When vaping first started in the early 2000s, many people assumed that it was just a fad that would fade away with time. Boy, were they wrong! Nobody could foresee how vaping would become the multi-billion dollar global industry that it is today.
Despite how big the business is, there’s still plenty of room for growth. So, if you’re wondering how to start a vape shop business, you’ve come to the right place.
Wonder no more, because here’s everything you need to consider to get your vape shop business up and running.
Find a location
First and foremost, you’ll need to decide where to set up shop. Some people prefer to do it the traditional way and rent a kiosk or a store as their operations base. Of course, there’s the second option of operating an online store to reach more people potentially.
There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it. You just need to decide which way you want to start with.
Next, you’ll need to stock your store shelves (physical or virtual) with the kind of vape products that you know people will love. Of course, you’ll want to have a few big names that most vapers know and love. If you want to stand out from other stores, though, you’ll need to look for fantastic flavours that not many other stores have.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to identify wholesale suppliers or key manufacturers that want your help to sell their vape juices and devices.
Equipment (Stands ; Shelves, Till, Processing Payments)
What would a store be without some essential equipment? For one thing, you’ll need shelves that can display your vape merchandise in the best light possible. After all, the whole goal here is to catch your customer’s eye the moment they walk through the front door.
Besides that, you’ll need some kind of Point of Sale (POS) system as well. These days, you can get an affordable cash machine that consists of nothing more than a tablet with the right software and a cash box.
The cash till isn’t just about ringing in purchases and giving your customers their change. Those POS systems will also help you keep track of your inventory and let you know when you’re running low. That way, you can order more stock right on time for when your customers want them.
Suppose you’re running your vape shop business entirely online. If that’s the case, then you will also require a laptop, at the very least, and POS software for the same reasons mentioned above (to track your sales, manage your stock, and more).
How Much Does It Cost To Open A Vape Shop?
It’s hard to say how much a vape shop will cost to open because there are too many factors that go into that. Some have claimed that £10,000 is an excellent budget to aim for, but again, that may not be true for everyone.
There are at least three things that can affect your vape shop setup costs. They include:
- Rental costs (which depends on the size and location of your shop).
- Setup costs (like the shelves and equipment we discussed earlier).
- Inventory purchases (how much stock of vape juices and devices you’ll want to make available).
Together, all three of those categories will affect the cost to open a vape shop. You can tweak each of those three items to fit whatever start-up budget you have for your shop.
UK Vaping Regulations
Here’s where the business gets a little tricky. All over the world, and certainly in the UK, the vaping industry is still relatively young and evolving. So, the rules aren’t exactly set in stone the same way it is with the cigarette industry, for instance.
Typically, UK vaping regulations are concerned about the production and promotion of vaping products. Their primary purpose is to keep consumers well-informed and safe.
Still, the fact that the industry is still relatively young is also what makes it somewhat volatile. As the industry keeps evolving, the government could change its regulations and affect how your vape shop business operates.
So, what can you do to stay ahead of that volatility? You have to do your homework. As with any kind of business that’s sensitive to government regulations, you as a vape shop business owner must always stay up-to-date with what’s going on in UK vaping regulations.
Marketing – Build An Audience
Last but not least, you’ll need to build an audience and market your business continually. Above all, you always have to make sure that your marketing is in line with UK vaping regulations, as mentioned in the previous section.
With that settled, there are plenty of ways you can build an audience. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that you’re giving your customers only the best customer service. Building relationships with your customers will keep them coming back to you again and again.
Still, don’t forget that most vapers are young and tech-savvy. Social media is a powerful tool to get your name out there and keep it on your customer’s minds. Plus, if you know what you’re doing, that type of marketing won’t cost you too much.