You’ve probably heard from many people that starting and running a small business isn’t easy. Well, they are right! It’s not easy at all, but it’s super rewarding. At least it has been in my case despite all the struggles I’ve had to face and still do.
But I love every second of making pure, eco-friendly soy wax melts in fragrances that are a nod to the many wonderful experiences I’ve had.
In this post, I wanted to talk about how hard it can be sometimes to work for your dream, whatever it may be. Who knows someone somewhere struggling with their dream may find some inspiration from my humble journey.
A Wax Melt Story
Like many other women around the world, I have been a housewife and mother for the better part of my life. I have raised five beautiful and amazing kids with my husband, who has always supported me in many ways.
Whilst I used to work part-time to help run the house, I was mainly a mother. Don’t get me wrong; that’s a great job in its own right. I believe as mothers we have great contributions to society. When the children go on to do great things, part of the credit goes to those mothers who tirelessly raised them, or at least that’s what I think.
My youngest son is turning Eighteen soon and my older ones are raising their families and pursuing their careers. I found myself not needed by my children as much. And that’s when that imaginary light bulb appeared over my head and I had the epiphany of finally starting my own business.
I had always admired scented candles because it was such a staple in our home. If you’re a mom, you’d know all the weird smells that can creep into the house when you have kids. As a fan, I decided to start making wax melts using soy wax, which after quite some research I found to be more environment-friendly.
The Struggles of Running a Small Business
When I decided to make wax melts, I didn’t know much about their composition, so the first phase was learning. I researched a lot, watched many videos, and finally bought the materials I needed to get going.
Through trial and error, I learned how to infuse oils with the wax and mix different scents to create something new. I finally arrived at a point where I liked what I was making and was ready to sell it. I thought the struggle was over. I have a product, it’s good, and all I have to do is sell.
Little did I know that the real struggle was only beginning!
We are a small family-run business, where I buy the materials, make the products, wrap them, and mail them when we get orders, and my husband helps me out with the marketing and logistics. As you can imagine, it becomes a full-time job really when you’re doing everything on your own, even though it’s a business, not a 9 to 5 job many of us dread.
Initially, it was a big challenge getting everything together, the website, the social media, the accounts, etc. There’s only so much you can do in one day!
Nevertheless, with the support of my family and friends, I was all set up and ready to sell wax melts, wax crumbles, and wax burners. With a limited marketing budget, we finally started getting some orders.
However, the day to day operations are still quite laborious. From creating different fragrance profiles to carefully wrapping the packages, I don’t even know where the time goes. Thankfully, I have the support of my husband to get through the day, meet deadlines, and get the packages in the mail.
But that’s not where the troubles end. Even if you get your part done timely, mishaps can happen. If only I had a nickel for every time a parcel got lost in the mail!
The Key Takeaways from Running a Small Business
Now that I’ve been running my wax melt store for a while, I have learned a thing or two that I would love to share:
It’s Ok to make mistakes
Believe it or not, I made my fair share of mistakes starting this business. As much as I hated making blunders, every mistake I made was a lesson in disguise. Eventually, I got better and learned how to do things the right way.
Start very small
If you start very small as I did from my living room, you have literally nowhere to go but up. You don’t need a fancy office or shop. You don’t need a venture capitalist backing you. Just start doing it, and things will get going on their own. Dream big but start small!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You’re going to need help whether you like it or not. So put your ego aside and ask for help around you, from friends and family.
Make your customers happy
One of the advantages of having a small business is that you directly interact and engage with customers, which gives you the chance to learn about them and give them exactly what they want. This is not something that big companies have: a personalized relation with the customer.
Why You Should Support Small Business
If it wasn’t for friends and community around Scent-Sational Wax Melts, my precious dream wouldn’t have reached where it is now. For small businesses, the support from customers and patrons is everything.
As a small business owner myself, I understand the thought, effort, and time that goes into making a product, especially a handmade product. Yes, you may find something cheaper in a big store, but it won’t have the same sentimental value.
Plus, small businesses are the driving force of any economy. So when you support small businesses, not only are you honouring the efforts of the people behind them but also contributing to the economy by helping those very businesses grow. It’s a classic win-win situation!