Your Candle Business Checklist for Summer

Your Candle Business Checklist for Summer

6 mins read
A woman writing in a notepad with a laptop on her knee and a candle lit in the background. Source: Pexels

Summer might signal a slowdown in candle sales with the heat urging everyone outdoors, but for candle business owners, it's the perfect season to light up the back end of your operations. While your wicks aren't burning as often in customers' homes, the behind-the-scenes flame should be fanned fervently. 

This quieter period is your golden opportunity to fine-tune your business, from streamlining production processes to experimenting with new scents and designs. Think of it as the prep work that sets the stage for the bustling months ahead when the chill in the air brings everyone back inside, eager for the cosy comfort of a flickering candle. 

This guide will walk you through a comprehensive summer checklist to ensure your candle business glows brighter than ever when peak season rolls around.


☐ Develop your product line
☐ Carry out an inventory and supplier review
☐ Work on your production techniques
☐ Strengthen (or establish) your online presence 
☐ Keep in touch with your customers 

Candle business checklist for summer

As temperatures rise, candle sales might dip, but summer is an invaluable time for strategic development behind the scenes. A staggering 50% of all retail candle sales occur in the fourth quarter of the year,  emphasising the importance of using the slower summer months to gear up for the busiest time ahead. 

☐ Develop your product line

Summer offers the perfect opportunity to slow down on production and ramp up on product development. Use this time to experiment with new scents and decorative candle lines tailored for the upcoming seasons. This strategic shift allows you to align your products with consumer expectations during peak buying times.

Conduct market tests for these new products to gather customer feedback without large initial investments. Here are just some of the ways you can carry out this consumer research:

  • Post images and descriptions of new scents via social media polls and posts that ask for feedback. This is a great (and cheap) way to gather initial impressions.

  • Send out surveys to your email list asking for feedback on potential new products. Offer a small incentive, such as a discount code or entry into a giveaway, to encourage participation.

  • Offer a limited number of new products for pre-order. This not only tests market demand but also helps fund the initial production run. Monitor which products sell out quickly and gather feedback from these early adopters after they receive and use the product.

  • Set up a sample booth at local or regional markets where you can interact directly with potential customers. Offer small samples or demo versions of new scents and designs, collecting feedback through quick response forms or informal conversations.

This proactive approach not only keeps your product line fresh and exciting but also engages your audience during off-peak seasons, maintaining interest and anticipation for what’s next.

☐ Carry out an inventory and supplier review

Time for a checklist within a checklist! As the summer heat mellows the pace of sales, it's the ideal time to conduct a thorough inventory and supplier review. This critical assessment ensures your candle business is not just ready for the upcoming seasonal rush but also operating at its most efficient.

☐ Begin by taking stock of your current inventory

Summer slowdown? Perfect time for a stock-take. Look over what you've got—identify what's flying off the shelves and what's not. Use your sales history to smartly adjust your stock levels. This helps you dodge overproduction traps and cut down on those pesky storage fees while making sure you're set for busier times.

Evaluate your relationships with suppliers 

How's the team behind your supply chain doing? Catch up with your suppliers now when things are a bit quieter. Are they meeting your expectations? Reliable and punctual? A good chat can strengthen these relationships, potentially leading to better deals or improved support when you most need it.

Negotiate prices or better terms

With an understanding of your future production needs and a solid relationship in place, negotiate better terms or prices. Suppliers are often willing to offer discounts for bulk purchases or long-term contracts, which can significantly reduce your cost of goods sold.

Plan for supply-chain readiness 

Ensure your supply chain is robust enough to handle the increased production demands of peak seasons. Consider alternative suppliers to diversify your risk or to cope with potential supply disruptions. Establishing a backup plan now can save you from critical shortages and production delays later.

☐ Streamline stock management

Lean into tech to keep your inventory sharp. Implement tools to monitor stock levels, predict lead times and track sales trends. Efficient management not only smooths out operations but also keeps you agile, ready to pivot as market conditions shift.

Tackling these inventory and supplier strategies during the quieter summer months allows you to position your candle business for a smooth transition into the busier seasons. Think of it as setting the stage for success—where every detail is aligned for when the pace picks up and the market heats up.

☐ Work on your product techniques

<span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;"> woman tipping wax into a beaker to make candles. Source: </span><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">Pexels</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">.</span>

Taking a break from the daily grind to enhance your production techniques can really set your candle business apart. If you’ve been considering automation, now could be the perfect time to start small. Introducing automation for just one part of your process, like wick placement or labelling, can significantly speed things up without overwhelming your operation.

For those who pride themselves on the handcrafted quality of their candles, focusing on refining your techniques can make a big difference. Experiment with adjusting your pouring temperatures, tweaking cooling times or even trying new methods for achieving cleaner, more consistent layers. It's about honing your craft to perfection.

Additionally, why not broaden your skill set by attending workshops, reading candle-related guides or enrolling in online courses? Learning new techniques, such as using different waxes or crafting one-of-a-kind decorative elements, not only adds variety to your product line-up but also keeps your creative juices flowing. It’s a great way to keep your offerings fresh and exciting for your customers.

☐ Strengthen (or establish) your online presence

Revitalising your marketing and online presence can invigorate your brand and attract new customers. Start by sprucing up your website with new content that reflects your latest products or shares behind-the-scenes insights into your candle-making process. An updated website not only keeps your audience engaged but also helps improve your search engine rankings.

Optimising your online store in terms of practicality is equally important. Ensure that your website is user-friendly, with intuitive navigation and streamlined checkout processes. A smooth shopping experience can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates and increase sales.

Improving your product photography is another key step. High-quality images that showcase your candles in their best light can make a huge difference in how your products are perceived. Consider hiring a professional photographer or learning some advanced photography techniques yourself to truly capture the essence and ambiance your candles can create.

☐ Keep in touch with your customers

Keeping engaged with your customers during the quieter months is recommended for keeping your candle business glowing. Why not reach out with surveys? They’re a great way to hear directly from your fans about what they love or what they’re eager to see next. Offering a little thank you, like a discount code for completing a survey, can really boost your response rates and give you some solid insights to work with.

Don’t forget about your newsletters either. They’re perfect for keeping your audience in the loop with fun updates, sneak peeks at upcoming products, or even helpful tips on getting the most out of their candles. Keeping these conversations going can make your customers feel valued and connected.

And then there’s social media—your all-seasons platform. More than just a promotional tool; it’s a community builder. Engage your followers with regular posts, respond to their comments and maybe spark some excitement with exclusive promotions or giveaways. Ask them to share their favourite candle moments or to tag a friend. It’s a fun way to expand your reach and keep your existing customers buzzing about your brand.

Stay active and involved, and your business will remain a hot topic, even when the weather cools down.

Wrapping up and looking ahead 

As we wrap up our summer checklist, remember: this season is your chance to refine, plan and refresh. Each proactive step you take now lays the foundation for a bustling future, ensuring you're ready when sales heat up again. From perfecting your craft to optimising your operations and building a more robust online presence, use this time wisely to prepare for the busier months ahead.

Stay tuned for our upcoming posts that will uncover effective marketing strategies, content creation and mastering social media to engage your target audience. Specifically tailored for candle brand owners, these are essential tools for building a vibrant online community around your brand. 

In the meantime, get ready to transform your quiet summer into a launchpad for growth and engagement!

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