Franchise or self-op?


I have been exploring the idea of getting into the Vape market by opening up a store (still far from taking the plunge though). Anyway, I am not a “vaper” nor am I a smoker, but I do have an hunger for being part of this growing industry. I have been researching and learning all I can about the industry, mods, juices, legislation, etc, but because of my lack of personal experience with smoking or vaping and because of the uncertainty that the government brings, I question whether I can be successful. Should I consider the backing and experience of a vape franchise? What would the advantages/disadvantages be? any thoughts would be appreciated.


Easiest way to understand the benefits/drawbacks of both options are:

Franchises will normally cost over $100,000 to start. You don’t have flexibility in how you want your store to look or operate, and you will always pay a royalty to the original franchisee. The benefits are it’s a business in a box and you can start tomorrow with very limited learning curve. You also have a support group of other franchise owners and hopefully the franchise founder if you run into trouble.

Self ops are cheaper to start and you’ll never pay a royalty, but you are jumping in without a proven business process to follow. You also have complete control over the brand and the store experience.

IMO you’d need a REALLY SWEET franchise to convince me to open one, but I would consider it.


Thanks Jesse,
I do see both the advantages and disadvantages of going the franchise way. I would think purchasing power, staying abreast (or ahead) of government regulations, and a proven system are the most advantageous reasons, but paying out a large franchise fee, royalties and marketing fees do give me reason for concern.


Correct, group buying power would also be a big advantage to a franchise over a self-op. Nothing is perfect and owning a business is messy AF.


I think at this point I will continue to keep my options open and do as much research and planning I can do in hopes of creating my own brand. Hopefully, with the help of VapeMentors and it’s fellow members, I will gain enough insight to move foraward


I’m not a fan or franchises as a matter of course and haven’t found them worth the money. They teach you how to operate THEIR system, but are lacking in teaching you about business in general and vape, specifically.

Entrepreneurship is not for the weak and it is risky always. THIS industry is riskier than most, but the return can be great.


@VMVA, I agree, being an owner of a franchise doesn’t really give you (as the proprietor) control of that business. After all, most people I know who do own some kind of business, it’s because they wanted to be in control of their own destiny’s and didn’t want to be controlled by someone or something else. (Outside of the government regulations that always somehow seem to creep into our lives) I also completely understand your point about them only teaching a franchisor their systems and not necessarily the business as a whole.
Thanks for your thoughts and insight.