Where you buy your materials can make the difference between a profit and a loss on your bottom line.
Don't rely on a supplier's word that he is the lowest priced supplier.
In any retail business, you have to check pricing on supplies.
If you buy online, you have to determine what the actual price is with taxes and freight.
You have to check quantity discounts, and evaluate them along with how long the material will sit on your shelf before you get a return on it.
You have to check availability of the materials, because some companies don't have all the items they are advertising in stock.
An important consideration in addition to price is the company's dependability and reputation.
The first thing to note is how long the company has been in the candle supply business.
This doesn't mean that a new company is untrustworthy, but it might be best to deal with someone who has a track record.
An old Indian was standing on the corner in a western town about the turn of the 20th century.
As people would pass, he would hold up his hand in the Indian type greeting and say, "Chance!" As people passed, he kept up the same single salute and uttered the same solitary word.
A nearby shopkeeper watched for an extended period.
Finally, he could bear it no more, and reluctantly trudged over to the corner and said, "Why do you keep saying 'chance?' You're an Indian.
Aren't you supposed to say 'how'?" Rolling his eyes slightly the elder man said, "Know how, need chance!" Give the man with the 'know how' the chance.
Consider at least three companies, judging them by price, delivery time, track record, and your gut feeling.
Assign a point system range on each area and pick a winner.
The one that comes in second should be your backup.
As your business grows, delivery time will become an increasingly important factor for a successful operation.
You will want to fulfill your orders as quickly as possible, which may require the ordering of supplies without having to wait long periods for delivery.
If your operation is big enough, you should devise an inventory system to keep track of supplies.
It may not be feasible to spend thousands of dollars on software to use for the task, but an Excel spreadsheet works better than nothing at all.
Pick out a certain day of the week or month when you check your stock levels to be sure you have sufficient supplies.
After you have been in business a while, you will have a better idea of the products you will stock regularly.
This will allow you to place orders for stock product supplies on a regular basis, making larger orders at one time to save freight.
Generally, with most candle making supply sources, several orders cost more in freight wise than one large single order.
Track your expenses and profits on a regular basis.
Your business only makes money when you are working, but if you don't watch the bottom line, you might be working for very little.