Opening a retail candle shop requires capital to cover start-up costs. Even for the craftsman or affiliate who has been selling candles from home, a retail shop will prove a potentially rewarding and lucrative venture. If you have the capital, it may be time to look for an appropriate retail space. Before signing a contract, however, plan out the design you will implement in the space. One section of the store may be for soy candles, for example, while another is for beeswax and a third is reserved for highly scented Yankee candles.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Business License
- Resale License
Choose a suitable location for a retail candle store. You need a location where you can easily be found, but the best retail spots require the highest monthly rent payments. If you are going into business for the first time, shop around for a small space that seems accessible -- located on a main street or just around the corner from a main street, for example.
Acquire a business license and a resale license if you do not already have them. If you have been selling candles out of your home, you should already have a business license for the city you live in. If you wish to open a retail store in another city, you must obtain a license at that city's offices even if you already have a business license for the city in which you live.
Visit the local city or town offices to file for a business license.
Resale licenses are given by the state. A resale license gives a business owner the right to purchase items without paying sales tax. The expectation is that you will resell the items and charge sales tax to your customers. If you purchase an item with your resale license, but do not resell it, you must pay a "use tax" to the state which equals the amount of sales tax you would have paid.
Contact your state offices about acquiring a resale license if you do not already have one.
Decide what niche of candle store you envision. Are you planning to sell only non-parrafin candles or would you rather sell highly scented candles? Because different types of candles appeal to different markets, define your target customer. Develop a plan of how you will attract these customers, such as taking out a small ad in the local paper.
Write out a candle store business plan for the first year. Spell out your budget and your monthly rent for your candle store. Estimate how much utilities such as electricity and telephone will cost. If you are opening a small candle store and can work the store by yourself, you may not have labour costs.
Don't forget to include the cost of candles you will resell. Look at all of your costs and see how much money you must generate to make a profit. This will help guide you in pricing candles for sale.
Have fun designing your store. Purchase displays and carts to show off the candles you have for sale.
Tips and warnings
- Have a well-advertised candle store opening reception.
- Many businesses lose money the first year.
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