If you’ve decided to turn your candle, wax melt or home fragrance making hobby into a business, then we’re sure you’re currently dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions – from excitement to dread! Every budding business owner has to start somewhere so we hope our extensive guide will help you to move past the fear! With all aspects of getting your home fragrance business ready to launch – from simple tasks such as how to take professional pictures and packaging needs to more advanced, important tasks like CLP labelling, testing and batch logging your products – we’ve got you covered.
Let’s first acknowledge what a HUGE step this is - especially if you’re a sole trader – and give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far. After all, it’s likely just yourself running the show! You may have little to no knowledge on what running your own business will entail or you may have spent the last few months knee deep in research, taking on board everything you can in order to get your business off to a great start. Wherever you are on your journey, we know things can get pretty overwhelming!
So, if you’re raring and ready to start your own home fragrance business, our top tips for getting your business prepared to launch will help you turn your business dreams into reality.
Tip 1 - Decide Your Launch Products
It’s quite handy to keep a written or typed document on the products you wish to start selling and what you might want to introduce in the future as your business progresses.
Perhaps, you’ll start with wax melts and reed diffusers (as these are generally take less time in testing) and then, once you have some money coming into the business, introduce candles at a later date, reinvesting that money into testing materials.
Or, you may wish to start with a very small selection of available scents and work up from there, giving yourself an opportunity to create future launches and ramp up excitement.
Speaking of which, we’d recommend starting with a more restrained mix of fragrances across different scent types. Starting out with 50 different fragrance offerings might seem like a great idea as it gives people more choice, but in reality it can be quite overwhelming for both yourself and your customers (it will also be more expensive!). Instead, perhaps consider 1-2 fragrances in various scent categories, which will allow you to track your customers’ buying habits to inform your future fragrance launches.
Tip 2 - Make sure your testing documentation is in order
Certain products like candles require records such as burn tests to show that you’ve undertaken due diligence in making sure your products are compliant and safe to use. Reed diffusers and wax melts don’t need extensive testing but we would advise you to also keep a log of your tests just for future reference.
Our candle burn test blog with handy downloadable burn test sheets will help you if you’re not sure what you need to be looking for when testing your candle creations prior to selling.
Tip 3 – Create a Batch logging system
Every product you make, even during testing, will need to be logged. This will change depending upon the product you’ve made but an itemised list containing information such as the product made, date made, quantity of the specific product made, the fragrance oil and amount used plus the batch number of the fragrance oil will certainly help should things not go to plan.
You can do all the testing in the world but there may be that one batch that doesn’t turn out quite right so having this information handy will help you to determine which aspect of the product wasn’t up to scratch and allow you to easily recall any faulty products sent to customers.
Tip 4 - Get your CLP labels in order
Any home fragrance product which uses fragrance or essential oils will require a CLP label. You can choose to make these yourself or get a CLP printing business to do them for you. Either way, it is your legal responsibility as the maker of the products to ensure you’re CLP labels are correct and that you have one for each product and fragrance you sell.
If you need help with CLP labelling, take a look at our CLP labelling for candles post for more information.
Tip 5 - Decide on your stock quantities for launch
It’s quite difficult to determine how much stock you need to start off with so we would recommend not going overboard, but also have enough to handle launch day should you sell out.
You’ll also want to consider the wax cure times of your products prior to your business launch date, specifically candles and wax melts as these will need to be partly cured before they ship to customers.
Tip 6 – Ensure your products are costed & priced correctly
Gather your ingredients and materials costs together on a spreadsheet listing everything you’ve used per product and decide on your selling prices. If you’re also wanting to offer a wholesale option, it’s advisable to work these costs out too so you can give accurate information out to potential wholesale customers from the start.
Not sure how to do this? You can find out more about how to price your products within our ultimate guide for selling your handmade candles and wax melts.
Tip 7 - Register with HMRC and take out business insurance
Technically, you don’t need to register with HMRC until your business has taken £1,000 in sales. However, it may be easier to get this done at the start and then you’ll be able to submit any tax returns quicker and easier should you need to without having to wait days for codes and documentation to arrive.
Whilst business insurance isn’t mandatory, it can prove invaluable to you should any problems arise from the products you’ve sold to any of your customers and providing the blame falls upon your product. Look out for ‘crafter’s insurance’ specifically but if you’re unsure of who to go to, join our Facebook community for recommendations from other makers.
Tip 8 – Finalise your branding and inner packaging
Of course, you want your brand known and seen. Your brand will represent your company, your products and you. Branding is so important as it will allow you to stand out from your competitors.
Remember branding goes beyond just your logo and business name! Think about everything your customers come into contact with from your labels, your packaging to your website and social media. If you’re selling at markets or fairs, your packaging is the first thing your customers will have contact with. Think about your target market and what might appeal to them.
Aspects to consider are your product labels and any outer box and of course, safety labels and dust covers as well as any extras like stickers, enclosed thank you or care cards or even logo tissue paper.
Ensure you choose a business name you feel good about and make sure it’s not being used by another company. You can check trademarks to be sure and search social media platforms should no results come up via the trademark search.
Once you’ve decided on your business name and inner packaging, ensure that your branding is consistent across all your products. Are you going minimal / fun / traditional / rustic / contemporary? Whatever you go for, be sure that your branding reflects the same look and feel for every touchpoint for your business.
Tip 9 - Decide on your outer packaging
You’ll need to consider and purchase your outer packaging such as parcel boxes and void filling. You may be able to use PIP boxes if you’re launching just wax melts, or you may need bigger boxes if selling reed diffusers and candles. Void filling is required if using larger boxes as this will cushion your products securely inside whilst in transit. Think about biodegradable packing peanuts or shredded cardboard for more eco-friendly options.
Tip 10 – Decide where will you be selling and marketing your products
You might simply start off selling via social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok or Facebook but if you wanted to, a website is a great place to start as it opens up your business to a whole new audience.
Wix and Shopify are popular web platforms to use for starting out but be sure to do your research to find the platform that works for you. If you do decide to create a website, you’ll want to buy your domain name once you’ve decided on your business name. Other legal requirements also apply with websites such as establishing your businesses terms & conditions as well as privacy policies, seller regulations and setting out your delivery/returns and shipping notices.
For more information, check out our post on the legal requirements of selling home fragrance products.
Tip 11 - Take great pictures of your products
Its best to take pictures in good, natural lighting in order to show them off at their best. You might want to consider investing in a light box or even creating your own DIY version to create some plain images with minimal to no styling.
Of course, you’ll also want to create a few lifestyle shots as well to allow your customers to envision how the product might look in their own homes to encourage them to purchase.
Tip 12 - Start getting the word out
Why not start a social media account and pop on an announcement saying when you’ll be launching, maybe with your business logo? This doesn’t have to be an exact date but you should have a rough idea and stick with it. If you have a website, you can create a landing page to direct people to enabling them to sign up for your newsletter, which will help you start an email list.
In your social media posts or emails to subscribers leading up to the launch date, share behind the scenes of you making products, the testing you undertake (but not too technical), and tease about what scents you’ll be introducing to get people buzzing and excited about the upcoming launch and build anticipation.
Tip 13 – Consider a countdown during the week before your business launches
Send daily or every other day emails to those on your subscriber list and do a countdown on social media letting people know the launch is in X amount of days. This is a really good opportunity to tell people the story of why your started your business and how your product(s) will improve their lives in some way or other.
It’s also a great time to discuss your USP (unique selling point). This should be something that is unique to you and your business specifically and not something that has been done a thousand times before.
And for just a couple of optional extra tips... These aren't necessary but something to think about before launching to make things easier right from the start!
Tip 14 – Sign Up for Click & Drop postage
Postage companies that offer services including click & drop or click & collect can prove to be a lifesaver during those busy periods of your business. Simply batch print the labels, attach to your parcels and either take them to a drop-off point or have them collected form your home.
Tip 15 – Purchase a Label printer
If you’re struggling to keep up with the demand of your parcels, especially when having to fill-in and print lots of labels, a label printer can save you a lot of time. These work by integrating all your labels into one file and then they’ll print one after the other. All you need to do then is stick them to your parcels.
There you have 15 fantastic tips on getting your home fragrance business launched in the New Year. Not looking to launch just yet? Bookmark, Pin or save this handy guide for later as we’re sure it will prove useful as and when you need it. Whatever stage you’re at, just know that we’re here to help every step of the way!
We wish you all the best with the launch of your home fragrance business. Be sure to let us know how things are going and get lots of extra support via our Facebook community!