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Aspiring Small Business Owner


StarlitRogue
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I began to sell candles to friends, family and co workers and I've started to get a good amount. I began it as a way to offset the costs of making the candles but it's begun to take off.

One of the first questions I have is molds! Is there any restrictions I need to know about with using pillar molds? I mean, can you get in trouble for using a mold? Everywhere I look online has conflicting information and reading through threads I haven't been able to figure out the answer!

Also, what insurance companies do you recommend? Soon I'll be moving to the Seattle area and would love to have a local place but I'm certainly open to any company that has nationwide coverage. I know someone who has a good company and I might just go with them but I want to see what else is out there.

I might have two other people I might be going into business with on this and since all three of us are great friends it'll be great plus shared costs/profits. Plus more resources in general. Not a for sure thing though.

I've looked up the stuff about getting a small business license and well probably be doing that when I move up there since it doesn't seem like a huge ordeal (plus a have a family member who went through the process for a different business and she says she'll help me).

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Hi Starlit, the only advise I have for you is to think very carefully before going into business with your friends. If they are good friends, you want them to stay that way! Its one thing to share a hobby with friends, but a business partnership is different altogether. If you dont want to risk losing those friendships, go it alone.

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I began to sell candles to friends, family and co workers and I've started to get a good amount. I began it as a way to offset the costs of making the candles but it's begun to take off.

I'm not trying to discourage you but we often times see people that come on here after having made and sold a few candles to family, friends and co-workers that think its easy to start a business. Selling to family, friends and co-workers is alot different than selling enough to actually have a business. Many of us have had our businesses for years and we can tell you its not as easy as you think - especially if you want a store front. Then you need to make enough to cover your overhead and all expenses before you can even think of paying yourself. Buidling that type of customer base can take years. It can be tougher than I think you might realize albeit not by any means impossible. So don't stop dreaming and planning.

One of the first questions I have is molds! Is there any restrictions I need to know about with using pillar molds? I mean, can you get in trouble for using a mold? Everywhere I look online has conflicting information and reading through threads I haven't been able to figure out the answer!

I'm not real sure what you mean or why there would be a problem using a pillar mold.

Also, what insurance companies do you recommend? Soon I'll be moving to the Seattle area and would love to have a local place but I'm certainly open to any company that has nationwide coverage. I know someone who has a good company and I might just go with them but I want to see what else is out there.

Speaking for myself, I went through my HOI and got my insurance. I don't make or sell out of my home so I have a separate policy for my biz. My insurance company had an underwriter come talk to me about my biz and inspect my set up. Be careful though because many HOI will drop you if they find out you are making candles/B&B from your home. Also, if making and selling out of your home, make sure your area is zoned for businesses. It could or could not present some problems.

FWIW - you should not be selling to anyone without insurance. Even if its just to family, friends and co-workers. They can still sue the snot out of you and unless and until you are prepared to hand over everything you have to someone, and more, I wouldn't sell anything else until you have the insurance in place. One lawsuit is all it takes to finacially ruin you.

I might have two other people I might be going into business with on this and since all three of us are great friends it'll be great plus shared costs/profits. Plus more resources in general. Not a for sure thing though.

I agree with Koalo and I would forego this idea. For the most part, friends don't make good business partners or roommates.

I've looked up the stuff about getting a small business license and well probably be doing that when I move up there since it doesn't seem like a huge ordeal (plus a have a family member who went through the process for a different business and she says she'll help me).

Getting a small biz license really is not hard all. Its keeping that biz going that's the hard part. lol Its all very doable but you need to be prepared to spend alot of time, money, sweat and tears, etc. to make this a reality. But, you have to first dream it to achieve it. Good luck. :)

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That is good you have friends and family as customers.Now you feel it will get much bigger. It could happen but depends on your area. What you can sell a candle for and how many other candlemakers live within a few miles of you. I do fair at craft shows(one real good) and have a few online orders but this just pays for most of my supplies and insurance.I tried a craft mall($200 a month) and I had things taken from there. I have candles in a non profit place and they get 20%.I get alot of great feedback. Candles seem to sell but not making a bunch of money.

Get insurance first off.Find out the cost and go from there. That is a very important thing.

For your friends I wouldn't do it. Splitting cost etc can run into problems. You say you are doing good selling to those you know.Your friends see that and now want to go in with you. They are looking at big bucks but they must remember the cost to make the candles etc.It isn't cheap.I had a friend who went to a craft show with me.She was so envious if I just sold one candle.She has no idea how much it cost to make 1 candle. Plus the cost of the booth. She just looked at the dollars I was making not what was taken out of that for supplies etc. Oh and this same friend came back and said her and her mom were thinking about doing craft shows and making money.I told her to go for it. Last I heard of that.

I get insurance from a place in Ohio. They changed the name but check out craft insurance in ohio.I pay $375.00 a year. Coverage is $1,000,000. This company covers 6 states. I know one is PA,OH and seems like KY. I would have to check on the states.

LynnS

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