advertise toward those people.

No matter how many candle companies there are, I know I’m trying to capture an audience interested in natural scents and nature, so I’ll take all the advice I can from other candle makers.

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Lauren Costanza, on starting Bluminary ($500 revenue/mo) full story

How To Manufacture Candles

Making candles isn't too difficult, but there is a science to it.

We've outlined a few tips to consider when getting started, and refer you to this behind the scenes video of how DShawn Russel manufactures her candles

1. Decide the type of wax you want

The most common types are soy, parrafin and parrafin-soy blend

2. Identify the fragrance style you want

This depends on the target audience you are going for. For example:

  • Mass Market are great for scents such as vanilla, lavender, strawberry
  • Mid-market (one level up) typically prefer grapefruit or lemongrass
  • High-end (prestige) market look for more unique and complex scents like fig tree and blossom & basil

3. Research supply companies to source products

DShawn Russel, founder of Southern Elegance Candle Company describes her process of manufacturing her first product (and how they scaled):

Making candles isn't that difficult, melt some wax, add fragrance and color, pour in a jar and let harden. But, my first candles were terrible! I had to use local items. So I had wax and fragrance from Hobby Lobby and jars from Walmart. I quickly realized this wouldn’t work because

  1. The quality was horrible and
  2. You can’t scale a company buying supplies from local retail stores.

So, I researched local candle supply companies. CandleScience became my main supplier. They were local and carried professional-grade products.

When I first started in my home, all I had was two pots and my stove. After a few months, I bought my first large wax melter and moved into the garage. Two months after that I bought another melter and started looking for my first space outside of my garage.

I live in a small town (approximately 5000 people) so the manufacturing space wasn't available. My first space was a small restaurant. We stored fragrance in the former freezers and wax in the former deep fryers.

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100,000 revenue/mo) full story

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Candle Business

If you are planning to start a candle business, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a candle business and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,763
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $32,509
Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a candle business. Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.
Office Space Expenses
Rent: This refers to the office space you use for your business and give money to the landlord. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space. $500 $5,750
Utility Costs For Office Space: Utility costs are the expense for all the services you use in your office, including electricity, gas, fuels, telephone, water, sewerage, etc. $200 $1,150
WiFi & Internet: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is essential. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month! $50 $100
Total Office Space Expenses $750 (min) $7,000 (max)
Equipment & Supply Expenses
Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time. $500 $5,000
Total Equipment & Supply Expenses $500 (min) $5,000 (max)
Inventory Expenses
Upfront Costs For Inventory: This includes all upfront inventory you will need in order to launch. Be sure to compare prices of wholesalers to ensure you're getting the best deal and margins remain high. $300 $5,000
Inventory Storage: If you decide to have a physical space for your candle business, whether it be used for inventory or as a showroom, you may have monthly rent payment or a large down payment associated with renting/buying the space. $0 $5,000
Package Design: Packaging refers to wrapping and protecting products during distribution, shipping, and sales.Your package design is your customer's first impression of your brand, so it's important you spend some time and energy to get this right from the start.Many businesses design their own packages using design software and tools. There is always the option to outsource this to a design expert, but that route tends to be much more expensive. $50 $3,000
Shrinkage: Shrinkage refers to the loss of inventory at any point between the purchase from your supplier and the purchase by your customer. Although you will try to avoid this at all costs, this does happen sometimes (especially in the learning stages of your business), and it's important to plan ahead financially in case this happens. Fortune states that retail shrinkage costs U.S. retailers approximately 1.4 percent of their total sales. $0 $1,000
Distribution costs: Depending on what distribution plan you choose, expenses such as renting vans, hiring delivery drivers and gas costs can add up. If you are looking to save money upfront, you may want to consider conducting distribution on your own. $0 $750
Total Inventory Expenses $350 (min) $14,750 (max)
Software Expenses
Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo. $0 $50
Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here $0 $100
IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals. $150 $2,000
Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses. $0 $50
Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here. $0 $25
Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms. $0 $20
Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your candle business, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business. $0 $50
Payroll Software: The main purpose of payroll software is to help you pay your team and track each of those payments (so that you don't have to do it manually). If you do not have any employees or have a very small team, payroll software may not be necessary at this stage. Here are the 11 best payroll tools for small businesses! $0 $200
Online data storage: It's important to make sure the information for your candle business is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article. $0 $299
Total Software Expenses $150 (min) $2,794 (max)
Website Costs
A Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website. $12 $200
Business Email Hosting Service: An email hosting runs a dedicated email server. Once you have your domain name, you can set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are G Suite and Microsoft 365 Suite. The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown. $1 $15
Total Website Costs $13 (min) $215 (max)
Advertising & Marketing Costs
Customer Research & Surveys: Many candle business's conduct industry and consumer research prior to starting their business. Often times, you need to pay for this data or hire a market research firm to help you in this process. $0 $300
Affiliate Marketing Commission & Fees: If you want to increase revenue for your candle business, affiliate marketing is a great way to promote your product to a new audience. When determining affiliate commission rates you will offer, you will want to take into account the price and margin for your product to ensure affiliate marketing is worth it for your business. According to Monitor Backlinks, the average affiliate commission rate should be somewhere between 5% to 30%. To learn more about how to set commission rates, check out this article.. $0 $250
Influencer Marketing: Partnering with like-minded influencers is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence. Many small businesses simply gift a free item in exchange for an influencer post, or pay the influencer directly. $0 $750
Press: If your business and story is unique enough, press and media attention may come to you, but odds are, you may need to do your own outreach and budget for this. We put together a guide here that discusses different press opportunities (both free and paid). $0 $500
Google Ads: With Google Ads you have the ability to control how much you spend by simply setting a monthly budget cap. Additionally, with these ads you only pay for results, such as clicks to your website or phone calls! It's okay to start with a small budget at first and make changes accordingly if you see valuable returns. $0 $300
Facebook & Instagram Ads: With Facebook and Instagram ads, you set your budget and pay for the actions you want (whether that be impressions, conversions, etc).You can learn more about pricing based on your impressions here. $0 $350
Total Advertising & Marketing Costs $0 (min) $2,450 (max)
Other Expenses
Credit Card Processing Fees: If you process credit cards then you will need to deal with interchange fees - which is usually around 3% of total charges. These fees are often forgotten about and can hurt cash flow if not taken into account. $0 $300
Total Other Expenses $0 (min) $300 (max)
Total Starting Costs $1,763 (min) $32,509 (max)

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Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary provides us with a detailed spreadsheet of all of her startup costs:

I knew this would be a self-funded adventure, and I set aside $3,000. During the first three months, I had a detailed spreadsheet where I tracked where the money was going and what was going toward products versus researching and developing new products.

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Lauren Costanza, on starting Bluminary ($500 revenue/mo) full story

Raising Money

Since the startup costs to start candle business range between $1,763 - $32,509, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.

Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:

How Much Profit Can a Candle Business Make?

Profit Margins

Candle businesses sell both B2C or through retailers (boutiques, third party platforms, giftshops etc).

Whether you are selling a premium product or a mass product, profit margins are typically around 50% or higher.

It's important to get all materials at competitive prices (wholesalers) to ensure that your margins remain high.

Revenue Numbers

Depending on the amount of time and energy you put into your candle business, this can be a very fruitful business opportunity. We've interviewed a few entrepreneurs whom are at different stages in their business and asked them how they're doing today:

Southern Elegance Candle Company:

  • $20K/month
  • 3 employees
  • 4 years in
  • Side hustle that turned into a full-time gig
  • Started selling at the farmers market and now selling through retail site, wholesale site and Faire.

Bluminary:

  • $500/month
  • 1 employee
  • A few months in
  • Side project
  • Selling in vendor events and on Etsy

Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right

The way you package your candle business is often the first impression your customer has - so it's important to get it right.

You may want to ask yourself these questions:

If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:

  • Will my candle business stand out?
  • Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?

There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:

  • Canva - Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
  • Stickermule - High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
  • Noissue - Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
  • Rollo Label Printer - A great tool to print all shipping labels at home

Setting Up Your Candle Business (Formation and Legal)

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

🚀 Launch

Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

How To Price Your Candles

Candle prices can range from $5-$50. This all depends on the

  • Type of scent used (traditional vs unique scent combinations)
  • Type of packaging and aesthetic
  • Story behind the brand

Keep in mind that the way you price your candle should be a direct reflection of the target audience you are going after.

Let's look at two different candle examples:

Mass Market Option: Yankee Candle ($11 each)

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This is a good example of a "simple" product that reaches a specific audience:

  • Mainstream scent (vanilla cupcake)
  • Simple glass jar
  • Old-fashioned branding
  • 20-30hr burn time

High-End Market Option: Voluspa

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  • More complex scent (Baltic Amber)
  • Etched unique glass
  • 100hr burn time
  • Sold primarily in Anthropologie (high-end store)

Marketplaces

There are various different marketplaces that you can sell your candles, whether that's local or online!

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Your own website! Shopify is known to be the best for e-commerce stores
  • Local places! Gift shops, farmers markets, festivals, grocery stores etc
  • Etsy - E-commerce website for craft supplies
  • Faire - Wholesale marketplace
  • Amazon

Launch Strategies For Your Candle Business

There are various different ways you can launch your candle business successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your candle business.

  • Build hype with a landing page: you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
  • Create a teaser video: even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your candle business, and possibly even go viral
  • Reach out to influencers: The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
  • Get Press: Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
  • Launch on popular sites: A great way to get buzz about your candle business is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.

Here are a few popular sites to launch on:

Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here

📈 Grow

Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to candle business.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

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DShawn Russel, founder of Southern Elegance Candle Company explains how social media is key to attracting and retaining customers:

Use your social media platforms to drive traffic to your website.

  • Make your posts engaging and relevant to your community.
  • BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY through social media.
  • Facebook groups, Facebook business pages, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
  • Make sure people know what you do and what you SELL.
  • Don't be afraid to sell… don't beat people over the head with constantly trying to sell them stuff, that gets old… but provide information and entertainment and then ask for the sale.
  • Remind people of what you are selling and give them a reason to buy it. If you don't have time to post every day, use a scheduler like Buffer.

Most importantly, create engaging content!

Here's a before and after photo from one of our campaigns:

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100,000 revenue/mo) full story

Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your candle business.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Diversify Your Product Line

Often times, if you've identified a new trend or want to experiment with new products and markets, a great way to do this is by expanding your product line.

Diversification allows you to reach new audiences and if done correctly, can help get more exposure for your brand and increase profits.

For the candle business, there are a number of ways you can do this, whether it be:

  • Add new fragrances
  • Switch up the design/packaging to target new customers (ie. candles for camping and outdoors vs candles for living room)
  • Create soaps and lotions with some of your most popular scents
  • Start selling apparel

-

Southern Elegance Candle Company felt as if they were only "scratching the surface" and decided to expand their product:

Southern Elegance will develop into a lifestyle brand. If you create a community of like-minded people and create products they like, they will begin to trust you.

And in turn, you can sell anything. Although we sell candles, what we really sell is a community. We sell culture and a sense of belonging, candles just happen to be the product. We are really going to focus on serving our community/customers in the coming years by leveraging social media.

In 2020, we plan on introducing Southern-themed apparel. If that goes well, then bath and body products. Once we build the community, we can sell them anything that supports our mission of celebrating Southern Culture.

-  
DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100,000 revenue/mo) full story

Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

🏃🏼‍♀️ Run

Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your candle business, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

-

Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary Candles identified the need to hire a freelancer photographer (versus just doing it herself):

 I am working to improve lifestyle photography at Bluminary.

While it is challenging to sell candles, people cannot smell over the internet. I know one way to help improve the customer journey is with high-quality photography.

If anyone around the world has experience with lifestyle photography, I am more than happy to mail them a candle or two to take photos of them in a nature-inspired setting.

I am always on the lookout for someone with a critical eye for photography.

-  
Lauren Costanza, on starting Bluminary ($500 revenue/mo) full story

How To Retain Customers For Your Candle Business

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your candle business.

Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your candle business:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write a hand written thank you note
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

-

Roberta Perry, founder of ScrubzBody Skin Care Products gives us her #1 secret to retaining customers and getting new ones:

Hand written notes go into every online order box. But online and on social media we love on our customers as well.

We comment on every post someone writes to us. We respond. If we know them, we add additional comments. We try and make the conversation between us seem as natural as if they were purchasing at our shop.

We remember that no matter how great the product is that we offer, if we don’t give our customers the best of ourselves and the best of our team, then we will lose them to a competitor in the future.

-  
Roberta Perry, on starting ScrubzBody Skin Care Products ($16,700 revenue/mo) full story

Tools to get started:

As a candle business, there are some tools and platforms you may want to consider when getting started:

Resources

Case Studies

Books

Websites

Videos

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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Shilpa
5 months ago

One of my favorite blog