How to Start a Candy Store

Candy stores offer a wide selection of sweet treats to children and adults alike. In the US, there are over 6,000 stores that specialize in chocolate alone. If you are inspired to start your own candy store, you must figure out the costs, hire employees, and get a good candy business insurance policy.

How to Start a Candy Store

Do you want to know how to start a candy store? You must crunch the numbers to determine your investment costs, choose a prime location, and determine your target customers.

Calculate Costs

The cost to start a candy store will vary based on what you want to invest in. Typically you need between a few thousand dollars and $30,000 to open a candy store. Below are some estimated costs that you need to keep in mind.

Candy store expense Estimated Cost
Equipment $5,000
Building rental $1,000 to $4,000 per month
Employee wages $26,000 to $51,000 per employee annually
Insurance coverage $400-$1,000 per year
Registering your business $0-$1,000
Starting inventory $1,000-$6,000

Register the Business

As long as you are doing business in a name other than your personal name, you are required to register your business in most states. Below are the types of business structures and the advantages they offer you.

Business Structure Description Advantages Disadvantages
Sole Proprietorship You are the sole owner. Flexible and easy to start. Pass-through taxation means you don’t pay a corporate income tax. Personally responsible for business debts
Corporation Owned by shareholders Can issue stocks and raise money easily. Liability protection for business debts Taxed on two levels, must follow stricter rules
Limited Liability Company A hybrid structure that combines the qualities of a corporation and a sole proprietorship Combines pass-through taxation and liability protection. Costs more to start than a sole proprietorship

Appeal to Customers

Your business will do well to cater to a target demographic.

  • Children: Although most people love candy, children especially do. Appeal to kids by including toys in your candy store and making them brightly colored with many options.

  • Connoisseurs: One demographic you can appeal to is quality-seekers. They will be looking for candy that is artisanal and well-made.

  • Women: According to scientific research, women like sweeter flavors more than men. Men tend to prefer savory foods over sweet foods. You can appeal to women by including sweeter convections and products they prefer, like dark chocolate.

Choose Candy

Your target customers should inform your decision of which types of candies to sell. Pay attention to trends to get ahold of novel products and industry staples to maximize your sales.

  • Chocolate: Chocolate candy is universally loved and comes in many shapes and sizes. Studies show that the chemicals in chocolate produce happy sensations in the brain. It has a pleasant texture that people love to chew on.

  • Salt water taffy: This candy is a sweet candy that is chewable. It comes in many flavors like cherry, vanilla, blueberry, lemon, watermelon, and more. They are an excellent piece for a candy shop because of their appealing packaging and bright colors.

  • Lollipops: Lollipops come in many shapes and sizes, but they are classically understood to be big and swirly in candy stores. Your customers lick them until they become soft enough to bite into and chew.

  • Hard candy: These candies contain high amounts of sugar that are baked into shapes. Hard candies are meant to be sucked on them until they dissolve.

  • Licorice: These candies are flavored from plant extracts of the same name. They are made with a chemical called glycyrrhizin and use a wheat flour base.

Get an EIN

An EIN or employer identification number is issued by the IRS for your business. Your EIN is necessary for basic functions like opening a business account and hiring employees. The steps to get an EIN include:

  1. Apply: The most common way to apply for an EIN is online. However, you can also download the form and send it by fax or mail.

  2. Follow instructions: When applying for an EIN, you can only get one EIN per person per day. If you apply online, you must submit your form without 15 minutes of inactivity.

  3. Provide information: The application process will ask you for information like your social security number, business name, address, and other relevant information. You must also have already registered your business as a legal entity.

  4. Submit: After submitting your application, your EIN will be available immediately if you apply online. You must save your EIN confirmation notice and record your nine-digit number.

Find a Location

The choice of where to put your candy shop is critical. As a physical location, you want to make the following considerations:

  • Availability: A suitable location will be somewhere you are not surrounded by too many competitors. Try to find an area with an untapped candy store market or at least one where you are offering something unique compared to others.

  • Foot traffic: Your candy store will highly benefit from an area with high-foot traffic. This can be in a mall, near downtown, or on a main street.

  • Room to grow: As your business expands, you will want to pick a place that facilitates that growth. If your potential customer base has a smaller upper limit in that area, it may not be the best choice long-term.

Hire Employees

To run a candy store, you must enlist the help of talented employees who serve specialized functions.

  • Cashier: A cashier processes customer transactions. They can greet customers who enter the store and suggest additional promotions for customers ready to check out.

  • Sales associate: A sales associate answers questions about your products. They must be highly knowledgeable and offer suggestions for customers to feel welcomed and helped.

  • Stockman: As you get new products in to replace the sold product, you will need stock employees. They are responsible for unpacking shipment from deliveries and getting it onto your sales floor.

  • Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper keeps track of your business finances through reports. They manage payroll for other employees and handle business payments for expenses.

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Candy dispensers in a candy shop.

How to Start a Candy Store at Home

Do you want to start a candy store but don’t want the challenges of running a physical operation? This next section will discuss the steps you need to know to learn how to start a candy store at home.

Create a Website

Creating a website is the critical first step to master when discovering how to start a candy store from home. A website is all but required in the digital age. Customers look for your presence online to read reviews and gain trust before making purchases. Steps to creating a website include:

  • Choose a domain name: A domain name is a unique address that will take people to your content. You must purchase a domain name from a service like Wix or Squarespace.

  • Select a web host: Your web host will store the data used for your website and helps manage the flow of web traffic. Without a web host, people will be unable to access your site.

  • Design your site: You can use a website template or learn web design to create a unique website. Ensure that your website can be read easily on multiple types of devices. Many people still use PCs to view webpages, but increasingly people are using mobile devices like phones and tablets.

Build Web Pages

You will need several types of web pages to appeal to your candy store customers. These include:

  • Shopping pages: These are pages filled with your candy products. You will want to make your products easily searchable and display the discounts available on your products.

  • FAQs: Customers often have questions about your products, like where they are made and your returns policies. A good FAQs page can give your customers peace of mind and encourage them to purchase.

  • About Us: This page will let customers know your business vision and principles. Use this to personalize your business and relate how you got started.

  • Home page: A home page is your site’s landing page. You want to fill it with helpful information to direct customers across your site since it is the first page they will see.

Invest in E-commerce

While a website is important for spreading your brand awareness, you will also want to take advantage of E-commerce sites. These sites allow you to sell products to an already built-in audience.

Site Benefits
Amazon Huge built-in audience and gives you instant credibility as a business
eBay Highly customizable storefront and low listing fees
Shopify It has great tools to track sales and is easy to set up

Choose an Advertising Strategy

Spreading awareness of your brand is important during all stages of your business, but especially at the beginning. A few strategies you can employ to get your target audience to notice you include:

  • Email marketing: Email blasts to your target audience offer a high return on investment and let customers know about your products and discounts.

  • Influencer marketing: By having a social media influencer promote your product, you get instant access to their built-in audience. 

  • Pay-per-click ads: Online ads are highly cost-effective and instantly get eyeballs on your website and products.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You will want to use search engines to promote your business organically. By employing SEO techniques, you can reach an audience of customers who are already searching for your products and are likely to buy them.

  • Produce high-quality articles: By producing informative and engaging articles about topics related to your candy store, you can get picked up by a search engine like Google or Bing.

  • Target keywords: To determine the keywords you want to include, you must consider what your target customers are searching for. Include answers to common candy queries and check Google search trends to take full advantage of SEO.

  • Include authority links: When producing content for SEO, it helps to include trusted links like research papers, news articles, and government websites. Search engines consider these sources ”authoritative” and will help your content be considered higher quality in the rankings.

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Insurance Requirements for Boosting Income

Insurance policies are essential to helping your business grow and boosting your income. With your insurance premium, you are defending your business against potential lawsuits and other unexpected events that may come along to siphon your business profits.

Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy combines liability insurance and property insurance into one package. Because of this, it is considered one of the most comprehensive forms of insurance. It covers general liability, commercial property, and often business interruption insurance. NEXT is our recommended pick for a business owner’s policy. They are an ai-based insurance provider with excellent policy options and low premiums. You can save extra when choosing to bundle multiple insurance policies together.

General Liability Insurance

A general liability policy protects your business from third-party lawsuits. This policy covers events like bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury to others. If a customer slips and falls, this is the policy you need. Thimble offers short-term general liability insurance from A-rated insurance partners. With Thimble, you can set the duration of your policy down to the month, day, or hour. They have a great app and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.

Professional Liability Insurance

Your professional liability insurance protects you from business mistakes and negligence. It can protect you if you fail to meet client service expectations. For professional liability insurance, we recommend Hiscox. They have an A rating from AM Best. Hiscox has experience serving small businesses and tailoring policies exactly to your needs. They have served over 500,000 customers.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance protects your physical business assets from damage. It covers events like fire, theft, wind, lightning, and vandalism. You should choose CoverWallet for your commercial property insurance policy. CoverWallet has over ten top insurance partners, like Hiscox, Progressive, Chubb, and Markel. They make getting quotes convenient; you can skip filling out an insurance form and call them directly.

Commercial Auto Insurance

 A commercial auto insurance policy protects the business vehicles you use to run errands and meet lawyers. It also provides liability protection for bodily injury, and property damage your vehicle cause. An excellent company to get commercial auto insurance from is Tivly. They offer critical policy options like gap insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection. Tivly makes it easy to update your insurance policies when your business needs change.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Your workers’ compensation insurance policy helps pay for medical treatments your employees might need. When employees get injured or ill from working, this policy can also help them with supplemental income. The Hartford is our choice for workers’ compensation insurance. They expand your employee’s access to many medical providers and over 65,000 pharmacies. The Hartford has over 200 years of insurance industry experience. They were named one of the most ethical companies by Ethisphere.

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