Advice from a Successful Entrepreneur
Ryan-Willis claims her motto is, “Whatever I sell needs to reach my customer in a way that I would want to receive it." Therefore, she advises that one of her first business principles is to focus on quality and presentation:
- Ensure that the candle burns from start to finish with a pleasant, strong scent.
- Ascertain that the candle burns evenly with no residue left on the sides of the jar.
Next, Ryan-Willis emphasizes the importance of marketing. She stated that she learned a few basic facts early in the life of her business:
- Market yourself even more than what you sell by being professional and knowledgeable.
- Get your name out everywhere possible, such as through business cards, flyers, websites, craft shows, and word-of-mouth.
- Price your candles competitively to guarantee you cover your costs, but also make a profit.
An ongoing and underlying business concept that Ryan-Willis practices and espouses is the understanding that any business takes time and effort, but even more so when you are a sole proprietor. As Ryan-Willis emphasizes, in most cases, people should not expect to start one month, and be well known and successful within six months. Running your own business does not usually meet with instant success. During her first couple of years in business, Ryan-Willis did not make any significant profit.
Another important consideration for running your own successful candle making business is to acknowledge that it requires discipline, time management, and organizational skills. You become your own boss and must treat your business as a business, whether you make and sell candles in a storefront or in your own home. Ryan-Willis said at the beginning, she spent about 20 minutes daily finding more information on how to improve her business, advertise on other websites or read about other successful candle makers. Now, eight years later, she sometimes spends 12 hours or more daily on her business to fill orders and ship them out in a reasonable amount of time to both retail and wholesale customers.