Chase the Trend: How to Open Your Own Vape Store
With the legalization of weed and the popularity of alternatives to smoking, vaping has become a profitable business. Here’s how to open your own vape store.
The vaping industry is booming, with estimates showing nearly 60 million people vaping in just a few years. It only takes a small vaping community to require a vape store. While many people open online, a vape store allows people to get the products they need while being able to ask common questions about vaping.
Here are five steps to follow when you’re about to open your own vape store.
1. Assess Your Budget
Before you can open any kind of business, you need to figure out how much of a store you can afford. Your budget will help you to measure the canvas on which you’ll be painting your masterpiece of a business plan.
If you have money saved up, you could invest that in your business. If you’re willing to put something on the line, your potential investors will see that and understand how committed you are. It’s much easier to blow other people’s money than your own.
However, you shouldn’t go broke just to open your vape shop. Opening a vape shop takes investment from multiple parties. If you can get investors, you won’t have to worry about going into debt.
Not everyone can get venture capitalists and investors to put their money down for a business, so you have to consider taking out loans. Choose a trustworthy financial institution for getting your loans. One that you’re already working with via a credit card or through your personal accounts will be able to vouch for you better than one you’ve never worked with.
Check your credit and be sure that you have good enough credit to take out a loan. You need to have a strong credit history to qualify for a business loan that won’t risk putting you under water.
2. Choose a Location
Location is vitally important to the survival of any business. While someone like Anthony Bourdain would be willing to travel 10,000 miles to climb through a forest for the perfect bowl of soup, vapers won’t do that.
They’ll go looking for someone closer and easier to get to, even if you’ve got the best shop in town.
You need to figure out where the most vapers are going to be found. The ideal place for your vape shop is going to be wherever another vape shop is already located. However, unless you’re pre[ared to put that shop out of business, you’ll have to come up with a plan B.
Your vape shop needs to be somehow accessible while somehow located somewhere you can have a market all to yourself.
Start by thinking about who your ideal clientele is. If your clientele is young and lives close to a train station so they can commute into the city, you’ve already got two points of data. See if you can find a place within your budget, and you’re off to the races.
3. Figure Out Your Niche
Every shop has a niche. Some will specialize in a variety of devices and high tech gear. Along with vape equipment, they’ll also sell larger smoking devices. Others will stay focused on vaping.
If you’ve always been interested in music, you could find a way to combine your interests to keep your shop exciting for you. Connect with someone who wants to run a record store and you could combine your efforts and save money. By offering two things that go together, you might be able to make a splash.
If you’re more interested in the flavor and different styles of vape equipment, you can spend your time trying to become the place with the widest range of flavors. Finding your niche is essential and it needs to be sincere in order for you to stay interested and for customers to trust you.
Check out what Flavors United has done to carve out their niche in the vape world.
4. Find Your Products and Distributor
While it might not be the sexiest part of putting together your vape shop, finding where you’re getting your products from is essential. You need to have the right distributor of products to be sure you always have the most interesting things for your customers.
You want to be at the cutting edge of the industry while also staying stocked with what your customers love the most. Check out which brands are trending and which look like they’re about to blow up.
You can give your customers a unique vape shop experience by becoming an expert in the field. This is a great way to also build a dedicated following of customers.
5. Build Your Brand Online
Even if you’re not planning on doing any e-commerce, having a strong online presence is key to doing business in this environment. In the absence of the old yellow pages and business directories, online searches are now the way that people find out about new products and services.
Online searches are great because they offer customers and clients the possibility to learn about your shop before they visit. Online searches often lead to review and directory listings put together by sites like Google.
Take control of your online listings and business directory entries. Claim your listings on Yelp and Google so that you can confirm the correct information about your products and services. You can also add photos and information.
Make sure you’ve got a presence on social media and keep up your postings. Add a blog to your website and answer common vaping questions with your posts. Repost your blog on social media and drum up a local following.
Opening a Vape Store is a Good Investment
If you’re considering opening a vape store, you’re getting in on the ground floor of a smart investment. As vaping grows, the demand for good quality products and services will as well. Be there to serve your community and you’ll garner a strong following easily.
To see the latest in smoking and vaping research, check out our latest guide to staying informed.