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With promising forecasts about the future of the vape industry, more and more entrepreneurs have started dabbling in the e-cigarette retail business. The vape market is expected to reach over $54 billion by 2026, indicating around 20% growth over the last decade.
As cigarettes are deemed unhealthy, people are now trying to find a healthier alternative to satisfy their smoking needs. The market is rapidly growing, so no wonder that many new business owners decide to get in on the deal.
If you want to open a vape shop but don’t know how, we’ll give you 10 tips to help you get started.
Do Extensive Market Research
The first and most crucial step when embarking on any new business venture is to research the market thoroughly in your plan to invest. Many new businesses fail to do this and go under in record time.
Conducting broad market research can help you identify your priorities and best business strategy. It will get you acquainted with your target customers and help you reach decisions regarding the location and the overall appearance of your vape shop. It might even provide information on whether your location is better suited for opening an actual store or an online vape shop.
Develop a Good Business Plan
Whatever you decide while you conduct your market research, you’ll need to outline it in a comprehensive, step-by-step business plan. Your business plan should include your short-term and long-term goals and solutions for how you’ll achieve them. It should also contain your brand name, location, an analysis of your top competitors, and marketing and financial plans.
Due to heavy taxation and legal restrictions surrounding vape products, it’s probably best to anticipate all the challenges you might face. Write them down in your business plan, and brainstorm solutions to help you overcome them.
A good business plan should serve as a lifeguard, keeping your business afloat no matter what comes its way. But don’t let all this intimidate you – plenty of great business plan templates are available with a few clicks on the Internet.
Choose Your Location Wisely
If you’re opting out of building an online vape store for the time being, or if you want to open a traditional physical store to complement your existing online one, the most important thing to do is to find a good location.
As vapes and e-rigs are attracting more and more customers, we see vaping products sold at gas stations and corner shops which means you’ll have no shortage of competitors. This is why you need a location that will stand out from the rest and offer plenty of perks for your customers.
Research Local Legislation
When contemplating opening a vape shop, it’s essential to research local legislation because many states have different laws for selling and advertising vaping products.
In 2016, the FDA listed e-cigarettes as tobacco products that must undergo the same regulations as traditional cigarettes. This means not selling to minors and labeling products as “health hazardous,” among the rest. You’ll probably also need to obtain a special license and permits.
When you come to this point, it’s best to consult a lawyer or local authorities to avoid legal mishaps.
Think About Costs and Funding
Opening a new business requires thinking about funding and initial costs. Lack of funding is among the top reasons why many new companies fail. When it comes to vape shops, initial expenses include:
- Obtaining permits and licenses
- Acquiring a point-of-sale system
- Supplying initial inventory
- Paying first salaries and taxes
- Getting business insurance
The next step is to supply your inventory. You’d want to find a reliable supplier who works with the products you want and need. Make sure that they’re trustworthy and will be able to meet your demands regularly.
Ask around your local area to find the best suppliers. As a vape shop, your must-have products would include:
- Various rechargeable e-cigarettes
- E-cigarette starter kits
- Advanced vape kits for experienced users
- Battery chargers
- Different types of vape liquid
- Other accessories
Choose a POS
It’s crucial to choose an excellent point-of-sale system for your business. If you make the right choice, your customers will have a pleasant experience, and you’ll be able to gain helpful customer insight, optimize your staff, and keep track of inventory. Your vape shop POS system needs to be efficient and RACS compliant.
Stay Informed About Your Competitors
It’s a good idea for any business to keep up with the competition. By looking at other vape stores in the same market, you’ll get valuable insight to help your business excel in its industry. Perhaps you can pick up on some useful practices that your competitors use, or you’ll see certain fallbacks that you can turn to your advantage.
Build a Good Marketing Strategy
All retail businesses need a good marketing strategy to succeed – your vape store is no different. Explore all of your options and be creative when devising your marketing plan.
It’s helpful to get professional help if you can. If not, make the most of social media and expand your brand’s presence on the web. You can create platforms on business and on social media sites to reach a bigger audience. Just make sure your advertising campaigns are following the legal requirements.
Develop a Customer-Friendly Atmosphere
Once your shop is all set to start, you need one final touch – good customer service. If your customers are not satisfied, they won’t return again, and your reputation will suffer.
This is important to keep in mind when hiring new employees. Ensure all your employees, including yourself, have a positive attitude and are well-informed about the products.
The beginning of every business is challenging. And the same goes for opening a vape shop. But if you keep our helpful tips in mind and approach your new venture with due diligence, there is no reason for failure.