Candle making might seem like a fun activity that you can start from scratch, but there is a whole lot more to it. As a hobby, you don’t have to master it, but if you want to make a business, you will have to learn a lot. In this article, you can find the 15 skills every candle maker should master before starting their own candle making business. Let’s see them together!
Knowing your candles
This might sound obvious, but you have to start with the basics. In the candle making business, that means knowing your candles. Before starting your business, you need to dive into research regarding the process with as much details as possible. You have to understand how candles burn, how the wax melts and how oils are mixed with the wax. These are just a few examples, but the list could go on for really long. You might think that making candles is easy, but that’s a common mistake. You might find DIY project descriptions with false information as many people start making candles without having the right process figured out.
The main reason for that is that candle making can be a relaxing and fun hobby. This is true as long as you are not selling them. However, you always have to keep in mind that burning candles always comes with fire hazard. This is very serious as you can end up with a burning room. Knowing the proper candle making process will result in flawless candles which can’t cause any fire in your home. So make sure to start with a pretty intense research.
Knowing the candle making process in theory is not the same as doing it perfectly in practice. So after you did your research, you can start experimenting. As you might know by now, different types of wax have different melting points and mix with additives differently. You can choose from various colouring additives which can be used different ways. You have to try out all these options and maybe experiment a hundred time until you can perfect your skills. This is a natural learning process so don’t lose your motivation and keep up the good work. It might take more time than you expected, but at the end it will be worth it.
Knowing your ingredients
Even though candle making doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, there are various options for the needed ones. As you can choose from different types of wax, different oils and colouring additives, the choices are not so easy if you don’t know your ingredients. To end up with good quality candles, you have to know the differences between beeswax and paraffin, essential oil and fragrance oil, and so on. You have to know which wax can be mixed with certain types of colouring additives and you have to know which temperature is the perfect for that step.
Having proper equipment
Apart from purchasing good quality ingredients, you also have to have proper equipment. Having a reliable thermometer and a scale is one of the most important thing if you want to make really good candles. They will ensure the right quantity and the right temperature, something that we will discuss shortly. Also, you will need a pouring pot and small pieces of equipment such as wicks. All these things are needed before you can start experimenting and testing your knowledge in practice.
Measurements – quantity and temperature
As mentioned above, you need to have reliable equipment to be able to measure correctly. This is important when it comes to the quantity and the temperature of your wax. Both of these factors will define the success of the process and therefore the quality of your candles.
But having the right equipment is not enough if you don’t know the process itself. This is one of the factors which you have to research the most. It is absolutely necessary to know the melting point of the different waxes as well as the perfect ratio of the wax and the essential oil. This can vary based on the chosen types so you have to be really thorough with your research.
As you will be selling products and not services, you will have to know a lot about keeping an inventory. For a candle making business, you will only need a few types of ingredients, it might not be that difficult. But you will still have to learn a lot about the topic if you have no prior experience.
Keeping up with changes
Researching all the above mentioned things is one thing, but it’s still not enough. I know this sounds really tiring and time consuming, but with all kinds of knowledge, this can also become irrelevant. There are new market trends and candle making techniques which you have to follow constantly. It is a continuous learning process which will ensure your success as well as your customers’ satisfaction.
Knowing your market
Apart from the candle making process, you will also need to understand the business side of candle making. If you want to start and run a successful candle making business, you will have to know your market. This means knowing the bigger brands, the suppliers, as well as your customers’ needs. This information will help you create your unique product line and will define your branding strategy as well.
This skill, like all the ones below, are crucial in all businesses, not just for candle making. Obviously, in order to run a successful business, you have to make short-term and long-term plans. Plans about finding suppliers, reaching customers, delivering orders, and a lot more activities.
Business planning is complex and can be applied to a wide scope of activities within your business. So you have to find the right tools for business planning and learn the most important aspects of it, as well as some useful tips and tricks.
Branding and marketing
These two skills cover a wide scope of activities so you will have to dedicate time for it. Firstly, you will have to decide what your brand is about and how it is different from other candle makers. Secondly, you have to be able to send that message to your customers.
Apart from the bigger picture, you will also have to pay attention to the small details as well. That means having a website and a business logo with specific colour palette and fonts. This unique appearance will be an important part of your marketing activities.
Yes, this is a more serious and unfortunately boring part of the business, but this is a must as well. You cannot have a successful business without being able to manage your finances. Before actually starting your activities, you have to make a really detailed finance plan. You will have to plan your one-time and regular expenses and give an estimate of your income. Also, it is also important to mention that you must have some savings as most businesses are not profitable from day one.
Some people say that the key to success is not selling products, but rather selling experience for customers. This is easier if you have a service to offer for your customers, but you can achieve real customer satisfaction when selling products as well. In order to do that, knowing how to build your customer care system is really important. There are various tools and techniques for that, so you have to investigate and find the best solution for your activities. You can find several customer management tools and systems online so it’s worth comparing the available options before deciding.
Success in sales
In order to be really successful, you have to learn how to be a great salesman. From a good salesman’s point of view, everything can be sold. This is what you have to learn, as you will have to compete with many other candle making business owners. You can create the most unique scented candles and have the best financial plan, if you can’t sell your products, it won’t work for long. The best sales techniques obviously depend on your specific business, so it will be a long process. But you really can’t avoid it.
Lastly, in order to cope with the stress of handling everything at once, you should master time management. If you learn how to prioritize and dedicate time to all the most important or urgent tasks, nothing can go wrong. This will obviously be a learning process and you can’t expect to handle everything perfectly from day one. But if you keep up the good work, you are going to see the results pretty quickly.
Going through that list, you can see that as a profession, candle making is indeed a complex process which requires focused learning. However, once you figure it out, your business will be successful and your customers will be truly satisfied.