There’s something about the vaping industry that has always attracted people with entrepreneurial tendencies. Part of the appeal of the vaping industry has to do with the enviable profits that the most successful companies enjoy. If you’ve ever looked at the wholesale prices for vaping devices and e-liquids, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the fact that the most successful companies in the industry enjoy enviable profit margins.
Another reason why so many people are excited by the possibility of starting vaping businesses in 2023 is that they are former smokers who quit by switching to vaping. After quitting successfully –something you might have previously thought you’d never do – you’re naturally going to want to tell the world about the life-changing potential of vaping.
The problem with starting a vape shop, though, is that entering the vaping industry can be surprisingly expensive because the industry is so fragmented. There’s no one brand or product that’s clearly better than the others, so just about every vaping device or e-liquid that exists is relevant to someone. If you want to attract the largest possible customer base, you’ve got to carry everything – and that is obviously impossible. On top of that, you have the traditional expenses of running a business – leasing a storefront, hiring employees, and more. For many would-be entrepreneurs, starting a full-service vape shop just doesn’t seem possible.
If you’d like to start a vape shop on a tight budget, this is the article for you. In it, we’re going to give you three ideas that can help you break into the vaping industry without risking your entire life savings. Once you’ve begun to earn some revenue, you can look for opportunities to grow further – but first, you’ve got to get your foot in the door. Here are some suggestions that can help.
Focus on a Narrow Product Category
One of the reasons why people have difficulty starting vape shops is because of the immense expense involved in running a full-service business in the vaping industry. As we explained above, the industry has an extremely fragmented customer base. Some people use powerful vape mods and fill their tanks with low-nicotine e-liquids. Others use smaller and less powerful devices, and they fill those devices with high-nicotine e-liquids. Still others use pre-filled disposable vapes. To satisfy all of those people, you’d have to carry an enormous variety of vaping hardware along with e-liquids of many different nicotine strengths.
Don’t forget that there aren’t just a few e-liquid flavors on the market. There are hundreds of flavors, and each potential customer will expect to find his or her favorite at your vape shop. The need to carry dozens of different devices and hundreds of different e-liquids – not to mention a good supply of replacement parts – is precisely why so many potential entrepreneurs become discouraged when they think about entering the vaping industry.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider starting a vape shop that focuses on just one type of popular product. Disposable vapes such as Elf Bar, for instance, are extremely popular at the moment. You could focus on assembling the widest possible selection of disposable vapes and establish your shop as your city’s best source for that one type of product. Many people buy disposable vapes from convenience stores, and they’ll happily start buying from your vape shop if you can offer a wider variety of products at lower prices.
Start Online and Open a Physical Store Later
Starting a brick-and-mortar vape shop isn’t just expensive because of the need to maintain an inventory. It’s also expensive because once you’ve sourced your products, you still need to lease a storefront and hire employees. If you’re on a tight budget, doing all of those things might not be feasible – so consider starting an online vape shop instead.
The greatest thing about e-commerce is that it’s incredibly inexpensive to get started. Domain names and hosting are both cheap, and some of the most popular software solutions for running an e-commerce site are free. If you run an online vape shop, you can focus on sourcing your products and formulating a marketing plan instead of going through the rigamarole of opening a physical storefront.
It’s important to remember that e-commerce has plenty of its own challenges. Running an online vape shop, for instance, means that you’re not just competing with vape shops in your own city – you’re competing against every other online vape shop in the world. Building a customer base takes a lot of time and effort. On the bright side, you can do your own marketing work while you wait for customers to start coming in. Once you’ve built a sustainable online presence, you can hire someone else to help with your marketing efforts.
Use a Drop Shipper Instead of Handling Your Own Inventory
So far in this article, we’ve offered two suggested plans that can help you launch a vape shop even if you don’t have a lot to spend on inventory. Suppose, though, that you don’t have any money to spend on products at all. Is it possible to enter the vaping industry even if you don’t have the budget to build an inventory? As a matter of fact, you can. If you work with a third-party drop shipper, you don’t have to worry about product sourcing or order fulfillment at all.
When you work with a drop shipping service, you use your website to offer the products that the drop shipper has in stock. When someone buys a product, your website sends the order information to the drop shipper. They then pack and ship the order. As far as the customer is concerned, the order is coming from your vape shop because the package will have your company’s name on it.
Working with a drop shipper is easy, and it requires no up-front investment on your part. Not stocking your own inventory, however, does have a cost in that the drop shipper will take a cut – usually around 15-20 percent – from each sale. It’s important to price your products competitively, though, or you won’t make any sales at all. Therefore, working with a drop shipper can make your vape shop significantly less profitable than it would have been if you had your own inventory. If you don’t have the budget to source your own products, though, using a drop shipper is the next best option.