Thinking of opening a shop would love to pick someone's brain


#1

My husband is getting out of the military and his plan is for us to open a shop. He seems to be very confident and I will support him 100% but I’m just not familiar with all of this. We have a family so I want to make sure this is a good idea for us.
So my questions are, how long did it take to actually open your shops and begin making an income?
Around how much money did it cost to open?
And is this something that you see being a successful business for a long time? Thanks so much!


#2

My suggestion… Do some research on what’s going on in the industry with the FDA regs first. I sunk $50,000 into my shop almost 3 years ago and Now I’m really concerned we’ll all be forced to shut down if nothing changes with the regs. I definitely would NOT do it again if all this was going on three years ago. You can go to CASAA or American Vaping Assoc to find out more. Good luck!


#3

When I opened my shop 3 years ago I invested $5000.00 started small and grew from there. I currently have $25,000 in inventory. (and still have people say I don’t have what they want) While I am able to take a check and pay for some part time help I would not be able to support myself on it with out my husbands income. I am in a small town and I know that makes a difference. FDA regs of today would play a factor if I was to try and open one today. Good Luck!!


#4

Be careful with small towns…if one person is thinking about starting a shop there, it is quite likely someone else is as well and you could find yourself blowing the money you put into it. Do your research, feel around at not only vape shops, but smoke shops, flea markets, headshops, convenience stores, variety stores, etc…just because they don’t have vape gear and eliquids right now, doesn’t mean they won’t as soon as they see there is some business to be had. I would recommend taking the coursework that is available through VapeMentors before trying to open a shop. :slight_smile:


#5

I would also encourage you to think of alternative business models. You don’t ALWAYS have to open a B&M retail shop to be in the vape biz. You don’t even need an ecommerce shop.

One idea i’ve had is to do private done-for-you vape services. Here are some ideas to play with.

  • Private vape tasting bar that you rent out. You could operate at weddings or private events
  • If there is a hookah bar in your town, talk to them about doing a vape event. If they have the ability to do hookah then you should be able to do vaping
  • Vape food pairing parties. Pair the flavors with beer, wine or desserts.

Also, look at Living Social/Groupon. I just saw some vape products for sale there.

Finally, You can also get into the accessories and vape shop services market. Things like:

  • Custom shelving and juice display cases
  • Vape carrying cases
  • Box mod designs made of high quality wood

Again, just some ideas to get your juices flowing.

We also highly recommend checking out Vape U, our online course for starting a vape shop.

http://vape-u.teachable.com/


#6

Everything will vary depending on location and other things. I can share some of my experiences in a small rural community but that may be of very little help if you are in a larger city or in a region with very different current trends.


#7

Hey, we will be opening in a smaller city in Idaho which has made me nervous but from what everyone has told us the VAPE community is huge there. I would love to hear any tips or advice!


#8

Good for you in asking your questions! There is much to know and many ways to do it wrong. Most shops take a minimum of 90 days from lease signing to opening, many times longer. The guidelines I recommend is $50K minimum to open a shop.


#9

You definitely came to the right place to ask those questions. We started our shop a year ago and are just now getting to the point where we have recouped our startup expenses and have begun to take some of the dividends. We are in a small city of about 10,000 people, but the closest shop is 40 miles away from us so we serve a population of about 50k. I can’t recommend investing your nest egg in a shop right now because of the regulations UNLESS you have a partner that has the very specific experience that you need. There are too many pitfalls that are easy to fall into for this to be even moderately safe investment opportunity for someone with no experience in running a shop. I would be more than happy to share what I’ve learned via phone or facebook messenger if you decide to move forward.