Starting a vape business can be a lucrative venture for many prospecting business owners; whether or not you already have experience in beginning a business, knowing the steps to starting a vape business can come with a multitude of new issues, from understanding current products to keeping up with the ever-evolving regulations that surround the vaping industry. In this guide by VaporBeast, we’ll help new and hopeful vape shop owners understand what it takes to begin a vape business, from the cost of owning and operating a vape shop to the partners it takes to keep a vape shop up and running.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Vape Business?
First and foremost, let’s get realistic about the costs surrounding opening a vape shop. If you already own a storefront and are looking to fill it with a new business, you’re already ahead of the game. If you’re in the market for a space to rent, opening up shop can come with a hefty price. Prospecting vape shop owners must first analyze their overhead. The average cost for renting a storefront ranges from $12,00 to $45,00 in terms of square feet per year (SF/YR), depending entirely on your location. This is where small-town business owners can thrive; if the capital is available to you, opening a shop in a larger city or more populated area could be easier. Secondly, your inventory and staffing costs come into play. In order to have a full inventory full of products and accessories that provide everything necessary for your customers to vape with ease and for your business to thrive successfully, you have to have enough capital to invest in a range of goods, enough funding to reinvest in more product, and the means necessary to stay afloat if (or when) you take a dip in sales per week, month, or year.
The initial costs of starter kits, e-liquids, accessories, and devices that make a shop run successfully total between $10,00 and $25,000– the more product range you have, the more customers you’re able to treat; however, the more useless or unpopular items you have on shelves can also negate revenue if sales aren’t made. Your staff costs are the next thing to consider. The average minimum wage in the U.S. floats around $15/hr. Because of this, you have to be prepared to work alone or with a partner at first, and hire more employees once more funds are available. Obviously, nobody wants to work 80 hours a week, but opening a business comes with a lot of sacrifice, especially if you don’t have the funds to support a full staff. If you aren’t prepared to pay employees minimum wage– and can’t afford to invest further into long-term staff members, shop owners have to be prepared to work more for themselves. If you have the funds to pay for more staff members, then you’ll be able to work less hours onsite.
The last thing to consider is your insurance costs. In terms of general liability insurance for small businesses, costs can be as low as $1000 annually, or can cost much more if the square footage and revenue value is much more. Employee insurance programs are yet another factor to consider. According to 2022 statistics, employers paid up to $7000 for single employees, and $16,500 for family coverage. With all of these numbers in mind, there’s a lot of investment required in starting a vape business, let alone a vape business.
How to Start a Vape Shop
With the costs in mind, let’s talk about opening up your shop. There are a multitude of factors to consider, much like the costs themselves. Once you know how much money you have to open your shop, you can start looking into how to open up shop. Let’s go over a few key factors to keep in mind when learning how to start a vape shop.
Choosing Your Location
To begin with, you have to choose a location for your vape shop. No one wants to open a shop on the edge of town, but many shop owners cannot afford to operate in the middle of town. Finding a location that lacks a provider for vape sales and services is key; don’t open your shop next to a vape business that has been successfully up and running for years. At the same time, don’t open your shop in a remote location that lacks regular traffic, either. Finding the perfect spot can be tricky, but knowing the trends within your own community will help. If your community mostly shops for vapes and vape accessories through gas stations and large grocery stores, you may be able to find a competitive location with the ability to provide more goods and services. If your town is full of vape shops, finding a neighborhood or area of town that lacks a regularly-open shop can be helpful.
Knowing the Trends
Next is knowing the trends surrounding the vaping community, and knowing what to provide once your shop is open. As vaping continues to change the world of smoking alternatives, trends for new products and accessories constantly come and go. It’s important to stay tapped into both local and national trends with resources like online blogs, customer reviews, and word-of-mouth research. Observe what customers are buying in shops that are already up and running, listen to what new customers are looking for, and plan to adapt to changes in the latest vaping trends. Additionally, it’s important for stores to carry a variety of non-vape items, which include accessories like batteries and chargers, but also things like lighters, apparel, and other novelty items. VaporBeast will be offering even more of these type of products and impulse buys that customers are likely to purchase as they are checking out!
Hiring the Right Staff
Next is being sure that your shop hires the appropriate staff for the job. Opening up a new vape shop isn’t easy, and having employees that don’t know about the vape industry can handicap your new business. While it’s hard to find experts to hire for a reasonable cost, new vape shop owners will still want to hire employees that are eager to learn. Once you’ve learned the ropes yourself and are ready to hire staff members, invest in young, passionate workers that are familiar with vaping and are trying to learn more about it, as well as educate others about the expanding world of vaping. With enough luck and the appropriate vetting measures in place, you can easily find employees that care about the business, are willing to educate themselves and customers about vaping, and can help your business thrive.
The last step in opening a vape shop is continuing to be a useful resource to your community. By staying current, on trend, and valuable to the ever-changing world of vaping, you can make your business thrive. Create a healthy, regularly-updated social media presence for your business, market yourself to new and veteran vapers alike, and offer regular deals and sales on products that both speak to the current trends and help alleviate you of immobile stock. Consider starting a blog or feed for your business that keeps customers updated with the latest trends and accessories, and listen to the needs of customers as they walk through the door. By adapting to the needs and desires of your customer base, you can increase the relevance of your business.
Choosing Who to Work With for Products
Aside from the four tips we’ve provided above, you’ll have to choose a trustworthy source for your products, and VaporBeast is here to help. By choosing a wholesaler that provides trustworthy deals on bulk products and is in tune with the current trends of the vaping industry, your business will find more success. From offering the right prices and providing regular updates to our own inventory, VaporBeast is an easy candidate to choose for keeping your inventory updated and stocked with the best products and prices on the vaping market. By regularly shopping our inventory, you can keep your business thriving with a range of products and accessories that customers want– and you can stay in the know on both reliable and upcoming trends.
The bottom line is that starting a vape business is costly, but is full of potential for your business and future customers alike. If you haven’t opened up your shop yet and are wondering about the best approach, or if you’ve already opened your vape shop and are curious about how best to operate, feel free to contact our customer support team for more information. We look forward to helping your business grow, and are eager to provide your shop with the latest goods.