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A Primer on Starting a Candle Making Business in Australia

  • 5 min read

How To Start A Candle Business In Australia?

You’re not alone, with the year that was 2020 and the current world pandemic, many people have found themselves thinking more and more about what’s important in life and, they are taking brave leaps to follow their passions and dreams.

As such, that voice in your head asking “is it worth starting a candle business” is sounding louder and louder each day. Well, is it? Can you really turn a hobby into a means of support for you and your family?

Like with every new venture, it’s critical to take the time to focus exactly on what your goals and aspirations are and, compile realistic steps to help you achieve them. 

By identifying these essential points, you’ll be clearer on realising whether or not starting your own candle making business is a realistic option or just another pipe-dream.  

lavander candle

How do I Start a Candle Making Business?

 Below are seven key points, in no particular order as they are all essential, that we believe are the foundation for establishing your own candle making business.

  1. Research

 A key element to beginning your journey to starting your candle making business is research. You can never have enough information and data to make a sound decision when it comes to investing in your own business. As such, we recommend you launch yourself into being an absolute bookworm when it comes to all things candle making. Online is a terrific way to get the ball rolling. Search and investigate everything there is to making candles from the actual product in terms of wax types, vessels, fragrance etc to small business, how to get started, what is essential etc. There are websites for government organisations that can also assist with small business start-ups by providing information, grants, services and support from across government to help your business succeed.

  1. Professional Advice & Assistance

 Sometimes you can be so passionate and motivated about your own product or business, that you lose sight of the viability of it. Furthermore, you can be so engaged with one aspect of it - say the creative stage of candle making when it comes to fragrance research and blending scents, that you ignore the essential administration and business side of things. Reality is, unfortunately we are not all perfect at everything! As such, it’s about knowing your strengths in your own business and, being realistic in acknowledging your weaknesses and finding solutions to solve these. This is when it comes to surrounding yourself with qualified professionals who can see your vision and help make your candle making business a success. There are numerous professionals that will be able to help you along your candle making business journey. People such as accountants and financial planners to help with the establishment of the framework of your business and finance and budget side of things, to industry experts in fragrance like Flaire and a myriad of professionals for marketing, public relations, website development, visual product merchandising and styling etc. If you do look to engage experts to assist you with your candle making business, be sure to do your research and networking as this can be a costly investment if you make the wrong decisions. Word of mouth can be very valuable so don’t be afraid to reach out to people within the candle making industry to get their advice and learn from their knowledge.   

  1. Product Testing

No business is successful without having a terrific product offering and service. Trial and error will be your best friend when it comes to product testing your candles. Don’t be afraid to experiment, often the greatest products have resulted from the biggest errors. Like with most industries, candle manufacturing has come a long way with technical advancements. As such, there are always new advancements in the industry so try to stay well informed and engaged. Don’t underestimate how helpful your family and friends will be. Ask them to test your candles and provide honest and constructive feedback. This will assist you in perfecting your product. Be mindful that not everyone will agree. At this stage, it’s about staying true to your vision whilst not being blinkered - your instinct will be one of your greatest friends at the product testing stage!

  1. Business Plan

A business plan is an essential framework to establishing your candle making business. In its most simplistic form, a business plan helps describe exactly what your product is, identifies who your target market and customer is, and captures how you plan to make money. You can draft this plan yourself to being with however, it’s terrific to also engage the help of professional to guide you on best case practice.

pouring candles
  1. Rules & Regulations & Legalities

Like with all business, there is risk involved. By identifying the rules, regulations and legal responsibilities of producing and selling candles - you’ll be well on your way to hopefully mitigating any risk. Your products must comply with the law (the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is a great starting point to research) and you must consider insurances for liability etc. 

  1. Target Market

By identifying who your target market is, you will then be able to best establish how to market and in turn sell to them. For example, are they keen online shoppers who are influenced by social media and therefore, will be happy to purchase from a website without smelling the fragrance because they trust the individual who has recommended the product? Or, are they the type of customer who is tactile and prefers to know the person behind the brand, visit them at a market stall and engage with the product that way? These are two very different audiences and as such, you would market to the in two very different ways. Once you have established who your target market is, it’s a great practice to create a customer avatar. Sometimes referred to as a ‘buyer or marketing persona’ your customer avatar is a representation of your ideal customer. The type of person you want to purchase your candles. This helps guide you on making decision such as fragrance choices, packaging options, communications, marketing etc. 

  1. Budget

How much is it to start a candle business? How much can a candle business make? These are very relevant questions to ask when deciding upon urning your candle making passion into a business. However, there are no set answers to these questions. 

As the wonderful song writer Paul Kelly said, ‘from little things big things grow’. It’s time to make your candle passion a reality by building your business today!