When you find something that you’re passionate about, it’s not uncommon to want to make a career out of it. If vaping is your activity of choice, then opening a vape shop in your local city maybe a career change that you’ve considered. To assist you in getting started, we’re going to share some great startup ideas and how to implement them successfully in your local market.
Start by Looking into Franchises
If you do a simple online search, you’ll find many new startups that are available for want-to-be entrepreneurs. We suggest reading through each franchise owner job description to see what company you’ll be best fit to work with. As a franchise owner, you’ll be working with the parent company to not only set up your business but throughout the entire time your business operates under the franchise. Therefore, finding a franchise that you can cooperate with from the very start is important.
When it comes to opening a vape shop, you don’t have to opt for going through a franchise. You can open your own independent shop. However, here are the main benefits you can gain from choosing the franchise route over the independent store route.
- Ready-Made Business Model
- Detailed Training
- Marketing Assistance
- Brand Recognition
These pros aren’t found when you opt for your own independent vape store. But there are some pros that an independent store holds over franchises. Independent stores offer you complete control over your business and doesn’t require the extra costs that come along with maintaining a franchise license.
Know the Laws Regarding Vaping
We know that you’re excited to get going with your new shop, but you must take the time to research the laws that govern vaping. You’ll need to assess all federal, state, and local vaping laws to ensure that you’ll be operating legally. Most of the federal laws are straightforward to follow.
The tricky part is reading through the state and local laws. Many local communities have put extra restrictions on vape shops. For example, you may not be able to open one within so many feet of a park or public school. You’ll need to know these key regulations to ensure you don’t violate them. When looking into the laws, be sure to pay close attention to the taxation of your vape shop. You want to ensure that you’ll financially be able to compete within your market.
Get Your Finances in Order
Opening an e cigarettes franchise is going to cost you some upfront capital. Unless you have a list of donors waiting at your door, it’s likely that you’ll need to come up with the funds on your own. In most cases, you’ll find that franchises require you to have access to a least 100,000 dollars or more to get started.
If you can’t find access to the money to start a local franchise store, you may want to investigate independent options. Funding sources like the Small Business Administration, of the federal government, will offer new businesses loans to get started. Online lending platforms are another great source for finding the funding that you need to get your business up and running. Take some time to evaluate your various financial options to see which ones will best suit your future goals. You don’t want to get locked into financing payments that you can’t afford to pay.
Knowing What Inventory to Stock
Each vape store is a little different from the next in the products that they offer. Having a good idea of what will sell in your market from the very start can push you towards success much quicker than guessing. At the bare minimum, your new vape shop should have the following items available for your customers to purchase:
- Vaping Hardware (Starter Kits, Tanks, Mods)
- Vape Batteries
- Replacement Coils
- Battery Chargers
If you’re going the franchise route, your parent company should be able to tell you what products to stock and in what quantities. Remember that your inventory is going to be an on-going challenge. By tracking your stocks and how quickly they’re depleting, you can better gauge your future stock orders.
Decide on Your Distributors
It’s not very likely that you’ll be creating all your own products. So, you’re going to need to get hooked up with some distributors to get your shelves filled. While you may think that it’s a lot cheaper to head overseas to product manufacturers, you should think again. Franchisors often determine the distribution channels or require specific distributors which can make this process easier to navigate
Many overseas manufacturers will offer to sell you cloned products for much less than you’ll find local distributors selling their products for. This may seem like a good deal at first, however, it won’t take long for your customers to realize the low-quality product. You don’t want to risk your store’s reputation for cheap products from overseas.
Secondly, you’ll likely find that real manufacturers overseas will charge you more than your local distributor can sell products for. The bigger local distributors tend to buy in bulk from the main manufacturers. This allows them to not only obtain the vaping products for cheaper, but they can sell them to you for cheaper than the manufacturers will.
Choosing the Perfect Location for Your Vape Shop
If you’ve ever heard the saying “Location, location, location!”’, then you know that the location of your vape shop can make a world of difference in how successful you are. As you learned above, there may be some local ordinances that restrict where your vape shop may be erected. Also, your franchise may have some additional restrictions on where your vape shop may be located at.
You want to take some time to think from the minds of your customers. Where would your business be both accessible and visible? Vapers want to be easily able to find your business without much work. If you’re not opening your vape shop in a downtown area, you may want to consider parking as another factor for your customers. By taking some time to figure out what is going to be ideal for your customers, you can better decide on the perfect location for your new vape shop.
Your Employees Are Your Biggest Assets
There are many vape industry jobs out there to choose from. What would make potential employees more likely to work for your business over others in the area? You must think about your employees as assets and how you can utilize them to provide success for your business. When you have employees that love what they’re doing, have extensive knowledge in vaping, and have a personable personality, you’re going to have happy and loyal customers
While it can be difficult at first identifying which employees are going to be an asset and which ones aren’t going to work out, you should perfect your evaluations over time. When you start with a franchise model, your parent company should be able to inform you of proper hiring techniques. They will likely even supply you with helpful employees who can do the hiring for you.
Ensure Your Prices Are Competitive with Online Vendors
While you may be comparing your prices to others within your local area to see if you’re overcharging or undercharging, you need to consider your online competition as well. You want to foster loyal customers who will come to your shop to get supplies because they know they’re getting a good deal on the price. If you disregard your online competition, you may find yourself with a lack of loyal customers because they know they can get products online for cheaper. You must give your customers a reason to come to your store to do business.
Employ Social Media Marketing from the Very Start
Social media is one way of advertising that can get the word out about your new business in literally seconds. Understanding how to utilize these social media platforms is a must for a business owner to survive. Although you may know how to handle navigating through these networks, you’ll probably be better off hiring an expert.