Finding out what my customers want

We chat with Cyndi McPhee, she is the proud supplier and planner of candlelight events and special occasions.

Her love of candles started at an early age, where she turned her kitchen into a candle making cove..

She utilised all her saucepans, stocked up on empty milk cartons and conned many plumbers for plumbing pipes… raided all the cheap shops for as many cartons of crayons that she could find… and, set about creating her own candle monstrosities. Needless to say, the ambition to make my own dwindled, but the passion and love did not..

2005 found her staring into the green eyes of a candle consultant, and.. well.. its now 2012, 7 years later… The passion and love is as strong as ever and the desire to provide and share the beauty is right there as well… Cyndi’s Candles…

1. What was the biggest turning point in your business and what brought it on?

The biggest turning point in my business was stepping outside my limits and thought process, and looking at new ways to bring customers, sales and productivity back into my business…Which was bought on by moving from a very productive, $12,000 a month in sales, small country town in South Australia… Back to the hustle and bustle of Adelaide. Having to Start over again and re-arranging ideas, thought processes, delivery schedules and how to continue to provide my customer service standards on a larger scale…

2. What has been your biggest learning experience running your business?

My biggest learning experience in the seven years of Cyndi’s Candles has been finding out what my customers want and adapting to the varied needs and wants of my customer base, and providing them with superior quality products.

3. What’s the best advice you ever got for your business?

The best advice I have ever been given regarding my business is something that I reflect on in not just my business, but in my day to day life as well…. DON’T STRESS THE SMALL STUFF.. and..If you are passionate about your product and want to succeed… GIVE 110% CUSTOMER SERVICE TO EVERY CUSTOMER… EVERY TIME… and I do.

4. What do you think is the biggest change that Business Owners will need to adapt to over the next 2

The biggest change I see for Businesses in the next 2 years Is Customer Service. It needs to be stripped back and looked at. There are businesses from our past that are now copied in 10 different ways, with different names. Customer service will determine who gets the client.. Today and into the future, our clientele are turning more readily to the internet for their purchases. Having a business that can incorporate a spin off into the internet sales and marketing arena will enable competitive and long standing businesses to adapt.

5. What piece of technology or app can you not live without every day to make your business more efficient?

With Cyndi’s Candles, rigorus testing is carried out on wax and accessories, and world leading fragrance houses make distinctive scents for wax and oils to maintain the label of 100% natural. When asked or planning an event, I like to show my clientele videos on the processes taken to bring them to their products on my Motorola Xoom… It has enabled me to provide a deeper level of customer service and is a professional way to present facts..

6. What business strategies are you focusing on to grow your business over the next year?

Creating Ambiance and signature scents are my major Business strategies for 2013 and beyond. I am branching out into the Wedding, events and parties side of my product, by meeting one on one with clientele, determining their needs and supplying them with Quality wax and accessories. Centre pieces, table displays, colour themes and personal scent will create ambiance and provide a lasting impression..

7. One thing you want NSW Government to change to help small business grow?

Grants and other funding programs are available from the Australian Government. Few grants are available for starting a small business, and are competitive or only available for specific circumstances. There are grants and assistance packages available for expanding your business, and research and development.

The NSW Government needs to take a deeper look into the variety and diversity of small business in NSW, and develop across the board tools and resources, along with broader access to new and developed grants and funding programs to cater to the growing and changing needs of the Australian population.

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