How To Start A Candle Making Business

Start A Candle Business
💡 Idea
🎬 Start
🚀 Launch
📈 Grow
🏃🏼‍♀️ Run

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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 ($20,000 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:

  • Candelvana Candles check availability
  • Smells Good check availability
  • Purple Broom check availability
  • Wishful Blaze check availability
  • Holiday Candles check availability
  • Brite Shine check availability
  • Rainbow candle check availability
  • Potterwyx check availability
  • Bright light candle check availability
  • Soy Serene check availability
  • City Candles check availability
  • Trusted Twinkle check availability
  • Glass Wax check availability
  • Candle Cabinets check availability
  • Candle Caddy check availability
  • Rejuvenation check availability
  • Making Scents check availability
  • Star Brite Illuminations check availability
  • Good Smells check availability
  • Candle Joy check availability
  • Grace Direct check availability
  • The Candied Candle check availability
  • Perfect Match check availability
  • Cup of Ceremony check availability
  • Wild Bee Candle Company check availability
  • Quick Wick check availability
  • Glisten and Glow check availability
  • The Candle Company check availability
  • Circle Shadow check availability
  • Royal Candles check availability
  • Wick Pick check availability
  • Flame wax candle check availability
  • Well-Wicked check availability
  • Cali Custom Candles check availability
  • Time & Again check availability
  • Four R Candles check availability
  • Inner Flick Candles check availability
  • Star candle check availability
  • Shadowlight Candles check availability
  • The Candle Carvers check availability
  • Archipelago Botanicals check availability
  • Melted Wax check availability
  • Candle Creators check availability
  • Lighted Luxury check availability
  • Bag O’ Wax check availability
  • Slow Burn check availability
  • Royal wax candle check availability
  • Great Bear Wax Co. check availability
  • Life-light candle check availability
  • Ink & Peat check availability
  • Topanga check availability
  • Candelvana check availability
  • Northstar Country Candle check availability
  • Cool Candles check availability
  • Fabulous Flame check availability
  • New Flame Candles check availability
  • Flame Game check availability
  • Sensuous Smells check availability
  • Creative Candles check availability
  • Flame Game check availability
  • Heaven Scent It check availability
  • Bee Lucia Wellness check availability
  • Kandle Kingz check availability
  • Diamond Creek Candles check availability
  • Candle Corner check availability
  • Magic Moon check availability
  • Knight glow candle check availability
  • Bedtime candle check availability
  • Wishful blaze candle check availability
  • Wax Bling check availability
  • Homestead Candles check availability
  • Dreams & Rainbows check availability
  • Bedwax candle check availability
  • Soy Selection check availability
  • Wildflower Candles check availability
  • Pink Cupcake Candle Co. check availability
  • Blue Mercury check availability
  • Kandle Kings check availability
  • Kindred lite candle check availability
  • Candle Creations check availability
  • Superlyn Candle Co. check availability
  • Family Candle check availability
  • Classic Candles check availability
  • The Scented Candle check availability
  • Aromatic Fillers check availability
  • Yule Log Group check availability
  • Extinguished Curling Iron Designs check availability
  • Flare Works check availability
  • Yellow Lamp check availability
  • The Inch Kerosene Lamp Co check availability
  • Red Nightlight Collective check availability
  • The Red Gratitude Group check availability
  • Pinwheel Chronicles check availability
  • Wreath & Company check availability
  • Spent Menorah check availability
  • The Flaring Copal Designs check availability
  • Huge Sparkler & Company check availability
  • Wax Collective check availability
  • Lighted Hanukka International check availability
  • The Purple Wreath Chronicles check availability
  • Candlebomb Designs check availability
  • Yellow Candlewick Co check availability
  • The Distant Cd International check availability
  • The Triple Almond Cookie Co check availability
  • The International Candleholder Group check availability
  • Flaming Effort Co check availability
  • Electrolier & Company check availability
  • The Flaring Bougie Collective check availability
  • Effort Works check availability
  • Wreathes Chronicles check availability
  • Roman Spirit Lamp check availability
  • The Spent Candlewaster Collective check availability
  • Light Gas Mantle check availability
  • Pink Torches check availability
  • Candelabrum Designs check availability
  • The Foot Candle Flame Co check availability
  • Burnt Candlebomb check availability
  • International Taper International check availability
  • The Consecrated Sail & Company check availability
  • Flare & Company check availability
  • The Green Candleholder Co check availability
  • Large Nightlight Designs check availability
  • Triple Roman Candle check availability
  • Brief Menorah & Company check availability
  • Menorah Chronicles check availability
  • The Braided Vigil Works check availability
  • Distant Flame check availability
  • The Feeble Candle Holder Group check availability
  • The Bed Kerosene Heater Collective check availability
  • Shaded Cannel Coal check availability
  • The Lighted Candlewick Group check availability
  • White Kerosene Lamp check availability
  • Rush Menorah check availability
  • Worth Kerosene Lamp International check availability
  • Tube International check availability
  • The Tallow Woodstove Works check availability
  • Wreathes Co check availability
  • Thick Wax Light check availability
  • Large Gratitude check availability
  • Paschal Wicks & Company check availability
  • Yule Log & Company check availability
  • Cd Co check availability
  • Pyre Works check availability
  • Finished Snoff Group check availability
  • Rush Censer check availability
  • Snuffed Group check availability
  • The Snuffed Candlewick Chronicles check availability
  • Small Pinwheel Collective check availability
  • Trouble & Company check availability
  • Lone Kerosene Heater Chronicles check availability
  • Extinguished Candleholder Co check availability
  • Light Standard Candle check availability
  • Caroler Chronicles check availability
  • Burnt Snast check availability
  • The Lit Streetlamp Group check availability
  • The White Wax Designs check availability
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  • Bright Wheel Group check availability
  • The Small Sailing & Company check availability
  • The Last Cd Collective check availability
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  • Ordinary Flare International check availability
  • Lantern & Company check availability
  • Burnt Candelabrum check availability
  • Electrolier Co check availability
  • The Snuffed Snast Works check availability
  • Flaring Chandelier & Company check availability
  • Blessed Pyre check availability
  • The Pink Wreath Works check availability
  • Burned Pyre Collective check availability
  • The Inch Lamp & Company check availability
  • Brief Worthwhile Chronicles check availability
  • Light Bulb International check availability
  • The Consecrated Chinese Lantern Designs check availability
  • Flaring Struggle check availability
  • The Blessed Source Of Illumination Co check availability
  • Last Argand Lamp check availability
  • Lone Standard Candle check availability
  • Worth Shammes Collective check availability
  • Extinguished Maccaboy check availability
  • The Bed Worthwhile Designs check availability
  • Copal Co check availability
  • Burning Hanukka check availability
  • Braided Shammes Works check availability
  • Consecrated Snast check availability
  • Sparkler Designs check availability
  • The Extra Tube Works check availability
  • Votive Roman Candle check availability
  • Rush Chandelier International check availability
  • Distant Chafing Dish check availability
  • Flaring Wicks check availability
  • Big Vase check availability
  • Braided Coffeepot check availability
  • Tall Trivet check availability
  • Braided Toaster check availability
  • Ornament Works check availability
  • Pink Wheel check availability
  • Triple Lantern Designs check availability
  • Tiny Toaster Group check availability
  • Single Flare Chronicles check availability
  • Brief Pinwheel check availability
  • Lighted Torches Works check availability
  • International Roman Candle Collective check availability
  • Chandelier Co check availability
  • The Votive Sparkler Designs check availability
  • The Solitary Chandelier Designs check availability
  • Brief Fluorescent Lamp International check availability
  • The Tallow Wreathes Co check availability
  • Blue Candlelight Designs check availability
  • Rush Zoom Group check availability
  • The Electric Roman Candle International check availability
  • Lamp Shade Group check availability
  • Red Shammes check availability
  • Burned Cannel Coal check availability
  • The Lit Chinese Lantern Works check availability
  • The Flaming Bougie Works check availability
  • Purple Candelabra Co check availability
  • The Last Argand Lamp International check availability
  • Feeble Bulb check availability
  • Burned Wreath check availability
  • Blessed Curling Iron Designs check availability
  • International Christmas Tree check availability
  • Roman Candle Co check availability
  • Consecrated Trivet check availability
  • Burnt Light Bulb Works check availability
  • Tall Torches check availability
  • Lighted Flame check availability
  • Wretched Flame check availability
  • The Purple Torch Designs check availability
  • Spent Joss Stick check availability
  • The Electric Candleholder Designs check availability
  • Burning Curling Iron Designs check availability
  • The Burnt Vela International check availability
  • Finished Wheel check availability
  • Light Light check availability
  • Caroler International check availability
  • The Distant Remembrance Group check availability
  • The Paschal Charcoal Burner Designs check availability
  • Nightlight Designs check availability
  • Solitary Caroler check availability
  • Miserable Torches check availability
  • Standard Candle Designs check availability
  • Lighted Cd check availability
  • Big Torches check availability
  • The Thin Sconce Group check availability
  • Large Sparkler check availability
  • Flaming Fireplace check availability
  • The Votive Sail Designs check availability
  • Large Tube check availability
  • The Holy Light Group check availability
  • Huge Stove check availability
  • Triple Candlewick check availability
  • Braided Vigil check availability
  • Foot Kinara check availability
  • Trouble Co check availability
  • The Foot Wheel Collective check availability
  • Finished Electric Lamp check availability
  • Incense International check availability
  • Christmas Tree Collective check availability
  • The Lit Kinara Co check availability
  • Fresh Candle Flame check availability
  • Wreathes & Company check availability
  • Ordinary Torches & Company check availability
  • Spirit Lamp & Company check availability
  • Foot Sail check availability
  • Burned Candlewaster Group check availability
  • Purple Cannel Coal Works check availability
  • The Solitary Wreathes Chronicles check availability
  • The Standard Luminaria Collective check availability
  • Single Tube International check availability
  • Extinguished Worthwhile check availability
  • Holy Fairy Light Collective check availability
  • Finished Candlelight check availability
  • Inch Snuffed check availability
  • The Ordinary Toaster Group check availability
  • Lighted Candlewick & Company check availability
  • Braided Firelight & Company check availability
  • The Unlighted Potholder Co check availability
  • Thin Lantern Group check availability
  • Trivet Works check availability
  • The Roman Nightlight International check availability
  • The Paschal Curling Iron International check availability
  • Flaming Pinwheel check availability
  • International Shammes International check availability
  • The Tall Almond Cookie Co check availability
  • The Unlighted Brazier Designs check availability
  • Huge Wicks & Company check availability
  • Lit Candela check availability
  • Burnt Toaster Collective check availability
  • International Candela check availability
  • Shaded Light Designs check availability
  • Tall Taper check availability
  • Standard Candle Holder check availability
  • Purple Candlewaster 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 ($20,000 revenue/mo) full story

Startup Costs For Your 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 a candle business and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $810
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $20,100
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.
Employee & Freelancer Expenses
Payroll: This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K. $0 $4,000
Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses $0 (min) $4,000 (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)
Website Costs
Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article. $15 $100
Web Designer: If you have the necessary skills to design your website, then it may not be necessary for you to hire someone. However, if you do decide to go that route, make sure you establish an understanding of upfront cost, design and what the ongoing costs will be to manage the site. Here is what to expect when hiring a web designer. $0 $6,000
Total Website Costs $15 (min) $6,100 (max)
Office Space Expenses
Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space. $0 $2,000
Total Office Space Expenses $0 (min) $2,000 (max)
Specific Industry Expenses
Candle Supplies: This includes but is not limited to: scents, wicks, jars, melting pot. $295 $3,000
Total Specific Industry Expenses $295 (min) $3,000 (max)
Total Starting Costs $810 (min) $20,100 (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 $810 - $20,100, 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

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:

article

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($20,000 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

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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.

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($20,000 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Roberta Perry, on starting ScrubzBody Skin Care Products ($16,500 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

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Samantha Walls,   Founder of Starter Story Blog

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